The Beacon Award was created to recognize a woman leader who has truly served as a Beacon for our industry through their leadership, contributions and inspiration. The Beacon is a source of light and celebration.
Beacon Award Recipients
Kelli Valade currently serves as President of Chili’s® Grill & Bar. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of domestic restaurant operations, marketing, franchising and PeopleWorks for the brand.
Kelli has been with Brinker International since 1996, holding various positions including Director of Human Resources for On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina®, Vice President of Corporate Human Resources and Senior Vice President of PeopleWorks for Chili’s and On The Border and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Chili’s. In 2016, Kelli’s passion for operational excellence and deep understanding of the business led to her promotion to President of Chili’s.
2016 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Honoree
Edna Morris is the Managing Director at Axum and Industry Expert for Axum’s Limited Service Restaurant investments (LSR). Edna Morris brings over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and served as President of several restaurant companies including Red Lobster and Blue Coral.
2016 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York Honoree
In the past 30 years, Sara’s illustrious career has included working in restaurants throughout the US and Europe, her mentorship with Julia Child, her positions as Food Editor of Good Morning America and executive chef of Gourmet Magazine, her time on the Food Network, and current role of author of several cookbooks and host of “Sara’s Weeknight Dinners”. While becoming a nationally recognized chef, television host, author and educator, Sara has maintained her commitment to helping women in the industry, and is one of the founders of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance. We are proud to present this award to her.