Texas Restaurant Association President tapped to move into new role at the national level

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Texas Restaurant Association President and CEO Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D. will transition to a newly created role with the National Restaurant Association. - PHOTO COURTESY TEXAS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION
  • Photo courtesy Texas Restaurant Association
  • Texas Restaurant Association President and CEO Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D. will transition to a newly created role with the National Restaurant Association.
Texas Restaurant Association President and CEO Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D. is taking her expertise on the road to fulfill a newly created role with the National Restaurant Association as Chief Collaboration Officer and EVP of Industry Relations.

After two years of leading the TRA — an influential food and beverage trade association — Williams Knight has been tapped to lead the National Restaurant Association’s strategic portfolio, focusing on advancing and protecting the industry by strengthening partnerships with state restaurant associations.



Williams Knight helmed the creation of the Texas Restaurant Relief Fund, which raised more than $3 million for independent Texas restaurants impacted by the pandemic, as well as partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission and Dallas College to secure more than $1 million for job training and certification programs to support growth within the sector.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead the Texas Restaurant Association. While none of us could have anticipated the challenges we’d face with the onset of COVID-19, I am proud of all we have accomplished together and the difference we made for operators and their employees across the state,” Williams Knight said in a release.



“From drafting the reopening guidelines, keeping restaurants open since May 1, 2020, securing important executive orders including alcohol-to-go, and leading on federal programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and Restaurant Revitalization Fund, it has been important and deeply meaningful work.”

Knight joined the TRA in 2019 with more than 20 years of experience in national and global leadership positions. She will begin her transition to the national organization in May while she oversees the Texas Restaurant Association's efforts through the summer of 2021.

The Texas Restaurant Association advocates for the foodservice industry of Texas, representing the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees.

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