JAY ZWEIBAUM, PRINCIPAL
Jay’s wide-ranging expertise and global experience can help you transform your entire organization. He is as comfortable working in Beijing as he is in Boston, and in assessing every aspect of your operations. He can provide strategic insights to improve your customers experience, raise your staff’s effectiveness, or streamline your supplier operations.
Jay's extensive international experience gives him unique insight into how to bridge cultural differences in food service and customers. Jay’s philosophy is centered around the concept that a positive customer experience will drive revenue. Process improvements, recipe standardization and staffing should all deliver great returns. Satisfied and motivated customers will continue to choose you first or recommend you, increasing your revenue and profits.
With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality field, Jay has held various operational and functional roles in the United States, United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Asia and South America. His resume includes the implementation of operational processes and systems, strategy development and implementation, supply chain management, labor relations and change management.
With experience in every aspect of food service, both back and front of house, Jay has led high-performing teams in more than 20 countries, focusing on both corporate client satisfaction and customer experience. He has worked in management and administration of food service in contract services, restaurants, retail, hotels, and senior living for companies including Aramark and Holiday Retirement.
Jay holds a bachelor of science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and is a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
JAMES FERENCE, SENIOR OPERATIONAL CONSULTANT
James has over 20 years’ experience managing a broad range of dining and hospitality programs, including AAA Five Diamond hotels, executive dining rooms, conference centers, off-site catering, and senior living.
James has a particular passion for employee growth and education. He invests in individual and team success, eagerly sharing his experience while creating excitement around new skills. His custom course development includes training on wine/beverages, computer knowledge, service standards, secret shopper preparation, dining etiquette, and cooking demonstrations.
In addition to proven food and beverage leadership, James has extensive software platforms, facility moves and buildouts, reservations teams, executive office amenities, receptionists, and concierges for global companies including ARAMARK, KPMG, and JPMorgan Chase.
More recently, James’ work focuses on employee sourcing, onboarding, and program development for high-net-worth individuals and senior living environments.
A Culinary Institute of America graduate, James takes a unified approach to front and back-of-house leadership and improvement, seeing the enhancement of food, beverage, service, and environment as a holistic recipe for program success.
DARIN LEONARDSON, SENIOR CULINARY CONSULTANT
Darin Leonardson brings his flair for flavor and freshness across the country. His passion is to continue disrupting the Healthcare and Senior Living Industry making every aspect a great dining experience. As a professional chef with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality market, Darin is transforming the industry with his passion for food and dining. By combining exciting flavors with wholesome nutrition, he is sharing his love of good food with thousands of people every day.
Previously, Darin held positions such as the Vice President of Culinary Operations for Blake Management Group and Rapid Recovery Centers and other various executive roles in the food and beverage industry.
Darin has also been featured as a celebrity guest chef for Holland America’s Cruise Line.
Darin graduated from South Seattle Community College with a Culinary Degree and from Ashford University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. Darin is happily married with three beautiful children, Isabella, Cameron, and Logan. He loves to skateboard with his kids and teach them how to both garden and cook. He currently lives in Dallas, Texas, and believes the best way to live is through a balanced lifestyle. One-third of your life should be family; one-third community and the final third should be your passion for work.
ROBERT GORDON, OPERATIONS & FACILITIES CONSULTANT
Robert Gordon brings with him over 30 years of corporate hospitality and retail operations experience. Holding global roles overseeing all aspects of food and beverage programs while ensuring a safe and sanitary environment, Robert has improved many dining programs while adding to their customer service. Robert also adds to the employee experience, with his distinctive hospitality mindset Robert brings a differentiator to his approach with all client and colleagues he supported.
Working in all aspects of real estate and hospitality Robert has had significant experiences with facilities, design and construction, space planning activities, and a focus on technology and its efforts to support the business. Robert brings hospitality, operational excellence, and team building to all that he does. Rob has led teams and efforts in all non-commercial hospitality spaces as well as the hotels, retail establishments and private clubs.
Robert’s experience allows him to support clients with their food and beverage programs, facilities management, and customer service. Robert has supported some of the world’s largest and most respected organizations.
MARC MUELLER, ASSOCIATE PROCUREMENT CONSULTANT
Marc’s career in procurement started in the hospitality industry, with a focus on dining operations for restaurants and hotels. By working with both end-users and key vendors, he learned contract negotiation, program implementation, rebate tracking and audit support functions with manufacturers and distributors.
Over the last several years, it became more and more apparent that countless facilities have limited resources to maximize the savings and management time caused by overseeing multiple purchasing contracts.
Marc brings a new approach to senior living owners and operators that automates and integrates the buying process to deliver maximum savings across the entire procurement process.
Marc offers his strong customer service and relationship development skills with his understanding of purchasing and vendor management, developed from being in the industry for over 20 years.
PEDRO FELIX, HOSPITALITY CONSULTANT
Pedro has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, both in the US and international markets including having spent many years living & working in Spain and Chile running operations in the Sports & Entertainment, Business & Industry, Healthcare and Mining Business sectors.
Pedro brings a wide range of operational and process improvement experience including: food cost management, labor cost improvement, sales & retention, client relationship management, training, organizational development and team dynamics.
Pedro’s unique bilingual (Spanish/English) abilities have enabled him to apply his talents not only in the hospitality industry but as an accomplished voice over artist and runs his own company, Globe Voice Overs dba Peter Felix. GVO provides an array of services including Spanish/English voice over and translation services to clients in both national and international markets.
Pedro holds a BTS in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts from NYC Tech.
JAMES MCGILLIVRAY, HOSPITALITY CONSULTANT
James is a Results-driven executive with over 30 years’ experience positively affecting Lodging and F&B sales, bottom-line profitability and workforce optimization through strategic development and business reengineering. He consistently meets and exceed corporate objectives while delivering award winning guest service.
James’ Lodging experience spans independent, franchise and corporate owned resort and city hotels / condominiums including multi-property oversight. He has a proven track record of providing exceptional results by driving guest satisfaction and retention, sales excellence, and revenue maximization. Background includes significant new build / opening experience as well as extensive successful transitions of hotels into new management companies.
Having themed, designed and opened three full service restaurants as well as managed a ski resort F&B division with sales in excess of $12M, James is well versed in all aspects of restaurant operations. This experience includes all aspects of banquet and conference operations.
James has strong planning and development expertise derived from drafting financial and market study reports, completing feasibility studies and obtaining funding approval including bank financing and government grant funds. James is comfortable engaging stakeholders including resort owners, condominium owners, local residents, and various planning and approval agencies to ensure full understanding of growth plans and to encourage input and buy-in.
James holds a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University School of Hotel Management and a Master of Business Administration degree from University of Western Ontario, Ivey School of Business.
YING SHAPIRO, IT CONSULTANT
Ying is a global IT executive with 15 years experience in hospitality industry. She is a passionate advocate of business value creation through technology. She led multiple successful implementations in food production, labor productivity, eCommerce, analytics, and enterprise resource planning. With deep interactions across United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, Ying is at ease collaborating cross geographies and cultures. Most prominently, she was the head of IT for an end-to-end engagement at the Olympics at Beijing China. Against an immovable deadline, Ying mobilized multiple teams to deliver required IT solutions.
Ying is an expert in traditional project management, and is an Agile Certified Professional. She holds a masters degree in computer science from University of Pennsylvania.