Will Guidara '01
Monika Dubaj MPS '94
Jack Mason '11
Jerre Riggs '02
Adam Seger '91
Will Guidara is the co-owner of Make It Nice, a hospitality group that currently includes Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad restaurants in New York City, and Made Nice.
A native of Sleepy Hollow, New York, Will has been immersed in the restaurant industry since the age of thirteen. A graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Will began his dining room training at Spago Beverly Hills and attended culinary school in the north of Spain. He then went on to various roles throughout Union Square Hospitality Group, and from 2006, to 2012 acted as general manager of Eleven Madison Park. He is also the co-founder of the Welcome Conference, an annual hospitality-driven event held in Manhattan that brings together the best minds from the world of hospitality for a day-long discussion. In 2011, Humm and Guidara purchased Eleven Madison Park, and under their leadership, the restaurant has received numerous accolades, including four stars from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, and in 2017 was given the highest ranking on the San Pellegrino list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. EMP has also received seven James Beard Foundation awards, including Outstanding Service and Outstanding Restaurant in America.
In early 2012, Will went on to open the food and beverage spaces at The NoMad Hotel with Daniel Humm. At The NoMad, they have received a three-star review from the New York Times, one Michelin star, and a James Beard Foundation award. In 2014, the duo opened The NoMad Bar, which has earned a top spot on the World’s Best Bar list.
Will and Daniel have coauthored four cookbooks together: Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook, I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes, The NoMad Cookbook, and the soon-to-be-published Eleven Madison Park: The Next Chapter
Ana Brant is a leading global expert in the science of luxury service. She calls it the ethos of experience. Her purpose is making it happen. Ana enables luxury industry leaders to deliver the ethos of experience in ways that are authentic to each brand. That’s why she fits right in as the Director, Global Guest Experience & Innovation at Dorchester Collection (DC) —a luxury brand of "iconic hotels in iconic places." With her 10+ years’ luxury brand experience and leadership, the DC's guest experience index increased by 22% worldwide. A strategist by trade, Ana starts with the relentless pursuit of relevant customer insights; validates them with the brand promise to determine fit; then builds the organizational requirements, talent engagement plan and implementation strategy. Unafraid to ruffle feathers, she routinely disrupts incremental change, engaging risk-takers, outsiders and rising stars in a swift journey from egocentric to customer-centric cultures.
Ana Brant’s pioneering has set new standards in the customer experience discipline. In 2015 Dorchester Collection was honored by the UK Customer Experience Awards for developing the top customer strategy in the industry and for being among the top two product launch leaders in the field, introducing a new “Loving the Customer” strategy. 2015 also brought Dorchester Collection the Engagement & Loyalty Award for best Customer Engagement Program in the world. Company’s performance was recently honored by the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, which has named Dorchester Collection as the finalist in the customer focus category.
Brant's innovations in customer experience led to articles in the Harvard Business Review and speaking engagements at Harvard University, SciencesPo, École Hôtelière de Lausanne, The Malcolm Baldrige Awards & the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit.
Ana holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Hotel & Resort Management and a Master’s of Science in Service Leadership & Innovation, both from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. At Cornell University she earned executive certifications in Strategic Leadership, Customer-Focused Product & Service Design, and Project
Leadership. At Stanford University she earned the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate.
Native of Croatia, Ana holds dual US/EU citizenship. Based in Los Angeles she splits her time between North America and Europe. No matter where she is, her strategy for turning discerning customers into raving fans springs from this: Service without context means nothing; context is what turns service into an experience!
Leaving her native Poland at the age of seven to live in a small university town in Nigeria, West Africa, was a turning point in Monika’s life, giving her a taste of travel, culture and hotels.
Monika returned to Poland to complete her high school education, and went on to complete her education in the USA, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Monika now lives in Hong Kong, where she is Vice President – Development for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. She previously held acquisition and development roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific, and hospitality consulting positions with Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young. Monika has also worked in the government sector, and has been responsible for the development and administration of hospitality education institutions in Laos and Australia.
Monika is a competitive swimmer and tri-athlete, and a proud mother of one son.
Jack Mason, Master Sommelier at the Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Houston Downtown and Galleria locations, achieved MS status at the very young age of 27 and one of the youngest to do so. He is one of only 9 esteemed Master Sommeliers currently in the state of Texas and one of 144 Master Sommeliers in the United States.
Born in Biloxi, Mississippi, Mason developed a fondness for the food and beverage industry while working in local restaurants in his hometown of College Station, Texas. Mason’s interest in wine was piqued while taking a wine education requirement class while pursuing a culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. Mason soon left to enroll in Hospitality Management at Cornell School of Hotel Administration. It was there he met his future mentor, Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars, and became a wine course Teaching Assistant. To further his education, he spent summers back in College Station working within wine shops and restaurants.
Mason returned to Texas following his graduation to begin his career in Houston as a Sommelier at the Grand Award-winning Pappas Bros. Steakhouse while simultaneously studying for and passing the Advanced Exam of the Court of Master Sommeliers.
In 2013, Mason moved to New York City to work in various notable restaurants. He refined his knowledge and passion of Italian wine as Sommelier of several Michael White Italian restaurants, including Ai Fiori and Marea. The following year, Jack joined famed restaurateur Danny Meyer to open Marta as the wine director, where he focused on wines from southern Italy and furthered the team’s beverage education. In 2015, Jack was inducted into the Court of Master Sommeliers. Mason decided it was time to return to his roots and moved back home to Texas in November 2016. He re-joined Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston as master sommelier at both the Houston Galleria and Houston Downtown locations. He is responsible for an inventory of more than 60,000 bottles of wine and close to 3,000 selections from the restaurant’s extraordinary wine collection.
