Sr. Director, Global Food & Beverage Sustainability
Lon Southerland, a prominent food and beverage industry executive known for taking Marriott’s The Bistro – Eat.Drink.Connect® concept from inception to the most rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant in the U.S., holds a career-long record of key contributions that include Inc. 500 awards, development of Starbucks #1 F&B program, creation of 7-Eleven’s $120M fresh food concept, and recognition from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other media as an industry subject matter expert.
Southerland's career has brought him to highly successful stops in a number of segments, including managing fresh food and bakery for 7-Eleven North America and in the hospitality industry with Hyatt and Holiday Inn. He also served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Original American Scones, Inc., where he led his start-up company to four consecutive appearances on the Inc. 500 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States in the 1990s.
Brought into Marriott International based on his reputation for exceeding revenue goals by driving new platforms from concept to reality, Lon has spearheaded numerous F&B, convenience store, fast-casual, retail coffee, and hospitality innovations generating unprecedented profit in competitive markets. Regarded as a thought leader in new-platform development and integration, Lon has been sought to lead transformational change and design product roadmaps, and has been tapped for prominent appearances including the International Food Manufacturers Association 50th annual Presidents Conference keynote in 2012. Considered an influential networker and social media enthusiast, Lon has also built a substantial following in the industry and on LinkedIn, where he regularly cultivates relationships among F&B executives, hospitality innovators, universities, and the military.