Executive Team - CulinArt Group

Executives

Michael Purcell
President
Ali Bernardi
Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy
Lou Vogt
Vice President, Leisure and Logistics
Harry Williamson, Jr.
Vice President, Senior Dining
Dan McGill
Division President, Delaware Valley-Greater Philadelphia
John Drexel
Regional VP, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast
Jeff Powell
Regional Vice President
Erik Buckholz
Director, Human Resources
Elliott Enyedy
Director, Finance
Michael Purcell
President

 

Michael Purcell joined CulinArt in 2001, and brought with him over two decades of industry expertise, dating from his early degree in hotel and restaurant management at Luzerne College in Pennsylvania, to a long and prosperous career spanning 15 years with a global competitor. Purcell’s previous job titles ran the gamut, and included Executive Chef of Corporate Dining, District Manager, Operational Director, Regional Vice President, and Division President in charge of a $360 million territory in B&I and higher education accounts.

A 1981 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Purcell is still very much involved with this prestigious educational institution as a Member of the Corporation, serving on the school’s Educational Policy Committee. His passion for food and for the hospitality industry has clearly informed his entire career and contributed to its great success. A well-known and highly respected industry leader, Purcell is a tremendous asset in every aspect – a clear strength in CulinArt’s operational, management and culinary endeavors.

Ali Bernardi
Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy

 

Having joined CulinArt in 1999 in the new business development department, Ali Bernardi subsequently became the company’s first dedicated marketing professional. Her immediate concentration fell to the company’s growing number of recreation and leisure accounts, with the goal of increasing awareness of CulinArt’s collection of catering brands and their portfolio of exclusive special event venues. As her team grew and the company expanded geographically, Bernardi was able to extend her focus to CulinArt’s core business sector (including corporate, higher education and private school dining), as well as to the company’s new Senior Dining Division.

Today, her team of marketing professionals, graphic designers, PR and web coordinators and full-scale in-house print shop, supports all aspects of the company’s brand image, micro-brands, advertising, retail marketing campaigns, and the like. Each and every day, Bernardi is charged with translating the CulinArt Group brand across all areas, departments and segments of the company – into every account and onto every CulinArt team member – while simultaneously communicating and raising awareness of the CulinArt brand within our industry.

Lou Vogt
Vice President, Leisure and Logistics

 

Lou Vogt joined CulinArt in 1998 as a Foodservice Director and was quickly promoted to District Manager in charge of the company’s growing portfolio of educational accounts in Manhattan.

When CulinArt partnered with Westchester County in the spring of 1999 to operate the concession and catering services at Playland Park in Rye, NY, company President Tom Eich drew on Vogt’s enthusiastic determination, as well as his vast experience with concession services, to open the company’s largest recreational venue. Again, Vogt made his mark, setting the stage to produce phenomenal revenues that far surpassed any in Playland Park’s history. When the time came to sign the company’s next account in the leisure market in 2000 (the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk), CulinArt would tap Vogt’s talents yet again. When Philip Stone Caterers merged with CulinArt in 2001, Vogt took on the responsibility of integrating the Philip Stone Division into the company’s existing structure.

Today, Vogt oversees a successful team of general managers and catering directors. His daily supervision of Philip Stone and Regal Caterers has elevated both the eminence and profitability of these two leading catering brands.

Harry Williamson, Jr.
Vice President, Senior Dining

 

Harry Williamson began his career in foodservice in the Williamson family restaurant, banquet and catering businesses. Now, with more than 30 years in healthcare dining services, Williamson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the senior communities he serves. While he has experience in virtually all settings, his focus today is in continuing care retirement communities, acute/skilled care, and assisted living and specialty care facilities.

Williamson is currently responsible for the oversight and management of the entire Healthcare Division, as well as its growth and development. His current role is the result of a successful track record for developing quality accounts, strong relationships with clients, and marked growth within the Williamson Hospitality Division, particularly in the healthcare segment.

Dan McGill
Division President, Delaware Valley-Greater Philadelphia

 

Dan McGill has been in foodservice management for over 25 years. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Food Marketing from St. Joseph’s University, he commenced his management career with Marriott Corporation. McGill later managed a Top Ten account for a global competitor in the Philadelphia area, and then received an MBA from LaSalle University with a specialization in Accounting.

