Anyone who knows Scott Kammerer would say 2016 has been his year.
He was named Business Man of the Year by Coastal Style Magazine, won the Marvin S. Gilman Superstar Business Award, and most recently, the most coveted award in the industry — the Delaware Restaurant Association's Cornerstone Award.
Carrie Leishman, president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association, said the award celebrates those who have made significant contributions to their local restaurant communities. Past recipients include the Blue Moon restaurant in Rehoboth Beach and Xavier Teixido of Harry's Hospitality Group.
"It's like a lifetime achievement award — one of the most prestigious given," she said. "I do not know anyone who is more deserving than Scott."
For the last 25 years, Kammerer has worked his way up from dishwasher to line cook to general manager and beyond.
With the help of Matt Haley, Delaware restaurateur and late president of SoDel Concepts, Kammerer co-founded Highwater Management, a food service management company that now oversees more than 1,000 employees and $45 million in annual managed sales. Kammerer is also a founding partner of Haley/Kammerer Restaurant Consulting.
After Haley passed away in August 2014, Kammerer became president and CEO of SoDel Concepts, an award-winning hospitality group, which also owns nine restaurants, a catering company and food truck.
A year later, he founded a charitable nonprofit, SoDel Cares, that has given thousands of dollars in grants to organizations that help children, the elderly, and at-risk youth and adults.
"In such a short time, Scott has shown us a just mere glimpse of what he is capable of," she said. "This award is less about recognizing someone who is continuing Matt Haley's legacy, and much more about honoring someone who is forging his own path to better the community."
But don't let the success fool you. Kammerer is never too busy to pitch in if needed.
"I still wash dishes, I still cook," he said. "I'll never ask someone to do something that I wouldn't. I'm just trying to encourage a better experience for everyone, and build a company that people can be proud of."
Kammerer will accept the Cornerstone Award at the Delaware Restaurant Association's Cornerstone Awards event Nov. 7 at the Queen Theatre at World Cafe Live in Wilmington. For more information or purchase tickets for the event, visit delawarerestaurant.org.