Mr. Grace is President of Phelps Grace International, Inc. an Orlando, Florida-based investment management company. He is also Managing Director of Grace Associates, GP. Mr. Grace is the Founder and past Chairman, President and CEO of The Capital Grille & Bugaboo Creek Steak House chains, which he took public in 1994 (NASDAQ: RARE). Mr. Grace sold his chains to Longhorn Steaks, Inc. in 1996 and was a Director and former Vice Chairman of the combined companies, known as RARE Hospitality International, Inc.. Bugaboo Creek Steak House is a casual dining restaurant with a Canadian mountain lodge theme, with locations throughout the Eastern USA. The Capital Grille is a fine dining restaurant, specializing in dry-aged steaks, with locations in major cities throughout the United States. RARE was acquired by Darden Restaurants, Inc.(NYSE:DRI) in 2008 for $1.3B. Mr. Grace formerly owned and founded Hemenway's Sea Food Grill and Oyster Bar in Providence, Rhode Island (named by Esquire Magazine as "One of America's best restaurants"); and The Old Grist Mill Tavern in Seekonk, Massachusetts. In 1992, Mr. Grace was elected Chairman of the Board of Homestyle Buffet, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed 34-unit buffet-style restaurant chain, based in Palm Harbor, Florida. Mr. Grace has also owned 5% or greater positions in a number of public companies: Rusty Pelican Restaurants, Perception Technology, NHD Stores, Software Spectrum and Leisure Concepts. Mr Grace founded and owned Rapid Finish Photo, Inc., a photo-finishing retailer that was sold in 1989 to Moto Photo (NASDAQ: MOTO).
Mr. Grace is a Trustee of Johnson & Wales University, where he serves as Chairman of both the Executive and the Investment Committees. He is a Director of Logan's Roadhouse, Inc., Not Your Average Joe's, Inc.and Shawmut Design and Construction. He is a former Director of The Gemesis Corporation, Claim Jumper, Inc. and Professional Facilities Management. Mr Grace also served for nine years as a Trustee and Vice Chairman(6 years) of Bryant University, where he chaired the Investment Committee. Mr. Grace has served as a Director of the National Restaurant Association in Washington and The National Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation in Chicago, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Marketing Specialists, Boston Restaurant Associates(NASDAQ:BRAI) and Longhorn Steaks, Inc(NASDAQ:LOHO). Mr. Grace is also a former member of the Council of National Trustees of National Jewish Medical and Resarch Center in Denver, Colorado. He is the former Chairman of WSBE-TV36, Rhode Island's public television station and former Chairman of the Rhode Island Public Telecommunications Authority. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the University of Vermont, where he funded an Entrepreneurship Program in the School of Business. He served as the Chairman of Government Relations for the National Restaurant Association in 1996. He was named "Restaurateur of the Year" in 1996 by the International Council of Restaurant Real Estate Brokers. He was also honored by Nation's Restaurant News as the recipient of their 1996 "Hot Concepts" Award for his Capital Grille concept. He was the speaker in 1997 at The University of Vermont School of Business Commencement and at the Johnson & Wales University commencement in Miami, where he also received a Doctor of Business Administration, Honoris Causa. In June 1999, Mr. Grace was the recipient of The University of Vermont's Alumni Association's Alumni Achievement Award. In March 2000, Mr. Grace served as Executive in Residence at the Business School at the University of Central Florida. He served as an Advisor to the Central Florida Technology Incubator, and was appointed by Scotland's Minister of Enterprise to be a Founding Member of GlobalScot, an international business network for Scotland. He is a licensed pilot, with instrument, balloon, multi-engine and seaplane ratings; and he was a full certified member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America for over thirty years. He is an avid award-winning photographer, who specializes in wildlife, foliage, sunsets and sunrises.
Mr. Grace graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Vermont. Ned and his wife Holly reside in Isleworth in Windermere, FL and they have three sons.