Jennie began her restaurant career at age 16 working as a hostess at Bennigan’s. Did this start as an illustrious passion? No, it was across the street from her high school and thus an easy commute. Nevertheless, the excellent training in multiple front of the house positions led her to return to hospitality again and again in the years to come.
Jennie attended the University of Florida on a full academic scholarship and received an honors BA in English, fully intending to become a writer. A study abroad program led to an obsession with travel which never abated (though she did stop along the way for a Master’s Degree at UCL in London).
This led to twenty years of solo, overland, and adventure travel to 120 countries and all 7 continents. What struck her most in every place she visited was hospitality. People the world over, regardless of their wealth or status, continually opened up their homes and cultures to her with welcoming smiles and open arms.
She continued to work in hospitality throughout her travels, driven by one main passion: to take care of people. Searching for places that she could have the opportunity to make a difference, have guest facing roles, strive for excellence, and work with and for the best of the best led her from Aspen to Jackson Hole, harvest and winery work in Napa to Big Sky, MT, and more.
She gained extensive experience in different types of restaurant and hotel properties, from Fleming’s Wine Bar and Steakhouse to the St. Regis, from the small all-suite luxury Amangani to the private Yellowstone Club. She received the Walter Clore scholarship for the highest score of all applicants on her Certified Sommelier Exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers, and incorporated her Beverage expertise into her restaurant and beverage programs.
The most important lesson that she learned was: always keep the Chef happy!
Her true passion lies in hiring, training, developing and taking care of people. She fulfilled this through interviewing, hiring, training, and creating and enacting staff development plans in previous roles.
Recent events caused her to pause to decide what direction she wanted to go in her career. The opportunity to take her love of hospitality and self-development and help professionals find their niche, clarify and explore their strengths while providing top notch companies with the best candidates is an exciting prospect. Life is too short not to bring out the best in ourselves.