Wisconsin Restaurant Association photo

News release

APPLETON — Sue Lamers, General Manager and Event Coordinator for the Grand Meridian in Appleton, has been honored as the Restaurateur of the Year by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

The Restaurateur of the Year (ROY) award is the industry’s top honor. Lamers was announced as the winner in a surprise celebration at Mark’s East Side in Appleton on May 15, 2023.

The Restaurateur of the Year award is given to a restaurant operator who demonstrates participation and service to the restaurant association, success within their own restaurant and contributions to their community. The winner is selected at a private meeting of past Restaurateur of the Year recipients and is kept a secret until the official announcement.

Lamers has been in the hospitality industry for twenty years starting off as an event coordinator and then moving into general management. She has had a successful career in the restaurant industry as a result of her management acumen and experience—and of course her passion for hospitality. She works every day in the demanding world of event management and puts her heart and soul into creating truly memorable experiences for her guests.

Active with the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, Lamers has been a leader in the WRA Big Four Chapter and has been a statewide leader in the industry as a WRA Board Member for many years. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is grateful for the countless ways she has supported and energized the association and the restaurant industry.

Lamers is known for her commitment to the future of the restaurant industry and has mentored ProStart high school students and college students from the UW, Fox Valley Technical College and Career Academy. She has been active with several chamber of commerce organizations including Heart of the Valley, Fox West, and Fox Valley. She is also the founder of the Northeast Wisconsin Wedding Professionals organization.

October 2022 was particularly difficult for the team at the Grand Meridian. When their owner, Kent Vandeyacht suddenly passed away, Sue was the glue that has kept the Grand Meridian open and thriving. Through her leadership, they have maintained operations and have continued to serve their community with their legendary service and hospitality.

Continually looking for ways to keep the industry relevant, Lamers takes the time to work with interns inspiring them with her passion for serving others. She has committed a great amount of time and effort into being part of her community and representing the restaurant industry in a positive way.

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By staff