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Former boatbuilding executive goes from Burger to hot dogs

The former head of Burger Boat Co. has gone to the dogs - as in hot dogs.

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David Ross, former co-president of the Manitowoc, Wis.-based boat company, has opened his own Chicago-style hot dog stand where he serves up authentic Chicago-style hot dogs and Maxwell Street polish sausage.

"It's something that I've wanted to do all my life," the Chicago native told Soundings Trade Only this morning. "It's been nothing but fun."

After Ross got out of the U.S. Marine Corp. in the mid-1960s, he had a towing company in Chicago and was able to drive around the city, tasting the best hot dogs along the way.

"I always said to myself 'Someday I've got to do this,' because I just love the culture of it," he said.

Ross, who retired from Burger during the first quarter of 2008, even went back to school - earning his Ph.D. from Vienna Beef's Hot Dog University - hence the name of his business: Dr. Dawg.

Ross even has a Web site for his venture, where he defines a Chicago-style dog, tells people the ingredients in a proper Chicago-style hot dog and educates the public on the proper way to order a dog. He even has a section about why you should never put ketchup on a hot dog.

He serves up his franks at the local farmer's market and at special events in the area.

"My goal at Burger was building the best megayacht, and my goal right now is serving the best sandwich that I can," Ross said.

— Beth Rosenberg

b.rosenberg@tradeonlytoday.com

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