Vice PresidentMolly joins the team with a world of business and hospitality experience. A graduate of Cornell University Molly studied hospitality leadership in the esteemed MMH program at Cornell prior to joining the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Prior to her education Molly worked at a variety of restaurants in the Ithaca and Syracuse area including her father’s chain of seafood restaurants named Doug’s Fish Fry. It was in these early years that Molly truly learned the ins and outs of the restaurant business.
While working at the Peninsula Molly ran the Roof Garden restaurant steering the operation through the challenges of a busy summer, Academy Awards season and more. After much time and success in Food & Beverage Molly chose to broaden her hospitality knowledge moving into the vacant Human Resources Manager role.
While working in Food & Beverage Molly was able to focus on the team building atmosphere of a successful operation. While working in human resources Molly successfully developed and implemented a behavior based hiring process streamlining the process and ensuring that the Peninsula Beverly Hills hired only the best people out there.
After almost 2 years in Beverly Hills Molly made the move south with her soon to be husband Bill. Continuing her human resources path she took the role of Director of Training and Development that the St. Regis Monarch Beach. She was tasked with moving a struggling team with no general manager from a complacent bunch to a focused and driven hospitality team.
Soon thereafter a new general manager was appointed and Molly, an executive team member, was tasked with the training required to achieve the coveted Mobil 5 Star and Triple AAA 5 Diamond awards. In 2006 just 2 years after joining the team the hotel achieved both.
Not being satisfied to rest on her laurels Molly moved her career in a new direction moving into the world of Six Sigma and process management. She quickly moved up the ranks to a Black Belt while working and traveling extensively with Starwood Hotels helping to develop and implement programs to deliver both higher quality and higher profits in its vast collection of hotels. Some of the key programs that Molly helped develop and implement included company-wide group commissions, food cost controls and laundry labor analysis.
Missing the operations side of the business Molly was promoted to the Director of Operations at the Westin South Coast Plaza, a position she held for 2 years until her first child was born. In this role Molly was responsible for the day to day operations of the hotel with direct accountability for the Food & Beverage and Rooms Divisions of the hotel. While there Molly lead the team through some of the trying economic challenges that have come to define so many organizations. As well she was tasked with being a part of the “Lean” process, working at various properties helping to steer them through the financial crisis as well.
Molly has left the hotel world in 2009 to focus on her young son while still working on various consulting and training projects. In 2012 Molly was lured back into the working world when she was approached by Personal Care Physicians of Newport Beach to help guide their new & growing concierge medical company. As the C.O.O she oversaw the opening of two new medical practices in Irvine and Aliso Viejo. Over the years Molly has done customer service based consulting with Progressive Dental Services, in Phoenix, so when they called she took the time to listen. In March of 2014 she joined the company as their new C.O.O. She is tasked with leading the transition of this young company to a complete dental facility for adults & children alike.
Molly brings an Ivy League education and real world experience to Bracken’s Kitchen and we look forward to her guidance and wisdom.
Board MemberSusan Sinatra had a successful career as a Sales Representative for The IBM Corporation and one of their Premier Business Partner firms for 20 years. Susan also co-owned Darnatra, Inc., franchising several restaurants in Syracuse NY. During her years at Darnatra. Susan was responsible for the financial accounting of three highly successful restaurants. She played an instrumental role in transition and rebranding of these restaurants from a franchise operation to a fully independent operation.
The combination of Susan’s successful sales, business development and ownership experiences, performed with honesty and integrity, make her an ideal addition to the Board of Directors for Bracken’s Kitchen.
Susan was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, then lived and worked in Syracuse, NY prior to relocating to the West coast in 2012. She is passionate about feeding the poor, animal welfare and her work volunteering as the Northeast Regional Administrator supporting the mission of the Dining For Women organization.
Susan now resides in Laguna Beach, CA with her cats, Comfort and Fehra. She is a Broker Consultant with Buffini and Company, a Real Estate Coaching & Training company headquartered in Carlsbad, CA..
