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Tracy Kosbau
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April 21, 2011

Local Restaurant Owner Honored As Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year

Ada Lara Thimke, of Lara’s Tortilla Flats located in Oshkosh, was honored as the Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year (OROY) by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) Big Four Chapter, made up of Waupaca, Outagamie, Winnebago and Green Lake counties.

The OROY award was presented to Thimke on Monday, January 10, 2011, at a WRA chapter meeting held at the American Legion in Appleton. Senator Hopper, Representative Spanbauer and Representative Hintz were in attendance to present a Legislative Citation to Thimke acknowledging corporate citizenship. On Tuesday, March 22, Thimke will also be honored 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 Big Four Chapter based on success in business, community service and dedication to the restaurant industry.

Thimke has been involved in foodservice for 36 years, going straight into restaurant ownership from the start. Her 148-seat restaurant, Lara’s Tortilla Flats, serves Mexican and Latin American cuisine.

Thimke has worked extensively to support and promote the foodservice industry. She has been active in the WRA, serving on the state Board of Directors since 2005, on the Board of Directors Executive Committee since 2009 and as Chair of the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo Convention Committee in 2009. She donates generously to chapter and statewide events, including annual donations to the WRA Education Foundation.

Thimke also heads a project for Rotary International, feeding 8,000 people their only source of daily protein. She is on the Board for United Way and is a past board member for the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce.

Thimke and her husband Bill reside in Oshkosh.

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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