Robert Sloop is Chief Executive Officer of Kaizen Management, LLC.
With more than thirty years of experience within the food service industry, and internationally recognized as one of the industry’s leading financial professionals in the sector, Bob has been CFO for some of the industries leading multi-concept restaurant groups, including Jean-Georges Management, Gotham City Restaurant Group, Toscorp Inc., and Blue Shore Grill LLC./Coco Blue. In addition to his operational experience Bob was also divisional controller of Albert Fisher Foods, a $3.2 billion dollar publicly traded international foodservice supplier with more than 80 locations worldwide.
Prior to his extensive foodservice background, Bob was CFO for five institutional hedge funds with more than $500 million in assets under management as well as CFO of two publicly-traded post-secondary educational companies.
Bob began his career as controller and operational director of Design Circuit Inc., an international lighting and design firm which completed more than 75 projects totaling over $300 million in new construction, producing such venues as Underground, New York New York, Infinity, Copacabana, Régine’s, and Le Mouche.
Bob acts currently as Chief Executive Officer of Kaizen Management, LLC, a New York-based management consulting firm specializing in process improvement, cost reduction, and restaurant financial systems implementations. Bob also holds a general partner position with Kaizen Capital Advisors which supplies equity capital to the restaurant industry.
He holds an MBA in Accounting and Finance with a minor in Management Information Systems from Pace University and is a Certified Network Engineer. He is Benchmark Certified for the hospitality industry, and has been awarded 2006,2007,2008 Professional of the Year for Restaurant Consulting and Development from Strathmore’s Who’s Who.
Cecelia Heer has guided executive chefs in the U.S. and Caribbean by preparing restaurant menus for implementation in enterprise solution software programs to help control inventories and costs. She also provides financial and accounting services. Before embarking on a career in the culinary industry, Cecelia was an investor/public relations executive in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. Previously, she was an analyst at Dean Witter (now Morgan Stanley), Goldman Sachs, and Paine Webber (now UBS). During that time period, she assisted in several Initial Public Offerings of both healthcare and consumer products companies, including RJR Nabisco. Cecelia attended the New York Institute of Finance and holds an MBA in finance from Pace University. She also attended the French Culinary Institute and studied under the auspices of one of the country's leading food critics.
As an avid sports enthusiast, Cecelia enjoys yoga, running, working out and golf. She has worked at several of the PGA national golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open, the PGA, and the Barclays.
When not working, or participating in sports, she's behind the stove creating and experimenting with new recipes. http://www.cece-corner.blogspot.com/
Ed Weinstien is a foodservice industry executive with proven operations, corporate performance and senior management expertise in hospitality & specialty-retail organizations with revenues experience ranging from $10 million to $156 million. Ed offers 19 years of direct and successful P&L management responsibility with up to a $40 million division within corporate operations. A top industry performer in the foodservice field and exceptional leader, Ed’s reputation for operations consolidation, cost-reduction, financial and guest service solution management is best in class.Ed is well networked and active in the trends and developments of the Culinary Arts and Service Operations Management. Ed brings proven expertise and top performance in restaurant, production and specialty-food retail environments. His unique qualifications, positive competitive nature, engaging management style, and consummate professional attitude, have been instrumental in his rise within the industry and his accomplishments over his 25 year career.
Ed holds a degree in business Rutgers University. He was professionally trained in the culinary arts and is followed by several appointments with high-profile restaurants and resorts, including; Coco Pazzo Group. Blue Shore Grill and Gotham Restaurant Group
Quinten S. Putnam
Enterprising, innovative results & quality driven professional with diverse management, technical and interpersonal skills.
Highly resourceful and adaptable to changing business environments.
Recognized and distinguished for excellence as a world class photographer with 24 years experience in that field.
Owner of several studios in New York and Florida specializing in high end portraiture,corporate, fashion and beauty.
The portrait and corporate side of his business had Quinten working at all the finest hotels in New York City such as the Waldorf Astoria, St. Regis, and Pierre Hotels. He also worked in every exclusive country club on Long Island photographing New York's most exclusive and outrageously over the top affairs.
His Corporate world clients included Wall Street Firms Salomon Brothers, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Economic Growth Group.
Quinten's fashion and beauty work was published worldwide in magazines such as Playboy, Penthouse, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar to name a few.
Quinten holds several Microsoft Certifications including Microsoft Certified System Engineer.
