David Bloom, Chief Development & Operating Officer, Capriotti’s & Wing Zone
David Bloom’s early career in the restaurant and hotel industries included working with and for some of the most iconic brands and leaders. Following a subsequent series of similar senior roles with various other franchise brands, today, Bloom is responsible for all aspects of franchise development and operations for Capriotti’s Sandwich Shops and scaling recently acquired fast-casual concept Wing Zone to new heights.
Roger David, President & CEO, GSR Brands, Gold Star, Tom & Chee
Roger David started his career at Gold Star as a dishwasher and now leads the organization that boasts two iconic brands in its portfolio as President and CEO of GSR Brands, the parent company and franchisor of two successful brands: Gold Star and Tom & Chee. David oversees a team of dedicated professionals working to continue building the Gold Star brand that the first generation of his family began more than 50 years ago.
Meghan Lee, Owner, Heirloom
Meghan Lee is the owner of the beloved white house with red shutters, Heirloom restaurant in Lewes, Delaware. Dedicated to cultivating an environment that brings intention to the joy of eating at her table, Meghan built a restaurant that oozes charm, soul, and the celebration of Mid-Atlantic dining. Lee leads her Heirloom team with a true desire to foster a culture that lifts up the spirit of being a restaurateur, and celebrates the genuine connections made in the process.
Simon Lohse, Executive Vice President, RATIONAL North America
Simon Lohse is the newly appointed Executive Vice President of RATIONAL North America. He is responsible for leading and developing the business in USA, Canada and Mexico, to continue to deliver substantial and sustainable growth through supplying maximum customer benefit. Simon has over thirty years of experience in the Commercial Foodservice Equipment industry, having held executive roles in a number of disciplines including Research and Development, Manufacturing, Service and Maintenance and Sales and Marketing.
Juan Martinez, PhD, PE, FCSI, Principal & Co-Founder, Profitality Labor Guru
Juan Martinez is a 37 year industry veteran and currently Principal and Co-Founder of Profitality Labor Guru (PLG), an Industrial Engineering Consulting Company that helps brands optimize their investment to drive better unit economics. His experience spans to over 100 different concepts across all menu and service system offerings.
Steve Maahs, President and Chief Operating Officer, Alto-Shaam
Steve 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 30 years of foodservice equipment industry expertise, continues to maintain focus on superior internal and external customer service.
Rudy Miick, CMC, FCSI, MA, Founder, The Miick Companies, LLC
As founder of the Miick Companies, LLC, Rudy’s worked with over 1,750 restaurateurs to shift their dreams to achieved goals. He & his team have over 350 successful restaurant start-ups. His results drive net profit at 4 – 5x industry avg’s and staff turnover at only 22%. His client success is consistent in a myriad of industries: restaurants, hospitality, resorts, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, martial arts, retail, film, fitness and more.
James K. Pool III, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, The Middleby Corporation
Mr. Pool is responsible for Middleby commercial foodservice technology initiatives including IoT, ventless cooking, robotics, advanced controls, and air purification. In his current role as a company officer, Mr. Pool is directing the long-term company strategy, including M&A and innovation development. He has held several senior leadership positions within Middleby since the company’s acquisition of TurboChef in January 2009.
Mr. Pool also led the design and creation of the recently opened Middleby Innovation Kitchens, the first commercial foodservice demonstration kitchen of its kind located in the Dallas area. Visit www.middleby.com/mik.
Antonio Rico, Principal/Partner, Landmark Kitchen Design
Following a three-year period supporting the Food team at Google as one their subject matter experts in kitchen design, Antonio's next steps are as Partner/Principal of the San Francisco and Mexico City studios with Landmark Kitchen Design. His goals are to mentor upcoming Food Tech start-ups, rethink what the future of foodservice design/consulting can be, and also push for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the foodservice design field and foodservice equipment world.
David Tracz, AIA, LEED AP, Co-Founder & Principal, //3877
David Tracz, AIA, LEED AP, is the Co-Founder and Principal of //3877, a multi-disciplinary architecture and design firm. Known for their hospitality projects, in addition to their private residential and multi-family portfolio, their Washington, D.C. restaurants include Succotash, The Grill, Cranes, Mi Vida, GATSBY, Mah-Ze-Dahr, and Momofuku. //3877 has also worked with hotel brands such as Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Sheraton, and Hilton.