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Tracy Kosbau
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April 24, 2013

Charlie Gray to Serve as Chairman of Wisconsin Restaurant Association

Charlie Gray recently began his term as Chairman of the Board for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. Gray owns/operates two Culver’s franchises with his wife Torri (one in Rothschild and one in Wausau).

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is one of the largest trade associations in the state with over 7,000 member locations throughout Wisconsin.  WRA's mission is to protect, promote, improve and educate the restaurant and foodservice industry and to provide access to information and services to help members better run their businesses.  WRA represents the entire foodservice industry which includes over 16,000 licensed food service establishments.

WRA membership includes a wide range of foodservice businesses representing virtually every size and style of restaurant in the state. Members include fine dining establishments, mom-and-pop supper clubs, small cafes, quick service restaurants, corporate chain restaurants, institutional food service operations, catering businesses and hotel and motel foodservices among others.

“Being the chairman of such a large organization as ours comes with so many responsibilities and is a major commitment of time and energy,” said Ed Lump, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

As chairman, Gray is the key leader and will set the direction and purpose for the Association during his one-year term. He is responsible for running board meetings and serves as an official spokesperson for the association. The chairman is also responsible for knowing the financials of the organization and ensuring that board policies for the association are followed.

Gray’s family was in the soft drink bottling business since 1856 so he grew up sorting bottles, loading trucks and later getting his own delivery route.  He graduated from UW Eau Claire with a bachelor’s degree in business and worked for G. Heileman Brewing Co. as a field sales rep and as a sales manager for Central Beer Distributors. He and wife Torri opened their first Culver’s in 1996.  They opened their second location in 2002. 

Involved in his community, Gray served as a Director of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce and has supported dozens of local charitable and civic groups.

Gray has been active in the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, both on the state and local level. He has served on the WRA Board of Directors for nine years and on the Executive Committee for five years.

Charlie and Torri live in Rothschild have two grown children: Elizabeth and Charles V.

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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