Contact: Qorvis Communications
Carrie Blewitt (703) 744-7816
OSI Restaurant Partners’ Chris
Sullivan Honored by the Horatio Alger Association of
Four Florida High School Scholars also Recognized
during 60th Anniversary Celebration
Washington, DC – (February 27, 2007) – The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans announced that Chris Thomas Sullivan, founder and chairman of OSI Restaurant Partners, Inc., will be presented with the Horatio Alger Award and inducted as a lifetime member of the Association at its 60th anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C. in April.
The Association is equally proud to announce four student scholars from Florida will join Sullivan in Washington this spring and will be honored as Horatio Alger National Scholars. Horatio Alger scholarship recipients are students who have excelled in education and have overcome adversity. This year’s scholarship recipients from Florida include: Channel A. Davis from Miami, Anita M. Helton from Palm Beach Gardens, Chynae L. Raiford from Pompano Beach and Steven T. Weiss from Sunrise.
"The 60th anniversary is a time to reflect on six decades of exceptional American achievements, and we look forward to celebrating the successes of the outstanding individuals who will be inducted as Members, and the National Scholars who represent our nation’s most ambitious youth," said Horatio Alger Association President and CEO and ARAMARK Corporation Chairman and CEO, Joseph Neubauer.
The 60th Annual Horatio Alger Awards events will take place in Washington, D.C. on April 12-14, 2007 to honor and induct the Horatio Alger Award recipients. During the events, the Horatio Alger Award winners will meet with 105 high school seniors from around the nation who were selected to receive Horatio Alger National Scholarships, each valued at $20,000. The total amount of college scholarships awarded is more than $12 million annually – an Association milestone.
The events provide an opportunity for some of the nation’s most impressive and determined young people to learn firsthand about the philosophies and experiences that helped the 2007 Horatio Alger Award recipients surmount significant obstacles to achieve successful lives.
The other new members being inducted in April are Craig R. Barrett, chairman of the board for Intel Corporation; Thomas “Tom” J. Brokaw, former anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News; Jenny and Sid Craig, co-founders of Jenny Craig International; Craig Hall, chairman and founder of Hall Financial Group; Clarence Otis, Jr., chairman and CEO of Darden Restaurants; Richard M. Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of Bank of America (retired); David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group; Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company; and Roger T. Staubach, former Dallas Cowboy and chairman and CEO of The Staubach Company.
In preparation for the spring awards, Sullivan recently had a few words of advice for the high school recipients of the Horatio Alger Scholarship. He said: “You have the opportunity to choose the way you live your life. With your education, stay focused and committed. Don’t let roadblocks stop your quest, but take your time and work your way through the challenges.”
Growing up, Chris Sullivan was one of seven children. His family moved all over the country due to his father’s work, which took them from Florida to Michigan, Maryland and Montana. He worked several odd jobs in order to help support his large family.
Sullivan worked his way through the University of Kentucky with jobs in restaurants, entering a management training program with Steak and Ale Restaurants after earning his bachelor’s degree. The founder of this chain, Norman Brinker (also a Horatio Alger Association member), became Sullivan’s mentor, naming him a general manager. The company was bought by Pillsbury Restaurant Group and Sullivan ascended through the ranks, becoming president of its Bennigan’s Restaurant chain in 1980.
Three years later, Sullivan followed Brinker to the Chili’s Restaurant company, opening 17 restaurants in three years. After selling his interests, he opened the first Outback Steakhouse. Based on Outback’s success, he created OSI Restaurant Partners, expanding to include Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Roy’s, Bone Fish Grill and more. OSI Restaurant Partners now generates $4 billion annually from more than 1,200 restaurants and, in November, agreed to be acquired by Bain Capital Partners, Catterton Partners, and company founders.
Sullivan is involved in many civic enterprises in and around Tampa, where his company is based. He serves as chairman of the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign and has served on the board of the Florida Council on Economic Education, the Lowry Park Zoological Endowment Foundation, the Kentucky Speedway, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North America, and the Salvation Army.
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. Among the Association’s 300 members are well-known Americans including the noted poet Maya Angelou, author and broadcaster Lou Dobbs, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and television personality Oprah Winfrey.
The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program for high school seniors, various state scholarship programs and the Horatio Alger Military Veterans Scholarship Program for U.S. veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Award winners receive financial aid counseling and internship placement assistance.
For more information about the scholarships or to find out more about the 2007 Washington events, please call (703) 684-9444 or visit www.horatioalger.org.
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