LEADERSHIP AND ADVISORY TEAM
TOM DILLON, CO-FOUNDER
BERNARD SCHWARTZ, CO-FOUNDER
DUSHAN ZARIC, PARTNER, BARS AND NIGHTLIFE
STEVE CHARRON, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
CARSON SCHROEDER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
CHE CELI, CHIEF OF STAFF
ANDREW LUMSDEN, SVP OPERATIONS NORTHEAST
DANIEL HESCHELES, SVP OPERATIONS WEST
CARLOS BOHEN, SVP OPERATIONS HRI
LESLEY TRUETT, PR & MARKETING
RON ROSSELLI, CULINARY DIRECTOR
MIKE LAY, BEVERAGE DIRECTOR
RYAN WHITE, WINE DIRECTOR
VICTOR SALAZAR, SERVICE DIRECTOR
AMANDA BURKE, NATIONAL EVENTS DIRECTOR
PETER LITVINENKO, PROGRAMMING DIRECTOR
KRISTY FOURIE, PROJECTS DIRECTOR
LEIGH SHIRVAN, MARKETING DIRECTOR
JUNE CHRISOSTOMO, FINANCE DIRECTOR
ELLIE DENEROFF, DESIGN DIRECTOR
TOM DILLON, CO-FOUNDER
Tom has an unparalleled 25-year track record of developing, operating and growing diverse hospitality businesses globally. His experience spans from consumer products where he was a senior executive with Colgate Palmolive to running a renowned multi-concept global restaurant group. As an entrepreneur, Tom developed and scaled Richard Sandoval Restaurants from four chef-driven restaurants into a worldwide portfolio of more than 35 locations in 15 cities and 4 countries.
As President and COO of Patina Restaurant Group, a 65-outlet bicoastal collection of fine-dining and polished-casual restaurants in landmark locations and performing arts centers (The Hollywood Bowl, Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, Rock Center, Disney Epcot), Tom grew the portfolio with new concepts to great media acclaim, overwhelming client satisfaction and financial results. Additionally, he developed the fiduciary and operational processes to grow revenue of existing, often iconic, operations at a four-time multiple to the industry while concurrently increasing profitability at an unprecedented pace. Currently serving as board member of Pret à Manger, Tom held leadership positions including President & CEO of Pret USA and Pret Hong Kong, where he expanded the UK success to the fast-casual brand know today. Tom also serves on the Advisory Board of Overture Investments.
Tom has worked and lived throughout North America, South America, Asia and Europe. In addition to creating a number of unique F&B concepts and growing global restaurant companies, Tom has also developed projects for The Four Seasons, The Ritz Carlton,Fairmont, Starwood Luxury Collection and Intercontinental Hotels.
BERNARD SCHWARTZ, CO-FOUNDER
A leading innovator in luxury and lifestyle hotels, Bern oversees all aspects of APICII's businesses. His career has been focused on his passion at the crossroads of hospitality and real estate. After opening the acclaimed New York cocktail bars Ward III and The Rum House in his early 20s, Bern worked for Ace Hotel Group co-owner Michael Bisordi at Tungsten Partners, where he formed a food and beverage focused retail strategy group and worked on dozens of restaurant and bar leasing assignments throughout New York City including The Ace Hotel New York. Bernard later worked at Steven Kamali Hospitality as Managing Director of Hotels and Lodging Assets. Bern has been involved in the development of more than 500k square feet of restaurants, bars, private clubs and banqueting space, totaling more $250 million in investment.
Born in San Francisco, Bern moved to Rome and spent his formative years eating and drinking his way through Italy. Bern lives between New York and Los Angeles and has two young daughters.
RON ROSSELLI, Culinary Director
Ron is a California native and graduated from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2000 and began his tenure cooking in many of the most notable kitchens in New York City. After a gateway gig at midtown’s Pershing Square, he met a young Andrew Carmellini, who was then at the head of Daniel Boulud’s three-star kitchen at Café Boulud. From 2002 to 2005, Ron worked as a line cook, inadvertently becoming a member of an unofficial graduating class of rising star chefs-to-be under Carmellini’s tenure at Café Boulud.
Since then, Ron has scaled the ranks from a sous chef position at A Voce in 2006 to becoming chef de cuisine of Locanda Verde, Carmellini’s casual Italian taverna inside Robert DeNiro’s Greenwich Hotel that has enjoyed popularity and praise since opening in 2009. After four extraordinary years of reigning over the kitchen, Ron stepped out in pursuit of more.
Given his success and rising profile, it was little surprise that this passionate chef found his way to one of New York City’s culinary scenes at The Standard, High Line hotel. In December 2013, Ron joined the team as Executive Chef at The Standard Grill, and helmed all food-service operations throughout the hotel. Combining his fine-dining experience with his love for rustic style cooking, Ron has elevated the American Brasserie style menu by drawing upon a wide range of cultural culinary influences.
Ron credits an innate enjoyment of action, energy and a good bit of travel throughout Spain and Italy to the success of his endeavors since leaving the west coast. Ron currently resides in Manhattan with his wife, Tammy.
CARSON SCHROEDER, Chief Development Officer
Carson heads up finance, new developments, due diligence, and contract negotiations for APICII. Carson is based in our New York office and also divides his time between Miami and Los Angeles.
