National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to Award $76,500 in Scholarships During 2008 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show

Twenty-four top students and two educators honored

(Chicago, Ill.)  The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation announced today it will be presenting $76,500 in scholarships to exceptional high school seniors, undergraduate students and educators pursuing careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry, during the upcoming 2008 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, held May 17-20, in Chicago.  The scholarship awards will be presented during the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum and 21st Annual Salute to Excellence, a day-long series of events hosted by the NRAEF, on Saturday, May 17th, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and Hilton Chicago.

“The restaurant and foodservice industry is expected to add two million jobs over the next 10 years, so it is vital that we provide financial assistance to individuals interested in a restaurant and foodservice career, so they can achieve an advanced education and enter the industry trained and ready to excel,” said Ruben Villavicencio, chairman, Board of Trustees, NRAEF.  “Our annual Salute to Excellence events provide outstanding platforms from which to demonstrate the importance of our Scholarships Program, as well as honor the scholarship winners in front of industry leaders from around the world.”

The following organizations will be presenting scholarships at the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum and Salute to Excellence Awards Gala:

• The Coca-Cola Company will award two $5,000 scholarships to student honor delegates during the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum.

• The NRAEF, in partnership with the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRôNA), will award 10 scholarships for a total of $25,000 during the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum. The scholarships will be awarded to student honor delegates attending the event.

• The Al Schuman Entrepreneurial Scholarship will award a total of $16,500 to three undergraduate and high school students at the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala.

• Golden Corral Corporation will award the $5,000 James H. Maynard “Excellence in Education” Awards to two deserving ProStart educators during the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala.

• The Robert E. Rich, Sr. Chairman’s Award Scholarship will award a total of $10,000 to four undergraduate students attending Johnson & Wales, Cornell and the Culinary Institute of America at the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala.  

• The NRAEF, in partnership with the National Society for Healthcare Foodservice Management (HFM), will also award five scholarships totaling $10,000 during the Michael E. Hurst Student Forum.  Winners have demonstrated a commitment to a career in the foodservice industry with emphasis on the healthcare sector. 

Each year the NRAEF awards over one million dollars in scholarship, $1.7 million in 2008 alone, to high school seniors, GED graduates, undergraduate students, ProStart® students who have received their National Certificate of Achievement, and educators who are committed to furthering their education and enhancing their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.  Through impact metrics research, the NRAEF has found that three out of four recipients of NRAEF scholarships received in 2003 and 2004 are still working and/or studying in the industry.  More information on the NRAEF’s Scholarships Program can be found at www.nraef.org/scholarships .

Now in its 89th year, the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals in the Western Hemisphere. The 2008 Show will be held May 17-20, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The Show attracts 2,000+ exhibiting companies and 74,000 attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 115 countries. More information can be found on the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show.