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National Restaurant Association - NRA’s Sweeney remembers industry vet Farquharson

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NRA’s Sweeney remembers industry vet Farquharson

John Farquharson, a foodservice industry veteran and former chairman of the National Restaurant Association and its Educational Foundation, died Jan. 13. He was 78.

Dawn Sweeney, the NRA’s president and CEO, remembered Farquharson, an executive for 40 years at Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., for his humor and appreciation of people. He also was dedicated to educating the industry on food safety tactics and initiatives, she said.

“Few industry leaders have been as passionate, compassionate, enthusiastic and effective as John,” she noted. “He left an extraordinary mark on our industry. The full NRA and NRAEF board family, the team at Aramark and restaurateurs and suppliers across the country can attest to the quality of his leadership at every level.”

Sweeney added that Farquharson, who was Aramark’s foodservice division president for 15 years, was gentle, but forceful, when it came to ensuring food safety was the industry’s highest priority. To accomplish that goal, he founded the NRAEF’s International Food Safety Council to increase awareness and education.

“He was the true ‘father of ServSafe,’ helping to guide the industry and its suppliers toward groundbreaking achievements in food safety education,” she said.

His work led to more than 7 million ServSafe certifications being awarded to operators around the country. He had a profound and lasting impact on the industry’s culture, Sweeney said.

During his career, Farquharson, who attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business and was a graduate of the University of Denver School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, also served on the boards of the National Automatic Merchandising Association, Culinary Institute of America, Philadelphia Crime Commission, Philadelphia March of Dimes, Delaware Valley Easter Seal Society, Westbrook College in Portland, Maine, and also served on the USDA Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, children Jerry and Meg, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Memorials may be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tenn., 38105 or the American Diabetes Association, 150 Monument Road, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 19004. Online condolences may be posted here.

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