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Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association announces Restaurateur of the Year, James Westphal and Mark Kelpe, and Company of the Year, Pepsi, to receive honor at Inaugural Gala Michael Garozzo of Garozzo’s Italian Restaurant Will Assume the Role of President with New Board for GKCRA on January 28, 2017

Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association announces Restaurateur of the Year, James Westphal and Mark Kelpe, and Company of the Year, Pepsi, to receive honor at Inaugural Gala Michael Garozzo of Garozzo’s Italian Restaurant Will Assume the Role of President with New Board for GKCRA on January 28, 2017

Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association announces Restaurateur of the Year, James Westphal and Mark Kelpe, and Company of the Year, Pepsi, to receive honor at Inaugural Gala 


Michael Garozzo of Garozzo’s Italian Restaurant Will Assume the Role of President with New Board for GKCRA on January 28, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO. (Nov. 21, 2016) – The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (GKCRA) announces James Westphal and Mark Kelpe, managing partners of BeerKC, are the Restaurateur of the Year and PepsiCo is the Company of the Year. The Restaurateur of the Year and Company of the Year honors will be presented at the Inaugural Gala on January 28, 2017 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. These esteemed awards are the highest honors a member can receive from the GKCRA.

The Inaugural Gala is hosted by the GKCRA as it continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary as original restaurant association and birthplace of the National Restaurant Association. The event celebrates the individuals and businesses making an impact in the Kansas City restaurant industry.

The event will also officially inaugurate the new president Michael Garozzo along with the new board of directors and officers for the association’s 101st year. Garozzo will share a vision for the industry and local association for 2017.

The Inaugural Gala serves as one of the largest fundraising opportunities for the organization during the year, providing funds for scholarships and grants to students pursuing careers in the hospitality industry throughout the greater Kansas City area as well as to other scholars across the state. As an active member organization, GKCRA supports the hospitality and restaurant industry. The GKCRA is also one of the founding sponsors of Kansas City Restaurant Week which has donated a combined total of nearly $1.4 million to area nonprofit organizations over the course of its first seven years.

2016 GKCRA Restaurateur of the Year – James Westphal and Mark Kelpe, BeerKC

BeerKC Restaurant Group was founded by managing partners James Westphal and Mark Kelpe in 1997 when they opened McCoy’s Public House in the heart of Westport. It has been their goal to help build Westport into Kansas City’s premier dining and entertainment destination through each of their four restaurant concepts: McCoy’s Public House, The Foundry, Beer Kitchen, and Char Bar Smoked Meats & Amusements. For more information, visit www.beerkc.com

2016 GKCRA Company of the Year – PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enables PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

There are two Pepsi Beverages Company facilities in the Greater Kansas City area. A production facility is located in Kansas City, Missouri on Manchester Trafficway and a distribution facility is in Olathe, Kansas on Kansas City Rd. There are over four hundred employees of PBC located in the Greater Kansas City area.

About Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association

The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (GKCRA) is a trade association with more than 600 members consisting of restaurants, caterers, hospitals, schools, institutions, clubs and in-plant cafeterias as well as vendors serving the local restaurant industry. Members work together to represent, educate and promote the restaurant and hospitality industries in the Missouri counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte and Kansas counties of Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte. For more information on the GKCRA, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GKCRA or follow GKCRA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GKCRA.