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Nominations Now Open for Restaurant Leaders in Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement and Hospitality

August 2, 2019

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s annual awards celebrate top restaurant leaders across the country

Today, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announces the opening of nominations for their national awards highlighting the stars of the restaurant industry. The awards recognize the restaurant industry’s impact on diversity, community service and hospitality in local communities across the country.

The awards include the Restaurant Neighbor Award (RNA), the Faces of Diversity Award (FOD) and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award (AOH). The winners will be recognized at a gala awards dinner in Washington, D.C. during the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in March 2020.

“It’s a major part of our mission to recognize the individuals and businesses that are making our industry a better place for everyone,” said Rob Gifford, President of the NRAEF. “By demonstrating the importance of inclusion, giving selflessly through community service and showcasing exemplary leadership, these individuals continue to move the industry forward every single day.”

Now in its 21st year, the Restaurant Neighbor Award, founded in partnership with American Express, honors restaurants and restaurateurs for their philanthropic efforts and dedication to their communities. Three winning restaurants will receive $10,000 to support a charity or community project.

Now in its 12th year, the Faces of Diversity Award partners with PepsiCo Foodservice to honor individuals in the restaurant industry who have achieved the American dream through hard work, dedication, and supporting others to do the same. Three winning individuals will receive a $2,500 scholarship in their name.

Since 1987, the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award, sponsored by Ecolab, has celebrated individuals who have shown extraordinary achievement and leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Applicants and nominees have until October 7th, 2019 to submit applications for the restaurant industry awards. Visit to apply or nominate award winners for 2020.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:  As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide opportunity youth and previously incarcerated individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

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