14th Annual GRACE Awards Finalists and Honorees Announced

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 14th Annual GRACE Awards Finalists and Honorees Announced

 

ATLANTA (August 30, 2022) – Following a two-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) is thrilled to announce the finalists and honorees for the 2022 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards. All finalists are peer-nominated, ensuring the most deserving in the industry are recognized. Winners are chosen by the GRACE Academy, comprised of former GRACE finalists and honorees as well as current GRA Board members.

 

The GRACE Awards Gala, an inclusive event honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to Georgia’s restaurant industry, will take place at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. At the event, winners will be announced for Restaurateur of the Year, Industry Partner of the Year, Hospitality Hero of the Year (formerly Distinguished Service), Restaurant Manager of the Year, Restaurant Employee of the Year and ProStart® Student of the Year. New to 2022, the GRA added Restaurateur Rookie of the Year and the GRA Hall of Fame as well as a new category nominated and voted on by the Georgia restaurant community—"Georgia On My Mind” People's Choice Awards. The GRACE Lifetime Achievement and Chairman’s award winners also will be honored.

 

“While Georgia’s restaurants are still recovering from the pandemic, the GRACE Awards Gala is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the incredible individuals and companies that created a more hospitable and familiar world during one of the most challenging periods in recent memory,” said Karen Bremer, President + CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association. “Our industry epitomizes resilience.”

 

To learn more about the GRACE Awards or to sponsor and purchase tickets, visit garestaurants.org/grace.

 

2022 GRACE AWARDS FINALISTS

 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONOREE

Dr. Debra Cannon, Ph.D., Georgia State University | Robinson School of Business | Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality

 

RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Amici Food Group

PITA Mediterranean Street Food

Southern Proper Hospitality

VanTrece Hospitality

 

RESTAURATEUR ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Lil Ice Cream Dude Cool World Ice Cream Shop

MAD Hospitality

Mukja Korean Fried Chicken

Southern Belle + Georgia Boy

 

INDUSTRY PARTNER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Goliath Consulting Group

Melissa Libby & Associates

Savannah Bee Company

 

HOSPITALITY HERO OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Gathering Industries

RO Hospitality

Sterling Hospitality

 

RESTAURANT MANAGER OF THE YEAR HONOREE

Pepe Fundora, Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant and Cork & Glass

 

RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR HONOREE

Katherine Najera, Willy’s Mexicana Grill

 

PROSTART® STUDENT OF THE YEAR HONOREE

Jennifer Pacheco, Maxwell High School of Technology

 

CHAIRMAN’S HONOREE

Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller, Georgia State Senate

 

*People’s Choice Award Honorees + Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced live on September 27, 2022.

 

About the GRA: The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s Restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia. For more information, visit garestaurants.org.

 

About the GRACE Awards: The Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence Awards (GRACE) is the annual black-tie gala event recognizing excellence in Georgia’s Restaurant Industry. The GRACE Awards stands for the Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence Awards. The Awards Gala is an annual event honoring Georgia's restaurant industry. The GRACE Awards are peer-nominated and honor the top finalists and recipients in the following categories: Lifetime Achievement, Chairman’s Award, Restaurateur of the Year, Industry Partner of the Year, Hospitality Hero of the Year (formerly Distinguished Service), Restaurant Manager of the Year, Restaurant Employee of the Year, and ProStart® Student of the Year. New to 2022, we've added Restaurateur Rookie of the Year and the GRA Hall of Fame as well as a new category nominated and voted on by the Georgia restaurant community—"Georgia On My Mind” People's Choice Awards. All winners will be announced and honored at the event and are presented with crystal works of art created by renowned local artist Hans-Godo Frabel. 

 

For more information, tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit garestaurants.org/grace.

 

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