Gecko’s Grill & Pub Again Honored with Prestigious Nat’l. Restaurant Association Awards

The Restaurant Neighbor Award Recognizes Outstanding Community Involvement

Gecko’s Hospitality Group Co-Owner, Michael Quillen to Receive Cornerstone Humanitarian Award for third consecutive year

Gecko’s Grill & Pub is proud to announce that the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation has honored the restaurant group by again selecting it as a Florida Restaurant Neighbor Award winner. Additionally, the Florida Cornerstone Humanitarian Award will again be presented to the GHG’s Michael Quillen.

Each year, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation recognizes outstanding restaurants around the country with these prestigious national awards. The awards honor restaurants that go above and beyond in community service and aim to inspire other restaurateurs to get or stay involved in their local communities. These award selections mark the third consecutive year that Gecko’s Owners, Michael Quillen and Mike Gowan have earned these distinctions. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association will host a combined Marketing and Operations Summit in July, 2015 in Tampa, Florida, where the award recipients will be recognized for their achievements.

Gecko’s Grill & Pub has been immersed in our communities for 23 years. Each year, the Gecko’s charitable giving program grows, with the compass tilted in the direction of being good neighbors, dependable business partners, and restaurateurs who contribute to the well-being of our community and to helping others. Gecko’s has a long history of serving as Business Partners with dozens of schools in Sarasota and Manatee County, providing Super Student Free Meals to thousands of elementary students and supporting untold numbers of teams, projects, fundraisers, staff and events in area schools. This year alone, more than 15,000 elementary students received Gecko’s and S’macks Super Student award cards to encourage good grades, citizenry, school attendance, or other exemplary performance.

Partners Quillen and Gowan are benefactors of the non-profit Y Youth Shelter, which serves children 10-17 years of age who are homeless, Operation Second Chance, which serves America’s wounded, injured and ill combat veterans, Share Our Strength for No Kid Hungry, and the 4H Foundation, among many others. Quillen also personally serves on several community Boards, is a past President of The Argus Foundation, a public policy community foundation which harnesses business leadership for effective community building, and is a founding Board member of the newly established Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Charitable Foundation, whose mission is to assist employees of the Sheriff’s Office who are experiencing individual or family crises.

Gecko’s Grill & Pub has been locally owned and operated since 1992, and employs over 350 Floridians. Quillen and Gowan’s newest venture, S’macks Burgers & Shakes, opened in Summer, 2013.

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s hospitality industry, which represents a $76.1 Billion industry, 23% of Florida’s economy, $4.3 billion in sales tax revenue, and over one million employees, making it Florida’s largest employer.

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