Thomas grew up on a small farm and worked for his family business as a hand on a drill rig until the age of 19.
From 1997 until 2000, he was a diesel mechanic for a Caterpillar dealership in Reno, NV, while attending night school and earning an associate's degree from community college
2000 – 2001 Attended University of Minnesota on full scholarship earning a Bachelor's degree in
2001 – 2002 Program director for the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, Reno NV
2003 – 2006 Attended Stony Brook University earning a Master's Degree in Philosophy
2006 – 2009 Server at Blue Water Grill in Union square
2010 – 2011 Beverage manager / AGM at Atlantic Grill east side
2012 – AGM at Strip House 44th street
2013 – General Manager David Burke Kitchen
Childhood Dream Job: Andre the Giant
First Job in Hospitality: Dishwasher
Favorite Drink: Cherry Coke
Perfect Meal (what & where): Cowboy Ribeye at Prime Steakhouse
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Black tie
What's in your refrigerator? Kawana Jone's white wines and yogurt
Michael Fancher is a certified IT pro with a score of previous experience in both restaurant and live music venue operations. As the Director of IT for CHG, he can synthesize keyboards, motherboards, and cutting boards in the pursuit of the right solution for both the problem at hand and the end user. Scripting is its own recipe.
Childhood Dream Job: Physicist
First Job in Hospitality: Assistant Dining Hall Manager as a teenager at Boy Scout camp in the...ages ago
Favorite Drink: Black coffee vs. Mt. Dew vs. Ting vs. Ramun Grape Soda
Perfect Meal (what & where): Spicy pork ramen at that place you didn't know existed and can't quite seem to find again
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Black Jeans
What's in your refrigerator? Energy drinks, berries/fruit, yogurt, meat, jilted vegetables
Gary Heller has over 20 years of operational, financial management, investment banking, and restructuring experience. Prior to joining Craveable Hospitality Group, he was President of Heathcote Capital LLC, a boutique consulting and financial advisory firm specializing in the restaurant, food and beverage, retail, and consumer product sectors. Clients of his included Il Buco, Good Times Restaurants Inc., Il Mulino New York, and Charlie Brown's Restaurants Inc.
Prior to his involvement in the restaurant industry, Mr. Heller worked as an investment banker and restructuring advisor for 15 years. While serving as Managing Director at FTI Capital Advisors, LLC executing mergers & acquisitions, financial restructurings and other corporate finance engagements, he began working with restaurant groups. After advising on the acquisition of a 23-unit pub chain, Heller took on the position of Executive Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Development at Terra Nova Pub Group Ltd. There, he initiated and executed the add-on of a 13-unit regional pub chain, developed, financed, and launched a new high-end pub concept in Canada, raised over $35 million in senior and mezzanine financing, and advised senior operations teams on strategic and financial matters.
Mr. Heller received a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Childhood Dream Job: Quarterback for the Jets (still holding onto the possibility)
First Job in Hospitality: Bartender in college
Favorite Drink: Beer, preferably a brown ale
Perfect Meal (what & where): Pizza and Beer, anywhere
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Blue Jeans
With over 30 years in the restaurant industry, Mark brings a wealth of experience to the Craveable Hospitality Group.
After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Accounting, and having worked in restaurants throughout his time at Syracuse, Mark's natural inclination was to find a job in the restaurant industry. He found a home as an Assistant Controller at the New York Restaurant Group, a small privately held company started by Alan Stillman, a veteran restaurant operator. He was soon promoted to Controller of the company, which included the original TGI Friday's, Smith & Wollensky and Post House, and expanded to include Manhattan Ocean Club, Cite, Park Avenue Café and Maloney & Porcelli. Over his 25-year tenure, he helped grow the Smith & Wollensky brand, and bring the company, renamed as the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group to a public offering on the Nasdaq in 2001. Several years later, in 2007, the company was bought out, and many of its employees found themselves in the job market. Mark spent the next 2 years in various restaurant operations including Le Cirque before landing at the Craveable Hospitality Group where 8 years later he holds the position of Vice President of Finance.
