About Us

The International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA), a nonprofit trade association, promotes the use of technology within the global food and beverage industries with a specific focus on education, certification, standards, research and networking, while aligning with other industry associations and groups in support of their technology related initiatives; and to further the common business interests of the information technology industry by promoting the utilization of technology within all segments of the global food and beverage industry, including restaurant/foodservice, hospitality/lodging, gaming, onsite, beer/wine/spirits retailing, c-stores, catering, travel and other related segments of the food and beverage industry.

Governed by a board of top-level food and beverage IT executives, the IFBTA incorporates operator and supplier participation and input to promote technology education, networking, and solutions. The IFBTA addresses all areas of technology used in and enabling the food and beverage industries, including:

  • Infrastructure

  • Front of House

  • Back of House

  • Equipment

  • Food

  • Services

Board of Directors

JEFF CHASNEY

EVP STRATEGIC PLANNING & CIO, CKE RESTAURANTS, INC

Having joined CKE Restaurants, Inc. as senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) in April 2000, Jeff Chasney was named executive vice president, strategic planning and chief information officer in October 2003. He is responsible for providing the Company with performance forecasting and strategic direction for using technology and information to enhance corporate profitability.

Before joining CKE Restaurants, Inc., Chasney was with Clark Refining and Marketing for four years as vice president and chief information officer. Additionally, Chasney has more than 13 years experience in the foodservice industry, having served as vice president and chief information officer at VICORP Restaurants, Inc. and Long John Silver’s, Inc.

Chasney received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics at Wayne State University in Detroit.

ROB WATKINS

CIO, COMPASS GROUP NORTH AMERICA

Mr. Watkins joined Compass Group in 1994, moving to the Americas corporate office in Charlotte, NC from the UK in 1997 to assist with an ERP implementation. Subsequent project and line management positions culminated in Mr. Watkins becoming CIO in 2001. Mr. Watkins has overall responsibility for leading and aligning technology resources with business needs to enable business growth and change. He obtained a BSc(Hons) from the University of Wales, is qualified as a Management Accountant and acquired an MBA from Cranfield University. Mr. Watkins’ career transitioned from finance to technology during his early years with Compass Group. Prior to joining Compass Group, he worked for a number of organizations, including Pirelli, Reuters and Somerfield (a leading UK grocery chain). Mr. Watkins is married with two daughters, and lives in Charlotte.

LOU GRANDE, JR.

VP OF IT, RED LOBSTER SEAFOOD COMPANY

Lou is an Information Technology Executive with over 30 years of experience in creating shareholder value and operational effectiveness through business process reengineering, IT and business alignment, and technology implementation. He has worked for organizations of all shapes and sizes, from small business, “mid-market” to Fortune Global 500 companies. He has broad experience in all aspects of system operations, IT governance, support services, compliance and development, and direct experience with IT strategy, project implementation, team organization and technology consulting.
His industry experience includes foodservice/hospitality, retail and management consulting where Lou gained a solid reputation among colleagues, business partners and customers alike as an executive with a rare balance of strategic insight, operational expertise, technical skills, financial skills, customer service and sales and marketing savvy.

Grande holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Computer Information Systems from Georgia State University in Atlanta. He is an active member of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber’s Information Technology Council and BizNet of Orange Park. Lou is also a participating member of the CEO Nexus Forum a State of Florida sponsored program dedicated to supporting second-stage CEOs in growing their companies.