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Updated: August 7, 2020 / 2020 40 Under Forty Honorees

Scott Dolch


Scott Dolch

Age: 38

Company: Connecticut Restaurant Association

Title: Executive Director

No. of years with current company: 2

Town where I live: Simsbury

Town where I work: Farmington

College: Central Connecticut State University

Highest degree: Bachelor’s degree in business management

Scott Dolch is the executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, a trade group dedicated to supporting more than 8,500 restaurants and more than 160,000 food service employees throughout the state.

In less than two years, the association has seen tremendous growth, as it now has over 1,300 restaurant members, which is an increase of more than 200% since he took over. In addition, the association continues to enhance its advocacy efforts at the Capitol, while at the same time increasing the value of membership through educational seminars, legislative roundtables, special events and more.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

Gaining the respect as the leader of this association, as well as the overall image of the CRA with restaurateurs, legislators, media and more over the last two years. The board took a chance on me, as I had limited to no restaurant experience, but this challenge has pushed me each and every day to make a difference for our industry.

How are you involved in the community?

I’ve been fortunate as this job has allowed me to play a larger role in building the hospitality image of our state through many board and volunteer positions across the state. I’m a current board member of the Connecticut Tourism Coalition, Connecticut Lodging Association and Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Spending time with my family, especially coaching my three kids (Mason 11, Teagan 8 and Harper 3) in sports that range from ice hockey, football, soccer and baseball. Plus I love taking my wife out on date nights to visit restaurants and chefs from around the state.

How did dealing with the coronavirus pandemic help you grow as a leader?

Preparing and communicating on the fly were traits that our association had to learn quickly during this pandemic. As a leader, I knew we needed to educate and lead through our association communication channels, but I also learned that our restaurateurs sometimes just needed to talk or vent as they managed their own personal stress.

Four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

Increased membership of the CRA by 200% in my first two years.

Recreated the association’s annual awards gala to the CRAzies, which is now the premier awards event for our industry going from 200 to 800 guests in two years.

Provided critical support and leadership to the restaurant industry throughout the COVID crisis.

Launched CT Hospitality Employee Relief Fund during the pandemic, which raised and provided $143,000 in grants to more than 300 out-of-work restaurant employees.

Fun Fact

I was fortunate enough to play quarterback at CCSU for four years.

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