The Ohio Restaurant Association hosted its annual Industry Awards Celebration to honor the state's foodservice and hospitality leaders with a ceremony and party in Columbus on Feb. 23.
Three were inducted into the Ohio Restaurant Association Hall of Fame — including one Cincinnati family — and 15 more leaders were recognized for their various contributions to the industry at the event, which was held at the George Bellows Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel.
“It is always a joy to honor the best and brightest restaurateurs in Ohio for their passion and excellence to the foodservice industry,” said John Barker, president and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association, in a release. “This year’s award recipients are no exception. They are truly extraordinary professionals who influence people and advance our restaurant community every day through their tireless work and commitment to hospitality.”
This year's three Hall of Fame inductees were the Gregory family, founders of The Montgomery Inn; Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's; and Emily Bennett, a Burger King franchisee and the chairman and president of Bennett Management Corp. and Tony Packo’s Toledo, LLC. All those inducted into the Hall of Fame have been in the foodservice and hospitality business in Ohio for at least 25 years.
The 15 remaining awards handed out during the night included two more Cincinnatians:
- Maria Papakirk of Camp Washington Chili, who received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur (Southern), which "honors a leader that implements innovative ideas and demonstrates passion for the industry and their community;"
- And John Lanni of the Thunderdome Restaurant Group, who was named Tech Titan, an award "which recognizes an individual or organization for their use of technology to enhance their business or impact the foodservice industry."
Other winners can be found on the Ohio Restaurant Association site (when updated).