Kurt Gnessin, CRFP
Construction Project Manager
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
What year did you join RFMA? I have been a member of RFMA since its inception in 2004. I really wanted to network with my peers in the restaurant industry.
What groups are you involved in with RFMA? I am a former board member and remain a member of the Advisory Council. I am a committee member on the resource committee and part of the Benchmarking Task Force / sub-committee
What do you like most about RFMA and why? I really like the partnership across brands that might otherwise consider themselves competitors. We all have the same types of problems with our facilities and to see competitors come together to make the restaurant industry better and safer for all our shared customers is a real pleasure.
Which RFMA Resource do you utilize the most and why? The best RFMA resource is our access to human resources. I frequently reach out to restaurant industry partners for ideas to problems, help finding vendors or contractors, and help finding people to fill important jobs. The ability to network has been invaluable to my company and to my career.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in San Diego, California in a unique community called “Bird Land” where all the street names were species of birds. I grew up on Cardinal Drive and my wife grew up on Seagull Lane.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Why? My proudest accomplishment is being a father to three wonderful children. My two boys are married to endearing women with my oldest working on his Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University. My delightful daughter is my youngest who is a freshman at Northern Kentucky University. There is no greater blessing than to be a father.
If you weren’t in the Facilities Industry, what would you be doing? I am a restaurant operator at heart. My project experience and applied engineering skills make me a great problem solver but everything I do is focused on our restaurant employees and customers so if I wasn’t in facilities I would be running restaurant operations.
What’s your favorite type of food? I just love real authentic Mexican food, the type you can only get in the US in little “hole-in-the-wall” type of place run by folks that barely speak English.
What is one of your favorite quotes? “Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt” – Abraham Lincoln
What is your favorite song? “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – The Who
Do you have a secret talent and if so, what is it? I am a closet Musician. I play drums, and whole list of stringed instruments including guitar, bass, ukulele and banjo; but I rarely perform outside my home. I really love to play music but I can’t measure up to my own standards so I keep this talent to myself.
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Kurt has been a RFMA Member for 14 years and has served as Secretary on the RFMA Board of Directors. He is currently active on our Resources Committee, Advisory Council, and Benchmarking Task Force. If you know of someone that you think should be highlighted in our Member PRO Files Blog please nominate them by emailing email@example.com.