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Dunwoody Rotarians hear accounts from local restaurateurs

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DUNWOODY, Ga. — Admitted “foodie,” Dunwoody Rotarian and insurance agent, Bob O'Brien hosted a panel discussion at a recent Dunwoody Rotary meeting among local restaurateurs Billy Kramer, Greg Gordon and Geoff Melkonian. The focus was on customer service and innovation. Two of the three opened their businesses just before the pandemic, but all three managed to survive, and even thrive, they said, by treating their employees with respect, being open to change and learning processes involved in satisfying customers.

Founder and owner of NFA Burger, Billy Kramer, has been a Dunwoody resident since 1998. Before opening NFA in December 2019, Kramer spent more than 20 years in advertising, working for various local and national companies with some entrepreneurial ventures sprinkled in between.

Gordon is the new general manager of Porter Brew & Que, the only brewery native to Dunwoody. Starting as a line cook at the age of 16, Gordon worked in the Dunwoody food and beverage market for 20 years, starting as manager of the Dunwoody Country Club.

After earning a double bachelor’s degree in viola performance and recording production, Melkonian worked under Virginia-Highland’s Murphy’s renowned chef Michael Touhy for three years as both a line cook and deli manager. While honing his culinary skills there, Melkonian still indulged his passion for music. He made five albums and spent 10 years playing upright and electric bass and viola and singing backing vocals in the Josh Joplin Group. He appeared as a musical guest on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and the “Late Show with David Letterman” and toured the U.S. and Europe. In 2005, Geoff and his wife, Katie, founded Breadwinner, Inc.

The speakers were selected to follow this year’s club theme, “Rotary Means Business.”

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