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About

Leadership at Kendall

Paul Lussow

Paul Lussow

  • President
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Dr. Águeda Benito

Dr. Águeda Benito

  • Provost
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Chef Chris Koetke

Chef Chris Koetke

  • Vice President, Culinary Management, Culinary Arts
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Chef Michel Coatrieux

Chef Michel Coatrieux

  • Interim Dean, School of Culinary Arts
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Leigh Uhlir

Leigh Uhlir

  • Interim Director, Hospitality Management
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John Frech

John Frech

  • Interim Director, Business
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Dr. Paul Busceni

Dr. Paul Busceni

  • Dean, School of Education
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Ryan Bartelmay

Ryan Bartelmay

  • Dean, General Education
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Jen Briar

Jen Briar

  • Executive Director of Finance
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Kristen Hodges

Kristen Hodges

  • Executive Director of Student Services
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Crystal Kaminski

Crystal Kaminski

  • Human Resources Manager
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Rick Ferguson

Rick Ferguson

  • Interim Executive Director, Enrollment
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Maureen Corneal

Maureen Corneal

  • Interim Executive Director, Marketing
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Paul Lussow

Paul Lussow

  • President
Paul Lussow is the President of Kendall College, responsible for serving all of the College’s stakeholders, leading the execution of the College’s mission and strategic plan, and overseeing the financial and operational management of the College. He brings over 20 years of professional services and management expertise to the role, relationships with leaders in higher education, and a commitment to meeting the needs of students. Formerly based in Istanbul, Turkey, Paul served as senior vice president of strategy and operations for Laureate Europe, developing experience in the many trends surrounding higher education in an international context. Previously, Paul worked as vice president of strategic initiatives for Laureate Education. Paul earned his BA in History at Northwestern University and his MBA at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the Board of Visitors at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences since 2005.
 

Dr. Águeda Benito

Dr. Águeda Benito

  • Provost
Dr. Águeda Benito was appointed as provost of Kendall College in September 2015. Dr. Benito joined the Kendall College team with more than 20 years of professional experience in higher education and academic administration in which she has been an advocate and facilitator of an innovative, student-centered model of education. As provost, Dr. Benito fills the role of chief academic officer and oversees academic policies and practices of Kendall College, with direct oversight of each of its four distinct academic programs: Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Business and Early Childhood Education. Prior to her appointment as Kendall College provost, Dr. Benito served Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM), located in Spain, for 17 years. She serviced as the University’s chief academic officer (Rector) during her last seven years there. In this role, she was instrumental in positioning UEM as one of the most respected private higher education institutions in the country and driving the institution forward with a focus on innovation, institutional accreditation, high employability rates and effective research. Dr. Benito also chaired Laureate’s European Academic Committee during years 2014 and 2015 and possesses profound international experience, having developed multiple collaborations across the Laureate International Universities network. Dr. Benito holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in meteorology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in addition to a master’s degree in human resources and a doctorate in education from Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). She has published more than 50 papers, book chapters and books.
 

Chef Chris Koetke

Chef Chris Koetke

  • Vice President, Culinary Management, Culinary Arts
Christopher Koetke is  vice president of Baltimore-based Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts. Since 2011, he has led the strategic direction of Laureate’s culinary-arts programs worldwide while maintaining a strong presence at Kendall College. In addition to hosting the Midwest Emmy-nominated cooking show, “Let’s Dish,” on the Live Well HD network, Koetke is a regular editorial contributor to Flavor & The Menu magazine and the Chicago Tribune. He is also co-author of the award-winning The Culinary Professional (Goodheart-Willcox, 2010), a comprehensive and widely used introductory culinary-arts textbook for high-school students.
 

Chef Michel Coatrieux

Chef Michel Coatrieux

  • Interim Dean, School of Culinary Arts
A native of Issy les Moulineaux, two miles south of Paris, Chef Michel Coatrieux attended Ecole Hoteliere at Biarritz in the southwest of France. After returning to Paris, Coatrieux worked at Lucas-Carton and Taillevent, both winners of three Michelin stars. During a vacation to the US, he was hired at Alouette in Highwood, Illinois. He then left to open his own restaurant, Amourette in Palatine in 1987, followed by Bacchus Nibbles, 1992. In 1999, he opened a French cooking school, French Culinary Experience, with his partner, Patrick Chabert. Several years later, Coatrieux joined Kendall College as a chef instructor.Chef Coatrieux has now been with Kendall College for more than thirteen years and his leadership and guidance have been invaluable to students, faculty and staff. As a member of the core committee, he has been instrumental in driving curriculum changes while always remaining committed to raising the standard of excellence expected from every student. Chef Coatrieux’s tireless commitment to helping students achieve success can be seen in the hours he volunteers to coach culinary competitors and the time he invests tutoring students.
 

