Restaurant Industry Mourns Loss of Fritzi Woods

Women's Foodservice Forum leader passes away suddenly Wednesday in Dallas

Fritzi Woods

Fritzi Woods

DALLAS -- Fritzi Woods, Women's Foodservice Forum (WFF) president and CEO died unexpectedly on Wednesday in Dallas.

"All of us at the Women's Foodservice Forum are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader Fritzi Woods," said Laurie Burns, WFF chairperson and Darden Restaurants senior vice president for specialty restaurant group strategic platform and development. "She was an inspirational leader and mentor and a powerful voice for growing the opportunities available to women in the foodservice industry. We will miss her immensely."

Woods was an influential regional and national business woman. For the past three years she led the Women's Foodservice Forum, the largest leadership development company in the foodservice industry. Woods and the WFF worked with the country's largest foodservice organizations advocating for women's leadership development. More recently she began working with the Obama administration to advocate for policies promoting gender-balanced executive teams.

She also spoke at CSP Business Media's 2013 Restaurant Leadership Conference.

Fritzi Woods joined Women's Foodservice Forum as president and CEO in May 2011. She was a respected global leader who brought a unique blend of strategy, operations, marketing, finance and corporate governance to the table. Her expertise encompassed multiple industries and business models. She was recognized for her strategic visioning, enterprise-level risk assessment capabilities and for measuring organizational liability, growth opportunities, market competition, new trends and market shifts.

Most recently, Woods served as Chairman and CEO of PrimeSource FoodService Equipment Inc., Dallas. Woods' diverse background also includes CFO of the Dallas Morning News, a subsidiary of Belo Corp.; CAO of Environmental Protection Agency of Texas; CFO and general manager of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, and various positions domestically and internationally for Motorola, overseeing the financial reporting and analysis. While at Motorola, she co-founded the workforce diversity program, a business model that was rolled out company wide.

With more than 20 years board experience, Woods currently was serving on the following boards: Jamba Juice, PrimeSource FoodService Equipment, Lone Star New Markets, private equity fund; National Restaurant Association; Southwest Medical Foundation; Dallas Regional Chamber; Northwestern University-Kellogg Center for Executive Women and numerous advisory committees. Her expertise led to multiple honors including recognition as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and she was recently honored by The Agenda, a Financial Times Publication, as a top diverse board candidate.

Woods resided in Dallas with her husband, Timothy C. Woods. They have five children.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

CSP sends condolences to her family, her friends and her colleagues.