Having worked in the Merchant Services and Point of Sales systems for many years he brings a wealth of experience in negotiations and dealing with all types of clients and businesses.
David Madison launched a remarkable career with a Business Management degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and accreditations from Windows on the World Wine School in New York City. Since then, David has lent his talent to many revered establishments throughout the Northeast and across the country.
David began his climb at Joseph’s Restaurant in Park Ridge New Jersey as Assistant General Manager and Sommelier. After learning the ropes first hand and mentored by the owner, he went on to hold the General Manager position at the Yarmouth Port Inn in Massachusetts and Jeremiah Towers famous Stars Restaurant in San Francisco.
Returning home to the northeast, David accepted a position with China Grill Management at the Hudson Hotel in New York City. As Director of Food and Beverage, responsible for all hotel food and beverage operations, David further diversified his portfolio of accomplishments. David next accepted a position at Jean Georges Vongerichten’s wildly popular Spice Market in New York City. During his tenure as opening General Manager, David was widely recognized for his passion, creativity, financial savvy and organizational skills.
David then moved on to join Starr Restaurant Organization at the once famous Striped Bass in Philadelphia as General Manager. Along with consulting chef Alfred Portale of New York’s renowned Gotham Bar & Grill and James Beard Rising Star chef Christopher Lee, David successfully returned the bankrupt restaurant to prominent status and achieved 4 Bells from The Philadelphia Inquirer. Being highly motivated, David received an offer from renowned chef Tom Colicchio in New York City to open Craft in Dallas and Los Angeles.
Following successful openings in Dallas and Los Angeles, David accepted a position as Director of Operations for Mascott Corporation in NJ and opened four new locations. Returning to New York, David accepted a position as opening Director of Food & Beverage at Yotel Hotel in New York City overseeing all operations.
Following his passion, David accepted a position as Director of Operations for Smash Partners LLC in New York City, overseeing multi-unit franchise and independent restaurant locations in New York City, Westchester and CT.
Nick Tischler is an awarded entreprenuer & innovator having been involved in restaurant operations, food-beverage concept development, and industry brand trends since 1988 . Nick attended the University of Maryland and the Culinary Institute of America (1992), then worked for years under such luminaries as Rudy Speckamp (Certified Master Chef), Charlie Palmer, Andre Soltner and David Bouley.
In 1998, Tischler was awarded the James Beard Foundation nomination as national 'Rising Star Chef'. In 2006, Nick was credited as a pioneer of 'Component Cuisine' by the New York Times and Travel & Leisure magazine. Mr. Tischler has been featured on the TV Food Network's 'Dining Around' and 'Ready-Set-Cook!', awarded as 'Star Chef of the Year-1999' by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine, and reviewed by the New York Times, the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle and countless other sources.
Nick is the founder and principal of Invest Dining Solutions and DineXconnect. In 2007, Nick created the GrapeCode brand as an information technology solution for the $35billion US wine market. Mr. Tischler and IDS have developed scores of industry related projects and consulted with clients worldwide.
Tim Powell is a 12-year veteran of the food and beverage industry.
His career has given him a unique perspective of the business from the bottom up. Having spent his early years in back-of-house operations in successful chain restaurants including Houstons and J. Alexander’s, Mr. Powell learned hands-on the cost control measures of the food side of the business. Later, he moved to front-of-house operations, and as a bartender and server learned the benefits of the classic approach to quality products – and most importantly, the exponential returns of superior service.
Mr. Powell took these core values to New York, where he gained an even broader perspective through management positions in-high volume establishments like Tavern of the Green and 230-Fifth – two of the top-ten highest-grossing establishments in the country.
As a General Manager, he developed and proved his skill at creating efficiency and reenergizing venues ranging from boutique spaces, such as Mannahatta and Kush and to clubs like Webster Hall – the most famous mega club in existence for over two decades.
Mr. Powell is known for setting the bar high and for bringing exemplary service standards to the nightlife industry. He understands the competition, he sees where the nightlife industry’s business model is broken, and he sees the vast opportunity to excel through service and dedicated appreciation of the guest.
As Director of Purchasing for Kraft, Gotham City Restaurant Group and Toscorp Inc, Ravi was responsible for ensuring product availability, quality and cost effectiveness while delivering valuable performance metrics. Ravi maintained strong partnerships with all vendors, met operations product needs on a timely basis and evaluated and recommended new products to enhance standards and increase profitability. His leadership responsibilities on all procurement business decisions in adherence with market standards were world class.