Leigh Uhlir

Leigh Uhlir

  • Interim Director, Hospitality Management
Leigh Uhlir is an alumna of Kendall College where she earned an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality and Culinary Management. In 2011, she received her Masters in Education in Instructional Technology from American Intercontinental University. Previously, Leigh worked as a Divisional Trainer for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Las Vegas overseeing five restaurants including two of their fine dining concepts, Eiffel Tower and Joe’s Prime Steak and Stone Crab. She also worked as an Implementation Specialist for MICROS programming and training the systems to management and employees.
 

John Frech

John Frech

  • Interim Director, Business
John Frech has worked in the banking industry for over 25 years in various capacities - External Auditor, Controller, Chief Financial Officer, Federal Banking Regulator, consultant and Chief Internal Auditor. He has extensive experience in developing, auditing and enhancing corporate governance programs and financial reporting controls. As a Federal Banking Regulator with the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, he authored numerous financial reporting and auditing regulations affecting Federally-insured banking organizations. In addition, he has collaborated with industry peers, regulators, professional organization leaders and standards setters to establish more consistent and effective solutions to audit issues and business problems. He has a passion for using financial reporting to help business organizations design, monitor and achieve their business objectives. In that regard, John has developed and delivered training programs for banking leaders, bank examiners, and third world banking supervisors. John is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of both the American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society. He received a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Kent State University with a concentration in Accounting. He also received a Masters of Business Administration from Loyola University of Baltimore, Maryland.
 

Dr. Paul Busceni

Dr. Paul Busceni

  • Dean, School of Education
Dr. Paul T. Busceni joined Kendall College as dean of the School of Education in 2007. As both teacher and administrator of K-12 throughout his 16-year career, one of his continued goals has been to inspire teachers and engage learners. Throughout his tenure, Dr. Busceni has been a consistent leader in mobilizing communities in collaborative education improvement initiatives. He has overseen building-based morale initiatives, professional development workshops on teaching pedagogy, educational leadership and curriculum improvement. As a school administrator (K-12) in northern Lake County, he established a new chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and implemented Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) at the middle school level. Dr. Busceni is a prominent speaker and has presented on a range of topics at conferences across the state, including the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Professional Development Convention, the Opening Minds Conference, the Illinois Institute of Art Professional Development Workshop Series and the Illinois Computing Education Annual Conference. He is a member of Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education), Association for the Supervision of Curriculum Development (ASCD), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Dr. Busceni graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1991 with a B.S. in Economics. He attended Roosevelt University for graduate school and received an M.A. in 1996 and a doctorate in 2000 in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change.
 

Ryan Bartelmay

Ryan Bartelmay

  • Dean, General Education
Ryan has a diverse background and a passion for teaching. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, with an emphasis on Film Studies, from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia University. His short films have premiered at film festivals around the United States, and he has published fiction in various literary journals. His story, “All This Flatness” won the Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers hosted by Boulevard, and “What Happens If You Can’t Reach It” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Ryan has also made a living as a freelance writer, penning film and book reviews, celebrity interviews, and articles for trade business publications. He has taught at Columbia University, St. Augustine College, and Gotham Writers’ Workshops. He co-developed the curriculum for Gotham Writers’ Workshop’s Creative Writing 101 course, and while at Columbia, he co-founded CA/T (Columbia Artists and Teachers), an organization that trains and helps MFA students gain teaching experience. At Kendall, he teaches English composition courses as well as oversees the general education program and its faculty. His debut novel, “Onward Toward What We’re Going Toward,” was published by Ig Publishing in August 2013.
 

Jen Briar

Jen Briar

  • Executive Director of Finance
Jennifer Briar joined the Kendall Team as the Executive Director of Finance and Operations in January 2017. She has over seventeen years of experience in higher education with institutions owned by Career Education Corporation and Laureate Education Inc. In those institutions, she played a key role in enhancing financial reporting and analysis to drive growth and improve operational efficiency. Jennifer earned a B.S. in Finance from Indiana University and her MBA from Northern Illinois University.
 

