Will Guidara '01
Make It Nice
Director of Global Guest Experience & Innovation
Monika Dubaj MPS '94
Vice President - Development
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
Gerry A. Fernandez
President & Founder
Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance
Ethan Hawkes '07, MBA '10
CEO & Co-Founder
Richard Katzman '81
Managing Director, Mexico City
Jack Mason '11
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
Vice President, EPI Hotels & Resorts
The Walt Disney Company
Jerre Riggs '02
Chief Commercial Officer
Adam Seger '91
iPic Theaters and TUCK Restaurant Group
Pierre-Edouard Vintrou MMH '04
Senior Vice President
JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group
Mark Woodworth '77, MPS '78
Head of Lodging Research
President & COO
Vivek Bhogaraju MMH '06
Director of Revenue Management Solutions
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.
Nearly everyone who knows Gerry Fernandez and the work that he does for The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), describes him as a man of vision, dedication, and passion. As President and Founder of MFHA, an educational non-profit organization that makes the business case for developing cultural intelligence in the workplace, Gerry has been recognized over the years for his work in educating members on, and advocating for, the business benefits of cultural diversity and inclusion in the foodservice & hospitality industry.
With over 40 years of experience in the industry, Gerry has held leadership positions with several well-known companies including The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, The Capital Grille and General Mills, where he got his start in diversity and inclusion work.
Gerry’s career-altering moment happened while still employed as a National Account Manager for General Mills. Gerry attended a Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) conference that sparked the idea for MFHA. “I thought, if there is a need for a women’s group to promote opportunities for women, then there ought to be a group to promote opportunities for people of color,” he shared. MFHA was the first organization to bring about a national discussion on diversity management in the hospitality industry just a year later.
Gerry’s most recent recognition comes from Nation Restaurant News’ “Power List” 2014, featuring the 50 most powerful people leading and shaping today's restaurant industry, cited as a Top Catalyst for promoting change. This is the second time he has been named to the coveted list, which counts mostly C-suite executives from leading companies and organizations in foodservice.
An engagingly energetic Speaker who practices “straight talk”, he travels across the US and internationally, bringing authentic perspective on building Cultural Intelligence that raises the topline, improves the bottom- line and builds cultural authenticity into the brand. He is also a sought-after motivational speaker, inspiring others to find new ways to recover and succeed over life's setbacks, based on a personal tragedy.
Gerry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foodservice Management from the same school, where he also earned a Culinary Arts degree, and an honorary doctorate in Business Administration. Gerry has three sons, six grandchildren and lives with his wife, Debra (Jackson) in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Ethan Hawkes is CEO and Co-Founder of PlacePass, a travel technology start-up in Cambridge, MA. PlacePass enriches lives through great in-destination experiences and recently partnered with Marriott International to connect their 100M+ travelers with local tours and activities.
Previously, Ethan was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company and a leader in the global travel practice. Over the past 7 years with McKinsey, Ethan helped industry leading clients accelerate growth and profitability through applied expertise in customer experience, online distribution, and strategy topics. Ethan’s client base spanned Fortune 500 travel suppliers (e.g., cruise, car rental, hotel, airline clients), private equity investors, and sharing economy players.
Prior to McKinsey & Company, Ethan worked with Ministries of Tourism and the private sector in Lebanon, Zambia, and Jamaica. During this time he helped ~180 small travel suppliers enhance their livelihood through e-commerce. He also served as a volunteer for the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism. Ethan is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and holds an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. His family operates independent hotels in Maine and Vermont.
Ethan is passionate about helping others discover and create exceptional hospitality experiences. He particularly enjoys kayaking, making the most of loyalty programs, and venturing out on his motorcycle.
His dream experience is to spend a morning with a Maine lobsterman.
