cecil b day ethics award banner

Cecil B. Day Ethics Award

cecil day

Each year, the Dedman College of Hospitality confers the Cecil B. Day Ethics Award upon a highly successful hospitality industry leader, who is recognized for ethical leadership.

Cecil B. Day was known for his unshakeable commitment to faith-based values. To him, that meant treating everyone - from the modest employee to the shrewdest banker - with dignity and respect. In 1970, Day opened the first Days Inn with the goal of providing travelers with clean, comfortable, moderately priced rooms and restaurants. By the time he passed away eight years later, he owned more than 300 Days Inns in the U.S. and Canada. His family sold the company for $639 million.

In 2007, Clint Day, Cecil’s son and a 1982 Florida State graduate, established the Cecil B. Day Ethics Award in partnership with the Cecil B. Day family and Florida State University in cooperation with the National Restaurant Association.

2022 Cecil B. Day Ethics Award Recipient
ralph brennan headshot

Ralph Brennan

Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group

Ralph Brennan, proprietor of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, was awarded the 2022 Cecil B. Day Ethics Award.

Ralph Brennan is a third-generation New Orleans restaurateur and operates with a hands-on approach. He is a visionary leader who practices a “people first” philosophy which includes guests and staff. An outspoken advocate for the restaurant industry and for the city and people of New Orleans, Ralph is actively involved in national, state, and local restaurant associations. He is a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Board of Trustees, where he serves as chairman. Ralph also serves on the board of LCMCHealth and the Children’s Hospital New Orleans, which has held a special place in his heart for many years.

The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group owns and operates five restaurants (Brennan’s, Napoleon House, Red Fish Grill, Ralph’s on the Park, and café NOMA), a bakery, and a catering company in New Orleans, plus Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen at the Disneyland Resort.

Past Recipients
Year Recipient Company
2021 José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup / World Central Kitchen
2020 Charles 'Chuck' Drury, Jr. Drury Hotels
2019 Christopher Nassetta Hilton
2018 Sheila C. Johnson Salamander Hotels & Resorts
2017 Dan T. Cathy Chick-fil-A
2016 Cheryl Bachelder Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
2015 Robert B. Rowling TRT Holdings, Inc.
2014 Joel Manby Herschend Family Entertainment
2013 Eric Affeldt ClubCorp
2012 J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr. Marriott International Inc.
2011 Richard Rivera Real Mex Restaurants Inc.
2010 Michael Kaufman National Restaurant Association
2009 Horst Schulze Capella Hotel Group
2008 Craig Miller Sonic Drive-In
2007 Truett Cathy Chick-fil-A