Darden Restaurants, Inc., Orlando, Fla., recognized several refrigerated and frozen food processor suppliers among winners for its annual "William B. Darden Distinguished Supplier Awards." Named for the company's late founder, the awards recognize a select group from more than 1,500 global suppliers who "go above and beyond" to contribute to the success of the company. Selected by Darden's culinary, purchasing, total quality and marketing teams, recipients were honored at a dinner in Orlando on May 5.
Darden's restaurant chain operations include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.
This year's award recipients included:
O.K. Foods Inc., Ft. Smith, Ark. -- Poultry
Custom Prepared Foods, Knoxville, Tenn. -- Soups and sauces
Tropical Aquaculture Products Inc., Rutland, Vt. -- Seafood
Nestle Professional, Glendale, Calif., and Solon, Ohio -- Product development
Tyson Prepared Foods, Springdale, Ark. -- Meat, poultry
Pacific Supreme Co., Gardena, Calif. -- Shrimp, seafood
In addition, Darden also announced two recipients of a newly created award recognizing a superior level of supplier excellence, the "Joe R. Lee Legendary Leadership Award." This award is named for the first chairman and chief executive officer of Darden and honors companies that have previously received five or more "William B. Darden Supplier Awards." Itlalian cheese importer Lotito Foods and dressings and sauces supplier T. Marzetti Company, Columbus, Ohio, were honored with this new distinction in 2011. Both companies have received the "William B. Darden Supplier Award" five times.
Brinker International, Inc., Dallas, said it named David Parsley as senior vice president of supply chain management. In his new role, officials say Parsley will serve as a member of the executive leadership team and oversee all aspects of supply chain management including the purchasing, distribution and quality assurance functions for Brinker International and its two brands, Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy®.
Parsley previously was CEO of Centralized Supply Chain Service, a supply chain co-op buying primarily for DineEquity, Inc. Prior to that, Parsley spent a decade managing the same functions for Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar.