Board of Directors and Board Members
Ana Marie Mormando
General Manager of The Mansion at MGM Grand
As a Board of Director for Epicurean Charitable Foundation, Ana Marie Mormando plays a critical role in helping to empower local students to pursue their dreams and help shape the future of the Las Vegas hospitality industry.
Mrs. Mormando was recently promoted to General Manager of The Mansion at MGM Grand after serving as Vice President of Hotel Operations and Vice President of Food and Beverage for Bellagio since 2007. Prior to working for Bellagio, she held leadership positions at some of New York City’s most successful food service companies, including Union Square Hospitality Group’s dining facilities at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Under her leadership, The Modern, a fine dining restaurant located at the heart of MoMA, was named “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire Magazine, Time Out Magazine and The James Beard Foundation, received a Michelin star and was named “Top Newcomer 2005” by Zagat.
A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Mrs. Mormando moved to New York City as a teenager and graduated from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Vice President of Human Resources at Resorts World-Las Vegas
Chantelle Mark joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation in 2015 with a passion for enhancing the youth in Las Vegas. Her goal is to teach the many facets of human resources and help develop the students into leaders within the hospitality industry.
Ms. Mark has over 25 years in the hospitality industry, including multiple openings and acquisitions. Her previous hospitality experience includes serving as Vice President of Human Resources for Westgate Resorts (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), Director of Human Resources for Golden Gaming, and Director of Human Resources for Boyd Gaming California Hotel, the Fremont Hotel and Main Street Station. Ms. Mark spent several years opening casinos on the Gulf Coast, and a holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Ms. Mark is very active within the Las Vegas Community, having joined the HELP of Southern Nevada Board in 2006 after two years of being on the Board at the Center for Independent Living. She enjoys traveling with her children and watching both participate in sporting events.
Vice President of Hotel Sales and Catering, The Mirage Hotel and Casino
Christopher Bond joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation in August 2016 to support local students to achieve their education and career goals.
Mr. Bond is currently the Vice President of Sales & Catering at The Mirage where he is responsible for the strategic development and administration of Convention Sales, Convention Services and Catering teams. His previous experience includes Vice President of Sales and Executive Director of Sales at New York-New York Hotel & Casino.
Married for nearly 20 years to his wife Serena, they have two great little boys, Braydon and Denton. Mr. Bond loves spending time watching their baseball and soccer games, along with assisting them in Boys Scouts and Cub Scouts. Mr. Bond is a proud Texan, UNLV hotel college graduate and has lived in Las Vegas for 27 years.
Executive Chef of The Juice Standard
David Suppe joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation to fulfill his passion of teaching others through the hands-on support of mentorship. Mr. Suppe sees his involvement in ECF as a way he can personally give back to the community use his talents to educate the city’s future industry leaders.
Mr. Suppe has 10 years of experience in the food and beverage industry and most recently served as the Executive Chef at The Signature before taking on the role of Director of Food and Beverage. Prior to that, Mr. Suppe held the position of Executive Chef at several other Vegas strip properties including New York- New York and Excalibur Hotel & Casino. From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Suppe played a large role in the opening of Station Casinos as the Executive Room Chef.
Mr. Suppe received an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Arts Institute of Las Vegas where he currently serves as a Chef Instructor for the school’s culinary division, The International Culinary School of Las Vegas. While Mr. Suppe has a passion for food he also enjoys spending his time playing sports, in particular, hockey and golf, as well as spending time with friends and family.
Corporate Food and Beverage Director for Station Casinos
John Bray brings 40 years of experience, all of that being in Las Vegas, as both a Food and Beverage Director and previously as an executive chef to ECF.
John has been with Station Casinos since October of 2005. He started with the company as Executive Chef of Green Valley Ranch Hotel Casino and Resort. During his stay at Green Valley Ranch he orchestrated the successful opening of Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martini, Tides Oyster Bar, Turf Grill and Terra Verde Italian Restaurant.
John’s previous experience prior to Stations was on the opening team of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino as the Assistant Executive Chef where he stayed six years, and as the Executive Sous Chef at Wynn’s Mirage Resort and Casino where he had a 9-year tenure.
John is excited to mentor and support students and watch them grow in the world of F&B. He enjoys spending his personal time with his wife Rebecca, who is a successful real estate agent, watching his son play competitive baseball or with his extensive Las Vegas family-his sister is SVP of HR for MGM, his parents (Dad is retired military) and daughter all live in Las Vegas.
Vice President National Accounts-Gaming, Sysco Corporation
Karla Perez-Larragoite is Vice President of Gaming at Houston-based Sysco Corporation. has joined Sysco as Vice President of Gaming. Karla has over 16 years of experience in both Commercial and Tribal gaming and is excited toresponsible for the further development of the Gaming Segment at Sysco.
