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2017 COMMENCEMENT


JWU

FROM THE CHANCELLOR

Senior Vice President of Communications DOUG WHITING

Director of Design & Editorial Services BRIAN MURPHY

Editor

DENISE DOWLING

Designer

GAIL SOLOMON

Contributors

JENNIFER BROUILLARD MIKE COHEA RYAN CROWLEY JORDAN FICKESS PETER GOLDBERG ROBYN HANKERSON MELINDA HILL

T

HOLLI KEYSER RACHEL LACAILLE MELINDA LAW JOE MAGENNIS DAVID MUIR LISA PELOSI ED PEREIRA

his special edition of JWU Magazine is dedicated to you — the newest alumni of Johnson & Wales University. You reached a milestone in your life as you successfully completed your course of study. On behalf of the more than 107,000 JWU alumni and as a fellow alumnus, I welcome you to our powerful network that spans the globe. The entire JWU community offers congratulations on this major personal accomplishment. Your relationship with JWU continues long beyond your graduation; it is a lifelong bond. In this issue, you’ll meet some of your fellow alumni as we celebrate their success. We look forward to including your stories in the magazine and on our website in the future. Although you have earned your JWU degree, your work is not over. Armed with your education, you are now ambassadors of the university, and that role brings new responsibilities. Be involved. We recognize that alumni interests are varied and therefore offer many ways for you to connect, learn, inspire and give back. Be examples of the power of a JWU education: •  Attend local, regional and national alumni and campus events. •  Return to campus to lecture in our classrooms and reminisce with faculty and alumni. •  Meet prospective students and families at Admissions Information Meetings and Open Houses held across the country. •  Participate in on-campus recruiting. •  Fund scholarships and student support. Together we can strengthen our university, make it an even more vibrant educational institution and maintain its position as a national leader of experiential education. Read JWU Magazine when it arrives in your mailbox. It will keep you updated on the latest university developments, campus happenings and achievements of your fellow alumni. Pass it along to others to make them more aware of our university community. Regularly visit the website, alumni.jwu.edu, and make sure you provide our alumni office with your new contact information. Only you can carry the flag of JWU one street farther than it reaches today. We look forward to the next chapter of your relationship with JWU. Write to us at jwumagazine@jwu.edu. We’ll be waiting to hear from you.

SHANNON ROBBINS CHRIS SCHNEIDER STEPHEN SMITH MARY SWARD DAMARIS R. TEIXEIRA LAUREN TKACS ROB UPTON AMY VUCCI MIRIAM S. WEINSTEIN ’08 MBA KEVIN WESLEY ROBIN YAGGI

JWU Magazine is published four times a year including a special supplement for recent graduates. Photos (black and white or color prints), high-resolution digital images and news can be sent to JWU Magazine, 8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI, 02903 or emailed to jwumagazine@jwu.edu. Selection and publication of entries are at the editor’s discretion. JWU Magazine is produced by University Communications in cooperation with Resource Development and Alumni Relations. Chancellor JOHN J. BOWEN ’77

Providence Campus President and Chief Operating Officer MIM L. RUNEY, LP.D.

Regional Campus Presidents LARRY RICE, ED.D., ’90, NORTH MIAMI RICHARD WISCOTT, PH.D., DENVER TARUN MALIK, ’90 M.S., ’11 ED.D., CHARLOTTE

Chancellor John J. Bowen ’77


S U C C E S

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. S

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COMMENCEMENT

2017 02 05 06 08 10

Providence Campus Graduate Studies North Miami Campus Denver Campus Charlotte Campus

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WILDCAT WISDOM We asked alumni what advice they wish someone had given them about life after graduation.

16

SUCCESS! From the first in his family to graduate from college to the 11th woman in the world to earn the Master Sommelier title, these 12 graduates are an inspiration to us all.

31

WELCOME NEW ALUMNI Kevin Wesley, executive director of alumni relations, welcomes the Class of 2017.

front cover: photo of Denver Campus graduate Alexandra Chamberlain ’17 by Chris Schneider back cover: photo by Peter Goldberg

www.jwu.edu

1


JWU PROVIDENCE

2

Summer 2017


Total Degrees Awarded

John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences

School of Business

School of Hospitality

College of Culinary Arts

School of Engineering & Design

B.S. Degrees

A.S. Degrees

B.S.B.A. Degrees

1,762

184

429

712

327

110

1,544

195

23

PROVIDENCE CAMPUS Undergraduate Commencement Dunkin’ Donuts Center Morning Ceremony: John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences School of Business School of Engineering & Design School of Hospitality

HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT David L. Warren, Ph.D. President, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Doctor of Humane Letters Commencement Speaker

Do Your Best and No Regrets MORNING CEREMONY

Life is full of decisions that can shape the future. A boundary decision, according to keynote speaker David Warren, Ph.D., president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, has the possibility of separating someone from their family, friends, neighborhood and even the nation. He told the Class of 2017 that while there will be many boundary decisions ahead, they had already made one by choosing JWU. The morning began with students from the John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, School of Engineering & Design and School of Hospitality seeking their friends, faculty members and alumni pins before packing the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. This group, which included the first graduating class from the Media & Communications Studies program, was sponge-like as they absorbed the moment they worked so hard to achieve. Noting the intangible tenets of a Wildcat — pride, courage, character and community — President Mim L. Runey, LP.D., encouraged the graduates to be productive citizens and leaders in their chosen fields: “I hope you will leave an imprint on the world that is lasting and impactful.” Cameras flashed as student speaker Rachel Davies ’17, who received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, emphasized the value of supportive alumni. She said connecting with a fellow graduate led to her internship at Ernst & Young in Providence, where she secured her “dream job” as a tax associate. “I’ve learned that opportunities can arise from a simple conversation … people come into your life for a reason, so take the time to get to know as many people as you can.” Warren, who was honored with a doctorate of humane letters, challenged the Class of 2017 to identify its collective boundary decision, one each generation makes. Before collecting their diplomas and officially joining a community of more than 107,000 fellow alumni, the graduates were reminded of the boundary decisions that lay ahead: whether to marry or not, to have children or not, to divorce or not, or to make a decision that sets them apart from virtually everyone. Quoting President Harry S. Truman, Warren urged the Class of 2017 to strive for greatness: “I hope you will be able to say ‘I’ve done the best I can do. I have no regrets.’ ” ~ Ryan Crowley

L-R: Providence Campus President Mim L. Runey, LP.D.; David L. Warren, Ph.D., ’17 Hon.

David L. Warren, Ph.D., ’17 Hon.

