(Chicago, Ill.)  Ray Kavanaugh, Ed.D, FMP and Steve Mariotti will join the 2007 Salute to Excellence Honorees as special presenters at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Michael E. Hurst Student Forum on Saturday, May 19, 2007 in Chicago, Ill.  Kavanaugh, professor and department head, Department of Hospitality and Tourism, Purdue University, and NRAEF chairman, will serve as Student Forum moderator, host and luncheon Master of Ceremonies, and Mariotti, founder and president of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), will serve as the Career of Choice Luncheon keynote speaker.  The event is held as part of the NRAEF’s 20th Annual Salute to Excellence at the 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kavanaugh and Mr. Mariotti to this year’s Michael E. Hurst Student Forum,” stated Mary M. Adolf, president and chief operating officer of the NRAEF.  “Bringing together these enthusiastic and accomplished students with proven industry and professional leaders such as these is our way of helping ensure that our industry continues to grow as the nation’s largest private sector employer.  Our industry is expected to increase from 12.8 million employees to 14.8 million over the next ten years, and it is these young men and women who will fill the leadership roles.  It is, therefore, essential to give them every opportunity to further their education and learn from those who have preceded them, and the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum does just that.”

The Michael E. Hurst Student Forum gathers top restaurant and foodservice management students from around the country with industry educators and leaders for a day of learning and celebration, highlighting our industry’s position as the cornerstone of our nation’s economy, career-and-employment opportunities and local communities. The Student Forum is one of several initiatives held in conjunction with the Show that focuses on supporting and growing the workforce of tomorrow.

During the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum, students engage the industry’s top leaders during  interactive presentations and small-group breakout discussions.  Faculty participates in a special Faculty Educational Forum where they will hear from industry experts on trends and hot topics facing the industry.  The NRAEF will also feature its new competency-based, management certificate program, the NRAEF ManageFirst Program®. 

Now in its 88th year, the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals the Western Hemisphere. The 2007 Show will be held May 19-22, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The Show attracts 2,000 exhibiting companies and 73,000 attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 110 countries. Free, online media registration and more information can be found on the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show.media.

Michael E. Hurst Student Forum sponsors include The Coca-Cola Company, ECOLAB, Inc., The Employment Guide, Micros Inc., and Pearson Prentice Hall. 

The NRAEF ManageFirst Program is offered exclusively through a partnership with publisher Pearson Prentice Hall, and through the generous support of Founding Partner, American Express.

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