Kristen Hodges

Kristen Hodges

  • Executive Director of Student Services
Kristen Hodges joined Kendall College in December 2011 to serve as the Director of Career Services. As of March, 2017, she was promoted to Executive Director of Student Services and oversees the functions of Academic Advising, Career Services, Financial Aid, International Affairs, Student Safety and Conduct and Student Life and Housing. She also has continued to oversee the special programs under Continuing Education, called TASTE and Global Camps, since 2016. Kristen has more than 14 years of experience in higher education, including over 10 years of experience in management. In her prior role as Director of Career Services, Kristen oversaw the Career Services team, professional development courses, and internship placement and student employment, both internally and externally. In addition, Kristen managed the Kendall Alumni Association, which supports the local, national and international alumni community and also provides opportunities to stay connected to Kendall through networking receptions, social events, volunteer activities and newsletters. Before coming to Kendall College, Kristen served as the Divisional Manager of Career Services for Career Education Corporation, where she traveled the country to assess and support 20+ healthcare, design and business schools. Prior to that, she was the Career Services Advisor for the International Academy of Design & Technology in Chicago. In 2014, Kristen was named one of the United States' Power 20, a list of the top leaders in the restaurant industry by Restaurant Business. Kristen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Illinois State University and is finishing her Master of Science degree in Leadership at Walden University.
 

Crystal Kaminski

Crystal Kaminski

  • Human Resources Manager
Joining the HR Team in 2013, Crystal has over 10 years of experience specializing in providing guidance and leadership to senior managers in small to mid-size organizations. As the current Human Resources Manager, her broad experience in talent planning, policy design, employee relations, internal communication, onboarding & training, and performance management has a direct impact of the management of Kendall’s 600+ employees, which includes part-time and full-time, both faculty and staff. In addition to higher education, she has experience in the food, safety and nutrition and retail industries. Prior to joining Kendall College, Crystal served as a Human Resources Business Partner for a leading food, safety and nutrition corporation, where she specialized in payroll and compensation, benefits, and recruiting. During her tenure, she was most proud of her ability to successfully recruit and team with highly skilled and technical professionals in the microbiology field. Crystal earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northeastern University and her Master of Arts degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Adler University.
 

Rick Ferguson

Rick Ferguson

  • Interim Executive Director, Enrollment
Joining the Enrollment Team in 2106, Rick has over 30 years of experience in enrollment, sales and management. As the acting Executive Director of Enrollment, his extensive experience in leading change has had a direct impact of driving new enrollments and people development. In addition to higher education, he has experience in the defense, pharmaceutical and financial services industries. Prior to joining Kendall College, Rick served as Executive Director of Marketing and Admissions for University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, a where he specialized in onboarding the new institution to Laureate and transitioning the leadership. During his tenure, he was most proud of increasing new enrollments for existing programs while launching new programs, new technology and new enrollment and marketing structure. Rick earned his BS degree in zoology from Marshall University and his MBA from Ohio Dominican University.
 

Maureen Corneal

Maureen Corneal

  • Interim Executive Director, Marketing
Joining the Marketing Team in November 2016, Maureen has over 25 years of experience specializing in strategic planning, marketing, communications and branding. As the current Consultant/Interim Executive Director of Marketing, her demonstrated experience in marketing communications and building high-performing teams has had a direct impact on KPIs, strategic priorities, process improvement and team performance. In addition to higher education, she has experience in technology and non-profit industries. Prior to joining Kendall College, Maureen served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Marketing and Research and Executive Director of the Foundation for a community college, where she specialized in strategic planning, change management and oversight of a 501c3. During her tenure, she was most proud of her team’s performance regarding each of the departments within her Division. Prior to that experience, Maureen served as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Laureate Education from 2003 through 2012. She led marketing and branding efforts for Walden University, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, NewSchool of Architecture and Design and launched the brand for Laureate LENS, the online learning portal for University of Liverpool Online. Maureen earned her MBA with Honors from Johns Hopkins University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising from The University of Georgia.

Board of Directors

Lee McGee, Chairman

Lee McGee, Chairman
  • CFO/Treasurer, Restructure Holdings, Inc. (A Sterling Capital Portfolio Co.)
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Al Capitanini

Al Capitanini
  • President, Italian Village Restaurants
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Beverly Bryant, Ed.D.

