2016 Beacon Award

Join us on Sunday, August 28 at 1:00pm in Theater A to honor Kelli Valade, President of Chili's® Grill & Bar, as the 2016 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo Beacon Award Honoree

We are excited to present the Beacon Award to Kelli Valade, President of Chili's® Grill & Bar, for her strides in advancing the career path for women in the restaurant & foodservice industry. This award was created to recognize a woman leader who has truly served as a Beacon for our industry through their leadership, contributions and inspiration. The Beacon is a source of light and celebration. 

Kelli Valade

Kelli Valade currently serves as President of Chili’s® Grill & Bar. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of domestic restaurant operations, marketing, franchising and PeopleWorks for the brand. 

Kelli has been with Brinker International since 1996, holding various positions including Director of Human Resources for On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina®, Vice President of Corporate Human Resources and Senior Vice President of PeopleWorks for Chili’s and On The Border and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Chili’s. In 2016, Kelli’s passion for operational excellence and deep understanding of the business led to her promotion to President of Chili’s. 

Beacon Award Recipients


Edna Morris

2016 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Honoree

Edna Morris is the Managing Director at Axum and Industry Expert for Axum’s Limited Service Restaurant investments (LSR). Edna Morris brings over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, and served as President of several restaurant companies including Red Lobster and Blue Coral.

  Sara Moulton

2016 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York Honoree

In the past 30 years, Sara’s illustrious career has included working in restaurants throughout the US and Europe, her mentorship with Julia Child, her positions as Food Editor of Good Morning America and executive chef of Gourmet Magazine, her time on the Food Network, and current role of author of several cookbooks and host of “Sara’s Weeknight Dinners”.  While becoming a nationally recognized chef, television host, author and educator, Sara has maintained her commitment to helping women in the industry, and is one of the founders of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance. We are proud to present this award to her.