New director for Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association

11/22/2013 11:01 AM

11/22/2013 11:01 AM

Shannon Hickey is the new executive director of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association.

Hickey will focus on membership development, legislative issues, education, creating marketing resources and providing operational support for the more than 550 area members, as well as allied members of the Missouri Restaurant Association.

“I’m excited to be looking at my profession from a different angle and to be offering my expertise to a business I love,” she said. “It is an ever-changing, fast-paced environment, and a business where you can work your way up and be an owner or run a restaurant.”

Previously, Hickey was general manager of Lidia’s Kansas City.

She also worked as the marketing manager for The Capital Grille and the assistant dining room manager of the former Morton’s the Steakhouse in Kansas City.

Hickey has been involved in such community organizations as Royals Charities, Harvesters - The Community Food Network, and Executive Women International.

She replaces Steve Cole as executive director. Cole resigned his position in September to join The River Club, a private club with an upscale restaurant in downtown Kansas City.

Cole had owned Cafe Allegro on 39th Street for nearly two decades before selling the restaurant to go into commercial real estate, consulting and teaching college classes.

“I loved the restaurant association. But I saw this as a way to get back in the industry in a different way,” Cole said. “So many of the members were guests of my Cafe Allegro so it gave me a chance to serve them again.”

The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association (GKCRA) is a trade association with more than 550 area members, including restaurants, caterers, hospitals, schools, institutions, clubs and in-plant cafeterias, as well as vendors serving the local restaurant industry.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to

jsmith@kcstar.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC

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