Gail Baker, executive director of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association, where Mitchell serves as chairman of the board
He has brought the most amazing energy to the association. ... He has personally made a huge difference in the way that other restaurant industry people support our political action committee. ...
Hes recognized as a leader within the industry, and I think a lot of people became more interested in actively participating in the association through his leadership. ... During his presidency we experienced a 25 percent increase in membership.
It takes a lot of time to be the president of the association as well as CEO of his company. ... To put forth that kind of a commitment in a volunteer position while he was opening several new restaurants is just a tremendous commitment to the industry.
Tom Etgen, CEO of The FiftyFive Restaurant Group Ltd., where Mitchell worked before starting his own company
I think more than anything else hes a visionary with regard to what appeals to his market. ... What Cameron does is he does a great job of connecting with his customers, providing them food, environment and an atmosphere that they want or they desire.
Camerons 35. Hes very in tune to the market in approximately that age bracket because he grew up in it. Then he combines that with his formal culinary training and his God-given abilities of being a promoter. Its a great combination.
Bruce Burkholder, one of Mitchells investors and his attorney through Wiles, Boyle, Burkholder & Bringardner Co. LPA
Needless to say, hes a very dynamic individual. But hes also got excellent focus and direction. ...
While hes a very charismatic individual, hes a fairly demanding guy. Not in the sense of being difficult, but he lets you know what he expects and has levels of accountability associated with that. ...
Todays day and age takes more than good food and good service to be successful in the restaurant business. Youve also got to create an atmosphere of excitement, which he does in his restaurants. That encourages me that he could create something that would continue to grow.
Sally Jackson, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, who nominated Mitchell for the SBA award
The growth in terms of the number and diversity of restaurants he has opened successfully is really unprecedented in this whole community. Because of that, he has been able to move from a start-up to a major employer. ...
Theres no question he has a special focus on his employees. ... He uses a team approach so people understand the total objectives of the restaurants and how they fit in as a member of the team, not just in individual roles. As a result, the service is smooth, the quality is high, and customers go away satisfied.
... Through the success he has been able to demonstrate, we know he has been able to influence other entrepreneurs.
Michael Bloch, owner and president of Michaels Finer Meats and Seafood, a supplier and friend of Mitchells
Hes a good people person. Hes got a lot of vision. Hes able to conceptualize what he wants a place to look like, and hes not afraid to try new ideas. He travels around to get ideas from successful operations around the country. He sticks to quality, quality, quality. He will not sacrifice quality for price. And I also think he surrounds himself with good people. His support staff is outstanding. He treats them well, and theyre loyal to him.
In my opinion, he has boundless energy. Hes young, energetic and full of great ideas.
Sue Doody, owner of Lindeys and a partner in Bravo!, two local Mitchell restaurant competitors
Hes gone out and gotten local people behind him as investors. I think thats a good thing for him because hardly anybody could afford to put up all these restaurants that hes done without some financial backing. I think its interesting, too, that hes kind of gone like Rich Mellman, a famous restaurateur in Chicago, and hes done different concepts. Thats a difficult thing to pull off, but hes done it quite well.
I think his success is attributed to his researching his food, too. He does the same thing we do in traveling to the finer restaurants across the country trying to search out good items and see what the trends are.
When I first started Lindeys 19 years ago, I didnt have any competition, so its a whole different ballpark. It makes it harder on everybody to have all this competition, but we like to feel competition breeds success. The more good restaurants there are, the more people will dine out.