Richard E. Rivera

Chairman of the Board of Directors 2007-2008
National Restaurant Association

Richard E. Rivera, FMP, is the elected chairman of the National Restaurant Association for the administrative year 2007-2008.

Prior to his election as chairman, Mr. Rivera was tapped for the vice chairman's officer seat in 2006 and the treasurer's officer seat in 2005. Before being elected an officer, Mr. Rivera served a total of 12 years as a voting member of the Association’s board, primarily representing multi-unit operators. His leadership positions on the Board have included chairmanship of the Government Relations, Convention, Multicultural Outreach, Technology Development and the Image/Employment Committees and Task Forces.

Rivera is a principal of Rubicon Enterprises LLC, a restaurant operations and development company based in Saratosa, Florida. The company owns four T.G.I. Friday’s franchises in Pennsylvania and Marlow’s Tavern in Atlanta, a restaurant concept based on the American neighborhood tavern.

Rivera began his career of more than 30 years in the restaurant industry with Steak & Ale Restaurants of America. He has held executive positions with a number of leading restaurant companies, including Darden Restaurants; RARE Hospitality International Inc.; T.G.I. Friday's Inc.; Applebee's; and El Chico Corp.

In 1990, Rivera was appointed to the U.S. Labor Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), a blue-ribbon panel charged with defining basic skills needed to compete in the workplace and economy. In 2002, Rivera was named to President Bush’s Advisory Committee on Trade and Policy Negotiations.

Rivera has also received numerous industry awards for his achievements. These include the Golden Chain restaurant leadership award from Nation’s Restaurant News in 1989 and the Restaurant Business Leadership Award in 1993. In 1994, he was honored as one of the top restaurant operators in the United States with the prestigious Silver Plate award from the International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association. In 2000, the Women’s Foodservice Forum awarded Rivera its top Trailblazer Award for his commitment to diversity of cultures, perspectives, attitudes and ideas in the workplace.
Mr. Rivera is a former member of the executive committee of the Florida Citrus Sports Association, a community-based charitable organization that sponsors, among other events, the annual Champs Sports and Capital One Bowl in Orlando. He also is active in the Chief Executives’ Organization and the World Presidents’ Organization. Rivera holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University and an honorary doctorate of business administration from Johnson & Wales University. Before launching his restaurant industry career, Rivera spent two years in the Army as 1st Lieutenant.

The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which is comprised of 935,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of 12.8 million employees - making it the cornerstone of the economy, career opportunities and community involvement. Along with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to represent, educate and promote the rapidly growing industry. For more information, visit our Web site at