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David Overton, Founder & CEO of The Cheesecake Factory,
Named as 2009 Recipient of Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers’
(CHART) Commitment to People Award

WESTFIELD, N.J.- July 20, 2009 - The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) ( 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
For more information, please call 312-405-2634, email or visit

CHART, a non-profit professional association founded in 1970, is the leading resource for the development and advancement of hospitality training professional and their organizations. With more than 600 members from more than 400 multi-unit restaurant and hotel companies, CHART represents a workforce of almost five million. CHART includes all facets of hospitality training, learning and performance professionals; from entry level to senior executive. CHART’s mission is to develop hospitality training professionals to advance industry training practices and improve operational results by providing access to education, tools and resources.

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ:CAKE) created the upscale casual dining segment in 1978 with the introduction of its namesake concept and continues to define it today. The company operates 146 restaurants throughout the U.S. under The Cheesecake Factory(R) name with an extensive menu of more than 200 items. Grand Lux Cafe(R), the company's second concept, has 13 units in operation across the U.S. offering a broad menu of more than 150 items. The company also operates one unit of its newest concept, RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen(R), and two bakery production facilities in Calabasas Hills, CA and Rocky Mount, NC that produce over 60 varieties of quality cheesecakes and other baked products. Additionally, the company licenses two bakery cafe outlets to another foodservice operator under The Cheesecake Factory Bakery Cafe(R) mark. For more information, please visit


Tara Davey
(800) 463-5918

Lisa L. Marovec, FMP
(312) 405-2634

Also See: 78th CHART Hospitality Training Conference Promises Education, Networking, and Solutions for Actionable Employee Training in Hospitality Industry / June 2009

Agenda Set for The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers - Hospitality Training Conference Scheduled for March 1-4, 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota / December 2007

Recap: 70th Semi-annual Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) Hospitality Training Conference / July 2005

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