Vice President of Culinary
Doug leads SAVOR’s talented team of 80+ chefs around the country and also manages SAVOR…Chicago. Classically trained as a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Doug has 20+ years of industry experience in high profile organizations.
Doug served as Culinary Director and Culinary Expert responsible for feeding thousands of athletes and media professionals in Barcelona, Sydney, Beijing, Athens and London. Most recently, he was the Culinary Expert for the London 2012 Athlete Village where he also directed and implemented the Athlete’s Village Dining Sustainability Program to exceed London 2012 sustainability requirements.
Focusing on culinary excellence, Doug is delighted to add his diverse experience and skill set to the SAVOR and McCormick Place teams.
Chef Michael Kingsley
Director of Culinary Services
Michael Kingsley, Director of Culinary Services, joined SAVOR…Chicago with 14 years of culinary leadership with world famous cultural destinations, hotels and country clubs. An accomplished Le Cordon Bleu trained Executive Chef, Michael has lead culinary operations for high profile landmarks including the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Museum of Science and Industry, John G. Shedd Aquarium, and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.
An award-winning chef, Michael focuses on seasonally inspired menus using locally sourced ingredients and has spent his career creating exceptional dining experiences for large events. Passionate about food and innovative dining experiences, Chef Michael has also authored “Culinary Kids” healthy nutrition guide cookbook for the State of Illinois and City of Chicago Culinary Kids initiative.
Chef Michael shares SAVOR…Chicago’s commitment to sustainable practices and has been an innovator in helping to reduce his operations’ carbon footprint. From partnering with Green Youth Farms to incorporate local products into menus to speaking at the Green Meetings Industry Council, he is a visible advocate for establishing green practices.
Steve joined SAVOR…Chicago in June 2015 after serving as Director of Operations for several high-profile convention centers and arenas around the country as well as for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. A graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Steve is an accomplished professional with a passion for delivering outstanding service. His solid understanding of the convention market brings McCormick Place clients an excellent resource and partner.
Assistant General Manager
Dante joined SAVOR…Chicago with over 25 years of hospitality leadership experience, working in restaurants, hotels and resorts. He is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and has spent the last 10 years working with both Marriott and Hilton hotels.
He began his career began in the kitchen, working his way up from cook to Executive Chef, then eventually into front-of-the-house management. He has experience not only with food, but with beverage as well, leading Denver, CO’s largest beverage operation at one point in his career.
“My goal has always been to provide the guest with a memorable experience. This is best way to build loyalty and insure they’ll return.”
Director of Kitchen Operations
David has 20+ years of experience working with four star hotels, professional sports teams and other high profile venues in addition to serving as part of the Beijing Olympics culinary development team. He was trained at Le Cordon Bleu, the Culinary Institute of America, and at the Baltimore International Culinary College.
Having lived all over the world including going to high school in Cypress, David brings a unique and global perspective to his position. He is also an accomplished musician.
Director of Purchasing
Daniel is a seasoned professional with 30+ years of experience in purchasing, receiving and warehousing including a strong background in food and beverage. Much of Daniel’s experience has been in casino venues, helping to launch two casinos and their subsequent hotel expansions. His background also includes working in venues as diverse as five-star hotels and large-volume airport experience.
Director of Catering Sales and Marketing
Prior to joining the SAVOR…Chicago team, Alison flourished in the pandemonium of the hotel world, working with Marriott International for nine years where she learned the intricacies of executing events for a range of non-profit, social and corporate clients. Early in her career, Alison discovered that one of her most enjoyable aspects of events was food and beverage. Following her interest in catering, when an opportunity presented itself at McCormick Place, Alison made the leap.
A graduate of Miami University, Alison couldn’t be happier with where her path has led her to today. “When I’m not running around McCormick Place in my heels, I am most likely running around the city with my daughter, chasing a good sale, finding the coolest playground or hunting for a great new restaurant to drag my husband to.”
Assistant Director of Food & Beverage
As Director of Sustainability and Special Projects for SAVOR…Chicago, Kevin’s goal is to help McCormick Place be the greenest convention center in the world. Using an innovative approach to sustainability allows SAVOR… to separate itself from the competition. In addition to responsibility for the rooftop garden, Green Angels program and other green initiatives, Kevin’s job includes ensuring that visitors to McCormick Place know that sustainability is a large part of SAVOR’s culture. Born and raised in Chicago, Kevin loves the local food. “Chicago’s great food can’t be overshadowed by our amazing craft beer. As a certified Cicerone server, I can recommend the best beer in the city for your event.”