Rachel Davies ’17

Alumni Speaker and Senior Vice President for Administration Marie Bernardo-Sousa, LP.D., ’92 www.jwu.edu

3


JWU PROVIDENCE PROVIDENCE CAMPUS Undergraduate Commencement Dunkin’ Donuts Center Afternoon Ceremony: College of Culinary Arts School of Hospitality — Food Service Management HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS Charles M. Royce Chairman and Portfolio Manager, Royce & Associates LP Doctor of Business Administration Commencement Speaker Gary R. Comella ’76 Executive Chef, University Club Doctor of Culinary Arts

The Future is Now AFTERNOON CEREMONY

Past, present and future were on the minds of everyone at the afternoon ceremony for more than 600 undergraduates of the College of Culinary Arts and the School of Hospitality’s Food Service Management programs. As she stood at the front of the parade of students about to march into the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Sienne Stubbs ’17 was asked what advice she would give to her younger self upon entering JWU: “Never give up. Stay focused and prioritize.” Further down the line, Tristen Reyes ’17 was surrounded by his enthusiastic friends. “Be smarter,” he would advise his younger self. “Focus and have more fun.” Meanwhile, a seemingly calm and composed Alexa Hosteler ’17 recalled her first-year self with an easy, “Relax, everything will fall into place.” But what if their future selves could speak to them from 2022? “Trust your gut, that’s the right direction,” Hosteler hopes she would hear. For Reyes, he would tell himself, “You’re on the right track; good things are coming.” And for Stubbs? “Set goals, have fun while it lasts.” Within the hour, all of the undergraduates transformed into alumni. During the ceremony, Marie Bernardo-Sousa, LP.D.,’92, , senior vice president for administration and alumni speaker, encouraged them to stay connected to JWU. Their classmate, Samantha Riley ’17, the selected student speaker, reminded them to “be fierce, be courageous, be a Wildcat.” Honorary degree recipient Chuck Royce, chairman and portfolio manager of Royce & Associates LP, has a legendary reputation in finance and is considered the savior of Rhode Island’s historic Ocean House. He offered sage advice regarding graduates’ education. “Leverage that investment, and don’t waste those gifts. The world that awaits you needs your talents, wisdom and passion.” He then further contemplated their investment in a JWU education. “In my business, success is easily measured. Was the investment worth it? What is the return on that investment? Did the investment produce a positive — and desired — result? From what I know about Johnson & Wales, the answer to these questions is an unequivocal yes.” From the platform, honorary degree recipient Gary Comella ’76, executive chef at the University Club in Providence, embodied JWU’s past, present and future. A member of the second graduating class of the College of Culinary Arts, Comella’s remarkable career is, as Chancellor John J. Bowen ’77 noted during the reading of the citation, a testament to an education from JWU. Everyone’s future selves nod in agreement.

Charles M. Royce ’17 Hon.

Gary R. Comela ’76, ’17 Hon.

4

Summer 2017

~ Miriam S. Weinstein ’08 MBA

Samantha Riley ’17

L-R: Provost Lily Hsu, Providence Campus President Mim L. Runey, LP.D.


GRAD STUDIES PROVIDENCE CAMPUS Graduate Commencement Dunkin’ Donuts Center College of Arts & Sciences John Hazen White School of Business Center for Physician Assistant Studies HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT Neil D. Steinberg President and CEO, Rhode Island Foundation Doctor of Business Administration Commencement Speaker

Total Degrees Awarded

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Degrees

M.S. Degrees

M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies

M.A.T. Degrees

M.Ed. Degrees

MBA Degrees

344

15

43

24

4

2

256

Raising the Bar GRADUATE CEREMONY

Can a fortune cookie predict the future? In the search for inspiring words to share with fellow alumni, Graduate Studies student commencement speaker Maria Helga Melgar ’17 MBA, stumbled upon an idea in a Chinese buffet fortune cookie. It read: “The nice thing about standards is there are so many to choose from.” Standards can either be lowered or raised. With that in mind, Melgar charged her class to “raise the bar and be known for it ... find a cause you believe in and work tirelessly to support it.” It was fitting that Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation and this year’s honorary degree recipient, delivered the keynote address at the Graduate Studies Commencement held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. A leader and public figure in Rhode Island, Steinberg didn’t know what his future would hold after graduating college and being hired as a bank trainee. “I believe good luck and good fortune are the result of hard work and being willing to embrace challenges and change,” he said. “I found that careers are not always a linear path; there are bumps, good and bad, along the way.” Chancellor John J. Bowen ’77 described Steinberg as “committed, enthusiastic and passionate, and [one who seeks] to improve his surroundings and help those in need.” Steinberg acknowledged how JWU is raising the bar: “While other institutions think about starting a program or building a building, you have a groundbreaking. And, while others still talk about it, you hold a ribbon cutting.” Steinberg echoed Melgar’s charge and urged the Class of 2017 to aspire to become civic leaders. “Leaders are not anointed; they step up,” he said. “Become educated on issues, develop informed opinions, have empathy and passion, and step forward — not back.” Among the 344 graduates sat four of the five Compass Group North America executives who traveled from around the country to accept their degrees. JWU and Compass Group have enjoyed a long-standing partnership in preparing future leaders for career excellence. In fall 2015, the relationship expanded when a cohort of Compass Group executives enrolled in the Master of Business Administration degree program through the College of Online Education. The day marked the completion for the first group of executives, prepared to break into their next fortune cookie, raise the bar and step forward.  ~ Lauren Tkacs

Neil D. Steinberg ’17 Hon.

L-R: Neil D. Steinberg ’17 Hon., Chancellor John J. Bowen ’77

Maria Helga Melgar ’17 MBA

Administrative Assistant Kim Frenze sings the National Anthem. www.jwu.edu

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JWU NORTH MIAMI

6

Summer 2017


Total Degrees Awarded

John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences

College of Culinary Arts

School of Business

School of Hospitality

B.S. Degrees

A.S. Degrees

308

32

52

59

165

256

52

NORTH MIAMI CAMPUS Greater Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County Convention Center

The Road to a Rewarding Life

HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT Ira D. Hall Retired President and CEO, Utendahl Capital Management LP Former Treasurer, Texaco Inc. Doctor of Business Administration Commencement Speaker

