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October 14, 2016

Michael Althen Althen Honored with Salute to Excellence Award

Michael Althen, owner of Elite Catering in Baraboo will receive the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) Education Foundation’s Salute to Excellence Mentor Award at the industry’s Celebration of Excellence dinner taking place on October 23 at the Heidel House in Green Lake. He is honored for his commitment to education, the community and the foodservice industry.

“Michael is an avid supporter of culinary arts education – and has put in hundreds of volunteer hours over the past five years to help students grow their culinary skills,” said Connie Fedor, Executive Director of the WRA Education Foundation. “He truly enjoys working with kids and has made a lasting and positive impact on their lives and on the industry.”

Althen is a strong advocate for the WRA Education Foundation and helped launch and strengthen the Portage High School ProStart® program. He has won many awards, including the Taste of Elegance Chef Par Excellence for the Wisconsin Pork Association, 2016; Outstanding Contribution to Education Award for Portage High School, 2013; Medal Winner of ACF Mystery Basket Competitions in 1996, 2007 and 2008; Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year – WRA South Central Wisconsin Chapter, 1998; Outstanding Star Chef, March of Dimes Chefs Auction, 1997.

He also volunteers for many charitable organizations and events in his community including Hope House of Baraboo, the Kid’s Ranch, March of Dimes, Hospice House, Relay for Life, 4H Club and FFA and Community Christian School.

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: Michael Buckarma (Becket’s, Oshkosh); Katie Koel (Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville); Kayla Correll (Greendale High School, Greendale); 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