Childhood Dream Job: Guitar player in a Rock & Roll band
First Job in Hospitality: Cook at Fanucci's Restaurant, Swiftwater, PA
Favorite Drink: Vintage Port
Perfect Meal (what & where): Shrimp Cocktail, 60-Day Dry Aged Sirloin, Whipped Potatoes & Opus One at David Burke Prime
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Blue Jeans
What's in your refrigerator? Too much. A little bit of everything.
Matt O’Neill brings over two decades of experience cooking in the nation’s most esteemed culinary cities. His thoughtful perspective on the culinary arts shines through with purpose and commitment to off-the-moment cuisine.
As Partner and Vice President of Culinary at Craveable Hospitality Group, formerly the David Burke Group, Chef Matt has directed and overseen the culinary development for the group’s fourteen restaurant and lounge concepts across the country.
In 2011, Matt served as the Executive Chef at Ajax Tavern in Aspen’s award- winning Relais & Châteaux, the Little Nell hotel. Previous to that, he worked alongside Tony Maws in Boston’s celebrated Cragie on Main. In New York, he was sous chef at Bar Boulud and August Restaurant and was chef de partie at Restaurant Daniel. Matt ’s accomplishments included opening four concepts and contributed to earning the third Michelin Star for Restaurant Daniel. He has a degree in culinary arts from the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont.
Childhood Dream Job: To become a chef
First Job in Hospitality: Dishwasher at a pizza shop
Favorite Drink: Bourbon on the rocks
Perfect Meal (what & where): My mom's Sicilian style pizza, anywhere
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Blue jeans
What's in your refrigerator? Water, cold brew coffee, 3 plated meals (so my wife can cook dinner for me)
Named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America 2015 by Dessert Professional, Chef Zac Young is known for his playful takes on American desserts including the all-in-one Thanksgiving dessert sensation, The PieCaken.
After graduating with honors from the Baking and Pastry Arts program at the Institute of Culinary Education, he went straight to the top, working under Sebastian Rouxel and Richard Capizzi at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery. In 2006, his talents were recognized by Alexandra Guarnaschelli and he spent four years working as Pastry Chef at her downtown New York hot-spot, Butter Restaurant. Always hungry for more, Zac then trained in France under renowned Chefs Philipe Givre at Valrhona and Philipe Park at Chocolate Michel Cluizel.
Zac started a Donut Revolution with his dessert program at Flex Mussels Restaurants, also operating two pop-up donut stores in Grand Central Station. During that time he was included on the New York Times list of the Best Donuts in New York City, compelling the paper's restaurant critic, Frank Bruni, to write, “how lucky of us to find room for dessert.”
In 2012, Zac joined Craveable Hospitality Group. As Pastry Director, he oversees the dessert creations of the company's proprietary restaurants and bars. He also develops new concepts for licensing and consulting partnerships with Legends Hospitality (Angry Taco, Bacon Bar, Handwich Shop, Caputo Pizzeria, Fat Belly Clam Shack) and Silverspot Cinemas (Trilogy Restaurants)
Zac is best known for his Final Four finish on the inaugural season of Bravo's “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” and his signature wit and pastry wisdom showcased on The Cooking Channel's long running show, “Unique Sweets.” He frequently appears on Food Network as a judge on shows such as "Halloween Baking Championship", “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Worst Cooks in America,” “King of Cones,” “Bakers vs. Fakers,” and “Worst Bakers in America.”
Zac has had the privilege to cook at The James Beard House in New York City, and twice at their Hamptons event, Chefs and Champagne. He was honored when Food & Wine magazine selected him to sail the high seas as one of Holland America Cruise Line's “Chef On Board”
When Zac grows up, he wants to be a competitive Dim Sum Eater.
Childhood Dream Job: "Inventor" (I liked to put stuff together and break it apart)
First Job in Hospitality: Busboy at Tavern on the Green, I always thought the topiaries were real until I fell into one. They were plastic.
Favorite Drink: Gin gimlet
Perfect Meal (what & where): The pork chop at The Little Owl... Or soup salad and breadstick at the Olive Garden
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Black Tie
What's in your refrigerator? Sparkling Rosé and a lot of condiments
Sarah's passion for food and beverage began through her travels to France as a student at the bilingual Waring School, in Beverly, Massachusetts. Continuing as an undergraduate at Yale University, Sarah found her niche in the developing culinary scene on campus; she created a widely recognized gourmet menu for her residence's late-night buttery, chaired the Berkeley Senior Fellows wine education program, and won the inaugural “Yale Iron Chef” competition in her senior year.
