Chief Pastry Officer, Big Night Restaurant Group: Cavalier, Marlowe, and Park Tavern Restaurants
With six cookbooks to her credit and numerous awards, Luchetti has helped to define what great pastry in America means. As chief pastry officer for Big Night Restaurant Group, she oversees the pastry operations for the Cavalier, Marlowe, and Park Tavern. Prior to that, Luchetti was executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Farallon since its inception in 1997 and at Waterbar since it opened in 2008. She began her culinary career on the savory side of the kitchen at San Francisco’s legendary Stars restaurant before switching to the sweet side three years later. She was the pastry chef at Stars for seven years and also co-owned the retail bakery StarBake. The petite powerhouse is the author of Stars Desserts (HarperCollins, 1991), Four Star Desserts (HarperCollins, 1995), A Passion for Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2003), A Passion for Ice Cream (Chronicle Books, 2006), and The Fearless Baker (Little, Brown and Company, 2011). Her first two books were rereleased as Classic Stars Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2007). Luchetti’s honors include the 1998 San Francisco Focus Magazine Pastry Chef of the Year, the 2001 Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award, the 2003 Food Arts magazine Silver Spoon Award, and the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. From 1994 to 1999, she served as chairperson of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, and currently serves as a dean of the International Culinary Center in California and New York. In 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle chose Luchetti as one of 20 Visionary Chefs in the Bay Area, and she was inducted into the Culinary Pioneers of America. In 2012, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Prior to being named chair of the JBF board of trustees, Luchetti served on the Foundation board for six years, three as vice chair, and as chair of the James Beard Awards Committee. She is the founder of #dessertworthy, a social media movement aimed at increasing mindfulness around sugar consumption.
Woodrow W. Campbell
Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Under Woodrow W. Campbell’s leadership, Debevoise has built one of the largest private equity fund practices in the world. Since 1993 Debevoise has acted as counsel for sponsors of or investors in over 675 private equity funds with committed capital of more than $454 billion. Concentrating on private equity, venture capital, and hedge funds, Campbell is ranked in the highest “senior statesmen” category for private equity fund formation in Chambers Global (2004-2005) and Chambers USA (2005).
President, Jamestown Properties
Throughout his career, Michael Phillips has focused on development. Through his real estate development platform and property interests he has created concepts and designs for highly accredited restaurant and retail stores and supplemented this work by consulting and financing product programming. He has acted as a consultant and participated in the renovation, design, expansion, and financing of various homes, businesses, and programs both internationally and locally. He is the recipient of the Urban Design Commission Award for the development of West Side Urban Market in Atlanta. He is a principal at White Provision Development Company in Atlanta and a founder of the Westside Provisions District in Atlanta. Michael Phillips joined the partnership at Jamestown Properties as creative director in the spring of 2008 and opened the New York creative office. He serves on the board of directors for Sparkman & Stevens, Inc., the oldest naval architecture and engineering firm in the United States. He formed and served on the Municipal Facilities Commission for the Town of Cranberry Isles, ME, to aid selectmen. Phillips has focused on community outreach programs and supporting sustainable communities on islands in the United States and abroad. He contributes both monetarily and with his time to various organizations including Park Pride in Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Mount Desert Island Sailing School, Northeast Harbor Sailing School, The Neighborhood House, Make-A-Wish, Alstrom Syndrome, Ubuntu Paideia School, 3 Dimensional Life, Camp Beech Cliff, the Ovarian Cancer Institute, and various arts organizations.
Frederic M. Seegal
Vice Chairman, Peter J. Solomon Company
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Cornell University, Frederic Seegal has held a number of senior positions at investment banking firms, including president of Wasserstein Perella and co-head of domestic investment banking at Salomon Brothers. Seegal is a trustee of the New York City Center, the San Francisco Symphony, and Chairman of the Board of the Parrish Art Museum. He has been the president of the American Ballet Theatre and has served on the boards of the San Francisco Opera, the Neuberger Museum, and Southampton Hospital.
Principal, Quantum Media
Erica Gruen is a management consultant for Quantum Media, where she specializes in providing integrated business advice to media and entertainment companies. She also created a new online television studio, Sand & Stars, which produces programs that air on several websites including GoodHousekeeping.com and MensHealth.com. Prior to joining Quantum Media, Gruen was president and CEO of the Food Network, where she staged a complete brand and programming turnaround. Gruen has also worked as director of media services for the integrated marketing and communications firm Merkley Newman Harty and was senior vice president of Stategic Media Resources at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies.
Retired Partner and Senior Vice President, Wellington Management Co., LLP
Nancy Lukitsh has been active in the investment management industry since 1993. She spent the majority of that time as senior vice president, partner, and director of marketing at Wellington Management, where she was responsible for the development and execution of the firm’s global marketing strategy. She currently serves as a trustee of the Columbia Atlantic (Mutual) Funds. Prior to joining Wellington Management, Nancy was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where she led their East Coast healthcare practice and also served a range of clients in the health insurance and financial services industries. Nancy serves on the executive committee of the Leadership Council of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; the visiting committee for the Dean for Student Life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the Women's Health Leadership Council, Connor's Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received her MBA from Harvard Business School.
Kimberly Grillo Bernstein
Kimberly Grillo Bernstein is the former Vice President and General Counsel of the United States Surgical Corporation, one of the world's leading healthcare and medical device companies. As the company’s legal officer, she managed global legal issues including litigations, arbitrations, mediations, intellectual property, SEC investigations, acquisitions, and other legal matters. Prior to the USSC, Bernstein worked for the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., the States Attorney's Office in New Haven, Connecticut, the Connecticut Superior Court as a judicial clerk, and for a boutique law firm in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She has been active in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through her 3 daughters, who in 2011 were honored for their years of fundraising leadership in the Fairfield County Chapter of the JDRF at its annual gala. Bernstein also served on the Parents Executive Board of Choate Rosemary Hall, a premier boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut. She is a cum laude graduate of Central Connecticut State University and received her law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. Now retired, Bernstein pursues her interests including travel, cooking, golf, hiking and biking, and divides her time between Colorado, Kiawah Island, and NYC.
Christian T. Brown
Managing Director, NOLA Holdings, LLC and Chairman, McIlhenny Company
Mr. Brown is the managing director of NOLA Holdings, LLC, a private equity investment firm owning interests in numerous niche businesses. He is chairman of the board and a family member of McIlhenny Company, the 147-year-old maker of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce. Mr. Brown is the treasurer and a member of the board of directors of Avery Island, Inc., a family-owned land management company. Civically, Mr. Brown serves as the vice chairman of the Greater New Orleans Foundation; the chairman of the Selley Foundation; the inaugural chairman of the Audubon Society Louisiana; and a founder and former chairman of the Pro Bono Publico Foundation, which provides grants to the New Orleans public school system and its support entities.
Peter B. Cameron
CEO, Lenox, Inc.
Peter Cameron is currently the CEO of Lenox Corporation, an American manufacturer of fine china. Cameron previously served as CEO of Waterford Wedgwood plc, a manufacturer of fine china and crystal products, and from 1997 to 2003 he held the position of CEO and president of All Clad Holdings, a manufacturer of cookware products that was acquired by Waterford during his tenure. He is also currently vice chairman and owner of Acuity Management Inc., an investment management company that owns and operates several commercial real estate investments. From 1988 to 1995 he served in various senior level management capacities within Hanson plc, including chairman of U.S. Industries Housewares Group, and president and CEO of Farberware, Inc. Prior to that, Cameron was CEO and president of Revereware, a leading manufacturer of branded cookware to department store and mass merchant channels. Cameron has also held senior management positions at Polaroid Corp., Bowmar Instrumental Corporation, and Starcraft. He graduated with a B.S. in economics from Northeastern University, and serves on the boards of Northeastern University, Chapel Hill, The International Housewares Charity Foundation, Acuity Management, Farberware Licensing Co., Hartmann and Lenox. He formerly served on the Board of Directors, New York Botanical Garden Association, International Housewares Association, and Bronx Green-up.
Lisette Derouaux is an executive and start-up adviser with nearly two decades of experience combining non-profit and for-profit management in the hospitality, entertainment, and internet industries. Her attention has most recently turned to food, education, and the intersection of the two. From 2011 to 2012, Lisette volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, where she designed and implemented a program to teach underprivileged youth how to shop for produce and prepare healthy, low-cost meals for under $5. From 2004 to 2008, Lisette was the first business development executive at Skyrider, a start-up focused on combating digital piracy by leveraging peer-to-peer technology. Her primary role was as liaison between the company's founder and CEO and music industry executives and artists. From 2003 to 2008, Lisette served on the board of Just Think, a media literacy organization. From 1997 to 2003, she was the executive director and vice president of Quincy Jones’s Listen Up Foundation, where she focused on developing mentorship programs and intercultural exchanges between young people and leaders around the world, while also working with leading organizations such as UNICEF to promote children’s health and well-being. Lisette graduated with a Diplome de Maitrise en Commercialisation et Gestion in Marketing and Hotel Management from the Ecole Superieure Pratique de Commercialisation in Belgium.
