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Community Advocacy Organization

MICHIGAN RESTAURANT & LODGING ASSOCIATION NAMES THREE NEW BOARD MEMBERS

The industry experience and leadership of David Jurcak, Claude Molinari and

Robert Song further strengthens the MRLA Board of Directors


Courtesy of Marx Layne & Company


The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) has announced the appointment of three new board members: David Jurcak of Grand Hotel – Mackinac Island, Claude Molinari from the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Robert Song of Maru Hospitality Group. Each new member brings a unique perspective and desire to lead the organization and support its mission. The announcement was made today by MRLA President & CEO Justin Winslow.


“As highly respected leaders in our industry, David, Claude and Robert will bring a broad range of skills and experiences to the MRLA Board of Directors,” said Winslow. “Their deep knowledge of the hospitality industry and ability to understand and navigate its complexities will help drive strategic growth and success for our association. We look forward to working with each of them.”


David Jurcak is President of Mackinac’s Grand Hotel, having been with Grand Hotel since September 2021. Working in the hospitality industry for more than 32 years, Jurcak started his career as a front desk agent. Over his career, he has worked in many cities and has overseen hotels in nearly every vertical in the industry, also having spent 24 years of his career with Omni Hotels & Resorts. He currently resides on Mackinac Island.


Prior to joining Davidson Hospitality and Grand Hotel, Jurcak was the vice president of operations for Aimbridge Hospitality, the world’s largest third-party management company with management of more than 1,600 hotels. Jurcak has also been engaged in local and industry organizations throughout his career. He has served on boards and in leadership roles for local Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development and Tourism Associations.


Claude Molinari has been President and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DBA Visit Detroit) since 2021. In this role, Molinari is responsible for overseeing the operations of Visit Detroit and developing its strategic direction. In addition to overseeing the direction of Visit Detroit, Molinari also oversees the Detroit Sports Commission (a subsidiary of Visit Detroit), which is responsible for securing amateur sports for the region and bringing in regional, national and international sporting events. He currently resides in Northville.


Molinari came to Visit Detroit from Huntington Place (also previously known as TCF Center), the 16th largest convention center in North America. Molinari serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) appointed by the Governor of Michigan. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for The Parade Company, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the Engineering Society of Detroit, Destinations International, the US Travel Association, and as a director at large for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).


Robert Song, a native of Chicago, studied dietetics at Michigan State University. He started Maru Hospitality Group in 2008, which currently operates six Maru Sushi & Grill locations throughout Michigan. Song left his career in pursuit of creating something he had been dreaming up for years. With extensive experience as a sushi chef and restaurant manager, his desire to do things differently drove him to leave his job, and to forge his own path. Song also serves as the master franchisee of Gong cha Michigan. He currently resides in Okemos.


For more information about the MRLA Board of Directors, click here.


About the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association

Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) is the recognized leader of Michigan's hospitality industry, providing essential services to the foodservice and lodging community. Founded in 1921 as the Michigan Restaurant Association and now known as the MRLA, the Association represents over 5,000 Michigan foodservice and lodging establishments. The industry plays an integral role in Michigan's economy, employing more than 595,000 people and creating nearly $40 billion in annual sales. For more information, visit www.mrla.org and www.detroitrla.org.

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