National Awards

National Awards to Recognize Restaurant Industry Icons in Diversity, Philanthropy And Leadership

National Awards

National Awards
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Logo (PRNewsFoto/National Restaurant Association)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2016 The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has begun accepting nominations for its coveted 2017 national recognition awards: Restaurant Neighbor Award, Faces of Diversity Award, and Ambassador of Hospitality Award. Applications and nomination forms are available online at until October 15, 2016.

The awards honor professionals who have enhanced the restaurant and foodservice industry through tireless work and remarkable leadership. 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 2017.

“The restaurant industry is one of the most diverse industries in the nation, full of opportunity for individuals in different stages of life from different places,” said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “We are so proud to have the chance to honor individuals who embody the best qualities of our industry. Award nominees and winners exemplify the idea that hard work, determination, community involvement, and spirited leadership pay off, and remind us that the American Dream is very much alive. All of these merits not only represent the best of our industry, but honor the mission of the NRAEF.”

Now in its 18th year, the Restaurant Neighbor Award, founded in partnership with American Express, honors restaurants and restaurateurs for their philanthropic efforts and dedication to their communities. Each year, a small business, a mid-size restaurant company, and a large or national chain each receive $10,000 to support a charity or community project.

Founded in 2006, the Faces of Diversity Awards program was created to promote the importance of diversity and inclusion by highlighting model companies that have excelled in this area. The awards aim to raise awareness about the important role restaurants play in providing a ladder of opportunity for millions of Americans. In partnership with PepsiCo Foodservice, the Faces of Diversity Awards program honors individuals in the restaurant industry who have realized the American Dream through hard work, determination and enterprise, and now also work to help others do the same.

The Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award, sponsored by Ecolab, is the premiere award bestowed by NRAEF to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The award is named for Thad and Alice Eure who generously gave their time and resources to serve their community and the hospitality industry.

For more information on the Restaurant Neighbor, Faces of Diversity, and Ambassador of Hospitality awards, and to read the remarkable stories of past winners, visit

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2016, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to provide a record 14.4 million jobs, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit