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Georigi to chair Delaware Restaurant Association

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NEWARK – The state’s restaurant industry advocacy organization, the Delaware Restaurant Association, has elected a new leadership slate led by incoming Chairman Carl Georigi, the founder and CEO of Platinum Dining Group.

Carl Georigi | PHOTO COURTESY OF DRA

The full slate will be sworn in Jan. 19 and will serve three-year terms, with annual advances for the senior most executive officers.

Joining Georigi at the top of the organization’s leadership is Vice Chairman Gianmarco Martuscelli, president of Martuscelli Restaurant Group, who will ascend to chairman in 2023; and Treasurer Jeff Gosnear, vice president of Grotto Pizza; who will become chair in 2024.

The immediate past chairman of the DRA, SoDel Concepts President and CEO Scott Kammerer, recently was named to the board of the National Restaurant Association.

“The restaurant industry remains hardest-hit by the pandemic. It was important to us to add key perspectives from industry leaders around the state as we enter a transitional year and support our restaurants in every aspect of financial, community and workforce recovery,” Carrie Leishman, president & CEO of the DRA, said in a statement announcing the new officers.

Joining the DRA’s board for the first time this year are Hope Lopez, of El Azteca Group; Holly Monaco, of Big Fish Restaurant Group; and Parthiban Jayaraman (PJ), of Pusan Group (The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grill).

The DRA Board of Directors is comprised of restaurant operators from business locations throughout the state, as well as industry supplier representatives. Board members are chosen to represent their industry and workforce, upholding the mission and vision of the association and its philanthropic educational foundation – to educate, advocate and promote the restaurant industry in Delaware, while also developing ongoing training, educational and workforce development initiatives.

This year will prove pivotal for industry leaders and the DRA, as the industry struggles to regain footing lost during the recent pandemic variants and a renewed indoor mask mandate in Delaware. The DRA Board of Directors provide leadership, guidance and insight on industry needs and the direction of workforce development needed to combat a growing labor crisis – the Delaware leisure and hospitality sector remains down 4,800 jobs from a 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

In 2022, the DRA will focus on a continuation of the Forward Delaware rapid industry training fueled by American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding, as well as expanded entry and re-entry opportunities, including apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training, for those looking to enter and advance in the hospitality industry.

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