Tony Abruscato

Vice President|
Austin, Texas

Tony Abruscato, Austin, Texas. In 2022 Tony returned to his roots of marketing, event strategies, and association management when he joined the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) as its Chief Marketing Officer. TRA is the leading business association for Texas’ $52.4 billion foodservice industry, which spans over 52,000 locations throughout the state, employing a workforce of 1.2 million. Tony’s 45+ year professional career has always been powered by an entrepreneurial spirit and focused on giving back to the communities in which he served.  In 1983 at age 19 he became the youngest elected official in the State of Illinois and chaired the board of commissioners  Simultaneously, he became the youngest member of a bank’s management team at age 20 and began the process of mastering a variety of skills within banking operations, marketing, sales and advertising. While interacting with his clients during my banking career, he recognized the potential for developing mutually beneficial marketing and promotional opportunities between not-for-profit organizations and corporations.  This interest initiated a career path change and in 1994 he joined the Midwest’s leader in special event production, marketing, and event sponsorship sales. In 2011, he acquired the Chicago Flower & Garden Show® and in the decade that followed through his mantra to “Inspire, Educate. Motivate.” He affectionately became known as “Mr. Green Chicago” by his friends and supporters. Ultimately the Flower & Garden Show closed due to COVID-19 in March of 2020 and like any good entrepreneur, he picked up the pieces and invested his heart and mind into the Get Growing Foundation, the 501c3 nonprofit he created in 2017 to support the efforts of the Flower & Garden Show. These efforts also included the creation of a mobile plant boutique, PLANT TRUCK Chicago, and the Get Growing! EXPO series.