Ph.D, Owner/Founder Vermilion New York and Chicago
A leading restaurateur, a proponent of Indian cuisine with her unique Latin twist, and an avid supporter of women, former economist and management consultant Rohini Dey straddles the worlds of business, glamour, and philanthropy across the United States and India. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a Doctorate in Management Science from the University of Texas. She worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where she managed projects in foreign investment. Later, at McKinsey & Co., her management consulting project experience and knowledge development spanned a range of industries with a focus on growth. Currently an entrepreneur, Dey is the founder, owner, and culinary director of Vermilion, which has locations in Chicago and Manhattan. Vermilion has received acclaim from Chicago Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, USA Today, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Financial Times, Time, Chicago Tribune, and Esquire, among others. Rohini also writes on restaurants, including her “From the Gut” series for the Chicago Sun-Times and columns for the Huffington Post. Rohini is a staunch supporter of women in business and the education of girls on a global level. She cofounded the James Beard Foundation Vermilion Women in Culinary Leadership (WICL) Scholarship, backed by a roster of celebrity Chefs For Women (CFW). She also established the non-profit MSEdG-Educate Girls Globally, to which she donates all her writing proceeds. She is on the Leadership Council of the American India Foundation. Dey is an active member of the Chicago Network, International Women’s Forum, the Women’s Forum of New York, 85 Broads, and the Economic Club of Chicago. She hosts and speaks for a multitude of women’s, culinary, entrepreneurial, and philanthropic forums and continues to engage actively with leading business schools, including University of Chicago’s Booth, Northwestern’s Kellogg, and Columbia’s Stern.
Jill A. Greenthal
Senior Advisor, The Blackstone Group
Jill A. Greenthal has advised and financed media companies for over 30 years. As a senior advisor in private equity at the Blackstone Group she assists with investments in the global media and technology sectors. Prior to September 2007, Greenthal was a senior managing director in the advisory group. Before joining Blackstone in 2003, she was co-head of the global media group, co-head of the Boston office and a member of the executive board of investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston. Greenthal is a graduate of Simmons College and received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She is on the board of directors of Akamai Technologies, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Michaels Stores, Inc., and the Weather Channel Companies. Greenthal is also a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Simmons College, and is an overseer of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
President, Solon Inversiones
Bernardo Hernandez is a graduate of ICADE, Pontifical University of Comillas, Madrid’s most prestigious business university. He received a masters degree in finance from Boston College and holds the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation. At the age of 29, after five years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the asset management industry with companies like Fidelity Investments, BBVA, and Putnam Investments, Hernandez started his first internet venture, idealista.com, now the leading real estate site in Spain. Since then, he has participated as an angel investor in other online start-ups, such as Tuenti, index.com, wallapop,floresfrescas.com, or 11870.com. In May 2011, he was appointed to the jury of the Prince of Asturias awards of science and technology. Hernandez joined Google in 2005, where he held various positions in the marketing and product organization departments. While at Google, he led the acquisition of Zagat acquisition and ran the Zagat team until departing Google in May 2013. Hernandez was also the head of Flickr at Yahoo! until May 2015. He currently lives in New York with his newborn daughter, where he runs his early-stage technology investment fund, Solon Inversiones.
