Meet Our Team.
Manager, Executive Chef
Most little kids are thrilled when grandma gives them a tricycle; 5-year-old Thomas Horner was over the moon when his grandma gave him a frying pan. She wanted him to start cooking the eggs he routinely collected in the rural western Pennsylvania area where he grew up. Today, the executive chef continues to raise chickens and collect eggs at his Coachella Valley home, and his lifelong love of cooking has taken him east, south, north, and west, and well into the food sustainability movement. Horner’s childhood fascination led him to study at the International Culinary Academy in Pittsburgh. After graduating, he began his career with one of the world’s largest full-service hotel brands in New Orleans, and has climbed the corporate culinary ladder at stops in Florida and Seattle, as well as the California desert. Along the way, he’s collected the Golden Scepter Award from the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association, and has twice been guest chef at the James Beard Foundation in New York. Now back at a signature resort property in Palm Desert, he brings an interest in cultivating sustainable, local fare, as both a farmer and a food purveyor. That’s a challenge for the career resort chef, who must appeal to both visitors and residents, whose dining desires aren’t always complementary. It’s a mission Horner relishes: “The unique thing about being a hotel chef is the diversity; one day you’re feeding 500 people in a restaurant, and the next day it’s 1,500 at a banquet. There’s never a boring time. … Running hotels is like running a city … making sure people have all the things they need to conduct business, to enjoy themselves.”
Jaclyn Glatzer, Manager,
Director of Marketing and Logistics
When you see Jaclyn Glatzer at this year’s conference, she will be completely in her element. Organizing a complicated and multi-faceted, immersive program for a high-powered group of chefs from all over the country? For Jaclyn, this is not just a good idea and a fun challenge, it’s a dream come true as the consummate hostess. She started honing her craft as personal assistant to Mr. Bob Costas at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and then in foodservice marketing for the past 17 years with Summit Group and her personal consultancy JKG Food Services. If you’re ever in doubt about where you’re supposed to be or what you should be doing, just ask Jaclyn. It’s probably on a spreadsheet somewhere, and you DON’T want to get caught straying outside the lines.
When not keeping herself and everyone around her entertained and running smoothly, Jaclyn is an avid cruiser (35+ cruises to date) and country music fan. If you need help getting on or staying on her “good” list, tequila or rum drinks on the sweeter side are a good bet. With luck and persuasion, you might get invited to one of her legendary birthday parties for son Sam or daughter Sydney. Jaclyn has a B.S in Communication from Cornell University.
The Spirits in Motion: Phil Wills and Tony Pereyra
The Spirits In Motion is a Los Angeles based Beverage Consultancy established in 2011 by founders Phil Wills and Tony Pereyra. Together, Phil and Tony have combined over 30 years of bar and restaurant experience, closely involved in developing top-shelf beverage logistics. Throughout their careers, Phil and Tony have gained expertise in every facet of the beverage industry, from networking with major corporate franchises and national beverage conferences to operating premiere bars, restaurants, and independent QSR's at both national and international levels. By attending and speaking at various seminars and conferences, and applying countless hours of real-time research, Phil and Tony stay current with industry and consumer trends and take a strategic approach to beverage needs.
Conference staffing provided by Summit Group: Food, Nutrition and Beverage Marketing
Especially in the hospitality business, strong relationships are critical for success. Summit works tirelessly to build genuine and lasting relationships with everyone we meet. Our approach is to forge a true collaboration with - and become a living extension of - our clients. Developing the level of trust to achieve that takes time, dedication and total honesty. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our people are our greatest asset. We say it often and for good reason. So we invest in our people through training and development. We develop our business based on intellectual capital and shared knowledge. And we strive to foster our culture based on a passion for risk-taking and continuous innovation. Because it’s only through the grit, commitment, and smart work of our people that we achieve our Clients’ goals, generate long-term value and contribute to the broader public good.
Alexei Rudolf, Manager, Treasurer, Director of Operations
Alexei is often called “Chief Storyteller” by clients of his marketing and PR consultancy, Foodservice Connections, LLC. He loves the challenge of weaving together a story from the threads of chefs, trend researchers, farmers, ranchers and recipes scribbled on the backs of cocktail napkins. From editorial projects to training videos, advertising to social media, public relations to public speaking engagements, websites or webinars, he’s often the man behind the scenes crafting the narrative. Though not a chef, Alexei is proud to speak the language, and wise enough to know he lacks the necessary chops, tats and stamina to work in a kitchen. Turns out there are other things you can do with your Bachelors degree in Religious Studies from The Colorado College.
Alexei was a panel moderator at the 2008 National Restaurant Association show, a featured speaker at Beef Australia 2015 and served two three-year terms on the executive board of IFEC, the International Foodservice Editorial Council. His tenure included a year as president, vice president, and treasurer, and he was awarded the organization's highest honor, the "Betty" award, in 2015. He’s a proud supporter of Vide Verde Nature Education, a non-profit nature education program for urban youth in the bay area.
We are F&B people. Passionate about the industry. Passionate about networking. Passionate about success. One day a conversation resulted in us asking each other...why isn't there a conference made for the lodging chef?? There seems to be a conference for everyone else...and the lodging chef wields huge budgets, decision making ability and unique differences to chefs in all other segments. So Mise was born. And now a bit more about "we"...