Kendall College President Elected to NRAEF Board of Trustees

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Emily Williams Knight, president of Kendall College, is among the newest members elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Knight was welcomed to the board at the NRAEF’s annual meeting on Jan. 30 in Orlando, Florida.

Emily Knight and Mike Hickey, new chair of the NRAEF board

To serve as one of only three educators on the board makes me feel incredibly proud to represent this institution. It acknowledges Kendall’s leadership in the U.S. hospitality industry and our ranking as the No. 1 culinary school in Chicago

Emily Williams Knight, president of Kendall College, is among the newest members elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Knight was welcomed to the board at the NRAEF’s annual meeting on Jan. 30 in Orlando, Florida. She will serve a two-year term with the possibility of serving two additional two-year terms. Knight is the first representative of Kendall College to serve the NRAEF in this capacity in the foundation’s 28 years.

As a new trustee of the 35-member board, Knight represents not only Kendall College’s Schools of Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management and Business to the NRAEF, but also the farther-reaching role of higher education in supporting the NRAEF’s strategic initiatives. These include creating educational programs that provide pathways to employment in the restaurant and foodservice industry and supporting an effective communications program that conveys opportunities for advancement in the industry, as well as the impact of community engagement.

“Part of my responsibility will be to help raise awareness within the U.S. of the foundation and its programs, also connecting it to the real-life needs of students,” Knight says. “As president of Kendall College, I see the gaps impacting the ability of committed young people, military veterans and career-changers to seek meaningful careers and to address the financial challenges that their families face. I want to assist in expanding scholarship awareness and opportunities, promoting the ProStart program to more high schools and their students, and examining what we as industry executives can do to help more students from every walk of life achieve the rewarding restaurant and culinary careers they seek.”

Knight will also support the NRAEF’s initiative to generate financial resources to fund the ongoing work of the foundation, which includes a robust scholarship program that has awarded $14 million since 1997.
Knight says that her election as an NRAEF board trustee recognizes the stature Kendall College has achieved in its first 80 years.

“To serve as one of only three educators on the board makes me feel incredibly proud to represent this institution and our students. It acknowledges Kendall’s leadership in the U.S. hospitality industry and our ranking as the No. 1 hospitality and culinary-arts program in Chicago. Personally, I’m thrilled and honored. With my dual passion for education and our industry, I’m able to work hand in hand with incredibly gifted and intelligent people via a national platform to help more Americans achieve their career dreams.”

Knight was named president of Kendall College by the board of directors in January 2012. She previously served as a vice president at Laureate Education, Inc., where she was responsible for globally expanding access to the company’s hospitality management, culinary arts and art and design programs. Before joining Laureate she was CEO of New England University, LLC, where she was responsible for expanding marketing and strategic initiatives as well as growth into Latin America for the New England College of Business and Finance.

Knight currently serves on the advisory board of directors of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

For more information about the NRAEF, visit http://www.nraef.org.

About the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts:
Kendall College, founded in 1934, is located in Chicago and is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. Kendall offers undergraduate degrees in business, culinary arts, early childhood education and hospitality management to a diverse and passionate community of more than 1,650 students. The curriculum combines strong academics with practical experience and international educational opportunities that help give students in business, hospitality and culinary arts programs the skills and expertise to be leaders in their professions. Kendall College was ranked the number one program in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality management and culinary arts in a survey of hiring managers at Chicago's leading hotels and Michelin Guide restaurants (TNS Global – 2013 Survey). The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission has accredited the Culinary Arts associate program since 1988 and the Baking and Pastry associate program since 2008. Kendall College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, ncahlc.org; 312.263.0456. For more information, visit Kendall.edu.

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