New York, NY, April 1, 2011 … Two trailblazers in the hospitality industry who are noted philanthropists and community leaders were honored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for their commitment to America's democratic values.
Patricia M. Anton, President of the Anton Family Foundation, and William C. Anton, Chairman of Anton Enterprises received the ADL Americanism Award during a March 31 tribute dinner in midtown Manhattan. The award recognizes individuals or institutions for embracing America's democratic values and for their fundamental commitment to equality and fair treatment for all.
"There is an understanding that hospitality, particularly the giving of food, is the basic underpinning and tenet of human relations," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in presenting the award to the Antons. "It is therefore fitting that we honor Pat and Bill who have been committed to this notion of hospitality their entire lives, and who have demonstrated a resolute, steadfast and unwavering commitment to helping others. They epitomize service, leadership, devotion, passion and patriotism, and are a shining inspiration to all."
In addition to being a married couple, Patricia and William are also business partners. When they launched Anton Airfood, Inc. (AAI) in 1989, William and Patricia redefined the paradigm of the airport foodservice by offering travelers fine dining options within airports. AAI was recognized for 10 consecutive years by Airport Revenue News as "Best Airport Restaurant Operator."
As President of the Anton Family Foundation, Patricia Anton oversees all aspects of a philanthropic venture that seeks to "improve and preserve heritage, culture and quality of life in small communities for future generations." It does this by making selective, targeted grants to organizations and institutions that share its goals and seek to enrich the communities to which they belong. The Foundation's gift allocation is focused on cultural and historical preservation, land and water conservation, fine and performing arts and education.
William Anton is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the Culinary Institute of America. He serves on the boards of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the British Restaurant Association. He also served as Chairman of Hospitality for President Ronald Reagan's Inauguration and chaired the National Restaurant Association's Political Action Committee.
William has received significant national awards, including the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association prestigious "Silver Plate Award" for "Chain Operator of the Year" and Nation's Restaurant News' "Golden Chain Award" for Independent Operator of the Year.
ADL's Americanism Award was established to honor those exceptional individuals who illustrate and exemplify the noblest ideals and traditions of the United States and the Anti-Defamation League. The Award recognizes leaders in business, community affairs, and charitable endeavors who distinguish themselves in their dedication to preserving liberty and advancing the causes of human rights, dignity, and equal opportunity. Past recipients include Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Patrick Dollard, CEO of The Center for Discovery, and tennis star Venus Williams.