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Keynote Speakers

New River Community and Technical College
Ghent, WV
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ron Magruder

Ron Magruder spent his entire career in the hospitality business. His first job was as a dishwasher in a Big Boy restaurant while in high school. After a number of jobs managing different types of restaurants he joined the Darden group as an Assistant Manager for Red Lobster. He worked his way up to the position of Vice President of Operations for that brand and the was sent to Japan to develop the brand there. In 1985 he was appointed President of The Olive Garden. At that time there were 4 restaurants. During the next 10 years he led the team in growing the chain to over 500 restaurants. His last position with Darden was Vice Chairman and in 1995 he changed categories and joined Cracker Barrel as it's President. In 1999 he was named Chairman of the National Restaurant Association. He then moved to Canada and was President of the Swiss Chalet And Harvey's brands for Cara Operations. Ron retired 2 years ago and has happily chosen Greenbrier County, West Virginia as his home. He has served on a number of University and Community Boards over the years. He currently is President of the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, WV. Ron and his wife Elizabeth have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

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