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Tracy Kosbau
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April 21, 2011

Owner of Thirteen Local Restaurants Honored As
Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year

Mike DeRosa, owner of thirteen Burger King Restaurants in Western Wisconsin, was honored as the 2010 Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year (OROY) by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) West Wisconsin Chapter, made up of Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire and Jackson counties.

The OROY award was presented to DeRosa on Monday, January 17, 2011, at a WRA chapter meeting. DeRosa also received a Legislative Citation acknowledging corporate citizenship. On Tuesday, March 22, DeRosa will be honored again with a commendation medal at the 2011 WRA Awards Dinner gala, taking place at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. The OROY award is given by fellow members of the WRA West Wisconsin Chapter based on success in business, community service and dedication to the restaurant industry.

DeRosa has been involved in the foodservice industry for 36 years, starting out as a busboy for the Tivoli Ristorante in West Chicago and later working for A&W and Arby’s. He currently owns 13 restaurants in Western Wisconsin, comprising 4 locations in Eau Claire as well as locations in Menomonie, Chippewa Falls, Black River Falls, Tomah, Sparta, Arcadia, Hallie, Rice Lake and Cumberland. Surprisingly, many of DeRosa’s current employees have been with him for 15 to 20 years, including Sheri Bowe who was hired 17 years ago at the age of 14 and now is the Director of Operations.

Over the years, DeRosa is very active in WRA, serving on chapter boards in officer positions, running fundraising events, donating prizes and providing education to fellow members on numerous legislative topics. DeRosa is a past president of the Mid-America Franchisee Association and is currently involved in PAC for the National Franchise Association (NFA) and was instrumental in having the NFA-PAC donate to Wisconsin to support legislative candidates.

DeRosa also supports many community and civic activities including serving as the Chairman of the Board for the Redevelopment Authority (RDA), sponsor for the Eau Claire United PTA/PTO and launched the “Buy a Burger; Donate a Buck” campaign raising over $850,000 for the VFW Foundation in the last three years. In 2009, DeRosa received the Commander-in-Chief’s Gold Medal of Merit at the VFW National Convention for being the chief volunteer for a Burger King project that raised $250,000 for the VFW’s Unmet Needs program. From 1998 to 2001, he dedicated leadership and was instrumental in the formation of the Burger King / McLamore Youth Opportunities Foundation, now called the have It Your Way Foundation, which has awarded more than $14 million in scholarships to high school seniors to date. DeRosa is one of only two men to have received the Crystal Whopper award, a prestigious award from the Burger King Corporation for dedication and service.

DeRosa and his wife Sherry have five children and reside in Eau Claire.

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WRA represents a broad range of foodservice operations and is dedicated to promoting and improving the restaurant industry. For more information, visit www.wirestaurant.org.

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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