Richard Katzman is Managing Director of HVS Mexico City. HVS is a global leader in providing consulting services to hotel developers and investors, hotel chains, lenders, and other market participants. The Mexico City office under Richard’s direction is involved in the preparation of market and feasibility studies, as well as appraisals, for hotels across Mexico and beyond. The company analyses varied hotel assets, ranging from economy to luxury, in both urban and resort settings. HVS is similarly active in the analysis of complex mixed-use and master-planned projects, and also participates in the formulation of expansion strategies on behalf of investors and operators.
Richard has been involved in hotel and real estate advisory services in Mexico and other Latin American countries since 1992. Richard was the founder of Grupo Inmobiliario Inova, a real estate advisory boutique sold in 2001 to Insignia/ESG, then among the world’s most prominent real estate service companies. In 2003, Richard formed a new real estate service platform that lead to the 2007 formation of HVS’s office in Mexico City.
Richard’s professional experience includes positions with Laventhol & Horwath (now Horwath HTL) where he performed hotel feasibility analyses for projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and Fischer-Macleod Associates, a New York-based developer of regional shopping centers. Richard later joined The Yarmouth Group (later part of Morgan Stanley), where he executed acquisitions of office buildings, regional shopping centers, and hotels, and managed real estate portfolios on behalf of U.S. and Japanese institutional clients. In addition, he participated in establishing the company’s presence in Europe, opening an office in Paris and overseeing investment and asset management assignments in Germany, Spain, and the U.K.
Richard was born and raised in Mexico City. He completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and earned his MBA from The Wharton School. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Richard has served on the Board of Trustees of The American School Foundation, A.C., an independent school of 2,450 students founded in 1888.
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.
Credit to Alice Gao
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.
Pierre-Edouard Vintrou is a hotel investment advisor with a 20-year experience in investment, lending, advisory, hotel operation and asset management in Europe, North America and Asia.
He is currently a Senior Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels & Hospitality Group based in the London office where he focuses on Asset Management of hotels properties throughout Europe.
He was previously Principal of 3R Hospitality a hotel investment advisory firm, and completed projects in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China and Australia, for institutional investors, developers, hotel operators, family offices, private equity groups and HNWI.
Before undertaking these assignments he was Director, Corporate Finance at InterContinental Hotels Group, served as Manager Real Estate Finance with the Royal Bank of Scotland in London and worked in Atlanta USA as Senior Financial Analyst at TriMont Real Estate Advisors Inc. providing Asset Management for a $500m hotel portfolio for Lehman Brother’s Principal Transaction Group.
Pierre-Edouard holds a master’s degree from Cornell University, a Bachelor from Glion Hotel Management School in Switzerland and graduated from Paris Hotel School – Jean Drouant, witha Baccalaureate Technologique Hotelier.
He is a former member of the Hotel Asset Management Association (HAMA-Asia) and of the Rotary Club of Bangkok.
Mr. Woodworth is Senior Managing Director of CBRE Hotels | Americas Research based in Atlanta. Mark has over 35 years of hospitality industry advisory experience. Before joining CBRE, Mr. Woodworth was a Partner and Industry Chairman of the Hospitality Industry Consulting practice for Coopers & Lybrand L. L. P.
Mr. Woodworth has been quoted on hospitality issues in such noted publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Barron’s, USA Today, The Financial Times and numerous industry publications. Furthermore, Mr. Woodworth is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, is a Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer at Cornell University and is a member of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Conference of Business Economists as well as the Hotel Development Council of the Urban Land Institute. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Finance Committee of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, the School Council at Henderson Mill Elementary and advises the Georgia Hospitality & Lodging Association. He also completed a three-year term on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University.
Mr. Woodworth has managed and conducted consulting assignments, involving both the public and private sectors, throughout the U.S. He has worked for the industry’s leading lenders, developers, chains and management companies and has dealt with all aspects of management contract negotiation, operations, development and financing. Mr. Woodworth has been qualified as an expert and has testified in contract-related litigation and/or bankruptcy matters in New York, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and the U.K. regarding hospitality properties.
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.