Executive Vice President & COO, City Group Hospitality
Stephen Hightower serves as the operational leader as the Managing Partner of the City Group Hospitality restaurant group. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, and graduating from LSU, Stephen has loved Louisiana’s capital city for a lifetime. He began his career in fine cuisine with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. From there, he went on to have a hand in many of the best restaurants that have come to Baton Rouge’s food scene in the last decade. City Group Hospitality owns and operates 11 operations with 7 unique concepts and has over 400 employees. In 2019, Hightower was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Baton Rouge chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. City Group Hospitality was named Company of the Year (100 or less employees) in 2021 by the Baton Rouge Business Report and Junior Achievement.
Hightower was also recognized by The Louisiana Hospitality Foundation with the Drago Cvitanovich Award for Outstanding Philanthropy by an Entrepreneur in 2021 for his work during the pandemic supporting fellow restaurants in a time of crisis for all. City Group Hospitality coordinated with LSU E.J. Ourso School of Business to publish a Harvard Business School study titled “Fostering Digital Relationships with Guests at City Group Hospitality.” Alongside business partner, Patrick Valluzzo, Hightower firmly stands by the message, “Trust the Journey ” and their collective management mission to deliver high quality food, service and hospitality to Baton Rouge.