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

The Restaurant Neighbor Award Recognizes Outstanding Community Involvement 

Sarasota, FL; January 29, 2014 // – Gecko’s Grill & Pub is proud to announce that the National Restaurant Association has honored the restaurant group by selecting it as a 2014 Florida Restaurant Neighbor Award winner.

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. This selection marks the second year in a row that Gecko’s Owners, Michael Quillen and Mike Gowan have earned this distinction.

Gecko’s Grill & Pub has a long history of serving as Business Partners with dozens of schools in Sarasota and Manatee County, providing Super Student Free Meals to tens of thousands of elementary students and supporting untold numbers of teams, projects, fundraisers and events in area schools. Gecko’s is a benefactor of the non-profit Y Youth Shelter, which serves children 10-17 years of age who are homeless, and Operation Second Chance, which serves America’s wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. Owners Quillen and Gowan are lifelong friends and business partners, and through their five Gecko’s restaurants, support scores of other charitable groups. Quillen also personally serves on several community Boards, and is the immediate Past President of The Argus Foundation, a public policy community foundation which harnesses business leadership for effective community building.

Gecko’s will now compete with other state winners across the United States for the national prize. One national winner will receive a $5000 award to help support their favorite charity, to be awarded in April in Washington, D.C.

Gecko’s Grill & Pub has been locally owned and operated since 1992, and employs over 300 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 $71.8 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. It is Florida’s premier non-profit, hospitality industry trade association.

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