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National Restaurant Association - Massachusetts Restaurant Association CEO Christie retires

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Massachusetts Restaurant Association CEO Christie retires

Peter Christie, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, retired July 15 after 24 years as head of that organization.

The 63-year-old Christie turned over the reins of the association to industry veteran Bob Luz, the MRA’s new president and CEO.

In assessing his accomplishments at the MRA, Christie said he is proudest of the association’s ability to disseminate information to its members quickly and efficiently.

“There were many legislative wins, but I think the biggest contribution, without doubt, is the information we’ve provided and the way we’ve helped our members stay in compliance in an environment that is so rapidly changing.”

He added that the association’s advocacy work has positioned the MRA well for the future.

“Our advocacy work is done not only with the state legislature, but with the various state regulatory agencies as well,” he noted. “We were successful over the years in maintaining positive relationships with those agencies because in the end we wanted the same thing – for people to come into the restaurants and enjoy themselves and for the restaurants’ employees to be satisfied. The role we play as advocates is very important not only in working to implement laws, but also so they’re most effective and doable for our industry.”

Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, saluted Christie for his long-time service to his organization and the restaurant industry.

“After nearly 25 years as CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, you’ve set the bar pretty high for the rest of us,” she said. “Your dedication to our industry is an inspiration to many and we’ll certainly miss your perspectives and voice at national gatherings of restaurant professionals.… You’ve certainly left your mark and Massachusetts is a better place for your efforts. Congratulations on your retirement.”

A veteran restaurateur, Christie owned and operated his family’s restaurant business and three other casual-dining restaurants before joining the MRA as its director of membership services in 1987. He was named its president and CEO in 1989.

Now he says he is still considering what he’ll do next, but thinks it will include work with some nonprofit charities.

“You know, I’m really excited about this next chapter,” he said. “I feel good about the association and the way I left it. I don’t know what I’ll do yet, but there are a lot of nonprofit charities that could use my skills set.

“I honestly feel we’re at our best when we’re helping others.”

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