Night of Excellence


Jul 14, 2018


Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center | Hemisfair 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 2018-2019. And of course, there's great food, cocktails and conversation aplenty!

Ticket Information

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


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

Award Winners

Hall of Honor

Leo Duran
L&J Café
El Paso, Texas

Bob Westbrook
Cici's Pizza
Tyler, Texas

Educator Excellence

Kandice Norrid
Tascosa High School
Amarillo, Texas

Carmelo Mauro Award: The Spirit of Generosity

Russell Woodward

Texas Beef Council

Outstanding Restaurateur Awards

Tim Condon - Lonestar Cheeseburger & Angry Cactus

Doris and Paul Miller - GR8 Plate Hospitality 

Andrew Gugar - Posado's Cafe

Chef Larry Delgado - House. Wine. & Bistro & SALT - New American Table

Kendall Howard - Howard Restaurant Group 

TRA PAC Awards

Metro - Greater Dallas Restaurant Association - Highest TRA PAC Participation

Non- Metro - El Paso Restaurant Association - Highest TRA PAC Participation

Top Donor - Russell Ybarra - Greater Houston Restaurant Assocation 

Our Emcee

This year's emcee for Night of Excellence will be Roma Villavicencio, Great Day SA Co-Host and Reporter at KENS5 in San Antonio. With Roma's background in food and pride for her adopted city, she is the perfect host for our special evening.

Born and raised in California, Roma Villavicencio couldn't be happier to be in the Lone Star State. She joined the KENS 5 news team in January 2016 and moved to the Great Day SA team in 2017 where she is the co-host for the morning lifestyle program.

Before KENS 5, Roma was a multimedia journalist at KOBI-TV in Medford, Ore., where she covered stories that gained national attention.

Stories are an important and special part of Roma’s role on Great Day SA. She enjoys meeting new people, hearing their background and sharing their experiences with all of San Antonio.

Roma is proud of her Mexican heritage and has a deep interest in connecting with the Latino community in San Antonio.

When she's not working, you can catch Roma dancing salsa, eating & cooking food (all types of it), watching the San Francisco Giants and working out at the gym.

Roma believes anything is possible if you believe in yourself and lives by Frida Kahlo’s famous quote: "Viva La Vida.”

Musical Entertainment

Enjoy the jazzy sounds of Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz in a quartet formation as you dine with leaders and influencers of the Texas restaurant industry. Conga dynamo Henry Brun, nicknamed “Mr. Ritmo” by his fans, lives by the authenticity, dynamics and “cadencia” of the music he plays. Born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, Henry started playing congas at age seven. His family returned to Puerto Rico, and by the time he was eleven, he was playing professionally. While listening to and being influenced by Latin music pioneers such as Tito Puente, Patato, Buyú, Mongo and Candido, Henry developed his own unique style and technique on bongos and timbales.

In 1989, Henry created The Latin Playerz, an ensemble that incorporates a variety of Latin styles with Rhythm and Blues, Swing, and straight ahead Jazz. They’ve become a touring force, popular in the United States and around the world.

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