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Longtime leader of Louisiana restaurant group to step down

The Louisiana Restaurant Association said Tuesday that Jim Funk will step down at the end of the year after 30 years as head of the state’s trade group.

A search is underway for his successor, the Metairie, La.-based association said.

“It has been truly rewarding to represent the world-renowned restaurant industry in Louisiana,” said Funk, who joined the LRA in 1981. “The last 30 years have been full of outstanding moments that make me feel blessed to have been part of this dynamic and entrepreneurial industry.”

The Arkansas native grew the LRA membership from 300 to 7,500. In February, Politics magazine named him one of the 100 most important opinion brokers in Louisiana.

Funk led the effort to establish the LRA Self Insurer’s Fund for Workers’ Compensation, or LRA/SIF, in 1982. He serves as president and chief executive of the LRA/SIF, which insures more than 2,700 restaurants and hotels in Louisiana and has an investment portfolio of more than $50 million.

To honor the executive, the LRA board recently created the Jim Funk Scholarship Fund, which will be administered by the LRA Education Foundation.

In 2008, Funk was given the first Will Mangham Louisiana Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association for his role in advocating tourism in the state.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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