POSTED: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 5:00am
UPDATED: Monday, January 14, 2013 - 5:04am
Metairie, La — The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is proud to announce the presidents that will lead its membership in 2013. The LRA is comprised of nine chapters across the state, each representing a Major Metropolitan Area (MMA). Every year, the chapters’ board of directors elects a restaurant owner in its ranks to serve as president. This year’s leaders, who volunteer their time and efforts at the highest level, are charged with localizing the overall LRA member experience and cultivating opportunities for growth within the association.
Each chapter is responsible for at least one major fundraiser to contribute to two of the LRA’s most important initiatives: HospitalityPAC, the association’s political action committee that supports those Louisiana-elected officials who understand the importance of the restaurant industry and the LRA Education Foundation, the philanthropic arm that exists to enhance the community through expanded educational and career opportunities.
The 2013 LRA Chapter Presidents are:
• Acadiana Chapter (MMA-Lafayette): Gerard Baudoin of Mr. Keet’s in Maurice. Baudoin has been an LRA member since 2003; an Acadiana Chapter board member since 2008. This is his second consecutive term as chapter president. Major fundraiser: 52 Weeks of Dining
• Bayou Chapter (MMA-Houma/Thibodaux): Randy Barrios of Flanagan’s Creative Food & Drink in Thibodaux. Barrios has been an LRA member since 1993. Major fundraiser: Dine Around Raffle
• Cenla Chapter (MMA-Alexandria): Johnny Scalisi of Texas Roadhouse in Alexandria. Scalisi has been an LRA member since 2009, and joined the Cenla board that same year. This is his second consecutive term as chapter president. Major fundraiser: Taste of Mardi Gras
• Greater Baton Rouge Chapter: Ryan Nizzo of Last In Concepts/Walk-On’s Bistreaux in Baton Rouge. Nizzo has been an LRA member since 2008 and a Greater Baton Rouge board member since 2009. This is his second consecutive term as chapter president. Major fundraisers: Annual Silent Auction and Capitol City Classic Golf Tournament
• Greater New Orleans Chapter: Paul Rotner of Acme Oyster House in Metairie. Rotner has been a LRA member for eight years. He previously served on the Greater New Orleans board in the 1990s and began his second stint in 2008. In 2011, Rotner was elected to the LRA State Board of Directors. Major fundraiser: GNO Chapter Golf Tournament
• Northeast Chapter (MMA-Monroe): Robert Wilson of Tummy Yummy Creations in West Monroe. Wilson has been an LRA member since 2005 and a Northeast board member since 2009. This is his second consecutive term as chapter president. Major fundraiser: Culinary Tour of Northeast Louisiana Coupon Booklets
• Northshore Chapter (MMA-Mandeville/Covington): Jake Palmer of Acme Oyster House in Covington. He has been an LRA member for five years and has served on the Northshore board since 2009. Palmer previously served as chapter president in 2011. Major fundraiser: Ultimate Dining Experience
• Northwest Chapter (MMA-Shreveport): Emily Murrell Gates of Monjunis in Shreveport. Gates has been an LRA member since 1998 and has served on the Northwest board since 2010. Major fundraisers: Northwest Chapter Golf Tournament and Annual Clay Shoot
• Southwest Chapter (MMA-Lake Charles): Dave Evans of Luna Bar and Grill in Lake Charles. He has been an LRA member since 2006 and has served on the chapter’s board since 2010. Major fundraiser: Southwest Chapter Golf Tournament
“The LRA is only as strong as its volunteer leaders,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris. “This group of restaurateurs will do a great job representing their regions and the restaurant industry in the coming year.”