Kevin Relyea, new executive director of Idyllwild Pines Camp and Conference Center. Photo courtesy IPCC
Kevin Relyea, new executive director of Idyllwild Pines Camp and Conference Center.
Photo courtesy IPCC

Idyllwild Pines Camp and Conference Center has selected Kevin Relyea as its next executive director. A former Forbes 500 CEO and past IPCC board president, Relyea began his role on Jan. 1.

“We chose Kevin because of his love of God through Christ, his passion for youth and his executive experience, coupled with his leadership knowledge,” said Ray Detwiler, board president.

“I am honored to have this new leadership role at Idyllwild Pines Camp. Idyllwild Pines positively impacts thousands of lives every year. I am excited to join a team I have long loved and a mission that is near and dear to my heart,” said Relyea.

Relyea spent more than 30 years leading restaurant businesses and in various community service organizations.

After starting his restaurant career flipping burgers at a Jack in the Box in Southern California when he was 16, he finished his restaurant career with a seven-year assignment as chair, CEO and president of Prandium Inc. Prandium, which owned and operated restaurant brands like El Torito, Casa Gallardo, Chi Chi’s, Coco’s, Carrows, Hamburger Hamlet, Koo Koo Roo, Charlie Brown’s, Reubens’, Keystone Grill, and Las Brisas, was a publically traded, International, Fortune 500 company that had, at one point, 30,000-plus staff and $1.2 billion in annual sales.

From an IPCC press release: “In an amazing turn of events, God led him to leave corporate life behind and become a missionary church planter in places like China, India, Cuba and Ethiopia, a respected leadership coach and an author (of his upcoming book, ‘Leadership Lies’).

“Relyea has a passion to help young Christian leaders understand and embrace the amazing power and advantage they have as leaders in their families, careers, communities, and the church as a result of their faith.”

He and the Idyllwild Pines staff at the camp are developing a new leadership program called “Encounter·924.” This intensive summer experience will give students an opportunity to develop their own leadership capabilities, develop life skills and connect with industry and ministry leaders while making a contribution to the lives of the summer campers.

Relyea is presently chair of the Moms in Prayer International board and is a past board member of the San Diego Crime Victims Fund, San Diego Restaurant Assoc., Invisible Children and the National Network of Youth Ministries.

Idyllwild Pines Camp and Conference Center was established in 1923. It is a year-round Christian retreat.