people profile

Meet Susan Keels, Royal Park Hotel

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You know someone is destined for a career in hospitality if she loves waiting tables.

Susan Keels, director of sales and marketing at Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, started her career as a waitress at Shield’s while studying accounting and merchandising in college. Soon she was offered a promotion to manager, and then joined Bill Robert’s highly respected group of restaurants (which includes Beverly Hills Grill).

Meet Vicki Pohl, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

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Like many stories, it all began with a boy. “I had a teenage crush on this boy and he worked for a catering company,” says Vicki Pohl, director of catering sales at the Garces Group. “I decided that to get to know him, I’d get a job there, too.”

The love—for catering—stuck, and Pohl continued to work through high school and college for the mom-and-pop caterer in suburban Philadelphia. “I started as the girl passing hors d’ouevres and worked my way up,” she says.

Meet Mary Ann Brewer, In The Company of Horses

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Mary Ann Brewer always wanted a horse. “I had that typical Black Beauty fantasy of falling in love with a horse and riding off into the sunset,” she says with a laugh. Brewer fulfilled her dream in 1990, but with a fulltime job and three boys to raise, it was far from the stuff of the movies. “I had so many questions: Who is this horse and how can we get stuff done together?” she says. She soon learned that most of the suggestions inflicted pain on the horse: “Whips, bits, spurs … I thought, ‘There must be a better way!’”

Meet Giuseppe Lama, The Resort at Pelican Hill

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Giuseppe Lama grew up in a restaurant family in Faenza, a historic city in Northern Italy. Doing his homework at one of the restaurant’s 20 tables and observing the goings-on around him, he learned the most important principle of hospitality: “If people are happy, they are going to come back.”

Today, as the managing director of The Resort at Pelican Hill, the Five-Star, Five-Diamond, 504-acre property on the Newport Coast, that mantra still guides him.

Meet Steve Spangler

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Mad science experiments have garnered Steve Spangler 185 million views on YouTube as the guy who originated the Mentos and Coke geyser. He’s since licensed the product for use in education and toys, founded Steve Spangler Science to make science-related toys, created more than 1,300 online videos, and appeared on Denver’s KUSA-TV 9News more than 1,000 times as of May 2015.

Meet Sarah Anello, Center City Distric

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CITIES ARE SYNONYMOUS with skylines. Think of any major city and a landmark building or glittering glass tower probably springs to mind, but a city’s real personality comes alive in its parks. These down-to-earth spaces are where you’ll find children playing, co-workers lunching and couples canoodling. In areas where traffic is snarled and elevators are crammed, parks give us a respite from all that is, well, urban. Literally and figuratively, parks offer us a breath of fresh air.

Meet LeeAnn Kaufman Sommelier and Wine Director for St. Regis Aspen Resort

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Books to Grapes-  As sommelier and wine director for St. Regis Aspen Resort, LeeAnn Kaufman knows how to handle a sword and snow. As sommelier and wine director for St. Regis Aspen Resort, LeeAnn Kaufman knows how to handle asword and snow.  

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