Delaware Restaurant Association names new executive officers, directors for 2024

DRA Foundation appoints new leaders to support industry needs
February 14, 2024

The Delaware Restaurant Association has announced its new executive committee officers who will lead the board of directors in industry initiatives and advocacy in 2024.

Inductees were selected and sworn in Jan. 24 during a biannual board meeting. Board members serve a three-year term and the executive officers advance each year, ascending from treasurer to vice chair and chair of the board. Jeffrey Gosnear of Grotto Pizza will serve as 2024 DRA board chair, with Gianmarco Martuscelli of Martuscelli Restaurant Group as immediate past chair, Michael Stiglitz of Two Stones/2SP Brewing Co. as vice chair, and Paula Janssen of Janssen’s Market/J’s Cafe as treasurer. Carla Guzzi of Bing’s Bakery also accepted a nomination to serve on the DRA board of directors.

The DRA board of directors comprises restaurant operators from throughout the state, as well as industry supplier representatives. Board members are chosen to represent their industry and workforce, upholding the mission and vision of the DRA and its philanthropic foundation to advocate and advance the restaurant industry in Delaware while also pursuing ongoing training, educational and workforce development initiatives that provide valuable pathways to success for all communities.

The Delaware Restaurant Foundation has named Javier Acuna  of Hakuna Hospitality Group as its 2024 board chair. Hakuna is joined by Vice Chair Tim Hunter of the Food Bank of Delaware and Treasurer Hank Rosenberg of Harrington Raceway & Casino. Lori Liguori of High 5 Hospitality Group and Danielle Panarello of SoDel Concepts have been added as new foundation board members. Tom Hannum of Buckley’s Tavern and Goober’s Diner will serve as immediate past chair.

This year will prove pivotal for industry leaders and the Delaware Restaurant Association as the industry struggles to attract and retain a workforce that was battered during the pandemic, coupled with historic levels of inflation and threats to small business owners. The DRA and DRF boards provide leadership, guidance and insight on industry needs, along with expanding workforce skills training, talent development and leadership opportunities for local communities and diverse populations looking to enter into or advance in the hospitality industry. 

Jeffrey Gosnear is president of Grotto Pizza, a 23-unit restaurant company based in Rehoboth Beach. During his career, Gosnear has held key executive roles with restaurant groups in New Jersey and Maryland, and has developed and owned several independent restaurants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. Gosnear is an active board member and former board chair of Easterseals Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and former treasurer of Rehoboth Beach Country Club.

Michael Stiglitz of 2SP Group started his culinary career in Philadelphia in 1999, after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Since transitioning to chef-owner in 2006 of his first restaurant in southern Delaware, Stiglitz has opened eight more locations with three different concepts in Delaware and Pennsylvania. The center of the 2SP Group's restaurants is 2SP Brewing Company. Moving forward, Stiglitz's team goals are to grow the restaurant brand through the Mid-Atlantic region while increasing craft beer distribution along the East Coast.

Paula Janssen is the third-generation owner/operator of Janssen’s Market, a gourmet supermarket with a strong focus on catering and its on-site café. Janssen brings to the board her experience running a business with more than 100 employees and a strong investment in Delaware.

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