Industry Veteran Fassler Dies at 75

The foodservice executive and former chair of the National Restaurant Association and its Educational Foundation died Dec. 1.

Joseph K. Fassler, a foodservice industry veteran and former chair of the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, died Dec. 1, after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Dawn Sweeney, the NRA’s president and CEO, said Fassler, the former president and CEO of Phoenix-based Restaura Inc., a subsidiary of Viad Corp. left an extraordinary mark on the industry.

Joseph K. Fassler“Joe was generous with his warmth, time, vision and passion,” she said. “His impact on the industry, our organizations, and past, current and future generations of industry talent will be felt for decades to come.”

Sweeney added that Fassler would be greatly missed by every member of the NRA’s and NRAEF’s extended board family.

The New York-born Fassler joined Viad in 1963 and spent his entire career working for the company. During his decades-long career, Fassler received numerous awards and accolades. They included the MUFSO Golden Chain Award in 1995, the prestigious IFMA Gold Plate Award in 1996, and the NRAEF’s Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award in 2008.

A certified Foodservice Management Professional (FMP), Fassler also sat on the advisory board for Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management and on the board of Oklahoma State University’s College of Human Environmental Sciences.

A graduate of Oklahoma State University, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and restaurant administration in 1963.