NRAEF Seeks Nominations for 2012 Awards

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ( is encouraging restaurant industry professionals to help identify and nominate outstanding candidates for its 2012 awards: the College of Diplomats, the Michael E. Hurst Lifetime Achievement in Education Award, and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award.

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) awards nomination deadline is August 31, 2011, and nomination forms can be found at Submissions can be made online, mailed, or faxed to (312) 566-9733.

“We are looking to all leaders in the hospitality business to nominate their shining stars – the valued individuals who go the extra mile both personally and professionally to serve and bring public focus to restaurants and foodservice through their works,” says Lynette McKee, executive director of the NRAEF. “This is a tremendous opportunity not only for companies to recognize their own leaders and industry partners, but also to bolster relationships between operators and suppliers and their clients.”

The NRAEF Awards program dates back more than 25 years and serves to recognize the top philanthropists, community leaders, and educators in the restaurant and foodservice industry. For these prestigious awards, the NRAEF is seeking candidates who embody the NRAEF mission of strengthening and growing the industry through education, community engagement, and promotion of career opportunities. 

Candidates for each award must demonstrate an outstanding commitment to education and excellence within the restaurant and foodservice industry. Specific requirements for each award include:

College of Diplomats

Established in 1974, the College of Diplomats is a select group of industry professionals who exemplify the philanthropic spirit of the industry in support of the NRAEF’s mission. Up to three individuals can be inducted into the College of Diplomats each year and each member must be a role model for businesses in his/her community.  

Past Diplomats include: Alice Elliot, Jackie Trujillo, Norman Brinker, James Maynard, and Emeril Lagasse

Michael E. Hurst Lifetime Achievement in Education Award

To honor the devotion to educating and enhancing the lives of young people that characterized Michael E. Hurst – a respected and successful restaurant operator and firm advocate of industry education – the NRAEF awards the Michael E. Hurst Lifetime Achievement in Education Award to an outstanding educator who has made an indelible contribution to restaurant and foodservice education. The award is presented to an eligible current or retired post-secondary and/or graduate professor or administrator who has dedicated his/her career to academic instruction in the field of hospitality, culinary, or foodservice management.

Past Michael E. Hurst Lifetime Achievement in Education recipients include: Ferdinand Metz, CMC, Ray Kavanaugh, Ed.D, and Morris J.W. Gaebe  

Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award

The NRAEF’s highest distinction, the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award is presented annually to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in bringing public focus to the hospitality industry through philanthropy and community service. The award is named for Thad and Alice Eure who, as philanthropists and restaurateurs, generously gave their time and resources to the industry.

Past Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award recipients include: Ralph Brennan, Bill Marriott, S. Truett Cathy, and Joe Lee

Nomination forms can be found at For questions regarding the 2012 NRAEF Awards program or the nomination process, please contact Jennifer Swain, manager of donor relations, at or 312.715.6751.

The 2012 awards will be presented to recipients during NRAEF events taking place during the 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

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