Jon Luther to address Graduate Class of 2014

Buffalo, NY – Kenmore native Jon Luther will address the Canisius College graduate Class of 2014 on Wednesday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center.

Luther is the recently retired chair and chief executive officer of Dunkin’ Brands, which owns, operates and franchises restaurants under the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins brands, worldwide. During his decade-long tenure with the corporation, Luther led the transformation, revitalization and global expansion of Dunkin’ Brands. He expanded the business from its core Northeast region to key markets in the U.S. and abroad. He modernized Dunkin’ Brands menus, and enhanced the quality, convenience and value of its quick-service restaurants. A proven leader in creative brand development, Luther also re-energized the company’s marketing efforts, which led to Dunkin’ Donuts’ award-winning campaign “America Runs on Dunkin’.”

Luther’s efforts resulted in an increase in global system-wide sales of more than 50 percent. Dunkin’ Donuts grew to become the market leader in the coffee, iced coffee, flavored coffee, doughnut, bagel and muffin categories, according to the global market research firm The NPD Group. It also ranked first, in recent years, for customer loyalty in the coffee and doughnuts category of the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.

Luther is a veteran of the food-service industry. He was president of Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits from 1997 until 2002. Under his leadership, Popeyes won industry awards for menu strategy, store redesign and customer satisfaction. He grew the company’s store count by 67 percent and the average annual franchise volume grew to more than $1 million.

Prior to Popeyes, Luther was president of CA One Services, a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies Inc. and also held leadership positions in the contract foodservice division of the Marriott Corp. and at ARAMARK in Philadelphia, where he rose from vending sales director to become president of Davre’s, ARAMARK’s luxury restaurant subsidiary.

Luther holds a BS in hotel and restaurant management from Paul Smith’s College. 

Canisius will confer an honorary doctorate degree upon Luther during graduate commencement ceremonies. 

For more information about graduate commencement ceremonies, contact the Office of Public Relations at 716-888-2790. 

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.