Clint Pulver helps organizations retain, engage, and inspire their team members from the front desk to the board rooms and everyone in between. He expertly helps audiences navigate generational complexities, communication challenges, leadership missteps and culture cues. Clint has appeared on America’s Got Talent and in feature films with actors such as Jack Black (“School of Rock”).
He strongly believes that a single moment in time can change a person’s life. Clint has traveled the world speaking to a wide spectrum of diverse audiences, challenging them to dream, excel, connect and believe–both in themselves and in the power of others. His mantra? “It’s not about being the best in the world…it’s about being the best FOR the world.”
As a certified professional career coach, certified virtual presenter and leadership development consultant at Crawford Leadership Strategies, Joyel Crawford helps others expertly navigate every step of their career.
Prior to her consulting career, she supported professionals within all functional groups for 18 years at Verizon Wireless. Throughout her career, Joyel worked in employee relations, EEO/AA, staffing, professional mentoring and learning & development training. She was a manager of management and employee development in charge of the leadership development programs for over 30,000 employees.
Joyel also hosts a television show and podcast called “Career View Mirror®” which airs on YouTube and multiple podcasting platforms, like Spotify. She’s the co-author of the Amazon Best Selling book “Speaking My Truth” presented by Cheryl Wood where she shares her personal story of “How To RISE from the Ashes of Burnout.”
GERALD “GERRY” A. FERNANDEZ President and Founder, Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA)
Nearly everyone who knows Gerry Fernandez and the work that he does for The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), describes him as a man of vision, dedication and passion. As President and Founder of MFHA, an educational non-profit organization that makes the business case for developing cultural intelligence in the workplace, Gerry has been recognized over the years for his work in educating members on, advocating for and connecting people to the business benefits of diversity and inclusion in the restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry.
With over 40 years of experience in the industry, Gerry has held leadership positions with several well-known companies including The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, The Capital Grille and General Mills, where he got his start in diversity and inclusion work.
An engagingly energetic speaker, he practices “straight talk”, bringing authentic perspectives on how building cultural intelligence raises the topline, improves the bottom- line and builds cultural authenticity into the brand. Gerry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foodservice Management from Johnson & Wales University, where he also earned a Culinary Arts degree, and an honorary doctorate in Business Administration.
CHIP WADE President & Chief Operating Officer, Union Square Hospitality Group
As President of Union Square Hospitality Group, Chip Wade is responsible for further enhancing and evolving the company’s culture, driving an even greater experience for guests, and bolstering the profitability of its businesses. Most recently, Chip spent 17 years in leadership with Darden Restaurants, where he oversaw all operating functions, drove best-in-industry people metrics, and enhanced financial performance for a number of Darden’s high-growth brands. He also served as Chief Operating Officer for Legal Sea Foods in Boston, Massachusetts, where he led all operations for the family-owned group’s 31 restaurants and oversaw the launch of the Legal Test Kitchen concept. Earlier in his career, Chip spent 13 years with TGI Fridays where he progressed through various management positions, in Operations, Human Resources and New Business Development. A Pennsylvania native, Chip got his culinary degree from Johnson & Wales College, his B.S. from Widener University, and his M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Dallas. In addition to his professional experience, Chip serves on the following boards: Cracker Barrel, Johnson & Wales University, Share Our Strength, a national organization working to end childhood hunger and poverty in the United States, and Youth Villages, a non-profit offering services and support for families of children with emotional, mental, and behavioral problems. He is also a senior advisor for Junzi Kitchen, a Chinese fast casual restaurant and concept based in New York.
BARBARA KANE Consultant, Clark Food Service Equipment (Moderator)
Barbara Kane has over 35 years in the hospitality industry. She started her career with Marriott Hotels and has worked for Sara Lee Corporation and Ecolab in various operations and sales positions. She recently retired as VP of Industry Relations at Ecolab.
Barbara has held numerous association board positions and was the first business partner to be elected President of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management.
She frequently keynotes for corporations and associations on topics including women in business, networking and food safety.
Anna V. Bohbot (Zulaica) is a Global Food Program Manager at LinkedIn, Cal alum, Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, former cook and caterer and published cookbook author. In her current role at LinkedIn, she helps to drive the global food program’s strategy for nutrition, marketing, communication, sustainability, sourcing, food operations and food service design, as well as onsite food education/engagement programs for LinkedIn employees.
Anna is passionate about sustainable, just food systems and accessibility to fresh, local and seasonal food, and has taught healthy cooking classes and nutrition workshops for the American Heart Association throughout the Bay Area. Anna's recipes have been featured in two books and she has co-authored three cookbooks.
Anna contributes her time to nonprofits and groups such as La Cocina, Pie Ranch, CUESA, Kitchen Table Advisors, the Kitchen Electrification Group and most recently the Regen1 Accelerator run by the The Lexicon Group of Sustainability.