While graduation remains a time to celebrate, the Class of 2017 was challenged to view this milestone as their first step in creating a rewarding life. Honorary degree recipient Ira D. Hall, retired president and CEO of Utendahl Capital Management LP and a former treasurer of Texaco Inc., shared some key factors that helped him achieve career success. From perfecting his elevator pitch to focusing on work-life balance and developing his personal brand, Hall provided a snapshot of what it takes to excel. “Have a specific list of life priorities, not job aspirations, that bring you happiness as you navigate life’s occupational and personal challenges,” Hall said. He also emphasized the need to focus on how others perceive your work ethic and shared how he was highly respected and trusted by others whether he was starting out in an entry-level position or at the top. These words of encouragement struck a chord with the many students who had worked tirelessly to create a better, more rewarding life by obtaining a college degree. Jacqueline Gonzalez-Cuba ’17 is a wife and mother of two who works full-time, has battled cancer, lost her father on New Year’s Day of her senior year and was involved in a terrible car accident just two weeks after her last day at JWU. She was proud to walk across the stage and earn her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and will return in the fall to pursue her MBA. “For every bad thing, there are three good things coming your way,” Gonzalez-Cuba said. “I was able to push through everything and see it all come together — that is my reward.” The graduating class was filled with stories of students like Gonzalez-Cuba. Alphonso Dunston ’17 served in the military and came to JWU to obtain his degree while serving our country. Diamond Williams ’17, a star basketball player, lost her father and managed to play one of her best games of the season just after learning of his passing. The perseverance of the Class of 2017 was a reminder to the graduates that commencement day was just the beginning of many rewards to come along their path to success.  ~ Robyn Hankerson

L-R: North Miami Campus President Larry Rice, Ed.D., ’90; Ira D. Hall ’17 Hon.

James McAlvanah ’17

Jacqueline Gonzalez-Cuba ’17

Alphonso Dunston ’17 www.jwu.edu

7


JWU DENVER

8

Summer 2017


Total Degrees Awarded

John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences

College of Culinary Arts

School of Business

School of Hospitality

B.S. Degrees

A.S. Degrees

MBA Degrees

251

14

92

50

95

175

72

4

DENVER CAMPUS Colorado Convention Center HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT Richard C. Saunders Founder and Chairman, Saunders Construction Inc. Doctor of Business Administration Commencement Speaker

Beneath the Bright Lights, Beyond the Gate Alumni crowded at the Robert E. Taylor Gate on the afternoon of May 19, excited to welcome the Class of 2017 as they passed through the symbolic threshold toward their new futures. Overcast skies added to the electric energy, and just as the drum-led procession completed its march through the gate, good luck raindrops fell from the sky. The following morning, the Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center was abuzz with anticipation as the Class of 2017 commencement exercises began. Duncan Maxwell ’17 graced the crowd with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem to resounding applause. President Richard Wiscott, Ph.D., encouraged the Class of 2017 to continue to make a positive impact in the world. “I challenge you to add value to your profession — be innovative, creative, productive, collaborative and entrepreneurial. Approach each task, project and job with the same dedication and vibrancy that you have demonstrated at Johnson & Wales.” Matthew Payne, executive director of the Denver Sports Commission, addressed the crowd to acknowledge JWU Denver’s transition to a Division III athletics program under the NCAA starting this fall. “The Wildcats will be playing under brighter lights, but that’s what this university does … it strives to exceed expectations and deliver life-changing experiences to everyone it touches.” Student speaker Lucas Prolow ’17 offered insight from his collegiate journey. “Be open to life,” he advised. “Be open to new ideas and experiences. Learn to make peace with what makes you uncomfortable, nervous and anxious … and no matter what, believe in yourself. When times are great, be thankful. When times are hard, take a deep breath and remember to find time to laugh. The power of positive thinking and self-efficacy will provide you with the foundation to reach heights that you may have never thought possible.” President Wiscott conferred the honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree upon Richard Saunders, founder and chairman of Saunders Construction Inc., who then regaled the audience with the “Richard Saunders Story,” an inspiring journey spanning more than four decades of community involvement and corporate stewardship.  ~ Amy Vucci

Richard C. Saunders ’17 Hon.

Denver Campus President Richard Wiscott, Ph.D.

Duncan Maxwell ’17

Lucas Prolow ’17 www.jwu.edu

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JWU CHARLOTTE

10

Summer 2017


Total Degrees Awarded

College of Culinary Arts

School of Business

School of Hospitality

B.S. Degrees

A.A.S. Degrees

428

132

83

213

296

132

CHARLOTTE CAMPUS The Spectrum Center HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS Kat Cole COO and President, North America FOCUS Brands Doctor of Business Administration Commencement Speaker Michael A. Kahn President, Empire Distributors Inc. Doctor of Business Administration

Grit, Determination, Resolve and Character Owen Beatty ’17 stood before his fellow graduates in the Spectrum Arena and discussed courage, resolve and strength of character. He also talked of once being in a different arena, one where he showed no grit and no determination. “I should not be here today. A long series of poor decisions I made when I was young dictated that I should be in prison, an institution or dead.” Years of hard drugs landed the 31-year-old in jail, homeless and disowned by his family. “Rock bottom, a phrase used frequently by addicts, describes a place where you are at your worst,” Beatty said. “I hit rock bottom. When you’re down, you have two choices: You stay down or you get up. I am blessed to be able to share this moment with all of you because I chose to get up.” After his speech, Beatty was the first to cross the stage for his diploma, where he accepted his bachelor’s degree from the School of Hospitality — summa cum laude. His family, including his mother, who had kicked her lying, drug-addicted son out of their home more than once, cheered and wildly waved poms-poms. Honorary degree recipient Kat Cole, COO and president, North America, FOCUS Brands, urged students to ask themselves: “If not me, who? If not now, when? If I don’t make a difficult decision now, when will I? And if I wait too long, will I miss something important in my life? Say yes way before you’re ready. Don’t sit around and think, ‘Am I good enough? I don’t have enough experience.’ Somebody else is going to jump ahead of you.” The entire ceremony was seen larger than life on the arena’s technologically advanced scoreboard that features the largest video screen in use in any NBA facility. You could not miss the beaming smiles of the graduates and the funny, meaningful messages on their decorated caps. After the ceremony, Carolina blue skies greeted the grads as they rushed to find family and friends. And for Beatty, once homeless and drug dependent, not only was his family waiting for him, so was a coveted job at Terra, a Michelin-star restaurant in Napa Valley. ~ Melinda Law

Kat Cole ’17 Hon.

Michael A. Kahn ’17 Hon.

L–R: Kat Cole ’17 Hon.; Charlotte Campus President Tarun Malik ’90 M.S., ’11 Ed.D.

Owen Beatty ’17 www.jwu.edu

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WHAT

ADVICE DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD GIVEN YOU

ABOUT

LIFE AFTER GRADUATION?


G

raduation is just the beginning of your 40-plus-year journey to a career. Let that sink in for a moment. There will be many risks,

twice. Make your mistakes now, learn from them and get them out of

LIFE is LIQUID

the way.

