Alice Elliot, a recruiter highly regarded for her ability to connect restaurant companies with the talent they need for the future, usually begins conversations with the essential questions. “How’s your family?” she will ask.

Getting to the heart of the matter, finding out what is important to the people she is helping, has been a key to Elliot’s success and brought her national recognition for her expertise in executive search, human resources and leadership.

Elliot, a New York native, started her business some 30 years ago, sitting at the foot of her bed and calling fast-food restaurants to help assistant managers find jobs.

Through word-of-mouth and referral, Elliot steadily and systematically built her business. The Elliot Group, based in Tarrytown, N.Y., and with offices in Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio and Texas, comprises Elliot Associates Inc., Elliot Executive Source Ltd. and Elliot Productions Inc. Her firm specializes in placing senior-level and chief executives at both public and private restaurant companies. Venture capitalists also retain The Elliot Group to find the right leaders for their enterprises.

For more than 25 years, her firm hosted one of the industry’s most sought-after invitation-only events: the Elliot Leadership Conference. She also founded the Elliot Leadership Institute, a nonprofit program dedicated to leadership development.

While the economic downturn put both of those programs on hold, it has not slowed down Elliot, who has continued to strengthen her business and garner respect in the industry. Among the honors she has received are the Trailblazer award from the Women’s Foodservice Forum and induction into the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s College of Diplomates.

””Dina Berta, Nation’s Restaurant News