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September 22, 2011

Susie Patterson Honored with Salute to Excellence Award

Susan Patterson, owner of Al & Al’s Stein Haus in Sheboygan, is honored as the restaurateur recipient for the 2011 Salute to Excellence Awards, presented by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) Education Foundation. The Foundation presents Patterson with this award for her commitment to education, the community and the industry.

“Susie Patterson has shown amazing dedication to the Foundation and the foodservice industry,” says Susan Quam, Executive Director of the WRA Education Foundation. “Her leadership and support has been incredible.”

Patterson has proven her enthusiasm and optimism for Wisconsin’s foodservice industry and foodservice education through long-time support of the WRA and Education Foundation. She has dedicated her time as a chapter officer, has served as Chairman of the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo and currently holds a seat on WRA’s state Board of Directors. Patterson has taken a leadership role in maintaining a highly-skilled and professional workforce to help ensure the future of foodservice, including extensive promotion of industry education and lobbying on behalf of small restaurants at the state and national level.

Patterson is a strong advocate for the ProStart® Program for high school students in the Sheboygan area, mentoring students from Sheboygan South and going above-and-beyond to promote foodservice in high schools. When the school’s family and consumer education instructor went on leave last fall and the substitute was not familiar with the ProStart curriculum, Patterson organized a group of restaurateurs to attend classes two times per week to help students continue to learn industry skills.

Patterson has extensive experience in foodservice, having been a part of it for many years. Her restaurant is a remarkable example of a well-run business built on long work-weeks, savvy marketing and a solid reputation in the community. Her dedication to the industry and foodservice education makes Susan Patterson a well-deserving recipient of the 2011 Salute to Excellence Restaurateur Award.

Each year, the WRA Education Foundation recognizes five individuals and one company for dedication and commitment to education in the restaurant industry as Salute to Excellence honorees. Other 2011 Salute to Excellence honorees include: Barb Bruesewitz (Wauwatosa East High School), Chef Fred Griesbach, CEC, AAC (The Sky Club, Plover), Chef Gary Lyons (Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton), Chef Jason Tofte (Eddie Martini’s, Wauwatosa) and Badger Liquor Co., Inc. (Fond du Lac). Each honoree creates opportunities for people interested in foodservice industry careers. They have worked in a variety of roles, in different parts of the state, but they share an enthusiasm and optimism for the future of the restaurant industry.

The Salute to Excellence awards are presented at the 2011 Celebration of Excellence on Sunday, October 9 at the Heidel House Resort in Green Lake. More information on the event is available at www.wirestaurant.org.

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The WRA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been in existence since 1987 and is one of the nation’s largest state restaurant association foundations. The WRA EF vision is to advance professionalism through education, scholarships and community involvement to ensure the future success of the foodservice industry.

The ProStart® program, administered by National Restaurant Association Solutions, LLC and state restaurant associations, is a college prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them.

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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