MBA, CO-FOUNDER + CEO, FORA SPACE
Fora is leading the workspace Revolution Fora is reimagining the entire co-working space and elevating the experience to another level. Enrico a MIT Sloan Business School Grad was the former head of Deutsche Bank Global Head of Operating Assets . Enrico was the Chairman of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in las Vegas . Enrico was also the Former Vice president of American Express and brings a unique expertise and view point to all projects he is involved with.
MAJOR GENERAL MELVIN SPIESE
TWO-STAR GENERAL, RETIRED
Major General Melvin Spiese (ret.) Major General Spiese was commissioned via the NROTC program after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign in May of 1976. His final assignment on active duty was Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and Commanding General, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Upon leaving active duty, Major General Spiese worked for Cubic Defense Systems as the Vice President for Training Strategy and Effectiveness. Founder and Principal at Leaders Can Be Made: Character Based Leadership in Values Based Organizations Major General Melvin G. Spiese, United States Marine Corps, was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal for exceptionally superior service to the Defense Department of the United States.
ROBERT (BOBBY) SOPER
CEO, MOHEGAN SUN INTERNATIONAL
Bobby Soper is the Founder and CEO of Sun Gaming & Hospitality which he operates out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Soper brings two decades of experience overseeing the development of numerous projects from ground-up while also leading the operations of casino resort properties in very competitive regional and destination markets. As President & CEO of Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, one of the world’s largest and most successful integrated resort destinations, Mr. Soper initiated and implemented new metric systems, processes and policies focused on team member empowerment, accountability and profitability, and as a result, the property saw significant improvement in guest service scores, productivity, margins and EBITDA. In addition, Mohegan Sun was only one of two gaming companies to received “Forbes Best Places to Work” under his leadership. Mr. Soper graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from the University of Georgia, and graduated with a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia Law with honors, also serving on the Editorial Board of the Georgia Law Review.
Trufl is an on demand seating platform that allows guests to wait less by bidding on the next available table. Trufl is a front of house tool that manages the wait-list, guest-list and seated guest floor plan. Similar to existing solutions like Opentable, Trufl is also capable of taking reservations. Unlike any other platform that exists, Trufl allows restaurants and venues to maximize their revenue during peak times.Early in his career, Tavio founded and developed the A PLUS Youth Program. The nonprofit aimed to help kids succeed in the classroom as well as in the game. By creating workshops focused on athletics, civic engagement and education, A PLUS worked to develop youth into the next generation of leaders. Tavio Hobson’s role in advancing social justice and promoting cultural competency in the community was recognized through the Redwing Leadership Award and the Parent Map: Superheroes of Washington Families. In 2015, Tavio was selected as one of 34 people from a group of more than 700 nominations to represent the United States as a Marshall Memorial Fellow. The fellowship awards 75 Marshall Memorial Fellowships each year to the best and brightest from all sectors, including business, government, and civil society.
BURNIE TAPPEL III
CEO, COBBS ALLEN
Burnie launched his career in 1988, with Norex Insurance Brokers, Ltd. in the Lloyds market. After gaining experience placing international shipping, war risk, and U.S. marine and energy liabilities, he returned to Louisiana and co-founded and managed Southern Cross Brokers, Ltd., where he developed and refined his knowledge in the marine and energy sectors. As his knowledge in these specialized fields grew, Burnie moved to the Rosenthal Agency in New Orleans, where he focused on business development of marine and energy-related clients, and then on to USI Southwest, where he managed a book of business with more than $25 million in annual premiums. Now as the leader of Cobbs Allen of New Orleans, Burnie brings more than 25 years of experience and an international perspective to each project. Primarily, he partners with larger, complex, high-risk companies. At various times, Burnie serves as risk analyst, contract interpreter and negotiator, client advocate, advisor and account manager.
