Nominations and Elections

AAC Officers for 2015–2017

The Academy Chair and Vice Chair serve a two-year term. The Academy Chair is a member of the American Culinary Federation Board of Directors.

The Academy Vice Chair is a member of the American Culinary Federation Foundation Board of Trustees.


AAC National Chairman:

Mark Wright

Mark Wright, CEC, AAC

Department Chair/Assistant Professor, Hospitality Department, Erie Community College, Buffalo, New York, Member of American Academy of Chefs® since 1994.

“I am honored to have been nominated as chair of the honor society of the American Culinary Federation. I believe the AAC will continue to move forward, with leadership continuing to play a critical role. I also believe that my experience as your national treasurer and Northeast Region vice president will benefit our endeavors and aid with the numerous initiatives emanating from the ACF Board of Directors. I will continue to uphold the Academy’s traditions with pride and integrity and continue to support our numerous outstanding programs. And, most specially, I will continue to promote the efforts of the Academy and you, its members.”

Chef Wright began his career in the restaurant business as a dishwasher. After graduating from the culinary and baking program at Erie Community College he began his cooking career in various restaurants and clubs before beginning his tenure as Executive Chef at Transit Valley Country Club in East Amherst, New York. During chef Wright’s 28 years at the club it was his extreme pleasure to form an active role with his ACF chapter, hosting Chef of the Year dinners, meetings and involving the entire culinary staff with the ACF. Chef Wright currently has the pleasure of teaching in the Hospitality Management Department at Erie Community College North Campus from which he graduated in 1974. Along with his duties as an Assistant Professor he serves as the Department Chair, overseeing the Culinary and Pastry and Hotel and Restaurant Management curriculum.

Chef Wright has been an active member of the ACF and his local chapter, the ACF of Greater Buffalo, for over 35 years. He was the chapter’s first junior member. Chef Wright currently serves the chapter as an advisor and as Certification Chairman. He has also served as President and Treasurer and has been selected as Chef of the Year twice, in 1987 and 2001. Chef Wright has served as National Treasurer, overseeing the building of the federation’s new multi-million dollar headquarters in St. Augustine Florida, balancing the budget for four years, and working to improve our relationship with our financial advisors; he also served as Northeast Regional Vice President successfully overseeing our regional conferences and regional AAC dinners. Chef Wright continues to serve the ACF as AAC Scholarship Chair and as a member of the Finance committee.

AAC National Vice-chairman

Americo 'Rico' DiFronzo

Americo “Rico” DiFronzo, CEC, CCA, AAC

Executive Chef, Union Oyster House, Member of American Academy of Chefs® since 2004.

“Since 2007, I have served as Northeast Regional Director of the American Academy of Chefs, and it has been an incredible honor working with many of you to fulfill the mission of the Academy. I am asking for your support so that I may continue to serve you and work closely with our AAC chair to strengthen and grow the Academy.”

Chef DiFronzo, of Medford, Mass., is executive chef at Union Oyster House, Boston. The establishment, a designated national historic landmark, is America’s oldest restaurant in continuous service. DiFronzo is also a culinary instructor at Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, Boston. He has more than 38 years of experience in the culinary industry, including traveling executive chef at American Food Systems, Inc., Burlington, Mass., and corporate executive chef at Lilly Management Company, Boston, a national restaurant group. He attended Henry O. Peabody School of Culinary Arts, Norwood, Mass., and has received numerous awards, including ACF Epicurean Club of Boston’s Chef of the Year in 1998 and 2004, ACF National President’s Medallion in 2001, 2007 and 2014, the ACF Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award in 2010, and most recently the Northeast region Dr. L. J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award in 2014.

Reimund Pitz

Reimund D. Pitz, CEC, CCE, AAC

Chef/Owner, Le Coq au Vin Restaurant, Member of American Academy of Chefs® since 1990

“It is with great honor and pride that I accept the nomination for vice chair of the American Academy of Chefs. I view this not as a privilege but as a responsibility to the entire AAC membership. I will do everything in my power to fulfill this responsibility, and appreciate having the opportunity to work alongside the AAC chair. I have represented all of you on the WACS board, holding two different positions, as well as serving as ACF national president. I fully realize and understand the responsibility and challenges that lie ahead. I am prepared to face these challenges as we continue to raise the level of the AAC.”

Chef Pitz is an ACF-Certified Executive Chef® (CEC) and Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE). His work experience includes Chef/Owner, Le Coq au Vin Restaurant, executive chef, The Country Club of Orlando, Orlando, and several positions, including executive chef, at Walt Disney World Company, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Pitz was ACF national president from 1996 to 1997 and chair of American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Chef & Child Foundation from 1996 to 2005. He has received several medals competing in national and international culinary competitions. Chef Pitz received the Dr. L.J. Minors Chef Professionalism Award in 1991, the U.S.A.’s Chef of the Year™ award in 1992, earned two perfect scores at the 1992 Culinary Olympics and also served as adviser to the 1992 US Olympic team. Chef Pitz was the Vice President of the Southeast Region of ACF and is an ACF-certified judge, as well as WACS certified A Level judge. He is chair of the ACF Culinary Competition Committee and a member of ACF Central Florida Chapter.