Welcome to the Food Industry Hall of Fame
The Food Industry Hall of Fame was established to recognize those select individuals who have provided leadership, fostered innovation, and dedicated themselves to excellence in the food industry. The Hall of Fame honors contributions to the entire food industry across all segments and selects individuals who clearly have the recognition and respect of industry peers for their contributions and commitment.
Inductee affiliations and biographical data are chronicled along with achievements and contributions to the industry.
Jack Laurendeau, Acosta: Jack Laurendeau is vice chairman of Acosta, a major, national full-service sales and marketing agency, providing outsourced sales, merchandising, marketing and promotional services to manufacturers in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Mr. Laurendeau’s primary focus is on new business platforms, the company’s strategic direction and new business initiatives and acquisitions. Mr. Laurendeau began his career in the industry in 1979 with the Scott Paper Co. From 1982 until 1993, he worked for Coca-Cola Foods and then for Welch's in senior-level sales positions. In 1993, Mr. Laurendeau joined MAI-Alper, Inc. as vice president of grocery sales and served in various leadership capacities before being named president and chief operating officer of the MAI Cos. in 1996. He became part of the Acosta family in 1999 when Acosta acquired MAI, and he has played an instrumental role in the company’s most recent growth and successes. Prior becoming vice chairman in March 2007, Mr. Laurendeau was president of Acosta from 2001 to 2007. He has served on the Acosta Board of Directors since 1999. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the Genesis Fund, a nonprofit organization helping children with birth defects. Mr. Laurendeau also serves on the board of MAI Partners. In 2012, Mr. Laurendeau joined the firm Linkable Networks as an advisory director.
Peter Christie, Mass. Restaurant Assn. (MRA): One gets the feeling that if Peter Christie, president and chief executive officer of the Mass. Restaurant Assn. (MRA), was in Washington, D.C., today, the fiscal cliff would be solved and somehow, Mr. Christie would forge a compromise between both sides. He is a problem solver, among his many talents. His first job ever was working as a dishwasher in a diner in Westborough, Mass., at 16 years old. Sixteen years later, he returned with his in-laws and bought that diner, built around it and converted it to a full-scale restaurant that employed 84 workers. After finishing high school and a year of college, he joined the United States Navy. He was trained in Russian language and finished his four-year term working as an interpreter for the United States Naval Security Group, where he held this nation’s highest security clearance. He then returned to the University of Massachusetts where he graduated magna cum laude in 1974. Mr. Christie joined the family business and opened Giovanni’s Restaurant in Acton, Mass., in 1978. For the next 10 years, he and his family owned and operated three casual restaurants in Acton, Marlborough, and Westborough, Mass. In 1987, he joined the MRA as director of membership services and was later promoted to executive vice president, president and chief executive officer. The MRA has grown tremendously under Mr. Christie’s leadership as the association remains committed to the advancement of the food and beverage industry in Massachusetts. Mr. Christie has served on the boards of directors of many industry-related organizations. He is a past president of the International Society of Restaurant Association Executives and was recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News as one the industries’ Top 50 Power Players in 2000.