The Michigan Restaurant Association
Since 1921, the MRA has served to enhance and nurture the growth and development of Michigan's hospitality industry. The Michigan Restaurant Association is the recognized leader in Michigan's hospitality industry, providing essential services to the foodservice community. The MRA headquarters is in Lansing, Michigan where a full time staff is dedicated to serving the industry.
The MRA supports members by providing:
- Educational and cost saving programs to members such as discounts on food safety training and a self-insured workers compensation fund.
- Networking opportunities for members such as the annual Michigan Restaurant Show.
- Political advocacy and lobbying to ensure that the voice of the restaurant industry is heard on issues at the state and federal government. Important issues such as the repeal of the Michigan Business Tax (MBT), rewriting Michigan’s food code, and reforming liquor licensing laws.
Board Member Qualifications
Individuals representing a restaurant on the Board need to be an owner or senior manager of that business, and need to be employed primarily for the purpose of managing that member business. The business must be a member of the Michigan Restaurant Association in good standing.
Benefits of Board Service
Most members of the MRA Board of directors find their service rewarding both personally and for their business. It is a unique opportunity to establish lifelong relationships with other successful restaurateurs, to learn more about the restaurant industry, and to learn more about what others are doing to be successful in the industry. Some join the board because they are passionate about government affairs while others join the board as a way to give back to the industry that has done so much for them.
Make-up and Role of the Board
The Board is comprised of 31 Directors. There are 24 seats representing foodservice establishments, 6 seats representing suppliers, and 1 seat representing educators. Instructor Directors serve two-year terms; all other Directors serve three-year terms. Board members may serve up to three consecutive terms. Officers are elected annually and consist of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer. The Immediate Past Chairman also serves as an officer.
The Board provides strategic direction and planning for the organization, and oversees the efforts of the MRA staff team to meet our strategic goals.
In the absence of special circumstances, the MRA Board of Directors meets four times a year: January, April, July, and November. The July meeting takes place over multiple days in a resort setting where members are encouraged to bring their families along. The January meeting includes the Chairman’s Dinner the night before the meeting in celebration of the incoming Board Chairman. The other Board meetings are one-day events held in Lansing. Board members are expected to attend each Board meeting, and must attend at least two meetings per year to maintain their status on the Board. Leadership positions, including committee chairmanships and elected offices, involve additional time commitments.
Involvement in other events and activities is expected, including attendance at the Michigan Restaurant Show, the MRA Capitol Day, and MRA-PAC fund-raising events. Board members also volunteer to assist with special projects and should be active as key contacts in the MRA’s Grassroots Network.
Directors assume the financial responsibility for lodging and travel expenses associated with Board meetings and other Association activities, although most meals in conjunction with Board meetings are provided.