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Intro from Peter Karpinski, Co-Founder

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by, and I get the opportunity to write the December Sage Restaurant Group newsletter! And, what a year it was…here are some highlights:
• A dynamic and talented group of business leaders in Colorado got together and brokered a deal to get Bravo’s series Top Chef to film their season #15 here. I have my DVR set and can’t wait to see all of the episodes. Thank you Governor Hickenlooper and Donald Zuckerman for your enthusiastic support.  
• SRG had several exciting new openings this year including:  Kachina Southwestern Grill, Poka Lola Social Club and Urban Farmer Steakhouse all located in Denver, The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, Sunset Lounge and Magic Rat in Fort Collins and Pint Brother’s Ale House in the Denver Tech Center.  We also opened Torali Italian-Steak at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago.  That alone is enough to keep most people busy for an entire career, and this team did it all in one year!  Thanks to everyone involved, directly and indirectly.  And, a special thanks to the amazing team here at our main office.
• Our leadership team had a handful of 10-year anniversaries – we literally and figuratively are all growing up and going through life together.  Thanks Stephanie Ehrler, Michael Carr-Turnbough, and Meaghan Goedde.
• I took a 3-week vacation this summer with my family and had a goal of not opening, checking or reading a single email – or making or answering a single work-related phone call and did it! Try it sometime. It’s much harder than it sounds, but you will wish you did it years ago.  Thanks to my whole team for being so amazing, and to my family for being so understanding.
• The team launched an SRG gift card program. This month is a perfect time to buy some, hint…hint. Purchase $100 receive $25 for yourself! Thank you to Stephanie Ehrler, Christina Teran and Gourav Patel.  Click HERE to purchase your gift card!  
• The creation and launch of Culinary QuickStart, which has already amounted to hundreds of line and prep cook jobs here in Denver. Thanks to Meaghan Goedde, Eat Denver and Emily Griffith Technical College for their work on this inspiring program.
• Even with all of our new openings, we promoted and succeeded over 80% of our leaders from within. Walking the talk! Thanks to everyone that works on our Leadership Brand initiatives.
• Finally, through Hungry to Help, we were able to give a tremendous amount back to the communities that we worked in this year.  We presented a $52,000 check to No Kid Hungry Colorado/Share Our Strength and are currently working to raise money for CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees).  Thank you to everyone out there that works to give back full-time.
Congratulations everyone on an insanely great year! I am so proud, honored, and humbled to be in all of your lives, and to be a part of something so special.