Senior Catering Manager
A catering professional with seven+ years in convention catering management, Dana has spent several years providing event management and catering services to a wide variety of associations and corporations. Working one on one with her clients, Dana takes the food and beverage aspect of an event to a higher level by specializing in creative custom menus that offer a variety of culinary styles and flavors designed to create memorable special events. She has a keen eye for detail, and a strong commitment to customer service. In her current role, she oversees a multitude of catering services including menu planning and design, development and communication of meeting specifications, contract negotiations, and flawless on-site execution. In her personal time, Dana likes to travel and listen to live music.
Senior Catering Manager
Katie started as an Exhibitor Catering Manager in 2010 and over the past four years has moved into her current position as a Senior Catering Manager. Her experience at every level of the SAVOR catering team gives her a unique understanding of how to plan and execute events for every aspect of a show. This know-how coupled with her enthusiasm for fresh and creative ideas ensures that the customer and their guests will have a personalized experience that is far from conventional.
Nothing is more important to Katie than happy guests, even if that means using her improv comedy skills learned at Second City to make them laugh. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Katie is originally from the Chicago suburbs. “I take great pride in working at a building of such importance to our city. If I’m not running the halls of McCormick Place, you’ll most likely find me at one of Chicago’s many street fests or at the park with my dog Wilson.”
Senior Catering Manager
Rayva has served the Chicago hospitality market for over a decade, getting her start in some of the city’s largest and busiest hotel properties. She joined SAVOR…Chicago in 2013, and immediately began supporting some of McCormick Place’s longstanding clients. Rayva’s straightforward and efficient approach is appreciated by many of the center’s clients and falls right in line with McCormick Place’s SIMPLE motto. “I am always working to do the right thing for my client, and I enjoy partnering with them to make decisions to help their event reach its potential.”
A Chicago native, Rayva enjoys hosting family and friends at her home when she’s not at McCormick Place and showing off her best recipes.
Sohana began her career in food and beverage with her very first job as a Sandwich Artist in Fort Wayne, Indiana. While attending Indiana University, this Hoosier served, tended bar and even did a few dishes. After moving to Chicago, she worked in off-premise and hotel catering. Sohana’s experience in almost every aspect of the industry has given her a true understanding of the many nuances of catering. Her attention to detail, quick thinking and work ethic mean all facets of an event are covered.
When not traveling around McCormick Place, Sohana loves to travel the world sampling the local cuisine and flair. Her Wednesday nights are devoted to watching Top Chef and cooking. “As a foodie, I love helping clients customize their events down to the last detail.”
Sundown is new to the catering sales team but is a longtime member of SAVOR…Chicago. Moving from the financial side to the client side, Sundown’s analytical approach to detail and organization allow her to provide a seamless experience for the customer. Sundown received her degree in Event Planning from Indiana University and has used those skills in a variety of ways. Moving to Chicago from New York City, her diverse background includes time spent in event production for both the music and fashion industries. “I love all things local, from craft beer and coffee to wonderful food experiences. You can always find me exploring the city and trying new things.”
Rachel is no stranger to McCormick Place or the hospitality industry. Rachel received her degree in Hospitality and Food Management from Ball State University. After jobs in several avenues in hospitality including events, food service and hotels, Rachel found her passion in food and beverage. Rachel’s desire to please the customer and put their needs first allows her to deliver exceptional service.
“When I’m not helping customers decide what they should eat or drink, you can find me running along the beautiful Chicago lakeshore or enjoying a local craft beer at one of our city’s amazing breweries.”
Eugene T. Gorleku
Eugene graduated from the U.K.’s University of Sheffield and Louisiana State University with degrees in nutrition. Eugene loves his role as Banquets Director at McCormick Place because every day is different and gives him the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Among Eugene’s most exciting career moments were working a 5,000 guest luncheon for President George W. Bush and hosting President Bill Clinton and the southern State Governors.
“I love to visit other countries and learn about their cultures. I speak three different languages and my favorite sports are soccer and tennis.”