Hospitality Industry Awards & Scholarships

CHART believes in the importance of recognizing those in the industry that are committed to developing people and improving the performance of hospitality organizations. We recognize trainers and leaders for their contributions to CHART and the industry through awards and provide hospitality industry scholarships and grants for promising students and trainers in hospitality.


Commitment to People Award

The CHART Commitment to People Award was created in 1993 to recognize leaders in the hospitality industry who demonstrate a continuous dedication to people. The award is presented annually to a member's CEO/President in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the development of people in their organizations.

Any CHART member's CEO/President that actively and consistently establishes a culture that demonstrates a belief in the value of people is eligible. Nominees must be in a top-level position in a hospitality company to be considered for this award. Any employee in the nominee's company may submit the nomination.
Complete the online Commitment to People nomination form

Past recipients of this prestigious award

  • 2019 - Jeff Chandler, CEO, Hopdoddy Burger Bar
  • 2018 - Kat Cole, COO & President, North America, FOCUS Brands Inc.
  • 2017 - Jeff Warne, President and CEO, Perkins & Marie Callender's LLC
  • 2016 - Lisa Ingram, CEO, White Castle
  • 2015 - Patrick Doyle, CEO, Domino's Pizza
  • 2014 - Harris Rosen, President and COO, Rosen Hotels & Resorts
  • 2013 - Marc Simon, President of Rubio's Restaurants
  • 2012 - John Grady, President, Ninety Nine Restaurants
  • 2011 - Dave Scrivano, President, Little Caesars Pizza
  • 2010 - Mark Running, President, Roy's Restaurants
  • 2009 - David Overton, Founder, Chairman & CEO, The Cheesecake Factory
  • 2008 - Skip Fox, President, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
  • 2007 - Cameron Mitchell, President and Founder, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
  • 2006 - Colin Reed, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Gaylord Entertainment
  • 2005 - Julia Stewart, President, CEO and COO, IHOP Corp.
  • 2004 - Rick Rosenfeld, Co-Founder, California Pizza Kitchen
    Larry Flax, Co-Founder, California Pizza Kitchen
  • 2003 - Harry Bond, President, Monical's Pizza Corp.
  • 2002 - Kerry Kramp, President, Buffets, Inc.
  • 2001 - Robert Dedman, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Club Corp. Inc. Robert Dedman Jr., President & CEO, Club Corp. Inc.
  • 2000 - William Walton, Holiday Inn
  • 1999 - Molly Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Restaurants, Inc.
  • 1998 - David C. Novak, President and Vice Chairman, Tricon Global Restaurants
  • 1997 - Wally Doolin, President and Chief Executive, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide
  • 1996 - Bob Jameson, President and General Manager, The Worthington Hotel
  • 1995 - Simon Cooper, President and CEO, Delta Hotel and Resorts
  • 1994 - Joe Byrum, President, Morrison's Hospitality
  • 1993 - Donald N. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO, Friendly Ice Cream Corporation


Spirit of CHART Award

This award is presented to CHART members who have assisted in moving our association forward through contributions that have been above and beyond expectations. The Spirit of CHART Award represents the essence of a CHART member's commitment to CHART’s guiding principles of Learning, Sharing, Growing, and Caring.  Complete the online Spirit of CHART nomination form

Past Winners of the Spirit of CHART Award:

  • 2019 Donna Herbel    
    Chip Romp
  • 2018 Jason Lyon    
    Dan Walker
  • 2017 Calvin Banks
  • 2016 Todd Horchner
  • 2015 John Poulos
  • 2014 Jennifer Swan
  • 2013 Monique Donahue    
    Janet Hoffmann
    Lisa Oyler
  • 2012 Andrew Arvay        
    Kate Shehan
  • 2011  John Isbell
    Patrick Yearout
  • 2010 John Alexander
    Curt Archambault
  • 2009 John Kelley
    Donna Rynda
  • 2008 Jim Knight
    Mike Hampton
  • 2007 Joleen Flory
    Mike Amos
  • 2006  Lisa Schweickert
  • 2005 T.J. Schier
  • 2004  Christine Andrews
  • 2003  Sandi Spivey
    Jim Sullivan
  • 2002 Lanny Okonek
    Toni Kottom
  • 2001  Dick Kinney
    Rob Gage
  • 2000 Claudia Carr
    Rodney Morris
    Doug Higdon
  • 1999  Ellen Moore
    Jeff Tenut
  • 1998  Harry Bond
    Teresa Siriani
    Dave Young
  • 1997  Dick Gaven
    Kathleen Taylor-Gadsby
    Pat Evans
    John Kidwell

Training High Five

The Training High Five recognizes effective training ideas by CHART members. Each year, five ideas are chosen from member submissions of their training tip, game, or solution that really works and that others can easily adopt and implement.

The ideas are shared with all members, helping them deliver training more efficiently, better achieve their learning objectives, and improve the overall performance and engagement of employees who participate in their training programs, and published in Training High Five eBooks on our website for all to benefit from. 
Complete the online Training High Five Submission form


Learning Legacy Fund

The Learning Legacy Fund was established by CHART to provide a need-based professional development grant for trainers who have shown potential and passion for the profession, but who lack sufficient budget to attend a CHART conference. The grant will cover the candidate’s conference fee ($820), three nights hotel (approximately $450), airfare (maximum $400) and a stipend to cover some other expenses ($100). CHART Members and partners are encouraged to nominate worthy candidates for this special grant. Nominations are do in May and December for the following conference.
Complete the online Learning Legacy Fund nomination form

Learning Legacy Fund

Gold Founding Donors $2000+

  • Mike Amos
  • Eric Bartlett
  • Karen Brown
  • Betty Rae Camarillo
  • Monique Donahue
  • Emily Ellis
  • Pat Evans
  • Joleen Goronkin
  • Janet Hoffmann
  • John Kelley
  • Lisa and James Marovec
  • Serah Morrissey
  • Chip Romp
  • Jim Sullivan

Silver Founding Donors $1000-$1999

  • Michael Kacmar
  • Jason Lyon
  • TJ Schier
  • Dave Young


NRAEF Scholarship

CHART and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) present two $5,000 scholarships each year to current or recently graduated college students with the goal to work in the hospitality industry.

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the National Restaurant Association. Since 1987, the NRAEF has awarded over $16 million dollars in scholarships to students pursuing an education and career in the hospitality industry. NRAEF education programs include ProStart®, a two-year high school program for restaurant management and culinary arts and ManageFirst® program for post-secondary students. The Award is presented at CHART's Commitment to People Awards Gala in July, the final evening of CHART's semi-annual hospitality training conference.

Students interested in the CHART/National Restaurant Association Scholarship can apply here. The applications are accepted January - April each year.