Leonard Lee ’82

tough decisions and rewards along the way. Don’t make the same mistake

Ryan W. Burkart ’10 General Manager, Holiday Inn Boston Bunker Hill

D

on’t lose sight of your dream. There’s pressure to have “the job” right after graduation — it’s okay not to. You can work in different

industries to grow and network. Since graduating, I’ve been in three different industries. Though it took several career changes and years,

L

ife is liquid: It constantly ebbs and flows only to have you grow and develop with the tools that JWU has bestowed. Be open, giving,

loving, true, honest and flexible, and you will be able to build what life

I’ve gained knowledge and experience and met people, but I’ve always

has planned for you.

been a business owner.

Leonard Lee ’82 Division Director of Violence and Injury Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Judy Chung ’11 Owner, Koveted Collection

B

eing uncomfortable is okay. In fact, it’s encouraged! Be excited for the challenges a new job, career or boss will present to you.

Make mistakes by trying something new and innovative. It’s a privilege to have your “fresh eyes,” so use them after graduating.

EXPECT the UNEXPECTED Andrew Charron ’08

Nick Halley ’04 Retail Experience Manager, Denver Market, Amazon Pop Up

I

wish I knew more about the ongoing work-life balance while reaching my goals. It’s easy to overwork yourself or get lost in your

work. It’s equally easy to never get focused or take intentional actions toward reaching your goals. Every day is a new opportunity to be one step closer to your personal and professional goals. We choose to be

E

xpect the unexpected. Deadlines will change, forecasts will rise,

intentionally focused or we lack intentionality in our relationships,

you’ll get a flat tire on the way to an important meeting, your boss

conversations and actions.

will drop in on you when least expected. It’s how you handle these moments and situations that will drive your success. Be ready to think

Nicole George ’12 CEO and Lead Listing Specialist, Premier Property Solutions

on your feet and take on new challenges. Andrew Charron ’08 Regional Sales Executive, Cintas Corporation

L

ife probably won’t look much like you’ve envisioned. Your career moves will change as you begin to truly identify your passion. Have

an idea of what you love and allow that to drive you forward, but don’t

I

t is always okay to ask for help and advice. Encouraging, positive insight and influence from others is a necessity for success.

Sarah Turner Wells ’15 Marketing, Events and Community Engagement, FS Food Group

fixate on knowing all the answers. Lemar Scott ’12 On-air Guest, Home Shopping Network

www.jwu.edu

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LIFE is NOT a COMPETITION Heather Oakley ’09

P

ost-graduation it’s easy to think you’ve made the next big jump in your career, but in reality you’re the same person the day after

graduation as you were before. Take stock of yourself, honestly and humbly, and only then decide in which direction to move. We all want to move on to the next seemingly more exciting chapter of our lives, when truthfully the best decision could be to stay put and decide for yourself when the next chapter should begin. Clark Barlowe ’09 Chef and Owner, Heirloom

Y

ou are not guaranteed to make $60,000 at your first position out of college. Be confident in your skills and what you have to offer,

but realize you have to earn it. Life is not a competition: Do not compare your career status or financial situation to others. Heather Oakley ’09 Senior Proposal Coordinator, STV/Ralph Whitehead Associates

N

A

s you move forward in your career, growing your emotional intelligence is equally as important as growing your practical

knowledge and skills. Building and nurturing personal and professional relationships will be key to your success. Dana Shefsky ’96 Director, Digital Product Innovation, Hilton Worldwide

ever be afraid to reach out to people in the industry. More often than not, they will answer your call, and if they don’t,

keep calling. Seeratt Dutt ’13 Product Developer, Kettle Cuisine

I

KEEP in TOUCH WITH the PEOPLE YOU’VE MET at JWU

f you have made business connections in a certain city during your time at JWU, stick to that city for a post-collegiate job, even if it is

not your hometown.

Matt Schechter ’05

David H. Michan ’07 Chef and Owner, Davico Foods

T

ake notes with pen and paper. I’ve found it humiliating to ask questions again — if I just took notes, I wouldn’t have had to

ask twice. Michelle Meehan ’13, ’15 MBA Assistant Food Service Director, FLIK International Corporation

K

eep in touch with the people you’ve met at JWU! The education and experience you’ve received during college are extremely

valuable, but don’t underestimate the power of connections you have made. As your friends and colleagues advance in their careers, your network becomes a valuable resource for your own business and growth. Always look for ways to help each other.

D

iversify your income. A single stream of active income won’t create the lifestyle you want. Passive income will provide you

with both money and time. Leo Carelle Garcia ’12 Director of Finance, ABW Appliances

14

Summer 2017

Matt Schechter ’05 Regional Director, National Accounts, NYC & Company


S

ometimes you have to give up part of who you are to become who you’re meant to be.

Andrew Hyde ’04 Founder, TEDxBoulder and Startup Weekend

B

ased on your direction and major, you should aspire to work with the best in your field. For example, if you trained in culinary arts,

you need to go work for a chef you admire in a city where you can afford to live. Joseph Kindred ’02 Chef and Owner, Kindred

YOU ARE the CEO of YOUR OWN CAREER

A

lways look to do the best you can while not being afraid to fail. As it does take time to move up the career ladder, your persever-

ance will get you to your ultimate goal. Bryan Oglesby ’95, Vice President, People PR Management Corporation dba Panera Bread

Justine Sacks ’09

I

t is so important to never become too comfortable with one’s surroundings. When we become complacent, we stop learning. I try

to keep myself challenged and continue my education by exploring the

S

uccess is fueled through hard work, commitment and dedication — but above all, passion. Regardless of your trade or industry,

stumbling blocks and obstacles will inevitably be encountered. Always remember: Every “E! True Hollywood Story” comes with setbacks and

world around me: traveling, dining, reading, staging, talking. There are tidbits of knowledge hiding everywhere. Nadine Donovan ’09 Executive Pastry Chef, Secret Sauce Food & Beverage

delays. Never lose sight of your passion, lift as you climb, leave your mark by making a place or process better, and know that you are the CEO of your own career. Justine Sacks ’09 Director of Dining Services, Columbia University

have to be perfect. I was afraid and nervous when my first post-

IT NEVER GOES as PLANNED

collegiate job wasn’t working out, but it’s okay to experience the wrong

Juan Garzon ’08

I

wish someone had told me that your first job after college doesn’t

fit or to fail. If you work hard and stay true to yourself and your values it will all work out. Sometimes you need something to go wrong so the right opportunity will appear. Matt Liebman ’14 Business Development Manager, Soothe

I

t never goes as planned! College isn’t about learning your career or field of interest; it’s about learning life and how to embrace it. So be

sure that what you’re doing in school is helping you grow as a person. You’ll likely not be doing what you think you’ll be doing in a few years. Juan Garzon ’08 Chief Messaging Strategist, Garzon Company

www.jwu.edu

15


A dozen alumni discuss how they’ve found success — and the ways Johnson & Wales has contributed to their ascent.

contributors Denise Dowling Sam Eifling Andrea Feldman Melinda Hill Amanda Houpt Rachel Lacaille Damaris R. Teixeira photography Mike Cohea Karli Evans Greg Hren Evan Hurd Chris Savas


S U C C E S

. S


“You can’t get complacent. You have to be daring and willing to do something that people don’t expect.”