John Drexel
Regional VP, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast

 

John Drexel joined CulinArt in 2004 as Food Service Director and in February 2005 was promoted to District Manager covering Manhattan. In 2007 John assumed a District encompassing New Jersey and Pennsylvania covering business and industry accounts. As CulinArt grew in the Mid Atlantic, so did John’s region; which now includes Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Colorado, overseeing several Fortune 500 accounts and prestigious private schools. In 2014 he relocated to Maryland and continues to grow the business. John became a Vice President with CulinArt in 2017.

John has a Bachelor’s degree from New York Institute of Technology in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. Over his 25 plus year career, he has had extensive experience as a Chef, Purchasing Manager, General Manager and District Manager. His passion for mentoring and diversity is reflected in the team of professionals within his region.

Jeff Powell
Regional Vice President

 

Jeff Powell joined CulinArt in 2000 and brought with him over 15 years of private industry experience as an owner-operator of an independent restaurant and a separate off-premises special event caterer, both of which he created from the ground up. In his over two decades with CulinArt, Powell’s experience in the independent school market and corporate dining services directly contributed to CulinArt’s growth.

His passion for the ever-changing food industry has allowed him to share his firsthand experiences with farm-to-table cuisine and sustainable solutions. He has also worked closely with his clients to launch digital and mobile dining platforms. As a graduate of SUNY Delhi with a degree in Hospitality Management, Jeff’s education, career, experience and keen focus have fostered his growth from foodservice director to district manager to, now, vice president of the largest region within CulinArt. Jeff currently manages $175 million in revenue with clients throughout the northeast, including prestigious independent schools and many Fortune 500 corporations. As an active participant in the business development process, clients can trust that his entrepreneurial experience and essence will ensure that CulinArt’s operational, culinary and resource teams deliver creative, custom and financially-sound dining programs, launched quickly, efficiently and successfully, while featuring the latest in food trends, service excellence and digital experiences.

Erik Buckholz
Director, Human Resources

 

Erik Buckholz has been with the Compass HR team since 2002. He began his career as an HR manager and has held several positions within Compass over the last 15 years including Director of Training and Regional HR business partner. In these roles, Buckholz has provided strategic HR leadership and consultation focused on anticipating and assessing emerging business and people trends and identifying and implementing the appropriate Human Resource business solutions.

As CulinArt’s Director of Human Resources, Buckholz oversees the professional development, retention and career paths of team members at both the hourly and management level. He manages a department that administers to the daily, short-term and long-term needs of CulinArt’s team members, including HR strategy, Employee Engagement, Talent Development, Compensation and much more.

Previous to working for Compass Group, Buckholz was employed as an HR manager for Balducci’s food market. He also has worked as a recruiter for a technical services company and in labor relations at a hospital on Long Island. Buckholz has a Bachelors and Master’s degree in HR Management from Stony Brook University and is nationally recognized as a senior professional in HR by the Society for Human Resource Management. He is a military veteran who served over 7 years on both active duty and in the reserves.

Elliott Enyedy
Director, Finance

 

Elliott Enyedy joined CulinArt in 2018 and has over 25 years of operational and financial experience.  He graduated from Florida International University in 1992 with a degree in Hospitality Management and began his career with Compass Group.  During his tenure, he has performed several roles including multi-unit Foodservice Director, Financial Analyst and Regional Controller within multiple sectors.  In addition to these roles, he has worked closely with the corporate IT department to improve and develop programs used in the field.

As CulinArt’s Director of Finance, he oversees reporting, budgeting, forecasting, new sales proformas, field and financial team training.

What our clients are saying

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

“We can’t thank you enough for all the time and effort you put into getting this emergency shipment of water to our Waco, Tx office. As always, you guys pulled out all the stops and did everything possible to help! I know it doesn’t seem like much to you, but our employees in TX that need drinking water are truly grateful. I feel so fortunate to work with such true professionals. I think you set the bar that your competition wishes they could match!”

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn't do this without you.”

“Thank you for all the accommodations for food intolerances and allergies.  I continue to hear positive comments about the quality of the food and the options. Please pass along our thanks and gratitude to your whole team!!!!”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

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