LRA Education Foundation Names New Directors and Officers

Metairie, LA— The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) is pleased to announce it has elected four new members to its Board of Directors, which oversees the mission and goals of the LRAEF. They will assume their new roles January 1, 2018, each for a two-year term.

The LRAEF Board of Directors’ four new members are:

  • Scot Craig, Chef/Owner, Katie’s Restaurant in New Orleans
  • Craig Dennison, Senior Director of Food & Beverage, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans
  • Bill DiPaola, President/Chief Operating Officer, Dat Dog Enterprises in New Orleans
  • Alan Guilbeau, Executive Vice President of Business Development, PJ’s Coffee in Covington

New officers for the 2018 LRAEF Board are:

  • Paul Rotner, Chair- Acme Oyster House
  • Matt Massey, Vice Chair- Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
  • Rocky Weigand, Secretary/Treasurer- Coca-Cola

The LRAEF, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1995 and is governed by a board of directors made up of restaurants, industry experts and educators in the hospitality industry.

The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing LRAEF programs, including ProStart® and the LRAEF Scholarship Fund. ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. The Board of Directors also awards LRAEF scholarships annually to students pursuing a culinary education. Since 2010, the LRAEF Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000.

“As we start a new year, the LRAEF is thrilled to have these new directors who bring great passion and experience to our Board of Directors,” said LRAEF Executive Director Alison Greffenius.

The LRAEF is grateful to the nine LRA chapters who support its mission throughout the year and the LRAEF’s annual partners: 5 Diamond—Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor System, Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, Louisiana Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; 4 Diamond—Performance Foodservice-Caro; 3 Diamond—Atmos Energy, Baton Rouge Epicurean Society, Ben E. Keith Co., Delaware North, Ecolab and Louisiana Culinary Institute; 2 Diamond—Louisiana Gas Association and 1 Diamond—Capitol City Produce.

ProStart is a registered trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

ProStart is a two-year, culinary management program for high school juniors and seniors with a curriculum designed to teach students culinary techniques as well as restaurant management skills. ProStart is in 56 high schools statewide and more than 1,700 students participate in the program.  

As the philanthropic foundation of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, the LRA Education Foundation exists to enhance the industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities.

The Louisiana Restaurant Association is one of the largest business organizations in the state, representing restaurant operations and related businesses. The restaurant industry in Louisiana is one the state’s largest private employers, providing jobs to more than 200,000 residents. Restaurants in Louisiana are expected to generate sales of $8.9 billion in 2017.           

Erica P. Burns
Director of Communications
Louisiana Restaurant Association
2700 N. Arnoult Road
Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 636-6516 Direct Line
(504) 454-2277 Office