Kristin Coia ’94

B.S. Hospitality Management Founder and CEO, Go Gently Inc. Manhattan Beach, California

Kristin Coia ’94 is that rare sort who studies hospitality, grows up working in her family’s heating oil business, and goes on to launch a clothing brand using her own designs. “Fashion was always my thing,” she says. “My parents pull out the yearbook, I was voted ‘Best Dressed’ every year in high school.” Only since last summer, though, could a high schooler actually get those designs. After a decade operating as Go Gently Baby, which sells kids’ clothing in some 200 mostly boutique retailers, Coia rebranded the business as Go Gently Nation and began offering clothing for adult women. It was a huge leap for a small company, but Coia saw it as a necessary risk. “Fashion is a very, very hard business,” she says. “You can’t get complacent. You have to be daring and willing to do something that people don’t expect.”

18

Summer 2017

Years ago, Coia’s boldest move was to edge out of event planning into night school and design studios to formally train as a designer. Entrepreneurship and business always fascinated her — while at Johnson & Wales, she’d commute to punch in at the oil business her grandfather founded — and when she saw a niche for sustainably sourced, highquality baby clothes, she sprang. Coia launched Go Gently Baby when her firstborn was all of three months old. (On starting a company the same year you have a kid, she advises, simply, “Don’t do it.”) A decade in, the second jump was daunting, but made with the confidence of having loyal customers who recognize the durability of her Los Angeles-made garments. Baby clothes are a highly intense sector of fashion, Coia says: Designs must account for a huge range of sizes, including whether the wearer is still rocking diapers. But hook a parent who buys clothes for their infant and they’ll return throughout a kid’s childhood. Years later, as they see the clothes endure, parents will associate the brand with quality and longevity. That’s the plan, anyway. So far the gradual, sustainable approach is working for the vegan mother of two. “In the last 20 years, fast fashion has become the culture of cheap fashion,” Coia says. “That has become more of the American way, but it never used to be.” The return to buying fewer, better-quality garments, she adds, “has been a slow movement, but people want less. They want minimalism.” Count one advantage, at least, to remaining steady and predictable in an industry predicated on change.


“I’d go through the doors and there was this group of profane pirates working with fire.”

David Kinch ’81, ’14 Hon.


A.S. Culinary Arts Chef and Partner, Manresa, Manresa Bread, The Bywater
 Los Gatos, California

David Kinch’s restaurant Manresa has often been described as the epitome of California cuisine — but that’s not the whole story. Manresa is indeed a temple of sun-kissed produce, fresh seafood and the kind of hyper-locality that East Coast restaurants can only dream of. But Kinch’s culinary influences defy borders. Perhaps no single influence is as strong as that of New Orleans, where Kinch ’81, ’14 Hon. grew up. Transfixed by the city’s deep food culture, he naturally gravitated to restaurant work: “I started out in the dining room, but found myself fascinated by what was going on in the kitchen — I’d go through the doors and there was this group of profane pirates working with fire.” From there, JWU was a natural progression: “To be a well-rounded chef, I’d need an understanding of the financial realities and JWU had a good foundation in place.” After graduating, Kinch spent 15 years cooking all over the world, with stints in New York City (including five years at Barry Wine’s iconic Quilted Giraffe), France, Japan, San Francisco, Germany and Spain. As he puts it, “I regarded staging as finishing school. My goal was to work in the best kitchens I could find.” In 1993, he settled in San Francisco and worked on opening his own restaurant. Debuting in 1995, Sent Sovi had 30 seats and “a kitchen the size of a broom closet.” While the food that emerged from that tiny kitchen put Kinch on the culinary map, he and his staff quickly outgrew the space. In 2002, he opened Manresa to unanimous accolades. In 2014, a two-alarm fire ripped through Manresa. While the restaurant was being rebuilt, Kinch and his team subverted what could have been a devastating blow by rethinking the menu, beverage program and overall customer experience from the ground up. The San Francisco

Chronicle called the revamped restaurant “even better than before”; Kinch showcased this creative rebirth in the PBS series “Mind of a Chef.” In 2016, Kinch opened The Bywater, an elegant tribute to his New Orleans roots, and Manresa earned a coveted third Michelin star. As the restaurant turns 15, Kinch is juggling multiple projects, including expanding Manresa Bread and conceptualizing a new endeavor. Through it all, he maintains a surfer’s belief in balance: “I understand going full speed and being passionate. But at a certain point you realize it’s not about working longer, it’s about working smarter.”

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“I knew I could save the restaurant $15,000 a year with a platform like this.”

Matt Tortora ’15

A.S. Culinary Arts ’13 B.S. in Food Service Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship ’15 CEO and Cofounder, Crave Food Services North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Oprah would call it an “Aha!” moment. While working as kitchen manager at an Ocean State restaurant, Matt Tortora ’15 opened a box of locally-caught squid with a “processed in China” label. A veteran naval nuclear missile technician who has seen combat, Tortora relishes a challenge. After investigating, he discovered that it is cheaper for the distributer to have the squid processed in Asia than somewhere closer. Tortora knew the time it took searching for ingredients added significantly to a restaurant’s cost and thought technology could whittle both time and expense, as well as help producers market their goods. “I knew I could save the restaurant $15,000 a year with a platform like this so I ran with it,” he says. After incorporating Crave Food Services as a technology and consulting company, Tortora brought his idea to Johnson & Wales University’s Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship, where he sought the advice of Executive-in-Residence John Robitaille. “He encouraged me to move forward with the initial idea and later helped me to understand which pivots I was making were the right ones. He confirmed that where I was wanting to take things made sense to him.” At JWU’s SharkFest competition in spring 2015, Tortora and his team launched WhatsGood, their free online platform that brings local ingredients to restaurants, schools, hospitals and businesses by connecting food service workers and chefs directly to local producers. With more than $1 million in seed financing, the app now connects 600 chefs and

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other buyers (including nearly 3,000 public schools and 50 hospitals) with about 500 local producers in 27 states. The company has also started writing grants for public schools to win funding for federal USDA grants or private grants for farm-to-school endeavors that would improve the quality of school food. “Before this venture, my life had taken unexpected 90-degree turns following where I saw opportunity or danger, so that became what I was used to,” says Tortora. “When I was looking at whether I should move forward on this concept, I thought ‘Why not?’ ”


“I try to create trends rather than keep up with them.”