CEC, AAC, HBOT, HOF, WCMC
Born in Monterey, Chef Cutino is a Certified Executive Chef, Food Manager and World Certified Master Chef (WACS). He is the co-founder of the internationally famous Sardine Factory Restaurant and the Cannery Row Management Co. and other companies, now including five hotels. He graduated from Monterey Peninsula College with a degree in business and has also received two Doctor of Culinary Arts in Honoris. Chef Cutino has gained National recognition, and he has been the recipient of many awards, including the California Distinguished College Alumni Award, Humanitarian Awards, Diplomat from the California Culinary Academy, US Congressional Record, and local-regional-national Chef of the Year. He was part of the International Culinary “Olympics” with his own team from California in 1988, and he also was appointed Protocol Chairman of the U.S. Culinary Team in 1992. He was Chairman of the American Academy of Chefs, 1995-99, which is the ACF Honor Society, the elite 1000 AAC members of 30,000 members of the ACF, Vice President of the American Culinary Federation, Inc., Director of the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque, Euro Toques, Past Chairman of Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA), Co-founder of the ACF Chef & Child Foundation, Past Chairman
Dr. Bethany Tennant is a licensed Naturopathic Physician. She graduated with honors in research from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Following graduation she went on to complete a post-doctoral research fellowship in the area of Parkinson's disease and nutrition. She is also a Certified Nutrition Specialist and sports massage therapist (trained in New York). Natural sports medicine is her specialty and she deals with matters of prevention, performance, recovery, pain management, and injury rehabilitation. She has had the privilege of working with elementary, high-school, college, and professional level athletes (USATF, D-League, FIBA, NBA, NFL). A New York native, she earned her bachelor's degree at Houghton College as both a pre-med student and varsity scholarship basketball player. She has collaborated with several sports organizations including: the Brian Grant Foundation as a nutrition expert and executive committee member; Nike N7 (Native American and Aboriginal initiative), partnered with both MaxHoops and Open Gym Premier as sports nutrition guest speaker and has presented at several high school and college programs on sports nutrition training including the Jr. All-American Basketball Camp in Anaheim, CA. She also teamed up with NBA Cares during the 2016, 2018 and 2019 All-Star weekends to support the Community Service days.
Executive pastry chef at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, and former Dean for Curriculum and Instruction for Baking and Pastry Arts at The Culinary Institute of America for more 14 years (CIA). Chef Vaccaro is responsible for developing the college’s baking and pastry arts curriculum, food and quality of instruction, identifying new faculty, and fostering student development. Also, Thomas is highly specialized in dessert manufacturing with a strong emphasis with new dessert product development, and logistics in operations. In addition, he serves as a specialized consultant to many large dessert companies in the United States and Europe. Vaccaro is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef C.E.P.C.. And a Certified Master Baker CMB. He was the American Culinary Federation’s National Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004. He coached the U.S. Culinary Team to many gold medals in the 1996, 2000, and the 2004 Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany and earned a perfect score in the pastry competition as the team’s pastry chef at the 1992 Culinary Olympics.
A native of Austria, Helmut holds the title of Küchen Meister (European Master Chef) and Konditor Meister (European Master Pastry Chef). He is one of 69 Certified Master Chefs in the United States. One of 11 Global Master Chefs. And is currently on the Board of the American Master Chefs. Chef Helmut has dedicated the last 46 years to the culinary profession. He has mastered ever type of large scale manufacturing skills there are in the industry from HPP, Retort and Aseptic working with every type of protein from plant based to traditional on the savory side of the business. Helmut is one of the only few that has the same capabilities on the baking and pastry side from breads, laminated doughs, Ice creams, bulk and individual mass production of desserts.
JAMES E. GRIFFIN
ED.D., CEC, CCE, CHE
Jim Griffin is a professor at Johnson & Wales University (JWU). Prior to joining JWU in 2015 he was a clinical professor of Education Leadership at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. From 2012 – 2014 he was President and CEO of the Coolfish division of Slade Gorton & Co. At its peak, Coolfish was producing over 1,200,000 portions of packaged food per month. After successful turn-around, Coolfish was reintegrated into Slade Gorton in April 2014. Prior to Slade Gorton/Coolfish, Griffin spent more than two decades with JWU where he held several senior roles including Associate Provost of the University from 2007 until 2012. Over the years Griffin has owned or managed several food related businesses including Yum! Inc., a culinary media and consulting business that helped produce new products and food related media for national and international organizations. Griffin earned a B.S. degree in Food Service Management and a M.S. in Hospitality Administration at JWU. He holds a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) from Boston University.