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October 14, 2016

Katie Koel Blackhawk Technical College Educator Honored with Salute to Excellence Award

Chef Katie Koel, Culinary Arts and Pastry instructor at Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, will receive the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) Education Foundation’s Salute to Excellence College Educator Award at the industry’s Celebration of Excellence dinner taking place on October 23 at the Heidel House in Green Lake. She is honored for her dedication and commitment to the future of the foodservice industry.

“Chef Koel has become an integral part of the culinary arts and pastry program at Blackhawk Technical College,” said Connie Fedor, Executive Director of the WRA Education Foundation. “She believes that a good education helps students be successful in their future careers, which in turn will keep the ever-changing restaurant industry going strong.”

As someone with 40 years of industry experience, Chef Koel helps others by sharing her time and knowledge. She serves as coach for the Blackhawk Technical College Culinary Competition team and the ACF Knowledge Bowl, as well as advisor for the Epicurean Student Club. She has also judged at the Wisconsin ProStart Invitational and serves on the ProStart Advisory Council for Badger High School.

In addition, Chef Koel volunteers for local charitable activities including: Chefs for Shelter, Cooking for a Cause, the YMCA, the YWCA, ECHO, the Janesville Public Library, the Salvation Army, Hospice, and the Janesville and Beloit school districts.

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 2016 Salute to Excellence honorees include: Mike Buckarma (Becket’s, Oshkosh); Kayla Correll (Greendale High School, Greendale); Michael Althen (Elite Catering, Baraboo); Glenda Woosley (Culver’s of Darboy; Darboy); and Jones Dairy Farm (Fort Atkinson). Each honoree creates opportunities for people interested in foodservice industry careers. They have worked in a variety of roles and in different parts of the state, but they share enthusiasm and optimism for the future of the restaurant industry.

The Salute to Excellence awards will be presented at the 2016 Celebration of Excellence on Sunday, October 23 at the Heidel House 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 Foundation 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