Executive and Continuous Improvement Leader Joins the Nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute

Share Article

Richard Vellante led the implementation and expansion of a successful lean continuous improvement effort as executive chef and executive vice president at Legal Sea Foods, according to the Institute.

Vellante picture

Richard Vellante joins the Lean Enterprise Institute as executive director of community and training events, and administration.

"Rich will lead the advancement of lean thinking and practice into the hospitality and general service industries at a time when they are undergoing seismic change.”

The nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), a global leader in lean management thinking, practice, and innovation, today announced the hiring of Richard Vellante as executive director of community and training events, and administration. Vellante is an experienced executive with deep firsthand experience implementing continuous improvement methods.

Vellante will oversee human resources, finance and accounting, business and office operations. His team also will run LEI’s in-person and online workshops, including the annual Lean Summit.

Vellante has over 20 years of experience leading, coaching, and training teams of staff and executives, most recently as executive vice president and executive chef at Legal Sea Foods, a Boston-based casual-dining chain with 4,000-plus employees. It was voted by USA Today as Best Seafood Restaurant in 2013. Vellante was responsible for the management and oversight of 34 restaurants and eight different concepts. His responsibilities included overseeing general operations, menu development, and roll outs, including seasonal menu changes and promotions.

In 2014, in partnership with LEI, he led the chain’s implementation of lean continuous improvement methods as an expansion plan mandated new levels of efficiency while providing high-quality food and a better guest experience. Vellante oversaw the phased implementation of lean management methods beginning with a model line in a Boston restaurant. He helped lead the multi-year effort by solving problems, applying lean tools, and creating a lean-thinking culture that improved the work, quality, and lead times.

Pioneering Work
“Rich brings decades of experience in the hospitality industry, restaurants specifically, to LEI,” said Josh Howell, LEI president. “He pioneered the use of lean thinking and practice in that industry for improving the customer experience, the work that goes into creating it, and overall business outcomes. I can’t wait to see what he cooks up for the learning experiences that LEI offers. More important, Rich will lead the advancement of lean thinking and practice into the hospitality and general service industries at a time when they are undergoing seismic change.”

"I'm thrilled to work with such a creative, talented, and purpose-driven group,” Vellante said. “Their focus on improving work and developing leadership capabilities in a humble way is motivating to me. I look forward to learning and using my practical experience to help others “

Vellante’s accomplishments include:

  • Awarded Massachusetts Restaurant Association’s Executive Chef of the Year in 2018
  • Named Menu Strategist of the Year by Restaurant Business and was included among the nation’s Top 50 R&D Chefs by Nation’s Restaurant News
  • Became the first civilian chef in U.S. history to cook for the nation’s senators in 2002 and 2004
  • Repeated as guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House and Culinary Foundation in New York City
  • Appeared on national TV shows and in publications, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, Food Network, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Food & Wine, and Restaurant Business.

About the Lean Enterprise Institute
Lean Enterprise Institute Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, MA, with a mission to make things better through lean thinking and practice by helping companies create more value and prosperity while consuming the fewest possible resources. Founded in 1997 by management expert James Womack, PhD, LEI conducts research through co-learning partnerships with companies, teaches on-site and online workshops, publishes books and ebooks, organizes conferences, and shares practical information about lean thinking and practice at http://www.lean.org.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Chet Marchwinski
@leanthinking
Follow >
Lean Enterprise Institute
Like >
Visit website