'Undercover Dave' Giving Oct. 12 Keynote

Dave Rife, now assistant vice president of White Castle, will share the lessons he learned by participating in the fourth episode of CBS' "Undercover Boss" reality show in February 2010. He'll also receive the first Employee Engagement Award.

The Oct. 12 keynote speaker at the 2010 Motivation Show is Dave Rife, owner and Executive Board member of White Castle Management Company, who appeared Feb. 28 in the CBS Network reality show "Undercover Boss." Rife, speaking at noon on the opening day of the show at Chicago's McCormick West, will share the lessons he and employees learned and how those pave the way for future success, both personally and for the enterprise.

Rife was subsequently promoted to assistant vice president of the family-owned, 90-year-old company, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, and claims to be the first American hamburger chain. The company says Rife "will play a crucial role shaping future direction for the company." He appeared in the fourth episode of the CBS show.

"As part of the keynote luncheon, we will be presenting Dave Rife with our first Employee Engagement Award," said Pete Erickson, managing director of The Motivation Show. "This award recognizes individuals who understand engagement, both in terms of their personal leadership skills and their ability to integrate the various elements critical to engagement within their organization. They include leadership, training, communications, technology, incentive programs, rewards and recognition, and more. We're delighted to have a top executive from such a worthy organization receive this recognition as we start a new tradition at the show."

Rife is the great-grandson of the original owner of White Castle, which was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921. "My experience in working undercover has given me a unique insight into how we can create an even better company for all of our family, including our employees," he said after the show aired. "As we focus on remaining a family-owned company for generations to come, we're looking at how we can keep our best people at White Castle and help them pursue their work and their life aspirations."

Two employees with whom he worked on the show, Jose Gonzales and Joe Brown, joined Rife and other White Castle executives in July at the National Restaurant Association show. According to the company, before the episode aired, White Castle increased Gonzales' scholarship at Chicago's Kendall Culinary School to $20,000 over four years and arranged for a top Chicago chef to mentor him. White Castle marketing and product development teams also tested Gonzales' salsa verde as a topping for its burgers.

Brown will be a member of the inaugural class in the restaurant chain's "Leaders of Tomorrow" training program in October 2010.

Early Bird tickets for the keynote luncheon are $45 per person, with advance registration required. For information about the conference, visit www.motivationshow.com.

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