January 6, 2013 – Des Moines, IA – Des Moines restaurateur, entrepreneur & Iowa Restaurant Association chair-elect Scott Carlson has been elected to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) board of directors. Carlson has been a highly visible & engaged leader in the Iowa restaurant industry & will now carry that passion & wisdom to a national stage. He has served on the Iowa Restaurant Association board since 1996 & is one of a handful of Iowans to represent the voice of independent restaurants at the national level.
Carlson’s election to the board is in part linked to his strong legislative relationships. He has invested the time & energy necessary to build relationships with elected officials at a national level. He is a knowledgeable & well-recognized expert within the industry as well as personable, making him a natural fit for a national position.
“Scott regularly represents Iowa’s membership & serves as a spokesperson with media, regulators & legislators on issues ranging from minimum wage & tip credit, to taxes, healthcare, & PCI compliance,” said Ken Conrad, National Restaurant Association Chairman of the board. “We anticipate that he will be a ‘go-to’ spokesperson for the Association in the coming years.”
Carlson has been fortunate to experience nearly every side of the restaurant industry. Working from a purveyor, bar owner, concession operator, corporate restaurant professional, craft brew pub & restaurant owner to owner of fine dining restaurants such as Americana Restaurant & Lounge, as well as serving on numerous boards in the industry, Carlson has seen the best and the worst of the industry. In his new role on the NRA board, Carlson hopes to achieve at least one major goal: Increasing the understanding to consumers about the business side of the restaurant industry.
“I believe there is a misunderstanding among many audiences of what our industry does & is,” said Carlson. “We need to focus not only on what we need, but what our customers & community need from us. We are fortunate to be in the public eye, but many people do not understand what goes on behind the scenes; therefore, I want to be the voice for our industry to bring this understanding to our customers.”
Bringing a Piece of Iowa with Him
As an operating partner & owner of two of Des Moines most successful restaurants, Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company & Americana Restaurant, Carlson has had a direct effect on the restaurant industry in Des Moines & throughout the state. Now, Carlson has an opportunity to bring a piece of Iowa & Midwest hospitality with him to Washington DC.
“I have had the opportunity to live & work across the country, but Iowa is home,” said Carlson. “The Midwest in general is known for having honest & hardworking employees. I want to bring these characteristics to a national platform. Hard work equals success, & I have seen that firsthand.”