Restaurateur Susan Bulgrin to Receive Chamber’s 2017 “Ground Floor Award” for Small Business Leadership


Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced today that Susan Bulgrin, owner of three area Culver’s restaurants and the Echo Tap & Grill, will receive the Chamber’s second annual Ground Floor Award for small business leadership. The award, which recognizes true champions for small business both within their business and in the community, will be presented during a special nex7 Stage event Nov. 13 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA).

“Susan’s passionate advocacy for small business and dedication to community service make her the perfect recipient for this year’s Ground Floor Award,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “We greatly appreciate Susan’s commitment to making the Chamber and Greater Madison’s business community stronger, and we look forward to honoring her on the nex7 Stage.”

Following a successful career in nursing, Susan Bulgrin opened her first restaurant – Culver’s on Todd Drive – in 1996. In addition to the Todd Drive location, she now co-owns Culver’s locations on Cottage Grove Road and in McFarland, two Chicago-area Culver’s restaurants and Madison’s Echo Tap & Grill with Paul Kneubuehl and her daughter, Katie Bulgrin.

Bulgrin is the current chair of the Chamber’s Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC) – an advisory committee to the Chamber’s leadership and the Mayor of the City of Madison – and a member of the Chamber’s Membership Committee. She serves on the city’s Economic Development Committee and Safe Food Advisory Committee, the board of Starion Financial Bank and the media board of Bethel Lutheran Church. She is also actively involved in Madison Metropolitan School District’s Culinary Advisory Committee and the Wisconsin-based Asset Builders of America, a non-profit that teaches financial capability and economic empowerment to low- and moderate-income youth and families.

“I am very grateful to receive this award, and I share this honor with my fellow SBAC members whose hard work and input are so critical to the long-term health and success of this region,” said Bulgrin. “Small businesses are the cornerstone of America; they create jobs, grow our economy and provide vital support to our community institutions, and we must continue to support them in return.”

In addition to the presentation of the Ground Floor Award, nex7 will also feature compelling pitches from the seven finalists for the Chamber’s second annual Most Innovative Company (MIC) award. The MIC finalists represent a diverse cross-section of industries, missions and locations across Greater Madison. The winner will be determined by audience vote.

To register for this free event, visit:

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at


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