Board of Directors and Board Members

Craig Gilbert

Craig Gilbert

Eric Brady

Eric Brady

Kelley Jones

Kelley Jones

Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson

Marisa Martino

Marisa Martino

Sherri Pucci Sosa

Sherri Pucci Sosa

Stacey Taylor

Stacey Taylor

Mark Gilbert

Nathan Armogan

Nathan Armogan

Michael Scafuto

Sean DiCicco

Sean DiCicco

Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy

Travis Hackney

Travis Hackney

Lesley Bowman

Jason Wade

Dana Howell

Megan Archambeault

Marti Winer

Marti Winer

Craig Gilbert

Craig Gilbert

Managing Partner of Drive This! Entertainment

*Charter Member

Craig Gilbert was a charter member of Epicurean Charitable Foundation when he joined in 2001. Mr. Gilbert has made it his goal to mentor students by passing along the knowledge and expertise he has gained from more than two decades in the hospitality industry.

As a Managing Partner of Drive This! Entertainment, Mr. Gilbert oversees operations of hot spots including RHUMBAR, Casa Fuente Cigars, American Burger Works and Tacos & Tequila in Las Vegas and Natural 9 Noodle Company and Tacos & Tequila in Cabazon, Calif. His previous experience includes serving as the Vice President of Food and Beverage at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and Vice President of Food, Beverage and Entertainment at Pala Casino Resort and Spa in San Diego.

Mr. Gilbert attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and has been an active member of various industry organizations including the James Beard Association, American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and the American Culinary Federation.

Eric Brady

Eric Brady

Chief Strategy Officer of Purestar Group

Eric officially joined Brady Linen Services in 2003 after obtaining his Accounting Degree. Eric later went on to
complete his EMBA from UNLV. Up until January of 2020, Eric served as President of Brady Linen Services, a provider of laundry cleaning services headquartered in Las Vegas with over 2,000 employees
located in the U.S., Bahamas and Mexico.

Eric is now the Chief Strategy Officer/ Partner/Owner and serves on the Board of Directors for the Purestar Group, which owns and operates thirty-two laundry plants across nine states and three countries. PureStar Group continues to rapidly grow by adding to their current brand while employing over 5,000+ employees. He has worked in various capacities within
the organization and is intimately involved in the continued growth of all facets of the business.

In addition, Eric serves on the Board of Directors of Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA), which is the laundry industry leading trade association, remains a key member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and recently served four years on the Board of Directors for Somerset Academy, a private non-profit school with several locations through Las Vegas and a student body of over 4,000.

During his free time, Eric enjoys traveling, camping, off-roading and spending time at the lake with his three daughters. He was born in Las Vegas and continues to be a prominent figure by supporting various local charities and educational programs.

Kelley Jones

Kelley Jones

Founding partner of Trust3 Hospitality and Kelley Jones Hospitality

*Charter Member

A charter member since 2001, Mr. Jones joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation to give back to deserving students in the Las Vegas community and to network with peers. He served as ECF Chairman of the Board from 2013-14.

With offices in Las Vegas and New York City, Mr. Jones is currently leading a number of high-end ventures across the country including: XVI and JBird in New York; the re-launched Malibu Inn in association with Chef Angelo Sosa; partnering with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian at Tudor House and HIGHBAR on Miami’s famous South Beach; the creation of Suite & Tender at the Se Hotel in San Diego and Eden on South Beach, both with Chef Christopher Lee; and the creation of “Hell’s Kitchen: The Restaurant” for ITV Studios. He has been on the opening executive teams of some of the country’s leading hotel brands including: The Monaco Washington DC, Hudson New York, Clift San Francisco, Argonaut San Francisco and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Las Vegas, and plans to launch the one-of-a-kind Dinner in the Sky dining attraction in the summer of 2014.

Mr. Jones’ prestigious hospitality experience includes serving as president of Light Group, vice president of restaurant operations for Starr Restaurant Organization (SRO), vice president of restaurant operations for Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group and director of development and operations for China Grill Management, among others. He has managed the operating teams of eight of the top 100 highest grossing restaurants in the country and has led the opening teams of five of the top 100 highest grossing restaurants in the United States. Mr. Jones has also held senior executive level positions with three of the top 75 multi-concept restaurant operators in the country (#’s 3,7 and 15) as ranked by Restaurant & Institutions Magazine.

Because of his expertise in the hospitality industry, Mr. Jones is often tapped to share his views and insight around the country including at Bar & Nightclub Show, Hospitality Design Boutique Expo, RD&E Conference, G2E Summit, the inaugural Independent Lodging Congress, Temple University School of Hospitality and Tourism, and the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson

Executive Director of Food & Beverage for Four Queens/Binion’s

Ken Johnson joined ECF in 2010. With a passion for mentorship and education, Mr. Johnson has made it his goal to encourage students to achieve their dreams through hard work and determination.