Carson brings Apicii eleven years of experience in the hospitality industry, after starting his career in finance at Credit Suisse. He spent seven years in leadership roles at Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges Vongerichten (CCJG), a joint venture restaurant company between Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Catterton Partners. Carson led new business development where he underwrote over 100 F&B businesses in luxury and lifestyle hotels around the world, and oversaw the finance functions for the company as it grew from a single location (Vongerichten's Spice Market in NYC) to a global portfolio encompassing 23 restaurant and over $85 MM of F&B revenues. Prior to CCJG, Carson was part of Starwood's Corporate Investments & Development Group, which made investments in synergistic lifestyle businesses (similar to the creation of CCJG) such as spa companies, established hotel brands, and other restaurant groups.
In his role with CCJG, Carson’s responsibilities included sourcing, negotiating, underwriting, transacting, and leading the company’s new business ventures. During his tenure, these roles were applied across projects totaling more than $100 million in dedicated F&B investment. Within hotel properties, Carson has experience operating in partnership with St. Regis, Shangri-La, W Hotels, One&Only, Le Meridien, MGM, The Luxury Collection. CCJG also had leased locations including, Spice Market New York, Spice Market London, J&G Steakhouse Scottsdale and licensed locations in Qatar, the UAE and Latin America.
ANDREW LUMSDEN, SVP Operations-Northeast
With over 15 years of experience in food, beverage and hotel operations, Andrew joined APICII from Zuma, where he served as Director of Operations, U.S., and oversaw day-to-day operations while managing the development of key properties in Las Vegas, Miami and New York City.
Prior to this, Andrew was Director of Operations for Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield, overseeing their acclaimed portfolio of standalone and hotel restaurants, including The Breslin and The John Dory at the Ace Hotel, Salvation Taco in the Pod Hotel, Tosca and The Spotted Pig. As Noho Hospitality's Director of Operations, Andrew launched Locanda Verde in the Greenwich Hotel. He also had the opportunity to work in Stephen Starr’s first New York City operations, Buddakan and Morimoto.
Andrew is a seasoned hospitality professional with a firm grasp on operations and financials. He has the proven ability to build and manage popular independent restaurants, as well as food and beverage venues that have contributed to the growth of successful hotel brands.
DANIEL HESCHELES, SVP Operations-West
A Native Angeleno, Daniel Hescheles has over 25 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, and has worked with celebrated chefs and operators throughout the West as well as overseas in Asia. Daniel received his first management position as part of the opening management team for Restaurants at the Monte Carlo Resort Hotel and Casino opened in ‘96 in Las Vegas while studying for his Hotel Administration degree at UNLV, and being promoted to General Manager within the first year of restaurant management at 23. This upward mobility started a lengthy career as General Manager and ultimately Director of Operations while continuously opening new locations for various multi concept restaurant groups, including Richard Sandoval Restaurants.
Having worked on high profile projects both in hotels and stand-alone restaurants with multiple concepts and diverse markets, Daniel’s passion for service and hospitality accompanied by a love for creative food, great wine and bold spirits has proven to be a catalyst for establishing a great career. Daniel is well versed and capable on multiple levels of management and operations as well as having opened over 15 restaurants for leading companies and start-ups within the restaurant business. He has helped build daily sales, manage team members and budgets as well as sales and marketing campaigns. With an adaptable and natural ability in leadership, along with an intense desire for success, and an encompassing understanding of the Restaurant and Hospitality industry, Daniel is poised to seek and be sought for development of projects extending worldwide.
Daniel is an avid follower of the international sport of Formula One Auto Racing as well as enjoys hiking, running, being outdoors, and meditation.
CARLOS BOHEN, SVP Operations-South
Carlos joins the APICII team with over 20 years in hospitality. From his first hotel position at the Ritz Carlton Boston, Carlos was classically trained in the front and back of the house of notable hotel and restaurant groups across the United States and Europe, including Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hard Rock International and Fireman Hospitality Group.
He rose steadily in the ranks, leading to Senior Director of Operations and, ultimately, Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations for Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment in Toronto. While at MLSE, Carlos was instrumental in the development of the high-end sports concept, Real Sports Bar & Grill, which was voted "No. 1 Sports Bar in North America" by espn.com. Carlos also contributed to MLSE's expansion within the Air Canada Centre, in Toronto's Downtown Core and into Canada's capital of Ottawa.
Most recently, Carlos headed the Food & Beverage program for Bon Appetit at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, where he oversaw the growth of 28 full service restaurant operations, 100+ micro kitchens, delivery and Google transport operations, catering and other services totaling more than 75,000 meals a day. Carlos has enjoyed pivotal roles in hotel and restaurant expansions, openings and re-positionings across North America and Europe.
LESLEY TRUETT, VP PR & Marketing
For the past 10 years, Lesley has been developing marketing strategies for some of the most sought-after restaurants and bars in the world. She has developed comprehensive marketing calendars, toolkits and operating procedures for restaurants and bars in lifestyle centers, standalone and hotels including Starwood Luxury Collection, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Marriott. In her six years as Director of Marketing & PR for Richard Sandoval Restaurants, Lesley developed award-winning restaurant concepts and managed the successful execution of the company’s print, digital and social media marketing campaigns for 35 restaurants in 14 cities around the world. Prior to RSR, Lesley spent four years as Director of Marketing & PR for SushiSamba, the creative Latin American-Asian fine dining restaurant group with locations across the US and in Tel Aviv. Lesley also worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers for more than five years as a Management & Information Technology Consultant.