FRLA Installs 2014 Executive Committee at Annual Winter Board Meeting

(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) today announced their 2014 Executive Committee and industry leader award winners at its annual Gala and Awards Dinner held Tuesday evening, January 7, 2014.  The installation ceremony was held during FRLA’s Winter Board Meeting January 6 – 8, 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

James E. McManemon, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida, was named FRLA’s Chairman of the Board for the 2014 calendar year.  McManemon will preside over the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, one of the state’s largest trade associations, representing more than 10,000 members in the hospitality industry.

“As FRLA chairman this year, I will provide the tools and resources needed to create a stronger voice and a greater impact for Florida’s hotels, restaurants and industry providers. My goals are to grow membership while also having a renewed focus on Association engagement and participation.  Additionally, I will ensure strong future leadership through education, development and succession planning,” stated McManemon during his acceptance speech. “I look forward to telling our good news stories to members in our industry and the media.”

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association congratulates our newly elected executive board and Hall of Fame award winners.

2014 FRLA Executive Committee

James E. McManemon
Chairman, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Gregg Nicklaus
Secretary-Treasurer, Sirata Beach Resort, St. Pete Beach

Lino Maldonado
New Director 2014-15, ResortQuest, Fort Walton Beach

Chau Nguyen
New Director 2014-15, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse

Don Fox
New Director 2014-15
Firehouse Subs, Jacksonville

Pam Avery
Director 2014-16
Quorum Hotels, Tampa

Andrew Reiss
Immediate Past Chair
Andrew’s Downtown, Tallahassee

In addition, Hall of Fame Awards were given to individuals representing the industry.  Qualifications for both the prestigious Restaurateur Hall of Fame Award and the Hotelier Hall of Fame Award include having a personal record of industry achievement over a period of at least 20 years.  Only those nominees who have attained career distinctions of the highest level and are held in high esteem for their distinguished service to their industry, community, charitable organizations and family were considered.

2014 Restaurateur Hall of Fame Award
The award was presented to Bill Shumate of Bella’s Italian Café in Tampa, Florida and Square 1 Burgers & Bar in various Tampa Bay locations, Sarasota and Fort Myers.  Bill Shumate opened his first restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma in 1964, a burger joint called “Across the Street.” It was located across the street from the University of Oklahoma. Eventually, in the late 80’s, Bill decided to help cultivate a vision to bring the people of Tampa authentic Italian cuisine. Twenty-four years later, he’s still running Bella’s Italian Cafe alongside his business partner and Executive Chef Joanie Corneil. Inspired by a yearning to go back to his burger restaurant roots, he began developing a new concept in 2006 for a burger restaurant in Tampa and named it “Square 1 Burgers.” Bill is back to Square 1.

2014 Hotelier Hall of Fame Award
The award was presented to Gene Prescott of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.  In June of 1992, a multi-national consortium led by Seaway Hotels Corporation, a Florida hotel management firm, became the Biltmore’s owners and operators. Seaway, co-chaired by Gene Prescott, is a leading hospitality organization that owns and manages quality hotels in Florida and New York. In addition to The Biltmore Hotel, the company’s portfolio includes The Alexander Hotel on Miami Beach and the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, Florida. In 1996, the National l Register of Historic Places designated The Biltmore a National Historic Landmark, an elite title offered to only 3 percent of all historic structures. With Gene’s leadership, Seaway embarked upon a $40 million, 10-year renovation program that has only recently been completed, restoring The Biltmore to its world-class excellence.

2014 Supplier of the Year Award
The award was presented to Herman Fernandez of Southern Wine & Spirits.  Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern) is a nationally recognized wine and spirits distributor known for its historic commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service and creative marketing programs and partnerships. Herman Fernandez is approaching 40 years with the company and is a key player that has helped cultivate a relationship with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Southern Wine & Spirits of America, lnc., is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor with current operations in 29 states.

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About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA’s mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s hospitality industry – which represents a $71.8 billion industry, 23% of Florida’s economy, $4.3 billion in sales tax revenue, and over one million employees, making it Florida’s largest employer. It is Florida’s premier non-profit, hospitality industry trade association. FRLA safeguards the needs of the hospitality industry, improves the business climate, promotes the highest levels of quality and safety for our patrons, provides legislative advocacy, and eases navigation of government regulation. The Association represents and serves more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to