February 04, 2015

Industry Veteran Ron LaRocca to Receive 2015 Donna H. Myers Award

ARLINGTON, Va. (February 4, 2015) -- The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association and Casual Living magazine are pleased to announce Ron LaRocca as this year’s winner of the prestigious Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award.

A 30-year sales and marketing veteran, Ron has worked at all levels of the barbecue industry from sauces, marinades and charcoal briquettes to grills and accessories. During a 20-year career as an independent sales and marketing consultant, he has helped more than 15 barbecue-related companies such as KC Masterpiece and Hickory Specialties redefine and move their products forward in the market. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ron served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Barbecue Industry Association, and was instrumental in realizing BIA’s merger with the Hearth Products Association.

“Ron has dedicated a large part of his life growing the barbecue industry,” said Ray Shelor, national sales manager for Duluth, Ga.-based components manufacturer DiversiTech. “From his initial introduction to the industry -- taking KC Masterpiece from a basement hobby to a massive worldwide known brand -- to serving as an important leader of BIA, Ron has mentored many, including myself.”

The 2015 Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award will be presented March 5th in Nashville, Tenn., during the Big Green Egg Chef Cook-off at HPBExpo 2015.

Now in its fourth year, the award recognizes innovative leaders who have contributed to the growth of their companies and the overall industry. Recipients combine distinguished professional achievement and community service with problem solving skills and an unwavering commitment to the barbecue industry. Donna H. Myers was a leading barbecue industry advocate who died in January 2011. The award is sponsored by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and Casual Living.

Previous winners include: Ed Fisher, Founder and Chairman of Big Green Egg (2014) and George A. Stephen, founder of Weber-Stephen Products and creator of the Weber kettle grill (2013). The first award, in 2012, was given posthumously to Myers. 

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