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ARLINGTON, Va. (February 23, 2016) — The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and Casual Living magazine are pleased to announce Stan Hays as this year’s winner of the Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award.

Stan is co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief, a disaster relief organization that has provided hot meals in 18 states and 28 different locations and served approx 644,938 meals. Founded after the EF5 tornado that impacted Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011, Operation BBQ Relief’s expert pitmasters and volunteers deploy to disaster sites to provide comfort food, compassion, hope, and friendship to those whose lives have been torn apart.

“The stars of the barbecue industry include those who barbecue for the greater good – and Stan Hays and his organization, Operation BBQ Relief, should be an example for all of us,” said Jack Goldman, President & CEO of HPBA. “He has helped build an organization and given a lot of his time to selflessly feed victims of disasters, and we are proud to count Stan as a member of the barbecue community.”

While spreading BBQ Relief’s mission, Stan is also a champion pitmaster and caterer. With his team, County Line Smokers, Stan has won two grand championships, four reserve grand championships, and numerous first place category finishes at Kansas City BBQ Society events. Recently, Stan was the Chopped Champion runner up in the Grill Master Finale on the Food Network.

The award will be presented March 17 in New Orleans, Louisiana during the Big Green Egg Cook-off at HPBExpo 2016.

For more information on the Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award and this year’s recipient, contact Carrie deGuzman at deguzman@hpba.org; 703-522-0086 X116. Press can register to attend HPBExpo for free at www.hpbexpo.com.

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