Evolution of MFHA


Since 1996, MFHA has been making the business case for diversity and inclusion in the foodservice & hospitality industry. Over the years, MFHA has evolved its mission from advocating for career opportunities for people of color, to building Cultural Intelligence.

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Gerry Fernandez gathers 17 companies to discuss the creation of MFHA to promote the advancement of people of color in the foodservice industry.

1996

1997

MFHA is officially incorporated. Gerry Fernandez becomes loaned executive from General Mills to run MFHA full time.

First National Biennial Conference in San Diego, CA. Herman Cain, President & CEO, The National Restaurant Association and Frank Belatti, CEO, AFC Enterprises were keynote speakers at this conference focused on the economic benefits of multiculturalism.

1998

1999

Published the first-ever Diverse Supplier Directory for the Foodservice & Hospitality Industry.

Showcase of the Stars™ Conducted the very first event in Chicago.

2000

2001

Releases first-ever Benchmark Survey of Diverse Practices with Nation’s Restaurant News and the Coca-Cola Company.

Joe Lee, Chairman & CEO of Darden Restuarants wins The Ernest H. Royal Pioneer Award.

2002

2003

Alice Elliot, CEO, The Elliot Group chairs Panel ever MFHA Symposium of CEO’s at the firstin Dallas, TX

Sed de Saber is introduced to the industry with support from Coca-Cola, Brinker International and Retention Education

2004

2005

2nd MFHA Report to industry is released.

10-year Anniversary Conference in Boston, MA

2006

2010

MFHA Ollin Conference

  • Gerry on NRN’s 50 Power List
  • Released “Website Cultural Inclusiveness Assessment”
  • First CI Operators’ Conf

2014

2015

  • Powers first “Cultural Intelligence SmartBrief”
  • Launches African American eLearning
  • Showcase of the Stars™ at DECA Conf

Marks 20th year as the only Cultural Intelligence organization for the industry

2016

Currently

Still the only cultural intelligence expert in the foodservice & hospitality industry.