Founder, Blau + Associates

James Beard Award Nominee Elizabeth Blau is widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into the world-class culinary destination it is today.

A graduate of the prestigious Cornell School of Hotel Management, Elizabeth began her career with famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni. 

Vice President of Food & Beverage Americas, Four Seasons

As Vice President of food & beverage for the last nearly nine years with over 40 properties under his watch and 20 properties under development, Guy Rigby has led a restaurant revolution, redefining the F&B selections, and the design and ambiance of each new outlet.

President, Foodservice Practice, The NPD Group

Warren Solochek has worked in the food industry for over 35 years. He joined NPD’s foodservice group in 2003 with the responsibilities of overseeing relationships with all CREST® clients. His role at NPD gives him a great deal of insight into today’s foodservice industry issues and trends, and helps him anticipate the issues the industry will face in the future.

Director, Culinary, Concept Kitchen + Bar

A.J. is an award-winning Chef-Consultant and Managing Partner of the boutique food consulting agency, Concept Kitchen + Bar. In addition to consultant brand work, Chef Barker works to integrate and on-board technologies in food service and agricultural applications for better community scaling.

Chairman and CEO, The Middleby Corporation

Selim Bassoul has led Middleby to tremendous growth through innovation. Under his leadership, Middleby has grown to a $2 billion global company with 60-plus brands and three business platforms.

Senior Vice President Innovation, Manitowoc Foodservice

Rick Caron is Senior Vice President Innovation at Manitowoc Foodservice. Under his leadership, he led a variety of new product development initiatives which have distinguished the company as a technology leader in the foodservice industry. 

Founder & President, Fryett Consulting

Douglas K. Fryett is President of The Fryett Consulting Group, a company he founded 1989 after holding several senior management positions in the foodservice industry. 

Vice President of Consultant Services, Ali Group

Rob Geile joined Ali Group North America in March 2014. He serves as Vice President of Consultant Services and is responsible for developing and cultivating relationships within the consultant and operator community.

Director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Services, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center

Dan Henroid is the director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Services at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center. 

Vice President, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and Vice President, Laureate Universities International Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts

Christopher Koetke is Vice President of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in Chicago and Vice President of Baltimore-based Laureate Universities International Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts.

Jim Lund, Design & Consultant Resource Manager, RATIONAL USA

Jim Lund has 31 years of experience within the foodservice industry, including the last 8 years at RATIONAL USA in the role of Regional Sales Manager and Area Sales Manager, covering 14 states within the central region, and most recently as the Design & Consultant Resource Manager. 

President and Chief Operating Officer, Alto-Shaam

Steve Maahs has led Alto-Shaam since 2007 following his father, the company founder. He began his career at Alto-Shaam in inside sales/customer service, and now with nearly 30 years of foodservice equipment industry expertise, continues to maintain focus on superior internal and external customer service. 

Founder & CEO, Puccini Group

Bob Puccini knows what makes social spaces and restaurants successful. Hospitality brands come to Bob because they know he understands the business from every perspective. Responsible for designing and remodeling over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, Bob translates client goals into winning concepts, earning him a stellar reputation and many long-time clients.

Vice President of Operations, Supply and Equipment Foodservice Alliance (SEFA)

Joe has an undergraduate degree in economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.B.A. from Purdue University, a Masters in Strategic Studies from The United States Army War College and a PhD from Benedictine University in Values Driven Leadership. 

Vice President of Business Development, Franke Foodservice Systems

Greg Richards has served as Vice President of Business Development at Franke Foodservice Systems since 2002, where he has contributed to the launch of technology-driven products and services that have expanded the company’s reach into new market segments. He also advises on marketing, branding and communications initiatives. 

Senior Director, Pulse by Gettys

An accomplished painter and musician, Jackson Thilenius brings a singular artistic vision to his work with The Gettys Group. After running his own successful architectural practice for more than 14 years, Jackson joined The Gettys Group in 2013 to develop PULSE by Gettys, an innovative design organization that creates experiential spaces that inspire social interaction and shared life memories.