This year has truly been outstanding for me as chairman of the LRA. I’ve visited all nine chapters, participated in all the board meetings for the LRA, the LRA Self Insurer’s Fund and the LRA Education Foundation, spent the weekend in New Orleans for the EXPO and went to Washington, DC for the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference.
Your membership in the LRA has so many benefits. The LRA SIF for workers’ compensation was created more than 30 years ago just for our industry. For the third consecutive year, the LRA SIF is lowering its rates, while other insurers are raising theirs. That’s a testament to the management of the fund and the members who participate in it and share the risk. Do yourself a favor and get a comparison quote. You could save yourself some money.
Of the LRA benefits are the ServSafe food safety courses, the new online ServSafe online alcohol training (the first of its kind in Louisiana) and ServSafe Allergens, are the keys to serving your guests safely on all fronts. The LRA has trained more than 50,000 people collectively in these programs and is the largest provider of these types of training in the state.
The LRA Education Foundation is your charitable organization. This year alone, the LRAEF awarded 24 students $50,000 in scholarships to continue their restaurant management and culinary arts education. Since 2009, the LRAEF has awarded $140,000. Just in time for the holidays, the LRAEF in partnership with the George Rodrigue Foundation for the Arts will release a cookbook, The Pot and The Palette. With 100 recipes from members across the state and illustrations by budding high school artists, the proceeds from the book will benefit both organizations.
Above all and one that isn’t tangible is advocacy. The LRA is your advocate at the local, state and even federal level. This is accomplished by a dedicated staff that constantly monitors regulatory and legislative activity that may impact the industry. You play a significant role in funding these activities when you contribute a portion of your dues to the LRA Hospitality Political Action Committee. Also, our chapters play a significant role in advocacy as a portion of its fundraising proceeds benefit the LRA Hospitality PAC.
My year of service as chairman of the LRA has been a privilege. I’m truly grateful to have given my time for the betterment of Louisiana’s restaurant industry. Thank you to all our members and suppliers for your dedication and commitment to improving this great industry.
David Hearn, Owner, Catfish Cabin, Monroe