Mr. Johnson currently serves as the Executive Director of Food and Beverage for Four Queens and Binion’s Gambling Hall. Mr. Johnson began his hospitality career as a Front Desk Supervisor for Four Queens in 1982. Other previous experience includes Beverage Manager for Four Queens in 1992, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage for Four Queens in 1997 and Director of Food and Beverage for Four Queens in 2000.

A native of Kenitra, Morocco, Mr. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of West Florida.

Marisa Martino

Marisa Martino

Owner, Bar-Kada Hospitality

In 2012, Marisa Martino began her membership in Epicurean Charitable Foundation. Ms. Martino joined the organization due to her passion for making a difference in children’s lives through education. Her goals for the organization are to help students network within the industry and to mold the next generation of food and beverage leaders by serving as a mentor.

With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, she brings her knowledge and expertise in the restaurant and hotel industry to her role as a board member. Ms. Martino is the owner of Bar-Kada Hospitality. Her previous roles include luxury recruiter for Gecko Hospitality, managing partner of ATM Hospitality, general manager of N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort in 2004, managing partner of David Burke inside the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in 2006 and Director of Food and Beverage at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa & Casino in 2010.

Ms. Martino holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Sherri Pucci Sosa

Sherri Pucci Sosa

President of Venue Nation Leader at Live Nation

Sherri Pucci Sosa is President of Venue Nation Leader at Live Nation. She has had an extensive career in the Gaming industry. Over the last 20 years, she has held roles at the property and corporate level. Her journey has taken her from her start in Las Vegas with Station Casinos to Corporate role with Harrah’s Entertainment. Once on board with Harrah’s Entertainment, Sherri moved to Memphis to a more extensive gaming role in the Central Division post-merger with Caesars Entertainment. She moved back to property operations and became the Assistant General Manager at Harrah’s New Orleans. In the summer of 2015, Sherri returned to Las Vegas to take on the General Manager role at the historic Flamingo Hotel and Casino and the newly renovated LINQ Hotel and Casino. She recently transitioned to be the General Manager of Planet Hollywood. She is ultimately responsible for the three main determinants of the property’s success-profitability, customer service and employee satisfaction. Sherri currently oversees annual revenues of more than $500 million and more than 2,000 jobs in the community.

Sherri has always made giving back to the community a priority and has been focused on urban issues and addiction, joining the Board of Caridad, a non-profit organization focused on outreach for the homeless in the community and on the Community Advisory Board of the Mission High School in Las Vegas, which is the country’s only state funded high school focused on addition recovery.

Sherri received her MBA from Tulane’s Freeman School of Business in New Orleans. Her undergrad is from the Asper School of Business in Manitoba, Canada. From within the Caesars organization, Sherri was a recipient of the Caesars Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2017, the award for Harrah’s Award Excellence in Leadership Award in 2008 and the Chairman’s Award in Leadership in 2006.

She is married to her partner Ernie for more than 10 years and they have two children, Annalea 9, Cruz 7 and an adopted chihuahua. She is a born and raised Canadian, originally from Winnipeg, and proud to support the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Stacey Taylor

Stacey Taylor

Chief Supply Chain Officer for TriMark USA

Stacey is Chief Supply Chain Officer for TriMark USA.  She is excited to join the board to provide support for ECF students in both time and treasure to students aspiring to go on to college, in particular those who thought it wasn’t an option for them.

She provides leadership and strategic vision to Global Procurement and is implementing a Companywide procurement program inclusive of sourcing, purchasing, program management and supplier management to optimize financial savings impact and improve associated processes to drive efficiency. Having served in her current position since 2015, Stacey has nearly 30 years of experience in procurement, purchasing and sourcing. She served as Vice President of Procurementwith ConAgra Foods from 2006-2015, and in various Director roles at Tyco International from 1997-2006

She is currently serving on the ISM board of directors, and both COUPA and WRMSDC’s advisory boards.  Stacey previously served as the Director of YWCA Omaha, President of The Nebraska High School Lacrosse Association, member of the Great Plains Minority Supplier Diversity Council, and the New England Minority Supplier Diversity Council.

Stacey received her Master of Business Administration Degree from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass., and her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY. She and her husband Jack have two children, Jaclyn and Justin.

Mark Gilbert

President, A Bettor Company

Mark has over 17 years of influential hospitality experience in the casino, hotel, nightlife, and food beverage industries. He started his career when he took an entry level position at the Palms Casino Resort. This opportunity led him to opening multiple nightclubs and restaurants for the N9NE group including the infamous Playboy Club. He has held multiple leadership roles with numerous organizations, most recently with MGM Resorts International as the Vice President of Food & Beverage for Mandalay Bay and as Vice President of Operations with Caesars Entertainment.

