SVP, Operations & Strategic Development
Sustainable Restaurant 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 casual dining. With over 30 years of experience recruiting, motivating, and leading highly-effective teams in the hospitality industry, Morris joined Sustainable Restaurant Group in January 2018 as Senior Vice President, Operations & Strategic Development. In his role, Morris leads the operaions and home office teams as the company grows its two brands.
Prior to this time, Morris was Senior Vice President with The Elliot Group, a boutique executive consulting and recruiting firm, providing counsel in all facets of operations and human resources across the private, private equity, and public company domains. Prior to Elliot, Morris was the Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Ignite Restaurant Group and Chief People Officer for Romano’s Macaroni Grill, which was purchased by the Ignite Restaurant Group in April 2013. In these roles, Morris managed the operations services, human resources, recruitment, compensation, benefits, training, and development teams. He also worked closely with the respective Board Compensation Committees.
Prior to joining Macaroni Grill, Morris was the Chief People Officer 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. During his tenure at Fired Up, the company 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, honoring organizations with exemplary recruiting, training, and retention programs.
Prior to joining Fired Up, Inc., Morris served as Vice President of Human Resources – Emerging Concepts at Brinker International, Inc. His extensive career has also included senior human resources and operations positions at Pasta Pomodoro, Inc., World Wrapps, Inc., Einstein/Noah Bagel Corp. and Wyatt’s https://tdn2k.com/snapshot/2018-02/ 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 founding and current member of the Board of Directors for the National Diversity Council, former Board member for TDn2K (formerly The People Report), past President of CHART (the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers), and past Chairperson of the Certification Governing Board for the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association, responsible for the oversight of all certifications programs offered by the NRA.
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.