Founder and Chairman, Arabella Advisors
As founder and managing director of Arabella Advisors, Eric Kessler helps builds philanthropy strategies, evaluates non-profits and provides back-office management services for family philanthropists, professional foundations and corporate donors around the world. Together with his team of colleagues, he has impacted billions of philanthropic dollars going to issues from food and nutrition policy to education reform to global health. He founded and serves as president of the New Venture Fund, a home for donor collaboratives and incubator of innovative new non-profits. He founded the Creation Care Fund and co-founded the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, where he serves as board member. He is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the Association of Small Foundations, the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and Summit Series. Eric also serves on the board of directors of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Earlier in his career, Eric served as the national field director for the League of Conservation Voters and then as a White House appointee, helping to manage conservation issues during the Clinton administration. Just prior to starting Arabella, Eric lived in the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, where he advised civic organizations promoting democratic reforms for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Eric is a co-owner, with chef Mike Isabella, of Graffiato, Kapnos, and G, all well-reviewed restaurants in Washington, D.C. He holds an International M.B.A. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
John H. Kessler
Senior Vice President, RBC Wealth Management
John H. Kessler joined J.B. Hanauer & Co. as a financial advisor in 1970 and ultimately rose to the position of chairman and principal stock holder. In May 2007, the company was acquired by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Kessler specializes in fixed-income portfolio management and has been recognized by RBC for his accomplishments through his appointment to the RBC Chairman’s Council. He is the president of Banyan Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, a board member of Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey, and a member of the New Jersey Professional Golf Association, where he has run countless fundraisers over the past thirty years. Kessler recently chaired the 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, held at the Mountain Ridge Country Club in September 2012. He serves on the board of trustees for the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, and is involved with the United Way of the Palm Beach and the United Jewish Appeal. Kessler received a degree in business administration from Monmouth University in New Jersey, where he has been a trustee since 1997, and in 2009 was named a life trustee. Mr. Kessler and his wife, Henni Kessler, led the fundraising effort for the University’s football stadium, which now bears their name.
CPA, Partner, CohnReznick, LLP
Cindy McLoughlin is a partner with CohnReznick and the leader of the firm’s hospitality industry practice in New York City. With more than 18 years of experience, Cindy has developed extensive expertise in providing audit services to mid- to large-sized companies. She is part of the capital markets group with a focus on private equity transactions and liquidity pre-IPO strategy. Prior to joining CohnReznick, Cindy was the managing partner for the audit practice of a national accounting firm in Long Island, New York, where she also served as the concurring partner on the audits of a number of large public companies. She also held responsibilities there as a internal audit quality reviewer. Cindy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSCPA), the Institute of Management Accountants, and the Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women.
In 2012, Cindy received the Corporate Leader Award from Long Island Women’s Agenda, was named one of Long Island Business News’ “Top 40 under 40,” and one of Long Island’s Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business. The previous year, the Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women selected Cindy to receive their Achievers’ Award. Cindy is a Long Island board member of the American Heart Association and an advisory board member for Friends of Karen. She holds a B.S. from California State University.
Wenda Harris Millard
Vice Chariman, MediaLink, LLC
Wenda Harris Millard is president of MediaLink LLC, a leading strategic advisory and business development firm that provides critical counsel and direction to the media, advertising, and entertainment industries and to companies and investors that interact with those sectors. Before joining MediaLink, Millard was co-CEO and president, media, for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. A seasoned executive with over twenty-five years of publishing and advertising experience, Millard was formerly chief sales officer at Yahoo!, and has held executive positions at Ziff Davis Media, DoubleClick, SRDS, Family Circle, and Adweek, Mediaweek, and Brandweek magazines. In 2015, Ms. Millard was named a Maker in AOL’s Makers: Women Who Make America, a series created by Gloria Steinem and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dyllan McGee. She has received numerous industry awards including being named in 2012 as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising in the Last 100 Years,” receiving the 2011 Oracle Award from Springboard, the 2009 ad:tech Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2007 John A. Reisenbach Award for Distinguished Citizenship, the 2006 “Advertising Person of the Year” Silver Medal Award from the AAF, and the 2005 Matrix Award for “Women Who Change the World.” Advertising Age acknowledged Millard as one of the 20 most influential executives in interactive media, and she was the subject of a profile by Tom Brokaw as part of NBC’s “Women to Watch” series. Active on behalf of the advertising industry throughout her career, Millard is past chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and former president of the Advertising Club of New York. She serves on the board of the Advertising Research Foundation, and has served on the boards of the Advertising Council, the American Advertising Federation, the Advertising Education Foundation, and others. Currently, she sits on the boards Verifone, Inc., Millenial Media, and Simulmedia. She served two terms as a trustee of Trinity College in Hartford. Millard holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BA from Trinity College.
