Board of Trustees

Carin L. Stutz

WIU B.O.T. Trustee Carin StutzChicago; Appointed October 2019

Carin Stutz is the President and CEO of Native Foods, the original 100% plant-based fast casual eatery.  Stutz recently served as the EVP/COO of Red Robin overseeing company and franchise operations across the US and Canada.  Prior experience includes FOCUS Brands as the President of McAlister's Deli,  CEO and President of Cosi, a fast-casual restaurant chain, and President of Global Business Development for Brinker International, leading all operations and franchise development for Chili's and Maggiano's restaurants around the globe.

Prior to joining Brinker, Stutz was EVP of Operations for Applebee's International, the Pacific Division Vice President for Wendy's International, served as Regional Operations Vice President for Sodexo, U.S.A., and was Vice President of Corporate Operations for NutriSystem, Inc. 

She is a Past Chair of the Women's Foodservice Forum; recognized in Chicago's  top 100 Women to Watch and Women Making a Difference; Texas Women Worth Watching award; received the distinguished alumni award from WIU, and national judge for ProStart, NRA Education Foundation.  

She serves on the board of trustees for Western Illinois University and the board at Checkers and Rally’s.  She is a member of the Fast Casual Industry Council, the Illinois Restaurant Association Board, Panhandler’s Pizza Advisory Board, and a founding board member of the GLEAM Network, a mentoring platform for the foodservice industry.

Stutz holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University and an MBA from Mid America Nazarene University. 

Stutz and her husband Rodger have two adult sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four grandsons.  They enjoy music, theater, golf and travel.

Email: CL-Stutz@wiu.edu