The local restaurant industry is the largest small business employer and the largest part of tourism. As president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association, Carrie Leishman is “the state’s No. 1 cheerleader” for the industry. Her organization represents 2,000 restaurants, which employ more than 40,000 people and exceed $1.2 billion in annual sales. Since joining DRA in 2000, Leishman has turned a small, fractured board with $3,000 in the bank into a dynamic group of more than 25 of the area’s best food service operators and suppliers to initiate such programs as food waste recycling, culinary training in high schools and sharing of sustainable practices.