Honoree: Lina O’Connor
President and Chief Financial Officer
Working with Tender Greens since 2012, Lina O’Connor’s numerous contributions and unsurpassed leadership led to her promotion and current role as president and CFO. With a decorated career in food and beverage and hospitality, O’Connor was able to successfully navigate the healthy, chef-focused restaurant chain through a global pandemic making new advancements along the way. She pivoted to new service offerings during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic – including the sale of grocery items and meal kits - with much success.
The first corporate employee at Tender Greens, O’Connor quickly moved up through the ranks, improving Tender Greens’ market presence. She built the infrastructure of the home office, wearing many hats including human resources and marketing, and established partnerships with local farmers and chose sustainably raised ingredients to help communities have access to healthy foods. In 2015, she secured a key partnership with Union Hospitality Group and Alliance Consumer Growth. O’Connor has also led the charge in adopting next-generation technologies as well as launching new programs at Tender Greens to serve underrepresented communities. An early adopter of cashless payments, Tender Greens launched an advanced pay-in-store and online mobile app in 2018. The company also recently implemented a financial reporting suite that provides real-time data and analytics to support critical business initiatives. O’Connor also launched “The Sustainable Life Project,” which empowers at-risk youth and helps them cultivate their culinary arts skills so they can become a sustainable part of the workforce. In short, O’Connor is changing the world through food. Her leadership at Tender Greens has set the stage for the company’s success and a bright future. Her groundbreaking innovations, resiliency during a difficult economic period and leadership in the community are just a few reasons why she is such a sterling example of what it means to be an effective C-suiter.