Georgia Restaurant Association Names Karen Bremer Executive Director
The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) recently announced the selection of Karen Bremer as Executive Director. With over 35 years in the hospitality industry, Bremer will take leadership of the association representing one of the largest industries in the state. The GRA provides a unified voice for over 17,000 foodservice and drinking places in the state of Georgia with total sales in excess of $14 billion and more jobs (375,000+) than any other non-government employer.
Bremer will succeed Charles Hoff, who has served as Interim CEO since March of this year. Hoff will continue to serve as the GRA’s General Counsel and member of the GRA Executive Committee. “This is truly an exciting time for the GRA and Georgia's Restaurant Industry,” said Hoff. “Karen has been a pivotal part of the development of the GRA as an organization and is a true leader in the hospitality industry. Her professional arch and personal passion for the GRA make her a great fit for this role.”
Bremer’s tenure in the hospitality industry includes serving as President of Peasant Restaurant, Inc., a multi-unit, high visibility city-wide operation. Bremer then bought two of the Peasant Restaurants, Dailey’s and City Grill, and began her own hospitality company. Although due to the recession both restaurants closed in 2009, Bremer was recognized that same year with the Lifetime Achievement GRACE (Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence) Award for her outstanding contributions to Georgia’s Restaurant Industry.
Bremer is a founding member of the GRA, Past President of the GRA Board and has served on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association, Atlanta Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (ACVB) and Team Georgia. She has garnered numerous awards including the ACVB Member of the Year Award in 2002 for her role in founding Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week.
“Having Karen Bremer assume the role as leader of the GRA is incredibly important,” said George McKerrow, who is a founding GRA member and President and CEO of Ted's Montana Grill, Inc. “In this challenging time for our industry, having a strong state restaurant association is more important than ever before. As the cornerstone of the state’s revenue base, the health and well-being of our restaurant industry is imperative. With Karen at the helm, our voice will be heard – and it will be strong.”