Luther, Feniger, Mitchell, Leondakis among 2007 Silver Plate winners

CHICAGO Dunkin' Brands chairman Jon Luther was named the year's top quick-service-chain executive and Susan Feniger of southern California's Border Grill and Ciudad was chosen as the best independent restaurateur in the 2007 Silver Plate Awards competition.

The Awards are presented annually by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association to the outstanding executive in nine segments of the foodservice business. In addition to Luther and Feniger, the 2007 winners and their categories were Cameron Mitchell, founder and president of Cameron's Steakhouse parent Cameron Mitchell Restaurants of Columbus, Ohio, full-service chains; Nikki Leondakis, chief operating officer, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants of San Francisco, hotels and lodging; H. Michael Rice, director of auxiliary services, Michigan State University of East Lansing, colleges and universities; Kris Schroeder, director of nutrition services for Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, healthcare; Pavel Matustik, chief administrative officer of Santa Clarita Valley School Food Service Agency in Santa Clarita, Calif., elementary and secondary schools; Rick Post, chief executive of Contract Foodservices for Compass Group, The Americas, in Rye Brook, N.Y., business & industry; and John Holeman, consolidated food manager, Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state; specialty foodservices.

The nine are in effect the finalists for IFMA's Gold Plate award, which designates the foodservice operator of the year. Past Gold Plate winners have included Danny Meyer, Ruth Fertel, Ralph Brennan, Joe Lee, Rich Melman, and former Dunkin' chief executive Bob Rosenberg. The 2007 winner will be named at an IFMA-hosted banquet held during the National Restaurant Association's annual convention here in May.

The winners of the Silver and Gold Plate Awards are chosen by a jury of industry-publication editors, including Nation's Restaurant News editor Ellen Koteff, and past winners.