The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) and Delaware Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (DRAEF) have inducted new board members to their respective boards of directors. Inductees were chosen during a selection process and sworn in during a first-quarter meeting in late January.
“The restaurant industry was hardest-hit by the pandemic,” said Carrie Leishman, president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association & DRA Educational Foundation. “It was important to us to add key perspectives from industry leaders around the state as we enter a transitional year and support our restaurants in every aspect of financial, community and workforce recovery.”
Both the DRA and DRAEF boards of directors comprise restaurant operators from around the state, as well as industry supplier representatives. Board members are chosen to represent their industry and workforce, upholding the mission and vision of the association and its philanthropic educational foundation — to educate, advocate and promote the restaurant industry in Delaware, while also developing ongoing training, educational and workforce development initiatives.
The Delaware Restaurant Association is one of the largest trade associations in the state, advocating for small-business operators and the industry workforce, representing more than 1,900 restaurant locations and 49,000 workers. The DRA & DRAEF have worked in partnership with state agencies (Delaware departments of Education, Labor and Health & Social Services) on recent workforce development initiatives, such as the Registered Cook Apprenticeship program, rapid workforce training courses offered free of charge for restaurant workers, and a vaccine registry/vaccination event program rollout for essential/restaurant workers.
The Delaware Restaurant Association’s 2021 Executive Committee officers include: Chairman of the Board Scot Kammerer, SoDel Concepts; Vice-Chairman Carl Georigi, Platinum Dining Group; Treasurer Gianmarco Martuscelli, Martuscelli Restaurant Group; and Immediate Past Chair Jeff Cook, 2 Fat Guys.
New board members include Vincenza Carrieri-Russo, owner partner, V&M Bistro/Ice Cream Delight; Tom Holmes, owner, 1776 Steakhouse; Alexa Kotanides, owner, Pat’s Pizza of Lewes; Ramey Schrader, owner and partner, Arena’s Deli; Scott Stein, owner and partner, Bardea Food & Drink/Pizzeria Bardea; and Chris Taggart, regional sales manager, U.S. Foods.
Delaware Restaurant Association Educational Foundation 2021 Executive Committee officers include: Chairman of the Board Kelly O’Hanlon, Harry’s Hospitality Group; Vice-Chairman Tom Hannum, Buckley’s Tavern/Goober’s Diner; Treasurer Javier Acuna, Hakuna Hospitality Group; Immediate Past Chair Ed Hennessy, Delaware Technical Community College (retired).
New board members include Celeste Mozeik, business instructional director and department chair, Delaware Technical Community College; and Tim Hunter, executive chef/instructor, Food Bank of Delaware Culinary School.