Distinguished Service Award

Each year, the Michigan Restaurant Association awards the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the Association. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional and continuing leadership, vision, and commitment to the Michigan foodservice industry. Previous Distinguished Service Award winners select a new winner each year from submitted nominations. 


Ken Wasco, 2017
Gordon Food Service

Jeff Lobdell, 2016
Restaurant Partners, Inc.

Steve Lofits, 2015
Harbor Restaurants

Matt Durack, 2014
Cregar Enterprises

Conrad Knape, 2013 
Ponderosa 

John B. Carlin Jr., 2012 
Carlin Edwards Brown PLLC 

Tom Brann, 2011              
Brann's Sizzling Steaks 

Larry Brown, 2010            
Michaels & Associates 

Craig Bickley, 2009 
CDI Technology 

Barrie Borovsky, 2008     
MGM Grand 

Mark Wibel, 2007             
Carraba's 

Dennis Brinker, 2006       
Sign of the Beefcarver 

Craig Heath, 2005             
Red Cedar Grill 

Steve Montanye, 2004  
Damon's 

Jerry Fournier, 2003        
HDS Services 

William T. Roberts, 2002
Roberts Restaurant Group 








Jon Gould, 2001                
Palio's 

John Dodge, 2000            
Sneaker's 

Dudley Marvin, 1999       
Stafford's Hospitality 

Bill Morgan, 1998              
Elias Bros. 

Susan Zehnder, 1997      
Zehnder's of Frankenmuth 

Jeff Tuma, 1996 
The Embers 

Robert Lippert, 1996       
Mt. Pleasant High School 

Kevin J. Downey, 1995   
Fox & Hounds 

Pat Priemer, 1994            
King's Motel & Restaurant 

Michael Gibbons, 1993  
Mainstreet Ventures 

David Ostrander, 1992   
Big Dave's Pizzeria 

Art Weeber, 1992            
Hathaway House 

Tom Pavloff, 1991            
Cadillac Coffee 

Alex Czinki, 1991               
Villa Ristorante Italiano 

Reid Ashton, 1990            
The Golden Mushroom 

Ralph Lorenz, 1989          
Mayflower Hotel 


Ralph Miesel, 1989          
Miesel-Sysco 

Carl Rosenfield, 1988      
Carl's Chop House 

William Zehnder Jr., 1987              
Bavarian Inn 

Edwin Zehnder, 1987      
Zehnder's Hotel 

Clarence Tuma, 1986      
The Embers 

Richard Cregar, 1985       
Cregar Enterprises/ CAV Food Services 

Donald Payne, 1984        
Family Buggy 

Myron “Bill” Osborn, 1984            
Scweizer's North 

Mark Steinbrunner, 1983              
The Lakewood Inn 

Thomas Davis, 1983         
Tom Davis & Sons Dairy 

Martin Kreger, 1982        
HO Machus Enterprises 

Adrian DeVogel, 1981     
Dearborn Inn 

Martin Bishop, 1980        

Karl Bennett, 1979           
Bennett & Gorcyca 

Charles Muer, 1978         
CA Muer Corp. 
Herb & Carolyn Schmid, 1977      
The Scmid Haus 

Jerry Hill, 1976   
Bill Knapps 

Katie Sheild, 1975             
Shields Inc. 

Edwin Miller, 1974        
EA Hinrichs Co. 

Robert Lajoie, 1973         
Sign of the Beefcarver 

Harris Machus, 1972        
Red Fox 

Harold Cregar, 1971         
Cregar's Pickwick House 

James Rather, 1970         
Prophet Foods Co. 

Louis Krass, 1969              
Great Lakes Hotel Supply 

Henry Montague, 1968  
Greyhound Food Management 

Jack Bedell, 1967              
Bedell's Restaurant 

John Bolhuis, 1966           
Mary Avis, Inc.

Peter Westberg, 1965   
Top Hat, Inc. 

Fred Simonsen, 1964      
Greenfield Restaurants