Board MemberBorn and raised in Ridgecrest, a small desert community in California, Michael Owens found himself about to graduate not knowing what to do next. Beginning his journey at age 15 as a busboy in the only chain hotel in town he found himself hanging out in the kitchen at the edge of the line watching the cooks. This is when the magic began. One day while Michael was learning basic knife skills and cooking techniques his boss suggested cooking school. It didn’t take long for Michael to jump on the idea and apply to the Culinary Institute of America where he earned his degree in Culinary Arts and received a Certificate in Baking and Pastry.
After graduating from the CIA, Michael landed his first career position at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel where he worked in the pastry shop. Mastering his craft and working his way up, he soon moved on to a small restaurant “Chez Gille” in Beverly Hills. From their Michael’s skill and talent grew as did his success. He has since ran the pastry kitchens at both the Peninsula Beverly Hills and the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. While in Newport Beach Michael was asked to step out of his comfort zone and get involved in not only the rest of the kitchen but the entire Food & Beverage department, bringing his calm leadership and understand personality during some very challenging business times.
After 25 years in the hospitality industry Michael decided it was time to step back and focus on his family. Michael currently manufactures Artisan Ice Cream, Gelato and Sorbet at Florentino Ice Cream, a family owned operation.
Throughout his career Michael has had the honor to be involved in numerous charity events including several hunger relief fundraisers such as the Orange County Chapter of Share Our Selves, Wild and Crazy Taco Night, the Roosters Foundations, Currently residing in Orange County, Michael lives with his wife and two children. He is an avid backpacker who enjoys the back country of the Sierra Nevada, Lacrosse with his son and most importantly, spending time with his family.
Michael’s diverse background in the culinary world will bring an added level of guidance and wisdom to our core mission of feeding.
Board MemberBorn in Akron Ohio Douglas grew up working in the restaurant business. He started working at a young age in the iconic Midwestern restaurant, Bob Evans. It was here that Douglas fell in love with the business and a career was born. After graduating high school he went onto college at Kent State University where he majored in Hospitality & Food Service Management. Realizing that he belonged in the kitchen Douglas went onto the Culinary Institute of America after graduating from Kent State.
Earning is associates degree in Culinary Arts Douglas decided to move west and joined the Four Seasons Hotel Company working in their Newport Beach property. After working his way up to Assistant Banquet Chef and several years working in Newport Beach Douglas moved north and joined the team at the Peninsula Beverly Hills as a Sous Chef in their Roof Garden Café.
Douglas spent 10 years in Beverly Hills and played an instrumental role in the kitchen overseeing the banquet, room service and café kitchens. He played an important role in running the Food & Beverage operation at one of the highest rated hotels in the country. During his time in Beverly Hills Douglas was able to work, learn and cross train in several areas of the operation including purchasing, stewarding room service and cost controls.
Douglas eventually chose to leave the Peninsula and move back to Newport Beach and Orange County, his home. He joined the Island Hotel Newport Beach in 2005 and was a part of the team that oversaw the challenging transition of this legendary Four Seasons Hotel to an independent brand. Again he played a crucial role overseeing various areas of the kitchen to assist the leadership.
In 2010 Douglas left the hotel world and joined Chef Toys as one of the co-managers of their Fountain Valley Store. In his current role Douglas helps oversee a company with more than 70 million dollars in annual sales.
Douglas’ experience in all facets of the business makes him an asset for Bracken’s Kitchen.
Board MemberYvette brings over 6 years of nonprofit experience to the team. As a long time employee of the Illumination Foundation she brings real world experience in serving the underprivileged in Southern California.
Board MemberThe newest member of our board is our long time professional colleague Michael Pearson He believes, “To give is the greatest gift we will ever have.” Michael has worked in the food industry for over the past twenty years. He helped grow LA Specialty from a simple organization to one of national prominence. The company now has national reach and does over one million dollars in sales per day.
Michael initiated and helped grow Brix Procure, a national procurement company. Brix Procure helps to develop better procurement and business practices of like minded companies. Brix Procure gives all members and affiliates national exposure and reach.
Chefs to End Hunger was another effort he initiated. This program grew from his travels and desire to help others. Chefs to End Hunger is an organization that re-purposes prepared food from many of the best chefs in the world. Chefs to End Hunger gives everyone an opportunity to contribute toward ending hunger. Michael has helped to improve the lives of all he has touched. His successful business experience, love for food and desire to help others will nourish Bracken’s Kitchen.