The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will host the 21st-annual Ted J. Balestreri Leadership Classic in Pebble Beach, California, from March 6–9, 2013.

Leaders of the restaurant and foodservice industry will tee off in support of the NRAEF’s ProStart and Scholarship programs. ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant leaders.

“For the past two decades, the Ted J. Balestreri Leadership Classic has given restaurant and foodservice professionals a chance to feed dreams and invest in the industry’s future,” says Rob Gifford, executive vice president of philanthropic initiatives for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). “We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of industry leaders—especially Ted himself—in helping us raise more than $2 million to date.”

The Ted J. Balestreri Leadership Classic brings together the industry’s top leaders and decision makers to network while enjoying access to three of the world’s top golf courses and the Monterey Wine Education Foundation’s Monterey Wine & Lifestyle Auction Dinner.  

The non-golfer program features winery tours, spa services, and scenic views of the Monterey Peninsula. 

The Leadership Classic’s success over the past two decades is credited to Balestreri’s unwavering commitment to the NRAEF and its programs.

In addition, the event has continued to receive support from famed hotelier Richard Marriott, plus long-time sponsors including The Coca-Cola Company, Trinchero Family Estates, Ecolab Inc., PepsiCo Foodservice, American Express, Republic Services, Nestle Waters, and Lyons Magnus. This year’s event will also include support from first-time sponsor BJ’s Restaurant Foundation.

“Last year’s Leadership Classic raised $150,000 in scholarship and ProStart support, and we are eager to surpass that amount in 2013,” Balestreri adds. “The event is also an opportunity for senior-level restaurant operators and suppliers to build relationships, create new business, and enjoy the five-star accommodations that Pebble Beach has to offer.”

Limited event sponsorships are still available including the $50,000 (Eagle), $25,000 (Birdie), $15,000 (Par), and $5,000 (Caddy) levels.

New for 2013, single hole sponsorships are also available for $2,000 (Single Hole), $4,000 (Double Hole), or $5,500 (Triple Hole).

Balestreri, chairman and CEO of the Sardine Factory Restaurant and Cannery Row Company, is an entrepreneur and leading figure in the restaurant industry. He has served as president and chairman on the boards of numerous restaurant and culinary industry organizations, including the National Restaurant Association, California Restaurant Association, and the NRAEF.

Balestreri was the first to receive the Foodservice Management Professional certification from the NRAEF and was awarded the NRAEF’s Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award.  

He was also awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor and inducted into the Monterey Business Hall of Fame in Monterey, California.

ProStart brings the industry and the classroom together to give 90,000 students nationwide a platform to discover new interests and talents and open doors to fulfilling careers.

From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.

With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF, and state restaurant associations, ProStart reaches 1,700 schools around the U.S. 

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