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

Nathan Armogan

Nathan Armogan

Michael Scafuto

Sean DiCicco

Sean DiCicco

Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy

Travis Hackney

Lesley Bowman

Jason Wade

Dana Howell

Megan Archambeault

Amber Jung

Vildan Buric

Jason Charboneau

Martha Morales

Anthony Olheiser

Anthony Olheiser

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

Kelley Jones is the founding partner of Hospitality Alliance and principal of Kelley Jones Hospitality with offices in New York City, Dallas and Las Vegas. Kelley is the host of Vegas Restaurant Rehab featured on the Food Network. His ventures include the Hotel Melby and The Landing Rooftop in Melbourne Fl, Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara, Hotel Cormorant in La Jolla CA, and the Avenue Hotel in Bellevue WA, Violette’s Vegan Organic Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kelley and his Hospitality Alliance partners are creating, curating and operating Food Halls in Dallas, Las Vegas and Napa. Jones launched Gaku Ramen, loosely translated in Japanese to “educated noodle”, in Burlington Vermont and Boulder Colorado with a planned expansion into college towns across North America.

Jones instructs the culture and leadership training for all managers and team members for the Madison Square Garden Company at their venues including LA Forum, Chicago Theater, Beacon Theater, MSG and Radio City Music Hall. He trains teams at Newark Airport for OTG Management and Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX for Westfield.

Previously, Jones opened Hops & Harvest with James Beard award winning partner Bradley Ogden, an American farm to table comfort food concept. He also partnered with Top Chef Angelo Sosa on Poppy Den an Asian gastro-pup and retained Sosa as his culinary consultant at The Malibu Inn on Malibu Beach, California. He partnered with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian at Tudor House and HIGHBAR at The dream Hotel on Miami’s South Beach and opened Todd English Pub as managing partner in Las Vegas. He created Suite & Tender at the Se Hotel in San Diego and Eden on Miami’s South Beach, both with Michelin 2 Star Chef Christopher Lee.

Jones 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. Jones 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. Jones 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, Jones is often tapped to share his views and insight at conferences around the country including National Restaurant Association Show, Nightclub & Bar Show, Hospitality Design Boutique Expo, ALSD Conference, RD&E Conference, G2E Summit, the Independent Lodging Congress and Hospitality Innovation Planet in Madrid, Spain. Jones has spoken at prestigious institutions including Temple University School of Hospitality and Tourism, Culinary Institute of America, Florida International University and UNLV. He has been interviewed and quoted in industry magazines such as Nations Restaurant News, Restaurant & Institutions, Market Watch, Cheers, Restaurant Business, Food and Beverage Underground, Food Arts, Hospitality Design, Tasting Panel and Wine Enthusiast. Jones’ hospitality background is extensive and includes the following enterprises:

Kelley Jones is the Chief Development Officer of Hope For The City a non-profit of over 2700 Volunteers that sprang into action on March 18th 2020 to organize and execute pop up food pantries around the Las Vegas Valley to feed those affected by the Covid 19 pandemic which to date has fed 12 million pounds of food to over a million individuals. Jones is a founding member of the Epicurean Charitable Foundation in Las Vegas and continues to serve on the board and previously on the executive committee as Vice President and Chairman. He also served on the board of the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation as secretary.

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.

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

Michael Scafuto of 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 2010, 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 held the title of Chairman of the Board for 2015-19. As chairman of the board, he was 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 coaches Summerlin North Little League.

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

Amber Jung

Regional Vice President of Marketing Las Vegas for Caesars Palace

Amber loves helping people create memorable experiences in a unique way. With over 10 years of experience in the casino industry, she is experienced in a wide range of marketing facilities including brand marketing, casino marketing & events, and hospitality marketing with a focus on food & beverage and hotel.

Amber joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation in November 2021 to work along like-minded professionals and brings a unique skill set to benefit both the students and organization.

In addition to her work as a marketing professional by day, Amber is a mom of three- Baily, Kylee, and Paulie, an entrepreneur, brunch enthusiast and is known for her design and creative skills.

Vildan Buric

Director of Food and Beverage at Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino

As an ECF and Cum Laude Graduate from UNLV, Vildan has continuously achieved milestones, since his first ever Food and Beverage assignment. Currently, Director of Food and Beverage at Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino, Vildan has completed is a level one Sommelier and Cicerone Certifications. Vildan is true leader, that all of our current students can call a mentor.

Vildan is now giving back to the foundation, by serving as an Associate Alumnus Member.

Jason Charboneau

Senior Vice President, Beer, NA and CBD for Southern Glazers Wine, Spirits and Beer

In his role, Jason is responsible for leading and developing beer and non-alc strategy while building strong supplier and customer relationships. Jason has been actively engaged in SGWSB college recruiting program along with leading volunteer event organization and coordination, including supporting the Salvation Army Angel Tree program, Habitat for Humanity and local blood drives.

Jason joined ECF in February 2021 to help ECF offer more scholarships and guide the current students and alumni through challenges of the Las Vegas hospitality industry.

Jason is a proud Texas Tech Red Raider, graduating in 2006 with a degree in International Business. In his free time, Jason is more than likely spending time with his wife Alyssa and 3 young children, including coaching his daughter’s softball team, or out enjoying all the amazing food and entertainment Las Vegas has to offer.

Martha Morales

General Manager, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace

ECF Alumni Class of ’09

Martha is Epicurean Charitable Foundation’s first alumna board member. She is currently the Director of Hotel Operations for Caesars Palace. In her role, she oversees the hotel division; Bells, Color Salon, Qua Spa, Housekeeping, Front Desk, VIP, In Room Dining, and Weddings.

Martha is an ECF Alum who graduated in 2008. She is our first student to become part of the ECF board.

Las Vegas raised, Ms. Morales, graduated from Rancho High School in only three years with a 3.75 GPA back in 2005. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a degree in hospitality management. Ms. Morales began her career in the hospitality industry at the age of 16 and utilized both her education and experience to develop her skills. She has work at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, Hilton Las Vegas, Arizona Charlies Decatur and for the past 7 years she has worked at Caesars Palace in various roles prior to her promotion to Director of Hotel Operations.

Ms. Morales joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation as a board member to combine her passion for empowering young women and leading others with her knowledge of the hospitality industry.

Ms. Morales enjoys hiking, dancing and participating in community outreach events. She serves as the Community Chair for Vision in Action (VIA – a business resource group for Caesars Entertainment), is an active Board Member for the Hospitality and Tourism Academy at Valley High School and is a member of Toastmasters International. Ms. Morales is the proud mother of her 14-year-old daughter, Jasmin.

Anthony Olheiser

Anthony Olheiser

Vice President of Food & Beverage at Sahara Las Vegas

© 2022 Epicurean Charitable Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram