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.