State Restaurant Association Announces New Regional Leadership

The New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) today announced Maria MacPeek has joined the association as the new Territory Manager for the Western New York Chapter and Gina Zimmer as Senior Vice President of NYC Operations.

“I am thrilled to welcome these accomplished, capable women to the NYSRA team. When I learned that Maria was leaving The Irishman, I thought there might be a unique opportunity to bring her onboard and utilize her expertise to strengthen what has long been a vital chapter of the Association. Her years of industry knowledge and service on the chapter board give her a sense of the community we are trying to build while also providing the Association with boots on the ground support. Gina brings a wealth of experience closely collaborating with operations and clients throughout her career, and that experience extends to insights into consumer preferences, guest engagement, sustainability, and wellness. The association will benefit from both incredible leaders joining the team,” said Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association.

Gina joins NYSRA after serving as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Client Services at Union Square Events, a division of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. In this position, she played a key role in overseeing new client growth, managing marketing strategies, and cultivating client relations. Prior to her role at Union Square Events, Ms. Zimmer spent more than 15 years as a communications and marketing leader in the hospitality industry, working at companies such as Compass Group and Elior North America. Before joining her current position at NYSRA, she served as a board member for their Educational Foundation. In her role as Senior Vice President of NYC Operations, Gina will develop the NYC Chapter Board, increase NYSRA’s visibility and presence, as well as identify and address the needs of our members. She resides in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and their Chocolate Labrador, Roxy.

The Territory Manager for the Western New York Chapter is a new position created to bring together knowledge of the industry with the local chapter to better serve those members. Ms. MacPeek’s territory includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties.

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Maria previously worked at The Irishman Pub and Eatery in Williamsville, NY. She started with The Irishman in April of 2007 as a server and bartender. In four short months, Maria was promoted to Assistant Manager, and was promoted again that same year to General Manager, a position she held until deciding to leave management in August 2023. Maria currently resides in Lancaster with her husband Bill and their two children. Her decades in the industry, participation in NYSRA, and service to the Western New York Chapter make her the ideal person for this position.

For more information about the New York State Restaurant Association, please visit