Brad Kilgore ’06

B.S. Culinary Arts Chef and Owner, Alter Culinary Director, the Adrienne Arsht Center (Brava by Brad Kilgore) Miami, Florida

“I try to create trends rather than keep up with them,” says Brad Kilgore ’06. “One thing that has helped me accelerate my career is my creative outlook on cuisine and restaurants — ingenuity is what drives me. But it has to taste good; I always say, ‘delicious first, everything else second.’ ” This sensitivity and ability to stay ahead of the game has allowed Kilgore to live outside the lines where he’s able to create what he calls “food with no boundaries.” His hard work at Alter and Brava, his two

Miami restaurants, is certainly pushing him to the top. He recently received a semifinalist nod for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation. Last year he was named Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine magazine. At 30 years old, Kilgore is a veteran in the kitchen — he got his start as a dishwasher at a diner when he was only 11 years old. From there he was hooked, taking on jobs at many different kitchens, including fast-food restaurants. But it wasn’t until high school — at the Broadmoor Technical Center in Kansas City under chef and mentor Bob Brassard — that he fell in love with the industry. “It was an accelerated culinary program that was recognized as one of the best in the country,” he recalls. “I learned a lot and it’s where I got the itch for fine dining and becoming a chef.” Over the years, Kilgore has carved a place in the world of progressive American cuisine. “I want the food to stand out on its own and be something new and creative, fair-priced and purchased from quality local sources,” he adds. Looking forward, Kilgore envisions expansion. “I definitely want to be a restaurateur,” he says. “There are a lot of different types of cuisine that I’d like to cook. As a chef, you never stop learning. The sky’s the limit and there’s certainly room to grow.”

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“It’s kind of hard to hold bias once you meet people and break bread with them.”

Kristin Lamoureux ’97

B.S. Travel Tourism Management Associate Dean and Clinical Associate Professor Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism New York University New York, New York

Kristin Lamoureux ’97 was bitten by the travel bug during a high school exchange program in Ecuador, where she discovered her love of travel, cultures and communities beyond the U.S. The Ecuadorian adventure also steered her future education and career in the direction of sustainable tourism and international economic development. After graduating from Johnson & Wales, Lamoureux earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. from George Washington University (GW), where she also launched her academic career as an assistant research professor of tourism and business management. She later became the executive director of GW’s International Institute of Tourism Studies. The role propelled her into global travel with her students, teaching them in communities around the world. “I’ve never had the traditional academic career where I’m in the classroom,” says Lamoureux. “I’ve worked in or been involved with any number of 50-plus countries. A lot of it has been at the very local level — working in communities, helping them identify what they have to offer with regard to tourism and how can they do this sustainably. I think that traveling, especially now-a-days, is so important as we learn about other cultures and people. It’s kind of hard to hold bias once you meet people and break bread with them.”

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After 14 years at GW, in early 2016, Lamoureux became associate dean at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. NYU has campuses and academic centers on seven continents, offering a choice platform for Lamoureux’s talents. “I’m working on developing activities at our campuses in Shanghai, Tokyo and other places, so that’s really interesting right now — bringing the NYU-applied education model to our other places around the world.” Back when she was a student at JWU, Lamoureux worked as a teaching assistant to help fund her education. That experience ended up being ideal training for her academic career. “Having the responsibility of overseeing other students was challenging,” she recalls. “It was my first experience managing people. Looking back, I made a lot of mistakes but I also learned a lot, and what better environment to do that?”


Bob Benson ’97

B.S. Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management Business Development and Brand Management Consultant, Moceri Produce Owner, BioSystemic Consulting San Diego, California

In any industry there are big-picture people. In food, Bob Benson ’97 goes a step further — he’s what you’d call a whole-picture guy. As a consultant for companies in the hospitality industry, he drills into the interconnectedness of supply chains and their effects on the planet to help companies operate sustainably, as well as profitably. And in his work in business development and brand management for a San Diego produce company, he makes sure he knows the local farms he works with down to the grittiest detail. “I know the dirt that our produce is coming from,” he says. “I know what it smells like when it’s wet, when it’s dry. I’m a little OCD about it. When our kids at home open the fridge they can tell you where all that food came from.”

Food was always his way into exploring the natural world. His parents owned French restaurants in Manhattan, and the romance of eating followed practicality. He grew up hunting and fishing in upstate New York; one summer, a visit to an uncle in France brought a lesson in butchering that began by them shooting a cow with a .38. Later, after graduating from Johnson & Wales, he did a two-month stint on the killing floor of a slaughterhouse. Today he has vaulted from his chef’s training to take the long view of health, both of humans and the planet. Now he helps businesses — and the U.S. military — examine the wider scope of their effects on natural systems and bolster the overall health of food systems. In his spare time, as a judge for the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, he’s trying to identify sustainability innovations for a world that’s striving to feed 7.4 billion people. “There is a giant responsibility in food service to find solutions to many problems,” he says. “It’s about water, it’s about resources. I’m not a doom-and-gloom guy, but I’m no-nonsense.” Yet this deep immersion into the practical hasn’t dulled his romance for food. He says with a hint of pride that he has been turning dishwashers into cooks for 20 years, and when he lets himself get carried away with his love of restaurant work, it’s easy to see why. “What other profession allows you to take a raw product through the back door — something that’s still alive! — that you handle, assemble and build in the same day?” he says. “What other profession lets you create something from nothing that sustains people, that gives them life?

Location courtesy of Go Green Agriculture, Encinas, California

“There is a giant responsibility in food service to find solutions to many problems.”

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Like most college students, Brown didn’t start out seeking to close billion-dollar contracts.

Karoom Brown ’00

B.S. Electronics Engineering Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Leidos Washington, D.C. Metro Area

Karoom Brown ’00 talks about billion-dollar contracts without batting an eye. As the senior vice president of strategy and business development at Leidos Health, he handles marketing, strategy, sales and business development for the health division of the largest federal IT service provider in the world. Like most college students, Brown didn’t start out seeking to close billion-dollar contracts with government agencies and Fortune 500 companies: “When I entered college, I thought I wanted to develop chip-level computer designs and things of that nature.” After doing an internship, Brown realized he’d rather focus on customers than computers. After graduating, he became a sales engineer before working his way up through sales management. His “passion to always excel and exceed objectives” led him to the world of large contracts.