Born and raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Karla graduated from and a Graduate of Oklahoma State University, with a B.S. in Marketing and International Business. , sShe began her career in gaming as a Styleales Consultant with Cintas Uniforms. Karla progressed her career at Cintas through demonstrated ability to develop and deliver mission-critical results, her customer-centric and analytical approach to new business development and the creation of a complete business strategy for a new segment at Cintas. In her last position at Cintas, Karla was Progressing her career to the National Director of Gaming, responsible for the company’s entire gaming strategy. at Cintas through demonstrated ability to develop and deliver mission-critical results, her customer centric and analytical approach to new business development, delivered a complete business strategy for a new segment at Cintas. Karla is Aa dedicated and visionary leader who creates strategic alliances with other organization leaders to effectively align with and support key business initiatives., s She is industry recognized in the industry and recognized and is an award winning professional with a proven history of success. Her Karla’s portfolio of valued business partners spans the nation and includes customers such as MGM, Caesars, Stations, Pinnacle, Gila River and San Manuel Casino.
Karla is the mother of three wonderful children and has an amazing and supportive husband and family. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and watching movies with her family. She believes family is the most important gift. She believes in being humble, working hard and making a positive impact on every personal encounter.
Founding partner of Trust3 Hospitality and Kelley Jones Hospitality
A charter member since 2001, Mr. Jones joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation to give back to deserving students in the Las Vegas community and to network with peers. He served as ECF Chairman of the Board from 2013-14.
With offices in Las Vegas and New York City, Mr. Jones is currently leading a number of high-end ventures across the country including: XVI and JBird in New York; the re-launched Malibu Inn in association with Chef Angelo Sosa; partnering with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian at Tudor House and HIGHBAR on Miami’s famous South Beach; the creation of Suite & Tender at the Se Hotel in San Diego and Eden on South Beach, both with Chef Christopher Lee; and the creation of “Hell’s Kitchen: The Restaurant” for ITV Studios. He has been on the opening executive teams of some of the country’s leading hotel brands including: The Monaco Washington DC, Hudson New York, Clift San Francisco, Argonaut San Francisco and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Las Vegas, and plans to launch the one-of-a-kind Dinner in the Sky dining attraction in the summer of 2014.
Mr. Jones’ prestigious hospitality experience includes serving as president of Light Group, vice president of restaurant operations for Starr Restaurant Organization (SRO), vice president of restaurant operations for Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group and director of development and operations for China Grill Management, among others. He has managed the operating teams of eight of the top 100 highest grossing restaurants in the country and has led the opening teams of five of the top 100 highest grossing restaurants in the United States. Mr. Jones has also held senior executive level positions with three of the top 75 multi-concept restaurant operators in the country (#’s 3,7 and 15) as ranked by Restaurant & Institutions Magazine.
Because of his expertise in the hospitality industry, Mr. Jones is often tapped to share his views and insight around the country including at Bar & Nightclub Show, Hospitality Design Boutique Expo, RD&E Conference, G2E Summit, the inaugural Independent Lodging Congress, Temple University School of Hospitality and Tourism, and the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Executive Director of Food & Beverage for Four Queens/Binion’s
Ken Johnson joined ECF in 2010. With a passion for mentorship and education, Mr. Johnson has made it his goal to encourage students to achieve their dreams through hard work and determination.
Mr. Johnson currently serves as the Executive Director of Food and Beverage for Four Queens and Binion’s Gambling Hall. Mr. Johnson began his hospitality career as a Front Desk Supervisor for Four Queens in 1982. Other previous experience includes Beverage Manager for Four Queens in 1992, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage for Four Queens in 1997 and Director of Food and Beverage for Four Queens in 2000.
A native of Kenitra, Morocco, Mr. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of West Florida.
Vice President Sales and Special Events Live Nation Clubs & Theatres, House of Blues Entertainment
Linda Sim joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation to combine her passion for leading others with her knowledge of the hospitality industry in order to inspire students. Ms. Sim is grateful to ECF for providing her with the rewarding experience of mentoring future leaders of the industry.
Ms. Sim has 16 years of experience in the hospitality industry and most recently served as the Assistant Director of Marketing for the Tao Group-Marquee. She previously held the position of On Premise Sales and Marketing Manager for Red Bull North America from 2008 to 2011. In 2011, Ms. Sim served as General Manager for Hard Rock Hotel’s steakhouse, 35 Steaks + Martinis, during its opening year in. Ms. Sim currently serves as the Director of Sales and Events at Live Nation Entertainment at House of Blues at Foundation Room.
Ms. Sim graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she was a dance captain and a part of naming the dance team as they are known, “The Rebel Girls.” Other interests include playing the piano, a deep love for baseball and football and spending time with her daughter.
Owner of Sambalatte Torrefazione
In 2007, Mr. Oliveira joined Epicurean Charitable Foundation to support a local foundation that assists in the development of a new generation of students to become the leaders of tomorrow. Mr. Oliveira’s goal for ECF is to grow the foundation, raise more funds for scholarship opportunities and brand ECF to become a national entity. He is a dedicated mentor who enjoys mentoring ECF students and seeing their careers progress throughout the program.
