Geoffrey Zakarian
Chef, author, restaurateur
Keynote: Sunday, February 26, 2017, 12:30p
Welcome Remarks: Dawn Sweeney, President & CEO, National Restaurant Association
 
Accomplished chef, host, culinary consultant and restaurateur, Zakarian has presided over some of the country’s top kitchens, traveling the world for new inspiration to marry with his classical training and techniques in a lifelong effort to deliver paramount hospitality experiences.
 
Zakarian's rise to culinary prominence began at Le Cirque, where he first worked in a professional kitchen. In five years, he worked his way up from Pastry Sous to Chef de Cuisine under Chef Alain Sailhac. In 1987, Zakarian took his first turn as Executive Chef at the legendary 21Club. Over the next 30 years, Zakarian continued his rise into the culinary firmament, opening multiple restaurants to rapturous praise and dozens of stars from important culinary voices such as The New York Times and the Michelin Guide.
 
Outside of the kitchen, Zakarian is an accomplished author, philanthropist and notable television personality.
 

 

 

Tom Werner 
Chairman, Boston Red Sox
Keynote: Monday, February 27, 2017, 12:45pm
 
Tom has enjoyed a prominent career in both the entertainment and sports worlds for many decades. As Chairman of the Boston Red Sox, Werner partnered with John Henry and Larry Lucchino to deliver three World Series titles in the span of 10 seasons, ending an 86 year championship drought.
 
Werner has been instrumental in establishing and overseeing the Red Sox Foundation, the largest charitable arm in sports. He also spearheaded the creation of the groundbreaking Home Base Program, which has aided more than 11,000 veterans and their families dealing with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress syndrome. For his leadership work in this area, Werner was honored with the United States Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Award on October 30, 2014.
 
In the entertainment realm, Werner rose to the position of head of Prime Time Programming at ABC, helping develop landmark shows such as Mork and Mindy, Taxi, Three's Company, Soap, and Love Boat. When he left the network, he joined forces with Marcy Carsey to found the most successful independent comedy production company in history, creating more than 2,000 hours of quality television that included The Cosby Show, Roseanne, A Different World and Third Rock From The Sun, among others. For his work in the medium, Werner was induced into the Television Hall of Fame.
 
Werner splits his time between Boston and Los Angeles, and he serves on numerous boards including After School All Stars and the Crossroads School. He has three children and six grandchildren.