After graduating from Yale with distinction in Political Science in 2009, Sarah began her career with Hillstone Restaurant Group. Sarah completed Hillstone's Management Training program in Phoenix, Arizona before relocating to Orange County, California and working in five different Hillstone concepts over two and half years. While in California, Sarah also obtained her CSW and WSET Advanced certifications.
Shortly after Sarah attained her first General Manager position at Bandera, Corona del Mar in June, 2012, she was offered the opportunity to run Hillstone's newly centralized Management Training program in East Hampton, NY. At East Hampton Grill, Sarah oversaw the development of more than 40 Managers in Training, curated training resources and a revamped the company's training calendar. Sarah also discovered her love of training and development, which she pursued by joining Craveable Hospitality Group in January, 2014.
As Craveable Hospitality Group's, Vice President of Human Resources Sarah created service standards, training systems and resources,, bringing HR compliance, systems and performance management under her purview. Sarah strives to apply experiential knowledge from her time in management to the HR systems, Performance Management programs and Training platforms that support Craveable Hospitality Group, as it develops its reputation as the preferred restaurant employer in its geographic markets.
Favorite Drink: Balvenie Caribbean Cask scotch, neat
Perfect Meal (what & where): "Lobstah" with drawn butter on my back patio at home in Massachusetts
Throughout her career, Melissa has brought her professionalism and pursuit of excellence to each of her positions. Peers point to Melissa's ability to cut through the noise determining what matters most, and her ability to engage and influence those around her delivering results that go beyond expectations.
18+ years in the industry in a variety of roles including operations and business development, provides Melissa a unique understanding of all aspects of the event and restaurant industry. Mentored by some of the industry's best, Melissa has the confidence and knowledge to go beyond the normal expectation of her role. Leveraging her excellent people skills, she works across the functions of sales and operations bringing her unique insights delivering an exceptional client experience.
Ms. Camp received her passion for events through the ranks of fine dining management, being one of the youngest managers tapped to oversee an iconic restaurant in Cincinnati Ohio. Melissa saw immediately a need for event sales revenue and created a position for herself selling and planning events while still managing a large front of house staff and wine program.
Melissa was recognized for her forward thinking and intuitive nature, and was quickly seen as an important addition and was hired by Restaurant Development Group as sales manager, within months she was mentoring peers across the country sharing her knowledge and expertise.
Melissa joined McCormick & Schmick's, a national chain of 80+ units, overseeing regional event sales. Observing her region's growth, senior management quickly rewarded Melissa and gave her increased responsibilities including mentoring and training sales managers nationwide. During this time, Melissa was hand-picked by the National Sales Director to co-write a companywide sales training program, a first for the company.
Her accomplishments were rewarded with multiple promotions and responsibilities, leading her to the Food Capital of the world, New York City. There Melissa was scooped up by a famed restaurant group, Myriad serving A-List clientele throughout NYC. While there, Melissa continued to broaden not only her business knowledge but her culinary and high-in beverage expertise through working with the very best and knowledgeable in the industry.
Currently Melissa serves as Vice President of Events & Sales for Craveable Hospitality Group. From the start, Melissa addressed the urgency to improve the event sales department of the growing brand. Now overseeing the event sales for all Craveable Hospitality Group's restaurants, she has transformed the department through discipline to do the difficult. From implementing an expansive online event contracting system, hiring right personnel and giving guidance and training to her department. Melissa now is spending time and focusing on each of the unique locations to contribute to the overall excellence of the company through strategic initiatives and decisions.
Ms. Camp continues to challenge herself and those around her to the very highest of professional standards. Her work and accomplishments are an example of hard work and dedication recognizable in any industry.
Childhood Dream Job: Artist living and working in a NYC loft
First Job in Hospitality: Cocktail server at Charley's Crab in Cincinnati Ohio
Favorite Drink: Triple style beers
Perfect Meal (what & where): Mom's Chicken and Dumplings, at my parent's dinner table
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Both!