Mr. Oliveira traveled all over South America, Europe and the United States to research the concept which led to the founding of Sambalatte Torrefazione, a café lounge and espresso bar. During his travels, he visited coffee farms and attended coffee symposiums to better understand the trends in the industry and successfully integrated all of his knowledge into a business. Mr. Oliveira was a hotel food and beverage executive who worked at four and five diamond resorts for 28 years. He has managed more than 18 locations that include international, Caribbean and stateside properties. During his time with the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Oliveira traveled extensively assisting the corporate office with the new hotel openings team, special task force and properties takeover.
Since he was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he has been heavily influenced by local farmers and Brazilian cuisine, which led him to develop a lifetime of appreciation for coffee, tea and food.
In 2012, Marisa Martino began her membership in Epicurean Charitable Foundation. Ms. Martino joined the organization due to her passion for making a difference in children’s lives through education. Her goals for the organization are to help students network within the industry and to mold the next generation of food and beverage leaders by serving as a mentor.
With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, she brings her knowledge and expertise in the restaurant and hotel industry to her role as a board member. Ms. Martino is currently a luxury recruiter for Gecko Hospitality, with the responsibility of placing management candidates and chefs in fine dining positions. Her previous roles include general manager of N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort in 2004, managing partner of David Burke inside the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in 2006 and Director of Food and Beverage at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa & Casino in 2010.
Ms. Martino holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
General Manager, Nobu Hotel, Las Vegas
ECF Alumni Class of ‘09
Martha Morales stands as one of the youngest general managers in Nobu Hotel’s history – and you’d never know it. The native of Mexico has quickly risen through the ranks of Caesars Entertainment, progressing from a hotel manager to a director of hotel operations in just seven years. As hotel operations manager, Martha immersed herself in the luxury hotel division, overseeing the VIP registration desk of the member-exclusive Diamond Lounge. She also supervised the desk of the Forbes-rated Laurel Collection. In her time at Nobu Hotel, the seasoned hotelier has become a liaison for the music and movie industry’s most illustrious stars.
Showing off Nobu Hotel’s $35,000-a-night-villa and entertaining high-profile guests may be an average Monday for Martha today, but that wasn’t always the case. In high school, she worked full-time while taking care of her daughter, eventually earning herself a full-ride scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She graduated with a focus in hospitality management. Years later, UNLV named her one of its 50 Most Intriguing Alumni. Martha is a proud recipient of the Caesars Palace Diversity Award, previously serving as a community chair for its Vision in Action, a Hispanic business resource group. She now sits on the board for both Valley High School and the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, where she was once a young mentee. Eager to extend gratitude whenever possible, Martha never misses the opportunity to mentor students passionate about the hospitality industry.
Chief Operations Officer, Emeril’s Restaurants, Las Vegas
A Las Vegas native, Mike Olsen serves as director of operations for chef Emeril Lagasse’s four Las Vegas restaurants, Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand, Table 10 at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian l Palazzo, and Lagasse’s Stadium at The Venetian. Olsen got his start in the restaurant industry at 16 years old, and continued working in restaurants throughout high school and college at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. When chef Emeril Lagasse announced plans to open his first Vegas restaurant in 1995, Olsen quickly applied to become a server for Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House . Dedicated and hardworking, Olsen was promoted within six months to the managerial level. Olsen moved to New Orleans in 1998 to open Emeril’s Delmonico, staying on as a floor manager for two years. By 2000, he returned home to Vegas and joined Delmonico Steakhouse as the assistant general manager. He was promoted to general manager of the restaurant three years later, and eventually to operations manager for the market in September 2012. Today, Olsen oversees all operations for the four restaurants, maintaining the high standards of service and culinary excellence set by executive chef Emeril Lagasse. A self-proclaimed foodie and wine lover, Olsen’s favorite Lagasse dishes include the Kurobuta pork rack at Table 10 and the bone-in ribeye at Delmonico Steakhouse. At home, Olsen enjoys hiking, barbecuing and dining out with his wife and two sons.
Director of Hotel & Guest Relations for TAO Group Las Vegas
Mr. Chiti, a UNLV graduate brings 18 years of hospitality experience and is currently entrusted with the responsibility of liaising between TAO Group and Sands Corporation assisting with request for Tao & Lavo restaurant, Tao Beach Dayclub and Tao Nightclub. Mr. Chiti is looking forward to knowing the impact the funds he raises will have on young people.
CEO at Definitive Talents Inc.
Ron recently joined ECF in 2018 to share his knowledge and experience to aspiring future leaders of the hospitality industry. His many years of experience in the entertainment and event production business is a great contribution in the ECF Mentorship program since Entertainment has been an integral part of the nightlife and daylife experiences in Las Vegas.
Owner and Operator of “DEFTAL” (abbr. of Definitive Talents Inc.), a national talent agency and event promotion company base in Las Vegas since 2005. Deftal is a premier entertainment provider for showrooms, concerts, festivals, clubs, corporate, sports, and private events. He has created many successful live and interactive events in the Mainstream and niche Latino and Asian market and has represented Grammy award winning artists.