In his current role as President of A Bettor Company. A Bettor Company is a souvenir and packaging company with multiple trademarks in distilled spirits, medical products, food products and apparel. In his role, he oversees daily operations for the organization with a focus on all trademarks, marketing and creative direction, supply chain, packaging and national sales efforts with international expansion happening in 2021.
Mark joined ECF because he is passionate about helping those realize their full potential and to fulfill their dreams. He hopes to bring more awareness of all the great things this organization does and how impactful it can be on the hospitality industry in the future. He looks forward to providing advice and skills to the ECF students throughout their four-year degree. “It wasn’t until I joined this organization that I truly knew what it felt like to change someone’s life for the better and it is a truly humbling experience.” says Mark.

As a community partner he works with multiple non-profit organizations and is a board member for the Nevada Restaurant Association. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling internationally and being back on his family farm in Indiana. His hobbies and interests include scuba diving, snowboarding, CrossFit, anything DIY project.

Nathan Armogan

Nathan Armogan

Hospitality Executive

Nathan Armogan is a veteran of the hospitality industry, having served in a leadership capacity in both corporate and property operations. He most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Bally’s & Paris Resorts and Casinos. Previously, he was Vice President and General Manager of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Nathan joined Caesars Entertainment in 2009 as Director of Gaming Revenue Management. He later moved to Gaming Analytics, where he held various roles before his promotion to Vice President of Gaming and Casino Marketing Analytics. Prior to joining Caesars, Nathan managed financial planning and analysis at Bally Technologies, Inc. and Progressive Gaming International. His background is in accounting, finance and financial analysis.

Nathan holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Macalester College in Minnesota and an International Baccalaureate Diploma from the Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway. Originally from South Africa, he is fluent in Afrikaans and conversational in German and Spanish.

Nathan joined ECF in May of 2020 after having opportunity to work with graduates of the program that provided first hand evidence as to the transformative power of the organization. He is most excited in the opportunity to mentor ECF students and feels that the hospitality industry is in a seminal moment and the mission of nurturing the next generation of leaders has never been more important. He is eager to be a part of the organization’s embrace of multi-culturalism and to be able to impart his experience & guidance with several aspiring hospitality leaders.

The joys of his life are his wife Amber and 3 children, Kasara, Kiran and Amira. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing soccer and international travel.

Michael Scafuto

CEO & President, The M&M Group Entertainment

Michael Scafuto, CEO & President of The M&M Group Entertainment, is a 2nd generation entertainment industry executive and a 4th generation US Military veteran, serving in the US Navy as an Air Crew Survival Specialist (PR2 AW/SW).

Michael has spent his entire life in the entertainment industry, from walking music festivals at the age of 8 with his father to becoming one of the leading casino talent buyers in the US. The M&M Group, now 40-year company, is a well-known multi agency that has both venue and artist clients and maintains one of the largest Latin rosters in North America. With more than 300 shows annually, with over 150 different artists of every genre imaginable, the M&M Group’s extensive knowledge and dedication continues to bridge the gaps in all areas within the entertainment industry.

He is most excited to join ECF to effectively contribute and assist in guiding young people through their time with the foundation. He looks forward to being a positive role model and setting a great example for these emerging young professionals.

In his spare time, Michael is a full-time family man and spends 99% of his time with his daughter Penelope, son Michael IV, and wife Kaylyn. Michael and his family also spend many weeks boating from Alaska/Canada to the southern parts of Latin America or in the desert riding dirt bikes, sand rails and camping. He is always trying to teach his children that living life through your eyes and doing things will always better than watching it on TV.

Sean DiCicco

Sean DiCicco

Corporate Vice President of Food and Beverage, ClubCorp.

In 2011, Mr. DiCicco joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation to positively affect deserving students’ lives in Las Vegas. After serving as Vice President of ECF for 2013 and 2014, he now takes over as President for 2015-16. Mr. DiCicco’s goal for ECF is to mentor the young minds of future food and beverage leaders and give back to an industry that has been so good to him. As ECF president, Mr. DiCicco will be responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations for the organization with a focus on fundraising, building community relationships and student development.

Mr. DiCicco graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, with dean’s list honors. In addition to serving as Vice President of ECF, Mr. DiCicco is an Advisory Board Member for Le Cordon Bleu and served on the Board of Directors for Cheflive Las Vegas.

Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy

Director of Food Operations at South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa

In 2012, Mr. Kennedy joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation to support and mentor the next generation of hospitality professionals. After serving as Executive Committee Secretary for 2013-14, he now holds the title of Chairman of the Board for 2015-16. As chairman of the board, he is responsible for working closely with the ECF executive committee and board of directors to enhance member recruitment and oversee all community-based fundraising and grant efforts.