What's in your refrigerator? My weekly CSA box
Stephen Goglia is the CEO & President of Craveable Hospitality Group. A seasoned hospitality professional, Goglia has more than 30 years of experience in restaurant operations, planning and development, financial performance, guest services and branding.
Prior to his role at Craveable Hospitality Group, Goglia was the Founder and Chief Executive of SMG PARTNERS, LLC, a consulting service working with entertainment venues, casual dining and upscale organic and vegan restaurants. Goglia also managed internal restaurant operations and grew brand portfolios at companies such as Marriott, Buffets, Inc., PF Chang's China Bistro and Strike Holdings LLC. With his business expertise and progressive management philosophy, he effectively leads teams and cultivates a corporate culture that allows for exceptional profit growth.
Goglia holds a hospitality management degree from Florida International University, an executive education degree from Harvard Business School and a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Childhood dream job: Pitcher for The New York Mets
First job in hospitality: Parking cars at 15 years old on the Jersey Shore. It would have helped if I actually had a driver's license.
Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
Perfect meal (what & where): My traditional italian seafood dinner with all my family and great friends on christmas eve at my house. And i get to cook it all!
Black tie or blue jeans? Blue jeans
What's in your refrigerator? In my nyc apartment, not much – bottled and flavored water. At home, whatever my wife buys!
Vice President of Brands & Development, Sarah Shearin is a seasoned hospitality professional. She has over a decade of experience in brand strategy & design of multifaceted, awe-inspiring restaurant concepts.
Her career path has been influenced by two of the most important people in her life: her father, the head of the School of Theater and Dance at East Carolina University, and her mother, a pastry chef who opened her own restaurant when Sarah was 13 years old. The North Carolina native spent her summers working with her dad in shows and as her mom’s pastry assistant honing in on her culinary expertise.
After receiving her degree in dramatic arts from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Sarah moved to New York City to pursue acting and joined Craveable Hospitality Group, a national restaurant group. Sarah quickly ascended from a role at their fast casual restaurant to the home office. During her time spent at Craveable Hospitality Group, she trained and educated new employees on systems and protocols, assisted with the creative development of cocktail programs, led the Special Events and Catering department for a single restaurant concept before overseeing the events for 14 unique restaurant concepts. Sarah spent the last three years building community restaurant brands through strategic marketing and engagement programs for the group’s concepts.
Childhood dream job: Broadway Star
First job in hospitality: Pastry Chef Assistant at my mom’s restaurant
Favorite drink: Gin & Tonic with Cucumber & Rosemary, or a perfect Old Fashioned
Perfect meal (what & where): Our Huge Southern Thanksgiving Dinner Spread, with my family and cousins in NC, followed by family sing-alongs.
Black tie or blue jeans? Blue jeans
What's in your refrigerator? So many meal kits that I really intended to cook when I ordered them but haven’t…
A native of Warren, NJ, Allison Ruderman is the VP of People and Culture for Craveable Hospitality Group.
Allison attended Dartmouth College where she studied U.S. History and Film Studies
She went on to work in operations for Hillstone Restaurant Group, including stints at Hillstone Santa Monica in Los Angeles, CA; R+D Kitchen and Houston's Beltline in Dallas, TX; Houston's Lenox in Atlanta, GA; and Hillstone Midtown in New York, New York.
In 2015, Allison returned home to the New York metro area and joined Craveable as VP of People of Culture, a role in which she manages HR and training for the company and strives to cultivate a high-performance, supportive working environment for all employees.
Allison is extremely proud to work for a group that emphasizes individual empowerment and creativity and is honored to play a role in championing Craveable's strong people-oriented culture. Outside of work, Allison is still a total film buff.
Childhood Dream Job: TV Weatherperson
First Job in Hospitality: Server at Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon. Yeehaw!
Favorite Drink: Tie: H20 or a perfectly made Negroni
Perfect Meal (what & where): Anywhere with good company and good conversation.
Black Tie or Blue Jeans? Black Tie
What's in your refrigerator? A lot of.. OK, not a whole lot of anything. Takeout queen!