President/Chief Executive Officer
Ron began his career in the restaurant industry as an operator and is able to view restaurant companies from an operator’s perspective, a key to understanding their significant challenges. His extensive Executive Level Management experience in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry has positioned him to bring his clients valuable organizational perspective, while helping them capitalize on the brightest talent and best performing candidates in the marketplace. Prior to joining National Restaurant Hospitality Search (formerly National Restaurant Search) in 1997 he served as President and CEO of Rosati’s Franchise Systems Inc, President and COO of Bravo Restaurants Inc. and Vice President of Operations for Restaurant Associates.
A graduate of The State University of New York at Delhi where he studied Hotel Hospitality and Restaurant Management, Ron is frequently quoted about Executive Search, Restaurant and Hospitality Management and Recruitment in national publications including The Wall Street Journal, QSR Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor. In the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry, he is revered as one of the “go to” people for advice relating to matters concerning the Restaurant and Hospitality Executive Search business as well as expertise in matters concerning Franchise Business and Franchise Executive Search opportunities.
John Chitvanni founded National Restaurant Search (currently known as National Restaurant Hospitality Search) in 1981, after three years of successful restaurant search activities with other national firms. Prior to his entry into the executive search industry, he spent 13 years in restaurant operations in positions of increasing responsibility. His background includes both fast food and full service; his last position in operations had multi-unit responsibility with a national fast food company.
A native of Boston, John attended Boston State College. He has served as a guest speaker at industry conventions, written articles for various industry publications, and was a contributing author for the book Dining in Corporate America.
Executive Vice President
Steve began his career in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry as a regional marketing manager for McDonald’s. At McDonald’s, he rose to the level of Staff Director of National Marketing, then moved on to become VP of Marketing for Hardee’s, then VP Marketing for Wendy’s, where he helped introduce the “Dave Thomas” campaign and the Value Menu. After that, he transitioned to casual dining and served as SVP Marketing for TGI Friday’s. He later joined the hospitality industry as CMO for LaQuinta Inns & Suites, before his last corporate position as CMO for Buca di Beppo.
At this point, Steve will use his broad knowledge of the restaurant and hospitality industries, and its players, as a backbone for success in the world of executive search. Steve is a graduate of Indiana University, and lives in Sarasota, FL with his wife Nancy.
Jim joined National Restaurant Search in 2007 after a 32 year career in the restaurant industry. After spending his initial years in corporate operations positions, he transitioned to his first interest, marketing. There, he held director level positions in the QSR and casual theme segments of the business.
Jim has also owned and operated two of his own restaurants, giving him an appreciation for the day to day demands of the business.
Graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Marketing, he enjoys spending his recreational time in Northern Minnesota where he and his family have a lake cabin. He lives and works in the Denver area.