Hotel Online  Special Report

The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers Honor
Co-founders of California Pizza Kitchen with the
2004 Commitment to People Award
Westfield, NJ – July 23, 2004 - The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) today announced the recipients of the 2004 Commitment to People Award as a two-person team – California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) co-founders and co-CEOs Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield. Flax and Rosenfield will be honored at the Commitment to People Awards Gala on Tuesday, August 3, 2004, the final evening of CHART’s 68th semi-annual hospitality training conference, held at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, Texas.
“This is only the second time that a dual award will be presented,” said Lisa Schweickert, president of CHART and vice president of training for Golden Corral Corp. “However, as a team, Flax and Rosenfield epitomize the importance of partnership, trust, respect and communication in the development of CPK’s workforce.”

Through the company’s nineteen years of existence, the pair has established and maintained a culture and philosophy called R.O.C.K. (Respect, Opportunity, Communication and Kindness). “We believe that R.O.C.K. sets CPK apart by embodying the principles we live by each and every day. The focus on respect, internal promotion and our employee family helps explain why CPK is a great place to eat and work,” said Flax.

“Our growth and reputation is the direct result of the impact our employees have on our customers,” confirmed Rosenfield. “To recognize our team members, we have nation-wide rewards programs called R.O.C.K. Star and R.O.C.K. Solid. We believe that to inspire our people, we need 

 Larry Flax

Rick Rosenfield
to visibly show that we appreciate their impact on our business.”

“Our work atmosphere is upbeat and energetic and the opportunities to grow within the company are excellent, said Vicky Wilvang, CPK director of training. “Rick and Larry provide a complete career progression and invest in the future with our Management Skills Development Workshops, where we identify and train tomorrow’s leaders. Recently, the co-founders even met individually with each and every support team member to encourage open lines of communication and stay actively involved with our employees.”

The Commitment to People Award spotlights the head of an industry organization who clearly and consistently demonstrates a commitment to the development of people. The award selection committee reviewed and ranked the Commitment to People nominees in four categories:

  • Effective communication of the organization’s culture;
  • Programs that demonstrate a commitment to people;
  • Efforts to be involved in the development of people; and
  • Ability to break down barriers to create opportunities.
Past recipients of this prestigious award:

1993  - Donald N. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of Friendly’s Ice Cream
1994  - Joe Byrum, President of Morrison’s Hospitality
1995  - Simon Cooper, President and CEO of Delta Hotel and Resorts
1996  - Bob Jameson, President and General Manager, The Worthington Hotel
1997  - Wally Doolin, President and Chief Executive of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide
1998  - David C. Novak, President and Vice Chairman, Yum! Brands, formerly Tricon  Global Restaurants
1999  - Molly Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Restaurants, Inc.
2000  - William Walton, Holiday Inn
2001  - Robert Dedman, Founder and Chairman of the Board, and Robert Dedman Jr., President and CEO, Club Corp. Inc.
2002  - Kerry Kramp, President, Buffets, Inc.
2003  - Harry Bond, FMP, President, Monical Pizza Corporation

CHART is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to training in the hospitality industry. Members number over 400 and represent multi-unit restaurant and hotel companies.  A typical CHART member holds over 10 years of training and human resources experience and impacts over 5,000 employees in 80 units. By helping trainers do their jobs better, CHART positively impacts millions of employees, customers and companies and the industry as a whole. CHART’s mission is to develop hospitality training professionals to advance industry training practices and improve operational results by providing access to education, tools and resources.

California Pizza Kitchen is the leader in California-style cuisine and is widely known for its innovative menu items. California Pizza Kitchen’s original creations are available nationwide at its 145 full-service restaurants, 23 CPK ASAP locations and in the freezer cases of grocery stores.  California Pizza Kitchen provides a range of creative California dishes, from the signature California-style, hearth-baked pizzas to creative salads, pastas, soups and sandwiches.  Children who dine at California Pizza Kitchen choose from an extensive menu, recently named “The Best Kids Menu in America” by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. California Pizza Kitchen can be found on the World Wide Web at

Tara Davey
(800) 463-5918


Also See: Agenda Set for Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers Hospitality Training Conference August 1-4, 2004, Gaylord Opryland, Dallas / June 2004

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