Beverly Bryant, Ed.D.
  • Director and Professor of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
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Denise DeZolt, PhD

Denise DeZolt, PhD
  • Senior Vice President, Laureate Network Office
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Carol L. Kizer, CCE, RD, FMP, HAAC

Carol L. Kizer, CCE, RD, FMP, HAAC
  • Hospitality Management Chair Emeritus, Columbus State Community College
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David Kipley

David Kipley
  • President and CEO, Construction Methods, Inc.
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Rick J. Patro

Rick J. Patro
  • CEO, Laureate Global Products and Services (GPS)
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Robert R. Roehrich, Ph.D.

Robert R. Roehrich, Ph.D.
  • Founder and President, Roehrich and Associates LLC
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Lee McGee, Chairman

Lee McGee, Chairman
  • CFO/Treasurer, Restructure Holdings, Inc. (A Sterling Capital Portfolio Co.)
Mr. McGee has been involved with Sylvan since January of 1987, when he became CFO for Sylvan Learning Corporation. In 1991, when Sylvan and KEE Systems merged, Mr. McGee continued in his position of CFO. Since 1991, he has been responsible for coordinating and completing both a private placement offering of stock for $10 million and Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc.'s initial public offering, raising $21 million and a secondary offering of $50 million. Mr. McGee has also been responsible for managing the due diligence and completion of several acquisitions and investments for Sylvan over the last several years. In January 2000, he was in charge of the team that sold Sylvan's Prometric testing division to Thomson Learning for $775 million. In February of 2000, Sylvan announced the formation of Sylvan Ventures a $500 million venture capital fund, investing in the e­Learning market, which Mr. McGee joined and was Managing Director and its Chief Financial Officer. He was responsible for overseeing the legal and financial administration of Sylvan Ventures and managed the due diligence and investment decision process for selected portfolio investments, which included Classwell Learning Group, a start­up strategic investment with Houghton­ Miffiin Publishing; iLearning, a professional training web­based company; eSylvan, Sylvan's on­line tutorial learning business; Walden University, Higher­Ed Distance Education (specializing in graduate and PHD programs); and National Technological University, Higher­Ed Distance Education (Engineering Specialty). With the July 2003 announcement that Sylvan was selling its K­12 businesses, Mr. McGee returned to Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc.(now Laureate Education, Inc.) as Executive Vice President focusing on U.S. Business Development. In February 2005 Mr. McGee left Laureate to join Sterling Capital Partners an $850 million private equity firm. Sterling was a key investor in Sylvan when it merged with KEE Systems in 1991. In 2007 Mr. McGee led the going private transaction of Educate, Inc. for Sterling. In June 2007, Mr. McGee left Sterling to serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Holding Company for the Educate companies. Additionally, he currently assists Laureate Education, Inc. with certain acquisition projects as an advisor with oversight responsibilities. Mr. McGee still serves on the Walden University Board which is a subsidiary of Laureate Education, Inc. Mr. McGee received his Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama in 1978 and is a CPA.
 

Al Capitanini

Al Capitanini
  • President, Italian Village Restaurants
Alfredo (AI) Capitanini is currently third generation President of the Italian Village Restaurants. Mr. Capitanini holds a MBA from DePaul University and received his BA (Finance) from the University of Notre Dame. He has extensive experience in finance, management, and consulting. Currently, Mr. Capitanini serves as Vice­President of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Chicago Loop Alliance, National Restaurant Association, Gruppo Ristoratori Committee, Illinois/Chicago Chamber of Commerce and an active fundraiser for Children's Memorial Hospital of Chicago. Mr. Capitanini has been an acting Kendall Board member since 2000 and on the Executive, Finance and Presidential oversight committees.
 

Beverly Bryant, Ed.D.

Beverly Bryant, Ed.D.
  • Director and Professor of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Dr. Beverly A. Bryant is Director of Hospitality and Tourism Administration at North Carolina Central University, School of Business. She has over 30 years of higher education experience and is a full professor. Dr. Bryant is a certified Hospitality Educator and a Corporate and International Etiquette Consultant. She is a graduate of Auburn University and Tuskegee University where she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Dr. Bryant is also the current President of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners and has over 15 years of meeting planning experience for regional and national associations.
 

