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Restaurants Canada announces new chair of the board, Cindy Simpson

Association's board also welcomes 10 new directors from across Canada


Cindy Simpson is the new chair of Restaurants Canada's board of directors. Photo: Restaurants Canada

Cindy Simpson is the new chair of Restaurants Canada’s board of directors. The executive vice-president of Imago Restaurants Inc. was elected at the association’s annual general meeting.

“It is an honour to be given the privilege to serve Restaurants Canada members as Chair, especially in a time like this,” Simpson said at the AGM. “I look forward to working with the Board, the executive team and members of Restaurants Canada to continue down our industry’s path from survival to revival.”

Currently executive vice-president and Chief Operating Officer of Imago Restaurants Inc., Simpson was hired 35 years ago as general manager of their then flagship restaurant, the Duncan Street Grill in Toronto. At that time the company had a mix of restaurants and pubs. Since then, they have become an “all-pub” company operating premium British pubs in downtown Toronto. In 2014, Simpson was invited to be a member of the Restaurants Canada board and has continued to passionately speak on behalf of the independent restaurant community.

As chair, Simpson will be responsible for overseeing Restaurants Canada’s Board and will work closely with Restaurants Canada president and CEO Todd Barclay to not only focus on helping restaurant operators pull through the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis, but ensure they are set up for success in the post-pandemic economic environment.

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Simpson succeeds Guy Laframboise, president of Les Restaurants Subway Québec Ltée, who was elected as Chair in March 2020.

“During Guy’s time as Chair, we have seen the foodservice industry highlighted as a top priority for federal and provincial governments,” said Restaurants Canada president and CEO, Todd Barclay. “I want to thank Guy for his commitment to our members and the industry, and welcome Cindy at this crucial time in our industry’s recovery efforts.”

In addition to this change, Restaurants Canada is pleased to welcome 10 new board members:

  • Lacey Sellinger, Odla Restaurant and Market, Saskatoon, SK
  • Ibrahim (Obby) Khan, Shawarma Khan Inc.; Green Carrot Juice Company; Goodlocal.ca, Winnipeg, MB
  • Mark Findlay, Lone Star Texas Grill, Oakville, ON
  • Bruce Miller, The WORKS Craft Burgers & Beer; South Street Burger; Big Smoke Burger; TOSTO Quickfire Pizza, Oakville, ON
  • Court Desautels, Neighbourhood Group of Companies, Guelph, ON
  • Mohamad Fakih, Paramount Fine Foods, Toronto, ON
  • Sachit Mehra, East India Company Restaurants, Ottawa, ON
  • Elizabeth Rowe, Italian by Night Trattoria, Saint John, NB
  • Gene Cormier, Hub City Social; Restaurant Clos Inc.; Halo Donuts Inc.;, Moncton, NB
  • Hakan Uluer, The Bertossi Group, Halifax, NS

“With these fabulous new additions to our Board, we can continue to broaden our reach and engage more industry members throughout the country,” Barclay said .