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March 20, 2012

Craig & Lea CulverRestaurant Industry Leaders Honored at 2012 Annual Awards Dinner

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association announced the Association’s top awards at the annual WRA Awards Dinner, held on March 13th at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

Craig and Lea Culver of Culver’s Restaurants were named Restaurateurs of the Year, WRA’s highest honor. The Restaurateur of the Year award is given to an operator (or couple) who demonstrates participation and service to the restaurant association, success within their own restaurant and participation in community activities.  The winner is selected at a private meeting of past Restaurateur of the Year recipients.

Craig and Lea Culver are co-founders of the restaurant chain with Craig’s late parents, Ruth and George Culver. They opened the first Culver’s restaurant in 1984 in a converted A & W stand in Sauk City. Today, Craig and Lea own nine Culver’s and oversee more than 440 Culver’s restaurants in 19 states as part of the business’s franchising arm, Culver Franchising System, Inc. The Culvers built their careers through a commitment to doing what’s right for guests, team members, franchisees and family.

Click here for more on the Culvers

OROYsDouglas Ziegahn was honored with the Chapter Hero Award, recognizing his outstanding service to his local Wisconsin Restaurant Association Madison chapter.

Carl Brakebush of Brakebush Bros., Inc. was honored with the Award of Merit for his commitment to WRA and the foodservice industry.

Wisconsin Restaurant Association regional Chapters awarded the following Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year Awards:

Big Four Chapter (Outagamie, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago Counties)
Glenda Woosley
Cuver’s of Darboy, Appleton

Green Bay Chapter (Shawano, Brown and Outagamie Counties)
Mary Boyd and McKim Boyd
Union Hotel, De Pere

La Crosse Chapter (La Crosse, Jackson, Monroe and Vernon Counties)
Gary Rudy
Rudy’s Drive-In, La Crosse

Thomas Beach
UNO Chicago Grill, Madison

Milwaukee Chapter (Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties)
Gregory Swanberg

West Wisconsin Chapter (Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire and Jackson Counties)
Jack Schulte
Yanke Jack’s at Princeton Valley Golf Course, Eau Claire

Wisconsin River Valley (Marathon, Wood, Portage, Adams and Waushara and Juneau counties)
Conroy Soik
Eatmore, Inc. / Culver’s, Marshfield

The Outstanding Restaurateur Award is given based on success in business, community service and dedication to the restaurant industry.

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Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated to the promotion, protection and improvement of the foodservice industry.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960