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The Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) and Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF) are led by an extraordinary group of industry professionals who represent every type of restaurant our state has to offer — from single-unit independents to fast-food franchises — and the diverse communities they serve.

Colorado Restaurant Association Board of Directors

The CRA Board of Directors is made up of individuals who not only successfully run their own businesses, but have volunteered countless hours of effective leadership to the CRA and its chapters, the Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF) and its programming, and the industry as a whole. Our directors represent the very best of the hospitality industry in Colorado, and we thank them for their dedication.

Interested in being considered for a leadership role? Reach out to Sonia Riggs, President & CEO, today!

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2023-2024 CRA Board of Directors

Executive Committee

  • Chair: Marc Steron, Shanahan’s Steakhouse
  • Immediate Past Chair: Daniel Ramirez, Ramirez Hospitality Group
  • Vice Chair Government Affairs/Chair Elect: Aileen Reilly, Beast + Bottle Group
  • Vice Chair, Communication: Jason Gumer, Monarch Casino Resort Spa
  • Vice Chair, Convention & Events: Mark Brinkerhoff, Brinkerhoff Hospitality
  • Vice Chair, Membership: Laura McGinley, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
  • Vice Chair, At Large: Peter Hoglund, Frasca Hospitality Group
  • Vice Chair, Colorado Restaurant Foundation: Chris Weil, FOODMatch, Inc.
  • Controller: Sam Aghbashian, Aghbashian Consulting
  • Treasurer: Andy Quarm, Republic National Distributing Company
  • Secretary: Philippe Failyau, Gastamo Group
  • CRA President & CEO: Sonia Riggs

Elected Directors

  • Cynthia Ayala, Nachos Restaurant
  • Todd Clark, Matsuhisa Colorado
  • Catherine Cooney, Cooney Consulting & Recruiting
  • Christopher Davis-Massey, ChoLon Restaurant Concepts
  • Adam Deutschmann, Bargreen Ellingson
  • Josh Dinar, Working Title Food Group
  • Ryan Fletter, Barolo Grill
  • Jason Ganahl, G-Que Barbeque & Ice Cream Farm
  • Jason Lessnau, SOMIP Inc. DBA McDonalds
  • Kristie Mansur, Ted’s Montana Grill
  • David Patterson, Broadmoor Resort
  • Dana Rodriguez, Work & Class, Super Mega Bien, Cantina Loca, Casa Bonita
  • Rich Schneider, Raquelitas Tortillas
  • Mark Stanley, Phantom Partners Corp. (Culver’s of Colorado Springs)
  • Alice Tomlin, Wendy’s of Colorado Springs

Colorado Restaurant Foundation Board of Directors

Educating Tomorrow’s Industry Leaders Today

Established in 1987, the Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors made up of restaurants, industry experts, and K-12 and post-secondary hospitality educators. As the philanthropic foundation of the CRA, the CRF’s mission is the training and support of all individuals in the foodservice industry, as well as those individuals entering the industry.

2023-2024 Executive Committee

  • Chair: Marc Steron, Shanahan’s Steakhouse
  • Vice Chair: Chris Weil, FOODMatch Inc.
  • Vice President, Fundraising: Melissa Broooks, Breckenridge-Wynkoop
  • Vice President, Education: Josh Niernberg, Bin 707 and Tacoparty
  • Vice President, Health & Wellness: Ashley Hoffman, Gastamo Group
  • Vice President, At Large: Mallory Cullen, US Foods
  • Controller: Emily Biederman, Secret Sauce F & B
  • Secretary: Rich Schneider, Raquelitas Tortillas
  • Treasurer: Luis Ramirez, Ramirez Hospitality Group
  • Executive Director: Sonia Riggs, CRA President & CEO
  • President: Laura Shunk, CRF President

2023-2024 Elected Directors

  • Kirk Bachmann, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
  • Truett ‘Blaine’ Bailey, In the Weeds
  • Kevin Burke, Tavernetta
  • Matthew Coates, Meta Burger Inc.
  • Shelly Cox, Riff Raff Brewing Company
  • Audra Dunleavy, Cherry Creek Innovation Campus
  • Wayne Hilston, Employers Insurance Group
  • Nikki Kolakowski, Eclectic Activation
  • April Lambatos, Footers Catering, MIBE, Social Capitol Events
  • Lundy, Khesed Wellness
  • Mawa McQueen, Mawa’s Kitchen/McQueen Hospitality LLC
  • Elizabeth Nicholson, Chook Chicken
  • Dr. Eric Olson, School of Hospitality, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Amy Rapisarda, What Chefs Want
  • Julie Stone, Work Options
  • Greg Warner, Sysco Foods

"Being an active member of the CRA Board of Directors, which is effectively spearheading the evolution of the Colorado restaurant industry, allows me to connect with community peers and represent our industry’s interests with state and city government leaders."

Beth GruitchCRA Board of Directors Chair and co-owner of Crafted Concepts (Rioja, Ultreia, Stoic & Genuine, Bistro Vendôme)

"Since joining the CRA Board, I have gained knowledge, strengthened my business, and been able to dive deeper into legislative issues important to Colorado restaurants. Plus, the network I’ve created through my CRA membership is unmatched."

Daniel RamirezCRA Board of Directors Chair Elect and co-CEO of Los Dos Potrillos

"The CRA and the CRF are integral components to the success of our restaurant and hospitality industry. I’ve been involved with the organization since 2005 and on the Board for 15 years. Throughout this time, I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact these organizations have made in our community; from the Angel Relief Fund program to workforce development, each provides assistance to those facing adversity, as well as education for those wanting a future in food service."

David CoderCRF VP Education Committee and Director of Business Resources and Marketing at Sysco Foods

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