The National Restaurant Association has selected Jack Crawford, president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative LLC (IOC), to serve as its Convention Chair for NRA Show 2012.

In this capacity, Crawford will advise the NRA as it steers the restaurant and foodservice industry's largest and most comprehensive event to new heights. The 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will be held May 5-8 at Chicago's McCormick Place.

"We are continually reinventing the NRA Show to meet the needs of our evolving industry," said David Gilbert, COO of the NRA. "Jack Crawford's unique perspective and insights from the operator community will guide the Show experience toward products, services and programming that address and solve the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry's toughest challenges."

The Ground Round IOC cooperative represents a group of independent owners who purchased the Ground Round Franchise Rights and Trademarks in 2004. Since the brand acquisition, the group is now debt free, has five new units under development, and presents a unique franchise model whereby franchisees can own their own restaurant and have an ownership/membership stake in the overall future and growth of the brand.

The IOC presently operates more than 24 restaurants in 12 U.S. states, with system-wide sales of $40 million. Crawford was elected by the group to serve as president and CEO based on his experience of more than 25 years with the Ground Round system and brand.

Crawford has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association since 2003.

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