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News & Press: KRHA News

Professionals From Across the Kansas Hospitality Industry Take The Night Off

Friday, October 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Graham
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Oct. 26, 2018



Professionals From Across the Kansas Hospitality Industry Take The Night Off And Raise Funds to Support School-to-Career Culinary Training


Kansas Restaurants & Hotels Across The State Recognized By Peers For Excellence

At 2018 Hospitality Night Out Awards At Kansas Star Casino


WICHITA, Kan. – On Oct. 22 at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Kan., The Kansas

Restaurant and Hospitality Association (KRHA) hosted industry professionals at the annual Hospitality Night Out celebration and fundraiser. 


“We wanted to provide an environment where industry professionals could gather and enjoy delicious food and socialize with one another,” said Neeley Carlson of the KRHA. “These hard-working individuals rarely get the opportunity to kick back and relax, so we wanted to celebrate them.”


Attendees enjoyed an evening of food, micro-brewery tastings, a silent auction, and entertainment by stand-up comedian Billy Wayne Davis of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and Adult Swim’s “SquidBillies” fame.


The program also included the Stars of the Industry Awards , presented annually to professionals who are helping shape the hospitality industry in Kansas. Award recipients included:


Winners of the 2018 Stars of the Industry Awards include:

Hall of Fame: Tom & Marilyn Dobski, McDonald’s (Atchinson, Lawrence, Leavenworth & Topeka)

Restaurateur of the Year: Robert Little, Shindigs Bar & Grill (Winfield)

Hotelier of the Year: Michelle Stein, Wichita Marriott

Allied Partner of the Year: Mize Restaurant Group

Heart of the Industry: Eugene Isaac IV, LongHorn Steakhouse (Manhatan) & Robin Monroe, Doo-Dah Diner (Wichita)

Hot New Concept: Sierra Grill (Lenexa)

Mentor of the Year: Mary Montgomery-Shatz, LongHorn Steakhouse (Overland Park)

ProStart Teacher of the Year: Alison Draut, Wichita Northwest High School

Chef of the Year: Ben George, SAVOR at Intrust Bank Arena (Wichita)

Kansas Craft Brewer of the Year: John Dean, Blind Tiger Brewery (Topeka)


These awards are pesented by the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association to recognize hospitality industry professionals who inspire, support, and share a passion for serving others.  KRHA membership is required for all awards except Chef of the Year and Hot New Concept.   KRHA has partnered with the  Kansas Craft Brewers Guild (KCBG) to recognize a top brewer in Kansas.  “Craft beer is a big part of the hospitality industry and we are honored to partner with KCBG to recognize one of the many amazing brewers in Kansas,” says Adam Mills, President & CEO of the KRHA.  


Hospitality Night Out also serves as a fundraiser benefiting the professional development of youth and rising leaders in the industry. All proceeds will benefit the KRHA Educational Foundation. The Foundation promotes the importance of food safety, responsible liquor service, and growing the future workforce. Monies raised will go towards providing food safety, ProStart school-to-career training in over 30 Kansas high schools, equipment to support high school culinary education, and more.


“Hospitality Night Out is a great way for the talented professionals in our industry to invest in its future,” says Carlson. “We want to thank our industry leaders and sponsors who helped make this years’ event a success and a great time!”


For more information on the event, visit .



About the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association

The Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, founded in 1929, is the leading business association for restaurants, hotels, motels, country clubs, private clubs and allied business in Kansas. Along with the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association Education Foundation, the association works to represent, educate and promote the rapidly growing industry of hospitality in Kansas. For more information about the KRHA, visit


About the KRHA Educational Foundation (KRHAEF)

Founded in 1996, the Educational Foundation of the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association (KRHAEF) is committed to supporting the journey of individuals who have discovered the boundless opportunities the hospitality industry provides to anyone willing to work hard, learn and grow. From helping high school students get started on the hospitality career path through ProStart , to industry training and development through ServSafe® , the KRHAEF works to educate and grow a qualified workforce while enriching the current industry.




 Hall of Fame Restaurateur of the Year Hotelier of the Year Allied Partner of the Year 


Heart of the Industry
Kansas Craft Brewer 
of the Year
  Mentor of the Year  Chef of the Year  


 ProStart Teacher of the Year  Hot New Concept   





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