|Tony Abadie, 2015 LRA Chair|
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is pleased to announce that Tony Abadie, Director of Catering and Events at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, will serve as the 2015 LRA Chair of its Board of Directors.
In this capacity, Abadie will serve as the ambassador of Louisiana’s world-renowned restaurant industry. He will travel the state attending chapter meetings and philanthropic events throughout the year and foster the engagement of one of the state’s largest business trade associations.
A New Orleans native, Abadie has been a member of the LRA for 32 years and was elected to the state board in 2006. He served as the Greater New Orleans Chapter President in 2005.
Abadie grew up in a restaurant family. His grandfather was the general manager at the original Acme Oyster House in New Orleans in the early 1950s through the mid-1960s, later opening up his own restaurant, Mena’s Palace. It was there that Abadie got his start in the restaurant industry as his grandfather’s busser and deliveryman, visiting businesses throughout the French Quarter. More restaurant and bar jobs would follow as he paid his way through LSU and studied engineering. However, that career path wasn't meant to be; he returned home to New Orleans and soon began his life’s work.
For more than three decades, Abadie has worked for the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, the largest hotel in New Orleans with more than 1,600 rooms and 1,500 employees. He began his career in 1982 as an Assistant Beverage Manager and after moving up through eight management positions, he currently holds the position of Director of Catering and Events. Annually, Abadie’s division produces more than 450,000 meals for hotel event attendees.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Tony’s background serve as our chair, as he gives so much of his time to ensuring that the restaurant industry thrives in Louisiana. Tony is an affable and selfless leader and we look forward to his guiding the LRA’s mission and goals this year,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris.
Abadie has volunteered his time to numerous LRA state board committees and, in addition to his role at the association, has served on the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board and the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience board of directors. Abadie is also a co-founder and current Vice President of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.
“I am truly honored and humbled by the opportunity to chair such a well-respected association,” said Abadie. “This year will be a truly rewarding experience and I consider it a privilege to further the restaurant industry’s identity and reputation.”