David Overton Named 2009 Recipient of CHART's Commitment to People Award

Westfield, NJ – The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) (www.chart.org) will present the 2009 Commitment to People Award to David Overton, Founder, Chairman & CEO of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, who will be honored at the Commitment to People Awards Gala on Monday evening, July 27, 2009, during CHART’s 78th semi-annual hospitality training conference, held at the Cleveland Renaissance, Cleveland, OH.
Created in 1993, this prestigious award is given annually to a CHART member’s CEO/president in the hospitality industry who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the development of his or her associates.
David Overton, Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, has been committed to the growth and development of his associates since he opened the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA in 1978.  Based on his mother’s famous cheesecake recipe, the workplace culture of The Cheesecake Factory heavily reflects a family-focused atmosphere.
“David is known to have had a profound impact on so many people within all levels of our organization,” said Dina Barmasse, Vice President of Human Resources. “He readily gives guidance, advice, and support in an effort to let others share in his success. He is honest, passionate, caring, and generous, and doesn’t miss the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Communication is a very important piece of the corporate puzzle for David.   He has many different vehicles of communication available to ensure his vision is reinforced frequently and at all levels of the organization.  For new employees, the New Employee Orientation is an opportunity for new hires to immerse themselves in The Cheesecake Factory culture.  Information packed quarterly newsletters is another way to address the staff with relevant information.  David dedicates a significant amount of time by providing Management with ongoing development programs throughout the year at the corporate headquarters in Calabasas Hills, CA.  The Cheesecake Factory Institute (CFI) is hosted for new managers in the field and provides in-depth training essential for success.  The Professional Assessment and Development Center (PADC) provides extensive training for management several times a year. 
David’s commitment to people can be summed up in his own words, “We recognize that individual staff members in our restaurants are the heart and soul of The Cheesecake Factory. These individuals play a distinct and vital role in providing absolute guest satisfaction and delivering The Cheesecake Factory promise of caring service.”
CHART’s Commitment to People Award spotlights the head of an industry organization that clearly and consistently demonstrates a commitment to the development of people. The award selection committee reviewed and ranked the Commitment to People nominees in four categories:
·        Effective communication of the organization’s culture;
·        Programs that demonstrate a commitment to people;
·        Efforts to be involved in the development of people; and
·        Ability to break down barriers to create opportunities.

The past recipients of this prestigious CHART award are:

2008    Skip Fox, President, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
2007    Cameron Mitchell, President and founder of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
2006    Colin V. Reed, Chairman, President and CEO, Gaylord Entertainment
2005    Julia Stewart, President and CEO, IHOP Corporation
2004    Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield, co-CEOs, California Pizza Kitchen
2003    Harry Bond, FMP, President, Monical Pizza Corporation
2002    Kerry Kramp, President, Buffets, Inc.
2001    Robert Dedman, Founder and Chairman of the Board, and Robert Dedman Jr., President and CEO, Club Corp. Inc.
2000    William Walton, Holiday Inn
1999    Molly Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Restaurants, Inc.
1998    David C. Novak, President and Vice Chairman, Yum! Brands, formerly Tricon Global Restaurants
1997    Wally Doolin, President and Chief Executive of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide
1996    Bob Jameson, President and General Manager, The Worthington Hotel
1995    Simon Cooper, President and CEO of Delta Hotel and Resorts
1994    Joe Byrum, President of Morrison’s Hospitality
1993    Donald N. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of Friendly’s Ice Cream


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