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Despite his success, Brown initially struggled to maintain a strong GPA. The first of his 10 brothers and sisters to graduate from college, he held a job with Lucent Technologies while an undergraduate. “In order for me to be able to work full time at Lucent and finish my degree on time, the professors and the school had to offer extra tutoring and flexible classes,” he says. By leaning into the support of his professors and determinedly studying, he turned his GPA around. After graduating, he pursued a Master of Science in Information Systems Management from New York University’s Tandem School of Engineering, where he graduated valedictorian. He attributes much of his success to the practical experiences gained while at Johnson & Wales: “Part of my success was that I graduated with experience and a degree, which was not normal.” But it was alluring to employers; upon graduating, Brown accepted a position at Verizon that launched his career. Now, having worked his way to the top of his field, Brown values giving back. He volunteers with the National Institutes of Health Children’s Inn, which houses and supports families participating in research studies. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and frequently returns to JWU as a motivational speaker.


“I enjoy broadening people’s horizons beyond what they thought was possible.”

Rob Erskine ’12

B.S. Graphic Design & Digital Media Senior Creative Technologist, Hill Holliday Boston, Massachusetts

People often find inspiration in unlikely places — for Rob Erskine ’12, it was the consequence of a childhood injury. “I broke my arm when I was a kid,” he says. “That meant I couldn’t take gym class, so I spent that time in the library. I ended up falling in love with computers.” The 25-year-old Somers Point, New Jersey, native parlayed that passion into what has already become a storied career: He’s a senior creative technologist at Hill Holliday, the 18th largest ad agency in the United States, in their Boston office. Ask him about his job description and he will tell you that it’s “intentionally ambiguous”: “I’m a developer, and work on websites, APIs [application programming interfaces] and chatbots [think Amazon Echo’s Alexa]. But I’m also a liaison between the creative teams. A lot of my job involves bridging gaps.” Unlike other ad-agency creatives, he doesn’t handle a set list of clients; instead, he goes where his skills are needed. “That’s one of my favorite parts of the job — interacting with different clients. I enjoy broadening people’s horizons beyond what they thought was possible.” A key internship during his sophomore summer helped solidify his career trajectory. “I applied to Hill Holliday for an internship, but didn’t get it. Instead, I ended up at 38 Studios,” Erskine says. The now-defunct video game developer in Providence was so impressed with Erskine that they offered him a full-time temp job as a front-end developer after he

completed his internship — and while he was still a full-time student. But everything came full circle: “A week before 38 Studios closed, I interviewed at Hill Holliday again, this time for a job. They called me with an offer on my drive home. Four years later, here I am.” Erskine acknowledges his education as a driving force in helping him attain success so early in his career — specifically, his time on JWU’s award-winning student Ad Team. “The first year I was involved, I was a designer; the second year, I was art director,” he says. Being art director meant he was in charge of the all-important plans book for that year’s client, Nissan. The result? “We won best plans book in the country. That’s when I really started to understand what it takes to make the best work possible.”

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Virginia Philip ’89

A.S. Hospitality Management ’87 B.S. Hotel and Restaurant Management ’89, Hon. ’15 Wine Director and Master Sommelier, the Breakers Palm Beach Owner and CEO, the Virginia Philip Wine Shop and Academy Palm Beach, Florida

The road to becoming a Master Sommelier is paved with grueling exams that few pass. However, Virginia Philip ’89 is a game changer. The 11th woman in the world to earn the title of Master Sommelier, she’s broken ground in a male-dominated industry. “A lot of us were pioneers in our industry at the time,” she recalls. “It could be very intimidating and a little bit overwhelming at times.” She persevered: “I always tell people, ‘They were looking for the best possible person for the job and I was it.’ ” One can find proof of this in her many accolades: being crowned Best Sommelier in the United States by the renowned American

Sommelier group a mere three weeks after her final exam; getting a James Beard Foundation nomination for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional in 2012; and receiving an honorary doctorate in Oenology from Johnson & Wales in 2015. She had a taste for grapes from childhood memories of sipping her father’s wine mixed with water, and a wine class at JWU furthered her interest. After graduating, she worked in restaurants and set her eyes on the Master Sommelier certification. For the past 15 years, she has been the wine director and master Sommelier at the Breakers Palm Beach. There, she creates a dozen wine lists for the Breakers’ eight restaurants and draws from a selection of more than 2,000 wines. However, her most exciting venture yet is opening the Virginia Philip Wine Shop and Academy in 2011. A dream 20 years in the making, her shop features a selection of more than 650 wines arrayed around a large classroom space. “I believe in giving back,” she notes. “So having a classroom where sommeliers can meet and taste wine is a great benefit to those trying to succeed in the program, even if they don’t want to go all the way to MS level.” Between the Breakers and her wine shop, she stays busy. If you manage to find her home at the end of a summer day, she’ll likely be sitting outside sipping a glass of dry rosé, though she’ll settle for whatever is in the fridge. One thing is certain: If Philip picked it, it’s bound to be delicious.

Philip is the 11th woman in the world to earn the title of Master Sommelier.


“It feels very good to be doing things for ourselves on our own terms.”

José Mendín ’01

B.S. Culinary Arts Founding Partner and Chef, The Pubbelly Group Miami, Florida

José Mendín’s world is fast-paced. And that’s just how he likes it. “This business is always changing — it’s incredible,” he says. As founding partner and chef for The Pubbelly Group in Miami, Florida, Mendín ’01 oversees concept and menu development for 10 restaurants (the newest just launched this spring in his native Puerto Rico) and a bar/lounge concept. “When I think about where we started and where we are today, wow — a lot has changed! But one thing that never changes is flavor — that’s something that people are always going to look for,” he says. Mendín’s flavor, powered by his earnest work ethic, has earned him national recognition from Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Departures and The Cooking Channel, among other outlets. He’s also been a semifinalist

for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef South” for five consecutive years, from 2011–2016. While Mendín and The Pubbelly Group have turned Miami into a haven for lovers of cuisine celebrating his Latin American and Asian influences, the team hasn’t stopped there. In 2015, Mendín’s cooking brought him to Germany, where he set out to curate a new restaurant concept, Food Republic, aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Escape. He’s even published a digital cookbook, “Food Republic by José Mendín,” in collaboration with the cruise line. But it’s his latest concept, PB Ysla, that has brought him full-circle — he gets to cook in Puerto Rico. “We’re very excited to open a restaurant in Puerto Rico,” Mendín says, adding that he left the island in 1998 to enroll at JWU and never looked back. “The concept for PB Ysla is similar to the original Pubbelly, but in a very casual setting. It’ll be a place where I’ll be able to prepare what I want to cook, with influences from the island and local ingredients.” The secret to Mendín’s success? “You have to lead. You have to be part of a team that’s working together toward a goal. My aim is to lead my staff toward consistency by providing a high-quality product and great service. And it feels very good to be doing things for ourselves on our own terms.”

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“What I have learned in marketing is that we are all one person with many personas.”

