Long John Silver’s National Convention Features New Branding and New Founder’s Award

Bob Ruckriegel Receives First Jim Patterson Founder’s Award

Bob Ruckriegel was recognized Wednesday night as the first recipient of the James Patterson Founder’s Award at the Long John Silver’s national convention in Louisville, KY. Bob was joined by his wife, Lovella Ruckriegel. Pictured left to right: Brian Unger, COO of Long John Silver’s; Lovella Ruckriegel; Bob Ruckriegel, First Recipient of Founder’s Award; James Patterson, Founder of Long John Silver’s; and James O’Reilly, CEO of Long John Silver’s. (Photo: Business Wire)

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--()--Long John Silver’s held its national convention with the theme “True North” this week in Louisville, Ky. The nation’s leading quick-service seafood restaurant unveiled a new branding strategy and logo to more than 400 attendees including franchisees and vendors. Long John Silver’s also gave away many first-time awards including a Jim Patterson Founder’s Award, named after the man who founded the brand in 1969.

One session of the convention kicked off screening clips from the brand’s new multi-faceted digital campaign featuring Steve Connell, which was released to the public this summer. The leadership team presented a new updated logo along with the brand strategy during a new uniform fashion show featuring the Long John Silver’s television spokesperson, Kenneisha Thompson.

“This brand has been around for 47 years, so we were careful to stay true to our roots and our core customers while introducing something fresh and new,” said Marilyn Nicholson, Vice President of Marketing, Media & Promotions.

This marked the first year for the Jim Patterson Founder’s Award, given for possessing great qualities of leadership and loyalty. Bob Ruckriegel accepted the award during the closing night gala alongside his wife, Lovella Ruckriegel.

“When Long John Silver’s came along, he jumped aboard quickly and aggressively opened stores,” said Jim Patterson, founder of Long John Silver’s. “There was no question about who deserved it.”

Chris Walsh and Diane Oney were given the Admiral’s award for outstanding accomplishments as franchisees. The Franchise Association Board awarded Bill Brewer with the Chairman’s award.

Other honorees included the Next Generation Award winners Frank Kapfhammer, Jimmy Goodnight, Randy Henn and Bill Brewer. Additionally, Griffith Foods was named Supplier of the Year; Performance Foods, Marketer of the Year; and Richard Levitt with Nellis Seafood received the Navigator’s Award.

The Culinary Innovation Award recipient was Bob Jenkins, Charter Foods, Inc.; the Development Award was Eric Estes, Estes Enterprises, Inc., the Profitability Award was James McCann and Dave Chapman with Treasures Isles, Inc.

Randy Henn received the Street Fighter Award for marketing accomplishments; Polly Novak-Balzer received the Marketing Partner Award and the Field Management Award recipient was Oscar Salinas.

Team Award winners include: Toni Bianco, Jeff Titlow, Joe Harris, Carl Casalino, James Fultz and Stephen Robles.

Anniversary Award winners include: Bob Ruckriegel (47 Years), Estate of Herbert Coleman (44 Years), Nellis Seafood Holding Co., L.L.C. (44 Years), Ronald Switzer (44 Years), Wayne Gaunce (44 Years), Gail Hayes (43 Years), Randy Henn (38 Years), Joseph Feeney (33 Years), Joseph Oleinik (32 Years), Edward Wong (26 Years), James Goodnight (26 Years), Susan Myles (26 Years), Kathy Dziewa (23 Years), Gary Ebersole (21 Years), Diane Oney (20 Years), and Bill Brewer (20 Years).

One-million-dollar store awards include: Bob Mathias, Annette Gibson, Jeff Brackevelt, Lori Picken, Mary Flores, Kevin Matuska, David Bell, Marisella Olbera, Enrique Nesmith, Sandy Selby, Kim Haag, Greta Moore, Sue Laher, Sandy Vavrek, Fanice Henderson, Dee Dee Vandivier, Noah Eads, Claudia Rodriguez, Melissa Newman, Mark Bernal, Patrick McKenzie, Mark Coats, Kim Balaban, Rae Torres, Tonya Klovanish, Jessica Fannon, Alex Schafer, and Deirdre Ephriam.

Captain’s Award winners include: Annette Gibson, Bob Mathias, Colleen Keith, Cruz Razo, Jason Mertens, Julia McGowan, Kevin Matuska, Melanie Schrum, Michelle Sizemore, Robert Finley, and Ventura Saldana.

Lent Season Award winners include: Annette Gibson, Mark Schmidt, Bob Mathias, Helen Walker, Mariselle Olbera, and Ray Green.

OSAT Award winners include: Colleen Keith, Karen Corrado, Frances Woods, Brian Wood, and Melanie Schrum.

[High res photos available upon request]

About Long John Silver’s:

Long John Silver’s is a classic American brand founded in 1969, and stands today as the nation’s largest quick-service seafood chain with more than 1,000 restaurants in the U.S. Long John Silver’s is famous for its pure, wild-caught Alaskan whitefish hand-dipped in our signature batter and lightly fried to golden perfection. Learn more at www.ljsilvers.com or join the conversation via social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


RunSwitch PR
Emily Olesh, 812-276-5808


RunSwitch PR
Emily Olesh, 812-276-5808