An unforgettable evening celebrating Ohio's best & brightest!

July 15, 2021

7 p.m.

Join us for this special event held annually where we spotlight the best and brightest of Ohio’s restaurant, foodservice & hospitality industry and honor their dedication to culinary arts and service.

Scroll down for the nomination form!

The annual Industry Awards Celebration is an opportunity for the Ohio Restaurant Association to focus on the hard work, commitment and outstanding professional & community services of our members. The evening is dedicated to recognizing the importance of the extraordinary contributions and innovative ideas our industry brings through technology, charitable contributions, transformative products and dedication to education. 

The 2021 Industry Awards Celebration will be held virtually in July.

Cost: $25 per person

Award winners + one(1) guest attend at no cost.


Watch our 2020 Industry Awards Celebration!

Become a sponsor!

Contact Melissa DeGraw to build your sponsor package for this special event!

P: 614.246.0130


READ Frank's Full Bio of musical accomplishments
We're excited to announce Frank J Myers will perform LIVE at this year's Industry Awards Celebration!
In partnership with our preferred vendor BMI, Frank will help us celebrate Ohio's restaurant & foodservice community. 

Frank is from Dayton, Ohio and got his start in Nashville in 1981 as band leader, road manager and lead guitarist for Eddy Raven in 1981. It was during his time with Eddy Raven that Frank met Gary Baker. They had their first number one together in 1993 with Once Upon A Lifetime by Alabama. Gary and Frank recorded one album for MCG/Curb Records as Baker & Myers and were 3 time nominees for Duo Of The Year at the ACM’s and CMA’s. Their greatest accomplishment as writers together came when John Michael Montgomery recorded I Swear which was number one for 4 weeks on the Country charts. The song was then recorded by All 4 One and went to number one on the pop charts and stayed there for 11 weeks. Since then, I Swear has won multiple awards.

Nominations are Open for the 2021 ORA Industry Awards!

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) presents Industry Awards to members for distinguished careers and service in the foodservice industry. Honorees are recognized by the ORA during its Industry Awards Celebration. The virtual 2021 event will be held on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 7 p.m.

In addition to recognition at the event, award winners will also receive statewide marketing exposure in the form of press releases, recognition on the ORA website, and in a special ORA publication. DEADLINE EXTENDED! Nomination forms will be accepted through April 23, 2021.

To nominate yourself or a peer, please complete the official nomination form BELOW. To download and print off the Nomination Form, CLICK HERE. Incomplete forms will not be accepted.

Each section of the form, including the written narrative, must be completed to be considered for nomination. Nominees must be an ORA member in good standing. 

Award Categories

The Claude F. Morton, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award: The ORA’s highest award given to one restaurateur for exceptional lifetime service to the restaurant industry and his/her community. Nominees must have been an ORA member for 10+ years.

Outstanding Vendor Award: A company recognized for its exceptional service to the restaurant community. 

Outstanding Public Official Award: This award honors public officials who fight for the best interest of small business owners and the restaurant community.   

Outstanding Industry Educator: This award honors an educator who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the advancement of the Ohio foodservice industry.

Ohio ProStart Student of the Year: Outstanding ProStart student that embodies ProStart Core Values of leadership, passion, and community and shows great promise and aptitude for a future career in the foodservice industry.

Industry Innovator: This award is presented to an individual or company that has applied a new product or creative approach, resulting in the growth or transformation of their business. 

Tech Titan: Recognizing an individual or organization for their use of technology to enhance their business or impact the foodservice industry. 

Rising Star: Honors an emerging leader in the foodservice industry – one whose work demonstrates ongoing exceptional growth and high potential for future impact. 

Nourishing the Community: Recognizing an individual or organization for their outstanding contributions through community service or charitable involvement.

The Ohio Restaurant Association Hall of Fame: Given to an individual or entity that has operated in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality business in Ohio for at least 25 years and is a member of the ORA.

Award Criteria

1. Nominees may be an individual, a team or a partnership with one or more foodservice business operations, and an ORA Member. Nominees may be working, retired or deceased. There is no limit to the number of individuals nominated. Self-nominations are allowed.

2. A separate nomination form must be completed for each individual nominated. Photocopied forms are accepted. Each area of the form must be completed to be considered for nomination.

3. All recipients are strongly encouraged to attend the virtual Industry Awards Celebration on July 15, 2021.

4. Complete the official Nomination Form BELOW, including a narrative describing the nominee’s contributions and accomplishments. HINT: Ask the nominee for a bio to assist you with your narrative.

Nomination Form

Please complete the form in its entirety.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Nominations MUST be received no later than end-of-day on APRIL 23, 2021.

Incomplete forms will not be accepted.

Send nomination form

Questions about the nomination process?

Shoshanna Gross
P: 917.628.3198
register to attend
Thank you to our sponsors!

Production Sponsor

Congratulations to our 2020 winners!

Hall of Fame
Dave Thomas, Wendy's
Hall of Fame
The Gregory Family, The Montgomery Inn
Hall of Fame
Emily Bennett, Burger King franchisee & Tony Packo's Toledo, LLC
Lifetime Achievement
Kamal Boulos, The Refectory
Outstanding Restaurateur - Northern
The Booker Family of Boardwalk Family of Restaurants, Put-In-Bay
Outstanding Restaurateur - Southern
Maria Papakirk of Camp Washington Chili, Cincinnati
Outstanding Restaurateur - Central
Julie Chuang of House of Japan, Columbus
Tech Titan
John Lanni, Thunderdome Restaurant Group
Rising Star
Letha Pugh, Bake Me Happy
Sparkle Award
Rita Foos, Rita's 
Dairy Bar
Nourishing the Community
Paula Haines, 
Freedom a la Cart
Outstanding Vendor
John & Fred Kappus, Kappus Company
Front of House
Ignacio Orduna, Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern
Back of House
Dori Kay Strom, Jason’s Deli
Industry Innovator
Zach James, Central Ohio Food Truck Association
Outstanding Educator
Chef Enzo Sclama, Hocking College Culinary
Outstanding Public Official
Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton
Staff Member of the Year
Laura Morrison, Managing Director of Membership & Employer/Food Safety
Board Member of the Year
Adrian Adornetto, Adornetto's Selected Italian Foods