Mary Sue Milliken
Chef/Owner Border Grill Restaurants and Border Grill Truck
A pioneer of world cuisine since the creation of City Café and CITY Restaurant in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Mary Sue is also a preeminent ambassador of modern Mexican cuisine at her Border Grill Restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Angeles International Airport, Santa Monica, and most recently a second Las Vegas location at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace. After becoming the first female chef at Chicago's Le Perroquet in the 1970s, she trained at a two Michelin-star, female-owned restaurant in Paris. She later joined a handful of progressive women chefs to found Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. Along with chef Susan Feniger, her partner of more than 25 years, Mary Sue has authored five cookbooks, starred in nearly 400 episodes of Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales, and hosted a popular and lasting food-centered radio show. In 2013 they were honored with the California Restaurant Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Mary Sue successfully advanced to the finale on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, winning $40,000 for Share Our Strength, where she is a longtime board member. A passionate food policy advocate, Mary Sue can often be found working alongside the LA Food Policy Council, PEW Charitable Trusts, OXFAM, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and other organizations that help to shape sustainable food systems. She is also a member of the U.S. State Department’s American Chef Corps, furthering the industry’s role in diplomatic affairs.
Chairman, Compass Partners, L.L.C.
Richard E. Perlman has been Executive Chairman of ExamWorks Group Inc., a national provider of independent medical examinations, since founding the company in July 2008. He is also the president of Compass Partners, LLC, a merchant banking and financial advisory firm he founded in 1995 that specializes in middle market companies and corporate restructuring. Perlman also serves as director of The One Group, Inc. Previously he served as chairman and director of TurboChef Technologies, Inc., a commercial food equipment manufacturer, which was acquired by the Middleby Corporation in January 2009. He serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Wharton Undergraduate School, the Advisory Board of the Wharton School Entrepreneurship Program, and is the sponsor of the Perlman Grand Prize for the winner of the Annual Wharton School Business Plan Contest. Perlman received a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a M.B.A. from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
President and CEO, Food Bank For New York City
Chef/Owner, Bacchanalia, Star Provisions, Floataway Cafe, Little Bacch, W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, and SUMMERLAND
Walter C. Richter
Vice Chairman, Deloitte LLP
Walt Richter is a vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and the managing partner of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer (OCEO) program. As managing partner, Richter oversees interactions with Deloitte’s largest clients. He also is a member of the executive committee of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Prior to joining the OCEO, Richter was the managing partner of Deloitte’s Connecticut practice. He is the audit committee chairman and a trustee of the James Beard Foundation, and is a board member of Ridgefield Animal Organized Rescue. He also has served on the board of trustees for the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Education Trust Fund.
David W. Rivkin
Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
David W. Rivkin is co-chair of the International Dispute Resolution Group of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and President of the International Bar Association. Mr. Rivkin is the first American to serve in that position in a quarter of a century. The IBA's membership includes more than 55,000 members and 200 bar associations from more than 170 countries. He has broad experience in the areas of international litigation and arbitration, and has handled arbitrations throughout the world and before virtually every major arbitration institution. Mr. Rivkin is consistently ranked as one of the top international dispute resolution practitioners in the world. In 2012, the American Lawyer’s AmLaw Litigation Daily named Mr. Rivkin one of two “Global Lawyers of the Year.” In 2011, the National Law Journal named him one of the country’s “Most Influential Attorneys.” Mr. Rivkin serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, for which he is also an adviser to several of its Restatements, and he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was appointed by the U.S. State and Commerce Departments to be a founding member of the NAFTA Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes, and he is currently a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law and a member of the Sanctions Subcommittee of the Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. In 2008, Mr. Rivkin served as a member of the Ad Hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, after previously serving on the panel for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Mr. Rivkin graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in history, and received a J.D. from Yale in 1980.
John V. Washko
Vice President of Operations, Auberge Resorts
John V. Washko is the vice president of operations at Auberge Resorts, where he oversees food and beverage programs for all properties in the collection. Washko joined Auberge Resorts in 2010 with more than 30 years of hospitality experience, including over 20 years with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. During his Four Seasons tenure, Washko held various operational leadership positions within the company’s food and beverage and rooms divisions throughout the United States and internationally. While with the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Washko was a part of opening teams worldwide, including Dublin, Istanbul, Whistler, and Costa Rica. He was also hotel manager at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills and Four Seasons San Francisco, which achieved the Mobil 5 Star rating within its first year of operation, as well as food and beverage director at properties including the Pierre in New York City and the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Washko received a James Beard Foundation Angel Award in 2008 in recognition of his significant contributions to the Foundation. He resides in San Francisco.
Founding President (1986-1995)