|Maria Cleaveland (Moderator)
Director of Sales, North America, Urnex Brands LLC
Maria Cleaveland is a food and beverage professional with business development, strategic planning, finance and operations expertise. A veteran of the early specialty coffee scene, she has served as both Director of Wholesale & Licensing and Store Support for Peet’s and the Vice-President of Sales for Equator. Notably, Maria managed Starbucks’ expansion into airports across the US. Currently she serves as Regional Sales Director across the Western US and Canada for Urnex Brands. In her role, she advances sales with technical acumen while advancing gender equity in her volunteer role with International Women’s Coffee Association (IWCA). Cleaveland earned her Bachelors of Science business degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University.
|Karalynn McDermott (Moderator)
Executive Growth Consultant, Eversys North America
A pioneer in the Coffee Gear space, Karalynn McDermott is the Executive Growth Consultant at Eversys. She started her career in marketing and sales in coffee equipment manufacturing. Karalynn has been a noteworthy leader in the coffee equipment space. You may know her from her work in developing new technologies can be credited with contributions in Pulse Brewing, IoT Capabilities, thermal holding systems and brewing equipment programming to achieve excellent coffee bloom. Driven by a mission for innovation and entrepreneurship Karalynn is best known for inspiring and supporting operators and roasters on new coffee gear technology to aid the progression of their businesses.
Karalynn has been honored with Specialty Coffee Association’s Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award, and Remote Equipment Management Gold Team Award from Connected World Magazine.
Vice President of Operations, Aramark Business Dining
Bobbi Capps is a passionate and engaged leader who thoughtfully empowers and develops people to achieve, and exceed, strategic goals. She believes that the responsibility of leaders is to inspire while growing people into the roles, responsibilities, and lessons they are seeking for themselves. Bobbi leads her teams to meet the client and guest where they are, crafting an unparalleled experience through ongoing feedback, accountability and continuous improvement.
Bobbi has worked every position in the business dining and restaurant industry from server to owner. She has worked in all sizes of industry; having owned her own start up, scratch made, sustainable BBQ restaurant, supervised operations for 30+ locations as a district manager, directed operations for 90+ franchisees, and overseen training & development for over 500 locations. Currently she serves as Vice President of Operations for Aramark Business Dining across over one hundred locations with services including employee dining, office coffee, vending, micro markets, uniforms and facilities services. Bobbi has a B.A. in Organizational Communications with double minors in Psychology and Nutrition.
Resident District Manager, University of Albany Dining- Sodexo
Kevin is an accomplished food service industry executive with 30+ years of experience driving profitability and service. His successful track record in the foodservice/hospitality industry can be attributed to his passion and ability to build and develop strong, diverse and high-performing teams, who provide the best quality and service to the customers – students.
Kevin’s career began in high school, working at the Cadet Restaurant, West Point. He started out as a dishwasher, but was quickly recognized for his strong work ethic an ability to motivate. During Kevin's tenure at West Point, he had the privilege of serving and working alongside students, department heads, elected officials, foreign dignitaries, heads of state, alumni and parents. He served all with the same care and respect; his ultimate goal was to provide superior quality and service at every event.
Upon his retirement from the United States Military Academy, Kevin accepted a position as Resident District Manager with Sodexo at the University at Albany. His passion to ignite innovation, promote sustainability, leverage diversity and cultivate a cohesive team has enabled him to align his team with UAlbany’s vision, mission and objectives.
Director of Experience, Cure by Deerfield Management
Robert Gordon is the Director of Experience at Cure at Deerfield and joined the Firm in 2021. Rob is responsible for employee, tenant and guest experience at the Cure. Prior to Deerfield, he worked for American Express for over six years, with most of that time spent as the Vice President of Workplace Services, Global Real Estate and Workplace Experience. Before American Express, Rob was the Hospitality Manager for Marsh & McLennan Companies for three years. Before Marsh & McLennan, he worked as the Executive Director of University Event Management for Columbia University, and spent four years as the Senior Manager of Food and Beverage/Retail Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Rob holds a B.S. in Mass Communication from Towson State University.
Facility Manager, Horizon Therapeutics
Tim Scardina has spent the last 6 years learning everything there is to know about the facility industry from building design and maintenance to soft services. He is currently applying this knowledge in his role as Senior Facility Manger for Horizon Therapeutics, where he is responsible for café services, janitorial, fitness center, landscaping and office services.