Denise DeZolt, PhD

Denise DeZolt, PhD
  • Senior Vice President, Laureate Network Office
Denise DeZolt, Senior Vice President, Academic Quality and Accreditation at Laureate Education, has over 25 years of experience in higher education. She earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Kent State University, her M.S. Ed. in Counseling from the University of Dayton, and her undergraduate degree in Behavioral Science from SUNY Plattsburgh. DeZolt’s community and professional service activities include participation on college/university and community boards, involvement in professional organizations, coordination of faith formation programs, and service on human participants in research review boards. Her presentations at international, national, state and local professional conferences have been in the areas of global accreditation and quality assurance, higher education in the for-profit sector, and distance education. She was the primary or co-primary investigator on federal, state, local, foundation, and university grants related to serving diverse populations of children and adolescents. Additionally, she worked in private practice and consulting for 10 years.
 

Carol L. Kizer, CCE, RD, FMP, HAAC

Carol L. Kizer, CCE, RD, FMP, HAAC
  • Hospitality Management Chair Emeritus, Columbus State Community College
Carol Kizer earned her Masters in Higher Education from Ohio University. Mrs. Kizer’s experience includes instructing at both Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College in the Hospitality and Food service Management fields. She currently serves on the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE).
 

David Kipley

David Kipley
  • President and CEO, Construction Methods, Inc.
David C. Kipley is a broadly experienced construction executive with over 40 years of experience in commercial, industrial and institutional general contracting. Mr. Kipley is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Construction Methods and Technologies. Formed in 2002, the firm specializes in providing project management and owner representation services. Prior to Construction Methods and Technologies, Mr. Kipley was President and CEO of Kipley Construction Company, where he started in 1965. Kipley Construction was a leading general contractor which specialized in difficult and unusual projects in commercial, industrial, and institutional construction. During his term as President and CEO, the company successfully completed a wide variety of projects for such clients as the First National bank of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, Brookfield Zoo, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and Ameritech among other. Mr. Kipley is a 1965 graduate of Kendall College.
 

Rick J. Patro

Rick J. Patro
  • CEO, Laureate Global Products and Services (GPS)
Mr. Patro previously served as the president of GPS and the CEO of Laureate Online Education. As CEO of Laureate Online Education, he provided the strategic, operational, and financial direction for Walden University, Laureate’s flagship online institution, and online international partnerships with the University of Liverpool and the University of Roehampton, London Online. Mr. Patro has also served as chief operating officer of GPS, with responsibility for leading the functional support service groups that provide institutions worldwide with best practices in finance, operations, academic quality, and student outcomes. Throughout his 20-year tenure with Laureate Education, Mr. Patro’s financial oversight and organizational management have guided the successful growth of many of Laureate’s key brands, including: Walden University, Kendall College, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Canter & Associates, and Laureate’s partnership with the University of Liverpool, as well as Laureate’s international expansion into Europe and Asia. Previously, Mr. Patro served as a manager for Ernst & Young, where he provided audit, tax, and consulting services for privately owned and emerging businesses. Mr. Patro is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He earned his B.S. in Accounting from Loyola College.
 

Robert R. Roehrich, Ph.D.

Robert R. Roehrich, Ph.D.
  • Founder and President, Roehrich and Associates LLC
Dr. Roehrich is founder and president of Synergistic Strategies Consulting, a higher education consulting company he founded in 1999. Based in Colorado Springs, CO, he provides leadership coaching, accreditation strategies, process improvement, assessment and organizational development, and turnaround consulting services to proprietary and non­profit organizations in the higher education industry. He has over 20 years of experience in C­level positions in large and medium­sized organizations, multi-campus, international and distance education environments and has served on governance and advisory boards. He has been a Consultant Evaluator, conference presenter and Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and received their distinguished service award for years of outstanding contributions. Dr. Roehrich is an Executive Coach at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, Colorado providing leadership coaching for over 30 Fortune 100 senior executives. Dr. Roehrich holds a doctorate degree in vocational­technical education from The Ohio State University where he spent several years at the National Center for Research in Vocational Education, aka the Center for Employment and Training. Author of several published articles, he has made conference presentations and serves on the boards of the National Center for Competency Testing, Kansas City and Kendall College, Chicago and is an advisor member of the Gerson Lehrman Group Councils. Academically, Dr. Roehrich is an Executive Founding Faculty member at MaxKnowledge, an online training organization based in California.
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