The New York State Restaurant Association has named Ron Mathews as the new Regional Director for its New York City office. Mathews has a successful, decade-long track record working with the NYS Restaurant Association in his capacity as Show Director for the annual International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York, of which the Association is the official sponsor.
“Ron understands restaurateurs, what motivates them, and the entrepreneurial spirit exhibited by those who succeed. He is a problem solver, a marketer and one of the most creative professionals I’ve had the pleasure to work with. He was a key force, transforming the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York into one of the most dynamic events in the country and we are so fortunate to have him join our team,” said Melissa Fleischut, President & CEO of the NYS Restaurant Association.
Mathews began working with restaurants in the late 1980s during his time with Pagano Dairy Distributors in Connecticut. Ron helped triple distribution and by the end of his tenure the company had over 300 restaurant clients. From there Ron joined Reed Exhibition Companies, the largest exhibition organizer in the world. In 1995, he began working with both the New York Restaurant Association and Massachusetts Restaurant Association on their annual foodservice shows.
Mathews worked his way up to Vice President of the Restaurant and Foodservice portfolio at Reed where he oversaw the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show and Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo in California, in addition to the New York show. In this role, Ron created a strategic partnership with Ferdinand Metz, the Culinary Institute of America President Emeritus, forming a dynamic education program delivering over 100 education sessions annually through his events. This initiative involved many notable culinarians and restaurateurs including Danny Meyer, Drew Neiporent, Thomas Keller, and others.
“I am excited that my next career step is into the heart of the greatest restaurant city in the world, where new flavors, approaches, ideas, policy and international stars are created. I look forward to lending my skills and energy, along with the Association team, to advance this incredible industry,” said Matthews.”
Former NYC Regional Director Kevin Dugan will be taking over as the Director of Government Affairs where he will continue to supervise the Association’s advocacy efforts in New York City and also take responsibility in the same role on statewide policy issues. Kevin has been with the Association since 2015 and has worked closely with the Association’s Government Affairs team during that time. He has experience in working with both State and local governments and will bring this expertise to his new position.