Senior Vice President
The Elliot Group
Rodney Morris is a visionary executive leader with extensive expertise in all facets of human resources from emerging-growth concepts to high-growth corporations and from quick service restaurants to polished casual dining working across the private, private equity, and public company domains. In 2014, Morris joined The Elliot Group, a nationwide retained executive search and consulting organization focused within the consumer, hospitality, foodservice, manufacturing, retail and service industries. Morris’ extensive expertise in recruiting, compensation and benefits, risk management, organizational development, succession planning, training, and solution delivery will assist companies nationwide in recruiting, motivating, and developing highly effective teams.
With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Morris was most recently the Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Ignite Restaurant Group. Prior to this time, Morris was the Chief People Officer at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, which was purchased by the Ignite Restaurant Group in April 2013.
Prior to joining Macaroni Grill, Morris was the Chief People Officer, Fry Cook & Cashier for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers® and served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Fired Up, Inc., operating as Carino’s Italian restaurants. At Fired Up, he was responsible for strategic oversight of human resources, recruiting and performance development functions for the Company, which was recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation as the 2008 SPIRIT Award winner in the category of Full Service. This prestigious accomplishment honors organizations with exemplary recruiting, training and retention programs that truly understand that enhancing employee satisfaction ultimately leads to improved guest satisfaction.
Prior to joining Fired Up, Inc., Morris served as Vice President of Human Resources – Emerging Concepts at Dallas-based Brinker International, Inc. His extensive career has also included senior human resources positions at Pasta Pomodoro, Inc., World Wrapps, Inc., Einstein/Noah Bagel Corp. and Wyatt’s Cafeterias, Inc. During his tenure at Pasta Pomodoro, Inc. the Company was recognized by The People Report™ as a Catalyst Award recipient based on the success of its people initiatives.
Morris is a past chairperson of the Certification Governing Board for the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), responsible for the oversight of all certification programs offered by the NRA. He is a member of the Board of Directors for both the National Diversity Council and TDn2K (formerly The People Report) and past President of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART).
A frequent speaker, Morris has presented at several CHART conferences, the Multi-Cultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) conference, the California, Ohio, and Texas State Diversity conferences, the National Restaurant Show, and The People Report’s™ Best Practices and Summer Brand Camp conferences.
In both 2008 and 2014, Morris was recognized by the Texas Diversity Council with a DiversityFIRST™ Award for his support of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Rodney is also a recipient of the 2003 Elliot “Motivator of the Year” Award, CHART’s Year 2000 “Commitment to CHART” award, and was a 1999 recipient of an “Honorary Doctorate of Foodservice” Award by the North America Foodservice Equipment Manufacturer’s Association.
Morris is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration, where he was selected as the University’s Outstanding Male Graduate his Senior year.