Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association Awards Three with Highest Honor

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Left - Ken Miller; Right - Thomas _Dewey_ Bramson, Brad Keen // Courtesy of the MRLA
Left – Ken Miller; Right – Thomas _Dewey_ Bramson, Brad Keen // Courtesy of the MRLA

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) in Lansing awarded Ken Miller, Thomas “Dewey” Bramson, and Brad Keen the Distinguished Service Award at its annual Chairman’s Dinner at the Inn at Bay Harbor.

The three awardees were selected by a committee made up of previous winners. It is the highest honor given by the MRLA and recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional and continuing leadership, vision, and commitment to the Michigan hospitality industry.

“This year’s DSA award recipients all had a hand in redefining hospitality in the State of Michigan,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the MRLA. “All three gave incredible contributions to the industry and made career-long devotion to their individual craft, each with their own unique imprint. This association owes a debt of gratitude to all three of these industry pioneers.”

Miller is CEO and principal partner of Millennium Restaurant Group based in Kalamazoo. He also served as Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) chairman in 2015 and 2016. First, Miller acquired Idler Riverboat in South Haven. He would later establish Millennium Restaurant Group, operating multiple restaurant concepts throughout Southwest Michigan.

Bramson is the president and owner of Equity-Vest Inc., a property and hospitality management company based in East Lansing. In 1998, he helped establish East Lansing Responsible Hospitality Council, which brought together area restaurateurs, the East Lansing Police Department, and members of the MSU community to promote and support on-site management and responsible alcohol service. After decades behind the bar, Bramson joined Equity-Vest as COO and later assumed the role of president.

Keen is the COO for Maine and Michigan Resort Operations at Boyne Resorts, Harbor Springs, and served as MRA chairman in 2013 and 2017. He was born and raised in northern Michigan and has a deep understanding of the impact that tourism and hospitality have on the region. He was a pioneer is making northern Michigan a destination for all, not just those who call Michigan or the Midwest home.

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