Hospitality/Tourism: ERIC D. TERRY
PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA RESTAURANT, LODGING & TRAVEL ASSOCIATION, RICHMOND
The pandemic shuttered one out of five Virginia restaurants. Lingering labor, supply chain problems, inflation and high gas prices have continued to plague the hospitality industry, which had 88,000 vacant jobs statewide as of August.
Terry advocates on behalf of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association’s 1,500 members, calling attention to the ongoing impact of the pandemic and successfully persuading state legislators to allocate $250 million in federal stimulus funds for industry relief. More recently, the VRLTA supported legislation approved earlier this year extending to-go cocktails through July 2024. Terry called it a “big win” for restaurants seeking creative recovery ideas.
Terry has worked in hospitality for four decades. He received a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from Virginia Tech in 1982 and serves on the advisory board for the university’s Howard Feiertag Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Terry joined VRLTA in 2014 from Houston-based Redstone Companies Hospitality and previously held leadership roles at Benchmark Hospitality and Busch Gardens, when it was owned by Anheuser Busch.