Bill Linehan ’87

A.S. Hotel and Restaurant Management ’85 B.S. Hospitality Management ’87 Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Red Lion Hotels Corporation Greater Atlanta Area

“The highlights of my career have all been around applying innovation with relevance,” says Bill Linehan ’87. This is evident in the latest concept he has created, Hotel RL. Gone are front desks with staff standing behind intimidating counters. Instead, they greet guests promptly and personally while checking them in on iPads. The lobby is a communal space where people can work while sipping craft coffee or gather to watch live performances on a stage. “What I have learned in marketing over the years is that we are all one person with many personas,” Linehan says. “And based on our reason for travel, we will evoke that particular persona.” He strives to create

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satisfying experiences for each traveler and harness the proximity of hotels to cities and nature. “We’re selling real estate one night at a time.” Linehan realized his passion for hospitality and marketing in high school, when he joined the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), an organization that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. While attending meetings, he stayed in many hotels, which cemented his interest in the industry. His involvement drew attention from Johnson & Wales, which offered him a scholarship to study hospitality management. However, when asked about the best thing he gained from JWU, he’ll tell you it was the relationships: “I met my wife!” They’ve been married for 27 years. Will, the oldest of their three kids, currently attends the Charlotte Campus. After graduating, he joined a manager training program with Hyatt. Over the course of his prestigious career, he has worked in senior leadership positions at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, InterContinental Hotel Group and Richfield Hospitality, among others. Linehan draws inspiration from the long runs he takes during business travel. He once rose early to run along the Great Wall of China. While jogging, he has also explored Lake Geneva, the River Thames, Paris, and the Bund in Shanghai. Feet to pavement, breathing in the local air, it’s easy to imagine him admiring the scenery and forming his next big idea.


“Smile, breathe, listen.”

Sharon Eliatamby ’91 B.S. Hospitality Management Senior Project Manager The World Bank Group Washington, D.C.

Sharon Eliatamby ’91 speaks five languages and samples dishes few besides Anthony Bourdain would dare (such as a Chinese specialty called cobra bite chicken). As a child traveling the world with her parents, she was awed by the friendly hospitality staff they’d encounter and liked to imagine herself as a restaurant manager tending to everyone’s needs. The hospitality niche was confirmed when Eliatamby worked as a banquet server at Shangri-La Hotel in her native Malaysia at age 16. “I loved the opportunity to meet and work with people from all walks of life,” she says. “If you can solve a problem or make a person really happy that day, you know you’ve accomplished something.” Now senior project manager at The World Bank Group, Eliatamby oversees the management of food, conference and hoteling services contracts. The scope of the food service operation is approximately $15 million a year in facilities consisting of five cafeterias, four coffee bars, one retail store, one executive dining room plus 11 private dining rooms and a conference facility in Paris. After a decade at The World Bank, she is proudest of implementing a composting program early in her tenure. Food and containers were composted, then dehydrated into dirt and shipped to a farm where it was transformed into mulch. “Now the whole idea of being green is more common, but back then it was less so,” she notes. “Given the volume of food here it was a big undertaking.” Another proud moment was winning the “best menu concept” category from Food Management magazine. “We serve more than 180 countries so it really encouraged what we do,” Eliatamby notes. “We have a robust children’s menu with curries and such — it’s not pizza and tater tots.” Eliatamby’s mantra is “smile, breathe, listen.” She strives to surround herself with positive people: “If I have the Debbie Downers, I am not going to get things done. I have an open door where anyone can enter;

I keep a huge martini glass filled with candy for everyone but me. It’s how I can get the ins and outs of what is going on!” Although she calls herself a true people person, moving to the U.S. by herself to study at Johnson & Wales was a challenge. “I knew that things were not going to fall into my lap here and I couldn’t rely on other people,” she recalls. But she never doubted her choice and even remains in touch with now-retired Professor Jann Douglas Bell. “She instructed us on the importance of being flexible, thinking on your feet and being a go-getter,” says Eliatamby. “She also taught us to own up to our mistakes and fix them. She really inspired me to be where I am today.”

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HOMECOMING IS FOR ALUMNI, TOO! DON’T MISS A SINGLE MINUTE. PROVIDENCE OCTOBER 14 NORTH MIAMI FEBRUARY 9–10 DENVER OCTOBER 20–22 CHARLOTTE OCTOBER 20–22

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WELCOME NEW ALUMNI To the Class of 2017 Johnson & Wales is a place of joyful discovery. It’s where Wildcats explore their passions and acquire the knowledge to pursue their ambitions. It’s where faculty deliver unparalleled guidance and where experiences outside of the classroom build character and community. In May, I was thrilled to personally congratulate hundreds of graduating seniors on multiple JWU campuses in the weeks (and minutes) leading up to Commencement. The excitement and sense of accomplishment was palpable at the North Miami Senior Sendoff and at year-end celebrations in Providence. Alumni & Senior Socials in Charlotte and Denver — as well as the Denver Gate Ceremony that took place in a snowstorm — really drove home the diversity and breadth of experiences among our students. Yet one thing never changes: the enthusiasm our alumni have for connecting with one another. On behalf of the more than 107,000 JWU graduates transforming their communities and professions around the world, congratulations on joining our alumni family! As you embark on the next phase of your journey, I encourage you to stay connected with JWU and to reach out to fellow alumni for advice, insights and networking. In the coming months, we’ll be in touch with new opportunities to enhance your connection to Johnson & Wales, including • Access to the graduate portal, JWU Alumni Connect • Online webinars to help with your professional growth • Virtual networking events that make it easy to build relationships • Opportunities to find an alumni mentor We are proud of your achievements thus far and look forward to all that you will accomplish. Congratulations once again!

ALUMNI RELATIONS UNIVERSITYWIDE KEVIN WESLEY Executive Director of Alumni Relations 401-598-1634 Kevin.Wesley@jwu.edu LORI ZABATTA ’95 Assistant Director of Alumni Relations 401-598-4462 Lori.Zabatta@jwu.edu

PROVIDENCE CAMPUS LIZA GENTILE Manager of Alumni Relations 401-598-2465 Liza.Gentile@jwu.edu

NORTH MIAMI CAMPUS KEVIN WESLEY Executive Director of Alumni Relations 401-598-1634 Kevin.Wesley@jwu.edu

DENVER CAMPUS KEVIN WESLEY Executive Director of Alumni Relations 401-598-1634 Kevin.Wesley@jwu.edu

CHARLOTTE CAMPUS CHRIS PLANO ’93, ’95 M.S. Manager of Alumni Relations 980-598-1204 Chris.Plano@jwu.edu

Kevin Wesley Executive Director of Alumni Relations

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JWU Magazine Summer 2017  
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Commencement 2017