NCRLA Elects Raleigh Restaurateur Amber Moshakos 2022 Board Chair

At its annual board meeting in Raleigh on Feb. 7, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) elected Raleigh restaurateur, Amber Moshakos, to serve as the board chair for a one-year term. She was sworn in by the board of directors along with a new slate of officers, including outgoing board chair, Nish Patel, who will continue to serve on the executive committee as immediate past chair. 

Moshakos is president of LM Restaurants, a Raleigh based, family-owned hospitality management group which designs, develops, builds and operates award-winning restaurants across the Southeast. She leads the overall operations and senior staff activities as well as LM Restaurants’ business development and strategic initiatives in vendor negotiations, real estate transactions, marketing, restaurant construction and design.

“Amber grew up in the food industry and has helped take her family business to the next level despite all the challenges of the last few years. She has served on our board since 2014, and we are honored and excited to have her serve as our new chair,” said NCRLA President and CEO Lynn Minges. “I also want to offer a special thank you to Nish Patel, who tirelessly guided us during one of the most challenging times in our history during his tenure as NCRLA board chair.”

Amber holds a Master of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences with a minor in business from NC State. She and her family own and operate 31 award winning restaurants. They have 13 brands under the family umbrella including Carolina Ale House, a regional restaurant brand. In addition, they have 12 single brand units, including The Oceanic, Bluewater Waterfront Grill, Henry’s tacos Restaurant & Bar, Hops Supply Co., Taverna Agora,  Vidrio, Oceanic at Pompano Beach, Lucky Fish, Morea and The Cove. New restaurants on the horizon include a collaboration with Top Chef Alum Katsuji Tanabe with a’Verde Cocina + Tequila Bar and The Preserve BBQ with famed NC Pitmasters Ed and Ryan Mitchell (To learn more, visit

She has served on the NCRLA Board, the Foundation of Hope for Research and Treatment of Mental Illness and NC State College of Education’s Advisory Board. Through LM Restaurants, she also participates in numerous other community activities, including Activate Good, No Kid Hungry, Habitat for Humanity, Carolina Hurricanes Foundation and more.

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association also announced the board of directors for 2022.

2022 NCRLA Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Amber Moshakos, Chair, LM Restaurants
Burney Jennings, Vice Chair, Biscuitville Fresh Southern
Tom Pashley, Treasurer, Pinehurst Resort

Jason Smith, Secretary, 18 Restaurant Group

Jim Beley, NC Travel & Tourism Board Liaison, The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Lance Trenary, NRA Liaison, Golden Corral Corporation
Nishith “Nish” Patel, Immediate Past Chair, Beacon IMG, Inc.


Patrick Aiello, Ecolab
Andy Clark, US Foods

Sheri Erhart, CMC Hotels
Dan Freeland, Concord Hospitality Enterprises
Phil Friedman, Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina
Tim Goss, Firehouse Subs
Doris Huebner, F & D Huebner, LLC
Russ Jones, Davidson & Jones
Scott Maitland, Top of the Hill Restaurant, Brewery & Distillery
Akshat Patel, Ex-Officio, Comfort Inn — Choice Hotels
Shaunak Patel, Parks Hospitality Group
Vinay Patel, SREE Hotels, LLC

Gonza Salamanca, Gonza Tacos Y Tequila
Tom Sasser, Burke Hospitality

Ian Sauer, Summit Hospitality Group LTD
Billy Sewell, Platinum Corral, LLC
Doug Stafford, Griffin Stafford Hospitality, LLC
Steve Thanhauser, Angus Barn, Ltd.

Charles Thompson, The Inn on Biltmore Estate

2022 Government Affairs Co-Chairs

Vinay Patel, SREE Hotels, LLC

Jason Smith, 18 Restaurant Group