Night of Excellence


Jul 8, 2017


Omni Dallas Hotel | Trinity Ballroom


6:00pm - 10:00pm

This is our industry's night to shine! Texas Restaurant Association leaders and other industry luminaries honor outstanding individuals who have contributed so much to our industry. We will present the Educator Excellence Award, Carmelo Mauro Award, and Outstanding Restaurateur Awards; induct industry icons into the Hall of Honor; and thank our outgoing association leaders as we welcome in new leaders for 2017-2018. And of course, there's great food, cocktails and conversation aplenty!

Ticket Information: 

Individual Ticket - $300
Table for 8 Guests - $3,000

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Cocktail Reception - 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Dinner and Program - 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Award Winners

Hall of Honor

Help us welcome the latest inductee into the TRA Hall of Honor, Scott Plowman of Wichita Falls, owner of Pelican's and Parkway Grill. Scott began his restaurant career at 16 years old in 1979 at Pelican’s Restaurant in El Paso as a dishwasher, eventually working his way up to manager. He was the transferred to the Lubbock Pelican’s in 1984 and a sales acquisition of that store led to his transfer to The Parkway Grill, a diner in Wichita Falls. 

Learn more about Scott here

Excellence in Education

We will also honor Kathleen Roussel, our 2017 winner of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation Excellence in Education Award. Kathleen is a culinary arts instructor and program coordinator for Clear Springs High School in League City, Texas. Since her arrival at Clear Springs High School, she has implemented the Texas ProStart curriculum, trained students in culinary arts, pastry arts and restaurant operations, and converted her traditional classroom into a fully functioning restaurant where students can gain valuable real-world experience. Last year, Clear Springs High School participated for the first time in the Texas ProStart competition, and placed 2nd in the state. She considers that accomplishment one of her proudest moments.  

Read more about Kathleen here. 


Carmelo AWARD - THE Spirit of Generosity

russell ybarraRussell Ybarra, President and CEO of Gringo's Tex Mex, will be honored as this year's recipient of the Carmelo Mauro Award. The TRAEF sponsors this annual award to recognize outstanding achievement by an individual philanthropist who has demonstrated the highest ethical standards, commitment, dedication and talent towards the future of the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry.


Outstanding Restaurateur

Sharon Watkins
Chez Zee American Bistro | Austin

Damian and Trina Mandola
Mandola’s | Austin

Janice Provost
Parigi | Dallas

Aaron Lyons
Dish Society | Houston

Mike Van Syckle
Atomic Omelette and Grill | Corpus Christi

Phil Bradley
Copper Caboose | Lubbock

Erik Zobel and Je’na Wall (posthumous)
Zero One Ale House | San Angelo

Brian Kelleher
575 Pizzeria | Amarillo

Arthur Garcia
Nicha’s Comida Mexicana | San Antonio

Veronica Segovia Esparza
Absolutely Delicious Catering and Blanco BBQ | San Antonio

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