Mr. Kennedy is the Director of Food Operations at South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. In his role as Director, he oversees South Point’s Food and Beverage Department as he works to implement strategic plans, guest relations, process improvement and create food and beverage promotions for the property. Mr. Kennedy oversees the hotel’s 13 venues including dining, fast-casual, concessions and the hotel’s wine program. With more than 24 years of experience, he continues to expand his expertise in analyzing, developing and implementing policies to drive his department toward higher achievement.

Mr. Kennedy enjoys quality time with his wife and children and participates in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity committed to funding research to find cures for childhood cancers.

Travis Hackney

Travis Hackney

Vice President, National Accounts - Gaming

Lesley Bowman

Director of Accounting, Wyndham Consumer Finance at Travel + Leisure Co

Lesley received her undergrad in Business Administration, Finance at UNLV and her Master’s in Accounting and Financial Management at Keller Graduate School in California. Lesley is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the state of California. Lesley has over 14 years of Accounting/Finance experience, 8 of them being in the golf industry and 6 being in the travel industry.

Lesley joined ECF in March of 2021 in order to give back to the community, spearhead ECF’s accounting, and be involved in a charity that gives scholarships to deserving recipients.

Lesley is a dog mom to Marvin and Evie, which are a Frenchie/Boston mix. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling (especially to the beach), going to Vegas Golden Knights games, golfing, going to concerts and volunteering at other local charities.

Jason Wade

Director of Strategic Activation, Breakthru Beverage Nevada

Jason Wade is a Director of Strategic Activation for Breakthru Beverage Nevada. In this role he works with F&B operations throughout Las Vegas, to help them create cutting edge beverage programs, and build relationships with key suppliers and influencers in the industry. After graduating from the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV Jason began a 20 year career in hospitality, centered around wine and beverage. Prior to his last position as Director of Beverage for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Jason managed wine and beverage programs for high profile restaurants at Wynn Las Vegas, Bellagio and the Four Seasons.

During his time at Wynn Las Vegas, Jason began volunteering for Three Square, a charity in which the property was heavily involved. This sparked his desire to give back to the community which he has called home for 25 years, and he has since continued his volunteer work with the Nevada SPCA, Sunshine Nevada and Project 150. He joined the ECF in 2021 to continue working with Nevada’s young adults and help inspire the students of his alma mater.

Jason grew up in Hawaii surfing the beaches of Oahu, and still loves to spend his free time in the outdoors. He cherishes his time with his family, hiking, snowboarding and mountain biking whenever possible.

Dana Howell

Vice President & Legal Counsel of MGM Resorts International

Dana Howell is Vice President & Legal Counsel of MGM Resorts International (MGM Resorts). Through her position, Mrs. Howell provides strategic legal advice to MGM Resorts, and its affiliate and subsidiary properties, in a wide range of employment and labor matters.

Mrs. Howell joined MGM Resorts in 2015 and through her role has represented and provided strategic legal advice to the Company and its executives on managing risk appropriately and ensuring compliance with local, federal and state law. Mrs. Howell also deeply values diversity and inclusion and supports the Company through assisting with D&I initiatives, providing legal advice and counsel in D&I related matters, as well as creating and providing D&I focused training, policies, and materials meant to support MGM Resorts and its employees in the employment context.

Mrs. Howell joined ECF to bring a new perspective and insight to participants about the diversity of career opportunities in hospitality, as well as general employment law and HR insight they will need to be successful in a professional career.

Mrs. Howell is a true Husker, attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and receiving her B.A. in 2006, and receiving her J.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law in 2009. During her free time, Dana can be found relaxing by the pool with her wife, Holly, and 3 dogs, traveling, listening to a good true crime podcast, cheering on the Golden Knights, or enjoying live entertainment events and concerts.

Megan Archambeault

Vice President of Sales, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, THE SIGNATURE at MGM Grand, NEW YORK NEW YORK Hotel & Casino

Marti Winer

Marti Winer

Vice President of Event Productions, MGM Resorts International

Marti B. Winer joined MGM Resorts Event Productions as Vice President in September 2018. Under Marti’s leadership, MREP is focusing on maintaining its rich history and bringing cutting-edge innovation and creativity to our customers. Marti has a passion for hospitality and a firm belief that events are the greatest communication to foster engagement among global diverse audiences. She also believes that by keeping a keen focus on the goal and vision for each unique event, MREP can exceed expectations in delivering events full of “wow” moments on time and on budget.

Marti is an energetic leader with track record of success in utilizing communications, events, marketing and analytics in corporate and entrepreneurial environments. She brings leadership experiences in finance, operations and experiential marketing. She served as Vice President, Global Communications and Events for Wyndham Hotel Group, as well produced events for industries ranging from finance and pharma to food service and franchising. Marti has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Drew University, Madison, NJ, an MBA from Rutgers University and, just for fun, a Masters of Letters from Drew University having completed a thesis on the role of hospitality in 20th century literature. Marti also loves to clown around each year as a volunteer clown in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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