HEE Advisory Council

Known by the Company We Keep

The  HEE  Advisory  Council  is  a  volunteer  seat  that  helps  navigate  the  content   of  the  HEE  program .     We  know  our   HEE  family  has  day-to-day  responsibilites,  so  our  goal  is  not  to  tie  them  up  with  additional  tasks.      HEE  is  a  family,  so  our  board  serves  as  the  head  of  the  family,  helping  us  to  create  memorable  experiences  for  our  HEE  participants.    

The  council  offers  advice,  insight,   as  well  as  recommendations  on  topics,  program  format , activities  to  speakers.      Their  guidance  is  also  instrumental  in  helping  to  keep  HEE  a  unique  entity  in  the  hospitality  marketplace.    We  are  truly  grateful  to  have  some  of  the  best  of  the  best  helping  to  guide  us  with  every  program.    

Note  from  Stuart:  

As  Co-Chairman  of  the  Hospitality  Executive  Exchange ,  it  has  been  a  wonderful  way  to  connect,  re-connect  and  truly  engage  with  my  peers  over  the  last  decade.      HEE  is  a  unique  opportunity ,  where  as  an  operator,  you  don’t  feel  the  pressure  to  be  here  or  there.    The  agenda  is  cultivated  so  that  we  do  everything  as  a  group,  allowing  time  for  real  conversations  to  happen  making  it  truly  one  of  the  best  programs  for  actually  getting  business  done.    

HEE  promotes  conversations  that  create  change  and   there’s  virtually  no  topics  off  limits.    The  program  has  become  known  for  very  spirited  discussions  that  lead  to  engaging  learning  among  peers  and  real  results  as  valued  take-aways.      Through-out  my  career,  being  inspired  by  my  colleagues  and  learning  from  them  has  allowed  me  to  grow  and  HEE  fosters  that  opportunity.    

HEE  has  become  extremely  popular  over  the  last  5  years  because  it  is  the leader in  the  market,  focusing  on  conversations  &  relationships  that  has proven  success.    It  is  truly  a  family   of  resources.    HEE  is  very  relaxed  and  laid  back,  yet  one  o f  the most  upscale  and  high-end  offerings  in  the  marketplace.    Every  location  is  an  inspiration  and  the  customization  of  every  agenda  allows  the  platform  to  really  provide  value  for  all  participants.    

I  would  love  to  visit  with  you  regarding  the  program  should  you  have  any  questions  or  want  to  know  more. ”   Stuart

HEE Advisory Council 2019

Stuart  Melia,  Co-Chairman

Michael  Tolley,  Education  Chair

Kevin  Ball

Vince  Barrett,  Newcastle  Hotels

Jeffrey  Bartfield,  Proximo  Spirits

Michael  Bombard,  Straight  Up  Solutions

Beth  Borkosky,  American  Beverage  Marketers

Fred  Brown,  Green  Glass  Global

Steve  Byrne,  Tavisstock  Restaurants

Kathy  Casey,  Kathy  Casey  Liquid  Kitchen

Tom  Conte,  MS  Walker

Chris  Coursen,  Hospitality  Glass  Brands

Brandon  Crisler,  Trellis  Wine  Group

Matt  Durbin,  Durbin  Consulting  

Ed  Eiswirth,  Royal  Caribbean

Adam  Flierl,  Cinepolis Cinemas

Donna  Frederick,  Beam  Suntory

Kim  Gouch,  Ignite  Creative  Services

Scott Hempstead, Boston Beer Co.

Michael  Herchuck,  American  Social

William  Hinkebein,  ABM

Mitchie  Kanda,  Houlihans

Nik  Kundra,  Partender

Cory  Lattuca,  Grimaldi’s

Frank  Lewis,  AMC

Bob MacNevin, LeVecke Corp.

Danny Moch, Campari  America

David  Morgan,  OTG

Carolyn  Morris,  Trinchero  Family  Estates

Brittany  Taylor  Olson,  Nespresso

Bryan  O’Rourke,  Oneida  Hospitality  Group

Jayne  Portnoy,  JP  Consulting

Philip  Raimondo,  Stoli  Group  USA

Nichelle  Ritter,  The  Food  Hall

Stuart  Robinson,  Luxco

Jennifer  Rubright,  Carrabbas

Richard  Schneider,  Spectra  Foodservice

Joe  Smith,  Monin

Jose  Suarez,  Coco  Lopez

Diane  Svehlak,  Q  Mixers/Dress  the  Drink

Trudy  Thomas,  Gaylord  Hotels 

Nicole  Thurman,  Lavazza  Coffee

Celia  Waddington,  Ignite  Creative  Services

Danny Williamson, Furious Spoon

Katherine  Wojcik, Kimpton  Hotels

Quotes & Quips from Participants

Richard Schneider, EVP & COO, Spectra

"HEE is the premier program in the hospitality industry.  Relaxed, yet one of the most productive 2 days for any beverage professional to engage and learn from their peers.  HEE removes the stress creating a family of resources for all participants.” 

Jim Gardner, President Whiskey Creek

"HEE was incredible. " 

Jason Harris, Dir. of Sales. Young's Market (AZ, OR, WA)

"I must say I was completely impressed with HEE and have already shared my positive experience with customers and suppliers.  Thank you for a couple of wonderful days."

Diana Caballero, VP. Caesars Entertainment

"Thank you for inviting me to HEE.  It was great to finally experience this wonderful program first hand that I've heard so much about.  The partners that were  present were first class and it was a great group of people. " 

Michael Herchuck, VP F&B, American Social

"Thank you so much for everything.  I was talking with others and HEE continues to elevate the bar.  I had the most takeaways from the one-on-one meetings and the property and food and beverage applications were amazing."  

Ed Eiswirth, Director of Beverage, Royal Caribbean

HEE has become the premier program in the hospitality industry that truly focuses on beverage strategies between multi-unit operators and select supplier partners.  It is the perfect balance of meetings, networking and education.  If I could recommend one conference, it would be this one. It has valued take-aways for each participant.   It is the ONE conversation and program, you can’t afford to miss.  

HEE Proudly Supports Industry Charities



CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) recently celebrated its 15th year helping families in the food and beverage industry.    CORE grants support to children of food and beverage service employees navigating life-altering circumstances.  Give back to the industry that has given so much to each of us. 

Helen David Relief Fund

HDRF was created by Tony Abou-Ganim, as a way of honoring his cousin Helen who beat two battles with breast cancer .  She is truly an inspiration to those living with the disease. HDRF helps women in the Bartending community affected with breast cancer.  


The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation educational initiatives provide culinary, management, food safety and employability skills training to build a pipeline of talent for the restaurant industry.  The NRAEF awards scholarships to students and educators to provide continued education.  

Fight Jimmy Fight

Our dear friend and one of our 2013 HEE Icon Award Winner, Jimmy Skeadas was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2018.  HEE is committed to help raise awareness and funds, to help with medical expenses.  Those who know Jimmy, know how much he has contributed to our industry.

Together, We Can Make a Difference