SBJ/20100308/Forty Under 40

Marc Bruno


Marc Bruno’s world travels in the sports food business began in Little Italy, on Chicago’s West Side.


Since then Bruno, president of Aramark Sports, Entertainment and Conventions, has fed athletes and media at four Summer Olympics, dating back to the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Most recently, Bruno finished working his first Winter Games at General Motors Place in Vancouver, where Aramark served thousands of spectators attending 35 hockey games in 14 days. It’s like cramming 90 percent of an NHL season into two weeks, Bruno said.

He learned the ropes in food service as a teenager working at Ristorante Italia, the Chicago eatery that the Bruno family owned for 21 years, until 2000. He cooked, cleaned, served meals and counted money, receiving a strong education in the work force at an early age.

Age: 38
Title: President, Aramark Sports, Entertainment and Conventions
Company: Aramark
Education: B.A., Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, 1993; MBA, Harvard Business School, 2001
Family: Wife, Brynne; two daughters
Career: Joined Aramark out of college and has been with the company for more than 15 years; has worked in Aramarks International, Business and Industry, Higher Education, and Sports and Entertainment divisions; manages Aramarks Olympic projects
Last vacation: Searching for the best lobster shacks in Maine last summer
Favorite book: "Roadfood," by Jane and Michael Stern
Favorite movie: "Animal House"
What’s on your iPod? 80s, 90s, classic rock, brainteasers and trivia games
Pet peeve: Flight attendants and pilots who love to hear themselves over the intercom
Greatest achievement: Hoping thats still to come, but certainly my family.
Greatest disappointment: Taking my dad to Super Bowl XLI and our beloved Bears couldnt get the win!
Fantasy job: World-renowned creator of the indisputably greatest pizza in the history of mankind. Proprietor of brick oven pizza tiki hut on a sandy beach just above the Equator, serving customers who have traveled far and wide to experience the legend of my pizza.
Business advice: Focus on the things you can control.

“My first love is being around the kitchen,” Bruno said. “I thought I was going to run the family restaurant.”

Bruno switched gears in college after hearing an Aramark executive speak about the experience of working the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Bruno thought it would be interesting to work abroad and landed a summer internship for Aramark. He became a full-time employee in 1993 after graduation and was picked for the Atlanta team in 1994.

His role developing Olympic food programs for Aramark expanded over the years while he held several domestic and international positions with the company. Bruno was Aramark’s executive director at Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004.

In May 2008, Bruno was promoted to his current position, shortly before the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, where he was responsible for negotiating and signing Aramark’s largest Olympics contract to date. Aramark served more than 3.5 million meals in 60 days.

His experience paid off for Aramark at the most recent NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston, where the firm normally serves Red Sox fans during baseball season.

“The notion of gearing up for one big event and then shutting down was much easier to fathom after having the Olympics under your belt,” Bruno said.

Back to 2010 Forty Under 40 list.

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