Headliners Luncheon with Wharton Club members & their guests are invited 

National Press Club Headliners Luncheon, Friday, April 26, 2019

  • In 2017 Panera Bread founder Ron Shaich took the company he had once proudly taken public in the early 1990s off the public stock exchange and stepped down as its CEO. Shaich did this, he said, to protect the fast-casual empire and its more than one hundred thousand employees from falling prey to the pressures of shareholders chasing short-term profits.
  • On Friday, April 26, Shaich will deliver a speech at a National Press Club Headliners luncheon  and why executives and policy-makers need to re-invest in America’s future.
  • The Lunch will be served in the Club’s (waiting for announcement) at 12:30 p.m., with remarks beginning at 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session ending at 2:00 p.m.

About the Speaker:

Meet  Ron Shaich (from RonShaich.com): 

  • Ron Shaich is the Managing Partner of Act III Holdings, a $300 million fund that will invest in public and private restaurant and consumer companies that are driving long-term value creation and have the potential to significantly dominate their market niches. He is a frequent speaker on the dangers of short-termism and rampant investor activism and the quarter-to-quarter thinking it has inspired. “I believe a long-term perspective, a commitment to transformation and industry-specific experience remain the most important contributors to competitive advantage today. I want to help others realize that competitive advantage, so I’m putting my money where my mouth is.”
  • Ron Shaich is the founder and former chairman and CEO of Panera Bread, a groundbreaking restaurant brand that today has more than 2,400 bakery-cafes, over 120,000 associates and nearly $6 billion in annual systemwide sales. Ron also served as Panera's CEO from 1984 to 2010 and again from March 2012 to January 2018. Ron is highly respected for his ability to recognize and capitalize on marketplace opportunities. In addition to founding Panera, which established the high-growth fast-casual restaurant segment, Ron earlier in his career founded and grew Au Bon Pain, establishing the bakery-cafe segment. With both brands he disrupted an existing industry paradigm and found new pathways to building companies of value and with values. The result: Panera was the best-performing restaurant stock of the past 20 years, generating annualized returns in excess of 25% over the past two decades and delivering a total shareholder return 44 times better than the S&P 500 from July 18, 1997 to July 18, 2017 (when Ron led a take-private transaction for Panera).
  • Panera's history is one of transformations and what Ron calls "smart, long-term bets." Decades ago, Ron recognized the potential of a bakery-cafe, versus simply a bakery, and this led to the original development and growth of Au Bon Pain. He then conceived in Panera a new way to eat based on real food, associates that cared and an environment that engaged people. That approach came to be known as "fast casual"--now a $40 billion "segment" of the restaurant industry. When it became clear that Panera had the potential to be a nationally dominant brand, Ron made the decision to sell all of APB's other businesses. Doing so allowed all financial and human resources to be focused on Panera to ensure it had the opportunity to fulfill its potential. During the booming dot.com years, Panera's growth remained disciplined, and when the Great Recession hit, Ron held true to his contrarian nature, investing in the guest experience as competitors were ripping costs from their P&Ls. This drove strong comps throughout the recession. At the same time, Ron expanded development and built some of the highest ROI cafes in the Panera system.
  • In his last six years as CEO, Ron again transformed Panera, ensuring it is a better competitive alternative with expanded runways for growth and once again changing the industry. Indeed, the themes Ron bet on--digital, clean, loyalty and omni-channel--are reshaping the restaurant landscape as others race to adopt them, and Panera is leading in all of them.
  • Schedule:

  • VIP Reception 12:00-12:30 p.m (you will be informed if your request is granted. PREFERENCE to President's Club & Lifetime Members)
  • Lunch from 12:30-1:00 p.m.
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m.: The speaker's remarks and Q&A from the audience.

Please call Alan Schlaifer at 301-365-8999 if you'd to be considered to attend the reception (if there is one) from 12:30-1:00 pm with the speaker. (He may only bring a few guests, preference for President's Club and Lifetime Members).
Where: National Press Club, Fourth Estate Room, 13th Floor, 14th & F Streets, N.W., just two blocks from Metro Center
Metro, Parking: Metro Center; several private garages within a few blocks.
Attire: Business
Reservations: $39/person for current Wharton Club members and their guests only. You must reserve in advance on our site. We have only a limited number of seats, so Members may purchase seats only for themselves and up to three guests, if desired. (Photo: on the Natl Press Club website, press.org)

Click here to reserve your seat(s) for the luncheon.



12:30PM - 2:00PM Fri 26 Apr 2019 ( Timezone: Eastern )


The National Press Club, Fourth Estate Room, 13th Floor
529 - 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045 USA

[ Get Directions ]

Look Who's Coming:

Alan Schlaifer
  Wharton Club of DC
Betsy Hanlon
Cynthia Jachles
Andy Chalonec
  Cost Caddies
Anne Lantry
Claire LeMaster
  Claire LeMaster Photography
Jean-Francois Orsini
Monika Griffis
Lisa Bolden
Bertram Lloyd
  Gottesman Company
Monique Lass
Julian Wilson
  Wharton Club
... a total of 12 guests.
Note: to opt out from this list please sign in, go to My Account and change your preferences under My RSVPs.

Click here to reserve your seat(s)

for the luncheon.