In his current position, Mason informs guests on the nuances of wine quality that make for a stunning dining experience. He also is responsible for providing continuous wine programs and education for both the wait staff and patrons. Mason has been featured in Forbes’s annual “30 Under 30” list of outstanding young professionals nationwide, Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list in New York City as was named Wine & Spirits “Best New
Sommelier 2015.” He was also featured in the series “Uncorked” on the Esquire Network that followed his journey to receiving his MS certification.
In his personal life, this Master Sommelier enjoys spending time with friends, cooking and working on the house he shares with his wife Carly and their Goldendoodle, Mr. Bojangles.
Elizabeth Mullins is the Vice President, Hotels and Resorts - Experience Planning and Integration for The Walt Disney Company. She joined the company in July 2016 and in this role she provides strategic leadership for hotel development and the evolution of products and services to elevate Disney Hotel experiences throughout the world.
Prior to joining Disney, Elizabeth spent 28 years with The Ritz-Carlton in worldwide leadership positions in Asia, California, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City. She was a General Manager at five different locations for 15 years and an Area Vice president for 11 years.
Under Elizabeth’s leadership, her hotels earned the highest accolades including Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award, American Automobile Association (AAA) Five Diamond award, and top honors in leading travel publications, Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler. Elizabeth has been honored with several awards including the Hotel Association’s Hotelier of the Year in 2008 and 2002. She has held nine leadership positions on the boards of various nonprofits and industry associations.
Elizabeth is a member of the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseurs and is a sought after speaker to audiences on the art of service. She resides in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter.
I am a recovering litigator with a passion for commercial real estate and the evolving workplace, particularly as it relates to entrepreneurs, startups, and the innovation economy. At work, I hold dual roles: (1) Chief Commercial Officer for 1776, a rapidly expanding business incubation company based in Philadelphia; and (2) co-founder and COO of FirstBase, a brokerage dedicated to providing real estate solutions for startups, entrepreneurs, and mobile corporate employees. I am on the ownership team of both entities.
As the CCO of 1776, I lead our expansion strategy and work with our team to identify and qualify potential new locations and to structure creative deal solutions. I serve as the point person for each step – coordinating with our design team to develop the right layout, working with our design and construction management teams to monitor progress, and performing the financial modeling necessary to move forward with a deal.
During my time at 1776, we have grown from 6,000 square feet in Philadelphia to become the largest network of entrepreneurial incubators in the Northeast, with nearly a quarter million square feet of space stretching from Washington D.C. to New York City. Today, we have more than one thousand growing companies and independent entrepreneurs operating from 1776 facilities. We understand the impact entrepreneurs can make when they have resources, mentors, and inspiring spaces in which to work, and I am driven to broaden our footprint and create new opportunities for our members and their communities.
Prior to joining 1776 and FirstBase, I was a commercial real estate broker with Colliers International and a litigator with Blank Rome LLP. I received my law degree from Villanova University School of Law and my undergraduate degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, where I studied abroad in both Switzerland and Tasmania. I also taught English in Prague and worked for AmeriCorps before entering law school. Outside of work, I am an Ironman triathlete, avid skier, sporadic rock climber, and mediocre surfer.
An alumnus of Cornell Hotel School with a resume peppered with Michelin-starred restaurants Chez Julien in Strasbourg, TRU in Chicago and The French Laundry in Napa Valley, Certified Culinary Professional and Advanced Sommelier Adam Seger takes a chef's approach behind the bar, being called appropriately 'The Charlie Trotter of Cocktails' and the 'Grant Achatz of Spirits' (New City).
The farm to bar cocktail style pioneered by this ‘spirits guru’ (Fast Company) has put him on an international stage, creating original cocktails on four continents for celebrities, heads of state, connoisseurs and now millions of people going to the movies at iPic Theaters. From The Oscars to United Airline’s International 1st Class Polaris Lounge to Eric Ripert’s Cayman cookout, Seger’s cocktail creations have included award-winning products he has created and sells internationally including HUM Botanical Spirit, BALSAM Amaro and ‘Truffe Amere’ Perigord Truffle Bitters.
An industry leader and innovator, Seger created southeast Asia's first rooftop bar garden for ‘Best International Bar in the World’ 28 Hong Kong Street in Singapore and in New York City he grows his own herbs for his fresh take on seasonal cocktails. He is a charter member of The United States Bartender's Guild’s first Advanced Academy and is penning his first book ‘Drink Like You Eat: The Seasonal Cocktail Cookbook’. He keeps his palate in prime condition by cooking avidly and by judging wine and spirits for the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute’s tastings.com.
You can find Seger regularly mixing it up at iPic Theaters and The TUCK Room’s four bars in Manhattan’s bustling Seaport District.
Mark Wuttke, is a globally recognized leader in the spa and wellness industry, known for his high-profile work in beauty, spa, skincare, and wellness. Celebrated for his inspirational leadership style and passion for wellness and sustainability issues, he is founder of the Wuttke Group, an advisory specializing in guiding global companies on corporate strategy, M&A, alliances, portfolio management, and organizational workplace culture.
Wuttke is a certified professional business development speaker, coach, and trainer who works very closely with companies and individuals to help them enjoy greater influence, impact, and income.