Michael Dwork, Founder and CEO of VerTerra, invented the Palm Leaf Plate in 2006 converting fallen leaves into a beautiful and durable material that has become the VerTerra suite of single use products. He then went on to develop lines of wooden cutlery collapsible to-go packaging and has been awarded 18 U.S. patents and five international patents.
While Michael has always had an interest in sustainability initiatives, he started his career at CIBC in Investment Banking Group, then worked as a Consultant in the Alternative Payments Industry. He was also the Head of Operations at CashPoint a payment processing company.
Michael received his BA from Columbia College, a certificate degree in Intermediate Chinese from NanJing University and his MBA from Columbia Business School. He regularly speaks about product innovation, design and sustainability.
SMITHA HANEEF Managing Director, Harvard University Dining Services
Joining Harvard in April 2021, Smitha Haneef oversees hospitality and dining for Harvard College’s residential living and learning experience, as well as University professional schools and campus catering. For Harvard University Dining Services, she has shared a strategic framework with seven intersecting areas of work: student and community engagement; food and agriculture; student advocacy; diversity and inclusion; food systems, climate change, health and environmental impact; operations strategy and innovation; and quality assurance, safety, risk assessment and mitigation. With continued inputs from every facet of the community, Smitha is shaping a food program that prioritizes health and wellness, cultural sensitivity, religious sensitivity, and community life. The goal is to build a shared vision for the future of hospitality and dining in service of the Harvard community.
Prior to joining Harvard, she was Assistant Vice President for University Services at Princeton University. At Princeton, Smitha served on multiple committees and boards, and led a team of 400 hospitality professionals in delivering excellence through food and beverage service and production. Before entering collegiate dining, she helped launch the LifeWorks Restaurant Group. While in the position, she established partnerships with community organizations and global food programs to educate clients and restaurant guests about healthy and socially responsible food choices.
Smitha began her career in food and beverage departments at five-star hotels and restaurants in India. She earned a bachelor's degree at Osmania University and a diploma in hotel management and catering technology from India's National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology. Smitha graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Institute of Education Management and is an alumna of Harvard Business School through its General Management Program.
Kate Kerbel is a Licensed Architect and LEED, WELL and Fitwel Accredited Professional. She joined Cushman and Wakefield this past February as a workplace consulting manager in the workplace innovation group within strategic consulting. Kate previously worked at WeWork where she managed and collaborated with global clients to define evolving workplace needs as a space planning and architecture lead. Her foundational experience in workplace strategy stems from her time at Perkins+Will where she worked in the global planning + strategies group focusing on creating workplace recommendations derived from both client business goals and long term occupancy strategy. Kate’s publications include “Want a Healthy Building? Follow this Primer on Two New Wellness Standards” and “Designing for Health: Strategies to Encourage Wellness in the Workplace.”
Seth Mattison is an Internationally renowned expert and author on workforce trends, generational dynamics, and business strategy. As Co-Founder and Chief Movement Officer of Luminate Labs, Seth advises many of the world’s leading brands and organizations on the key shifts happening around talent management, change and innovation, leadership and the future of work.
His ideas have been featured in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and The Globe and Mail and was named to the Editors’ Picks for Speakers to Watch in 2017.
For the past decade Seth has shared his insights with thousands of business leaders around the world and has received accolades from many of the world’s best brands.
CHEF KENNETH "KENNY" J. GILBERT Chef/Owner, Silkie’s Chicken and Champagne Bar
Born and raised in Cleveland, Kenny’s curiosity for the kitchen started young. By age 11 he was cooking the entire Thanksgiving dinner solo and while still in high school enrolled in a local vocational culinary program. After securing a degree in Culinary Arts, Kenny joined The Ritz-Carlton in Jacksonville becoming Chef de Cuisine by the age of 23.
His career has taken him from Florida to Colorado, Barbados and back again, building his career and reputation along the way. Kenny has opened fine-dining restaurants, overseen multiple dining concepts at resorts, served as a restaurant group Corporate Chef and was responsible for organizing and designing future kitchens and infrastructure for well-known restaurant concepts.
Kenny also participated in Bravo’s “Top Chef” season seven and while he didn’t take home the winning title, he impressed the judges with his skills and finesse. Over the years, he has developed a passion for herbs and spices, creating Chef Kenny’s Spice Blends, a line with an equally big personality. He has cooked at the James Beard House, participated in wine & food festivals around the country, appeared on the “Today Show” and recently penned his first book titled, A Chef’s Journal.
Today you’ll find Kenny at the helm of Jacksonville’s upscale casual restaurant Silkie’s, featuring his fried chicken, biscuits and champagne cocktails.