Keith HaywoodKeith Haywood began his career in food service management in 1983 as operations manager when he joined FDY, Inc., a family-owned food service company in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, he presided over the daily operations of dining services for college campuses and corporations throughout the Southeast including Johnson C. Smith University, Clark Atlanta University, Phillip Morris U.S.A, American Express, and Allstate Insurance.

Four years later, Keith transitioned into the role of special events manager where he managed FDY, Inc.’s corporate banquet and catering division serving a diverse clientele that included the National Basketball Association, National Collegiate Athletics Association, Atlantic Coast Conference, Bank of America (formerly NationsBank), NBC, Duke Energy (formerly Duke Power), and the NAACP.

In 1993, Keith was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing where he was responsible for developing business relationships and marketing strategies to expand FDY, Inc.’s operations and diversify its brand portfolio. He partnered with Marriott Management and Sodexo Management to create joint ventures managing the food service programs in public schools, colleges and universities, and healthcare organizations throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions.

Most notably, Keith was instrumental in partnering with Charlotte-based Bojangles® to open three franchises; the first one at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, its first airport location in 2008, followed by the second in Clemson, South Carolina in 2009, and the third at Union Station in Washington, DC in 2010.

With over 35 years of experience, Keith’s exceptional business acumen and successful joint ventures have garnered him recognition as one of the nation’s leading minority food service management and restaurant franchise owners and top industry consultants.

Under his leadership, FDY, Inc. has been recognized as a top minority business and as a leading franchise operator by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, a leading Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) by HMSHost, Top Business of the Year by the Carolinas Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council, and a franchise sales leader by Bojangles®. Most recently, he was awarded for the Support Center-North Carolina Excellence in Collaborative Innovation. He’s been featured in the Charlotte Business Journal, Raleigh News & Observer, NCCU Now, Charlotte Biz, Pride and Black Enterprise magazines.

In 2013, Keith launched Andstar Inc., a new business venture that focuses primarily on developing innovative dining and retail establishments operating exclusively in midsized to large airports throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. In 2014, he, along with the Uptown Airport Group, opened Char-Grill/Salsaritas Fresh Cantina at the Raleigh Durham International Airport.

Keith is a 1977 graduate of North Carolina Central University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing. He’s also a scholarship recipient for the Minority Business Executive Leadership Training program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

He’s a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. fraternity and the Carolinas Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council. Keith remains active in the North Carolina business community, where he served as the chairman of the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1997 to 1999, and currently serves as an independent consultant for various restaurant franchises.

Keith has also served as a board member of the 100 Black Men of Charlotte and the United Negro College Fund. He, along with his wife, Dr. Marilyn A. Sutton-Haywood, established The Marilyn Sutton Haywood and Keith J. Haywood Endowed Scholarship Fund at North Carolina Central University to provide financial assistance to students pursuing undergraduate studies in biology, hospitality and tourism.