Agency.

Multi-disciplined and multi-talented, our team has the perfect mix for cross-collaboration to ensure a thoughtful, well rounded result every time.

 

Leadership Team

 
David began a career in restaurant management after graduating in 1990 with an honours degree from one of Canada’s leading business universities, Queen’s University. From 1990-1997, David focused on restaurant operations and held various senior management positions within Toronto’s top restaurant companies, including the well-known Oliver-Bonacini group (Jump, Canoe, Auberge de Pommier). In 1997, David joined SIR Corp. to head-up the financial/accounting department of one of their most profitable divisions, Signature Restaurants (Al Frisco’s, Alice Fazooli’s!, Far Niente, reds). During his 5 years with SIR Corp., David reconstructed the division’s information processing into a centralized accounting department, and helped the division grow from 4 restaurants to 9, each with sales over $4 million annually. This development included the roll-out of the Alice Fazooli’s! chain.  In 2001, David left Sir Corp to form The Fifteen Group Inc., a consulting company dedicated to maximizing restaurant profits through effective sales generation and disciplined cost control management. The Fifteen Group’s clients range from owner/operated establishments to multi-unit restaurant corporations.

David began a career in restaurant management after graduating in 1990 with an honours degree from one of Canada’s leading business universities, Queen’s University. From 1990-1997, David focused on restaurant operations and held various senior management positions within Toronto’s top restaurant companies, including the well-known Oliver-Bonacini group (Jump, Canoe, Auberge de Pommier). In 1997, David joined SIR Corp. to head-up the financial/accounting department of one of their most profitable divisions, Signature Restaurants (Al Frisco’s, Alice Fazooli’s!, Far Niente, reds). During his 5 years with SIR Corp., David reconstructed the division’s information processing into a centralized accounting department, and helped the division grow from 4 restaurants to 9, each with sales over $4 million annually. This development included the roll-out of the Alice Fazooli’s! chain.

In 2001, David left Sir Corp to form The Fifteen Group Inc., a consulting company dedicated to maximizing restaurant profits through effective sales generation and disciplined cost control management. The Fifteen Group’s clients range from owner/operated establishments to multi-unit restaurant corporations.

Alex began his career in one of Canada’s leading wine regions, 30 years ago. As a young Chef, Alex worked in one of Canada’s 4 diamond restaurants Escabeche, in the historic Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara on the Lake, studying under a 2 Michelin Star Chef. After graduating from Niagara College’s Cook II Apprenticeship Program, and satisfying his penchant for cooking, Alex expanded his focus and development to the front of the house operations and has held the positions of General Manager and Director of Operations with Liberty ITM, representing some of the top corporate branded restaurants in Canada. Alex has facilitated the opening of over 35 restaurants throughout Canada, including with world renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck.  Alex moved from the Toronto office in 2006 to open and lead the 15 Group’s Vancouver Office operations.

Alex began his career in one of Canada’s leading wine regions, 30 years ago. As a young Chef, Alex worked in one of Canada’s 4 diamond restaurants Escabeche, in the historic Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara on the Lake, studying under a 2 Michelin Star Chef. After graduating from Niagara College’s Cook II Apprenticeship Program, and satisfying his penchant for cooking, Alex expanded his focus and development to the front of the house operations and has held the positions of General Manager and Director of Operations with Liberty ITM, representing some of the top corporate branded restaurants in Canada. Alex has facilitated the opening of over 35 restaurants throughout Canada, including with world renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck.

Alex moved from the Toronto office in 2006 to open and lead the 15 Group’s Vancouver Office operations.

Jenny started her restaurant career twenty years ago with the restaurant group Milestones Grill & Bar. Over the seven years with Milestones she worked her way up in restaurant management and held positions such as bar and training manager, assistant General Manager and General Manager. In 2007 she was the opening GM for the introduction of the brand to the London, Ontario market. In 2010 she joined SIR Corp and the Alice Fazooli’s brand. She worked along-side senior leaders of the company to help develop SIRCorp’s leadership competencies, a labour program and ‘manager in training’ online program. Before leaving SIRCorp to join the fifteen group she was heavily involved in the development of training materials and rebranding of the Alice Fazooli’s chain. Jenny’s love for restaurants and food revolves around the ‘perfect guest experience’. She has a very strong business and operations sense with a love for training perfect guest engagement.

Jenny started her restaurant career twenty years ago with the restaurant group Milestones Grill & Bar. Over the seven years with Milestones she worked her way up in restaurant management and held positions such as bar and training manager, assistant General Manager and General Manager. In 2007 she was the opening GM for the introduction of the brand to the London, Ontario market. In 2010 she joined SIR Corp and the Alice Fazooli’s brand. She worked along-side senior leaders of the company to help develop SIRCorp’s leadership competencies, a labour program and ‘manager in training’ online program. Before leaving SIRCorp to join the fifteen group she was heavily involved in the development of training materials and rebranding of the Alice Fazooli’s chain. Jenny’s love for restaurants and food revolves around the ‘perfect guest experience’. She has a very strong business and operations sense with a love for training perfect guest engagement.

 
Kate has been developing and implementing strategic marketing and media relations programs for B2B and B2C products and services for more than ten years. Her creative and strategic approach to connect with the end user has led to billions of media impressions, sales increases, brand expansion, social media growth and increased market share. Food, fashion and travelling drive her passion for partnering with brands that are bringing something fresh and unique to the table.

Kate has been developing and implementing strategic marketing and media relations programs for B2B and B2C products and services for more than ten years. Her creative and strategic approach to connect with the end user has led to billions of media impressions, sales increases, brand expansion, social media growth and increased market share. Food, fashion and travelling drive her passion for partnering with brands that are bringing something fresh and unique to the table.

Olivia is an award-winning designer with a passion for how branding can apply across all consumer touchpoints. She believes what a brand looks, acts, and feels like, is as important as what the brand produces, and has spent the last 10+ years working in the advertising and design industries with companies big and small to help them realize and achieve their vision.  Her experience includes brands in the hospitality, consumer packaged goods, finance, automotive, fashion, and non-profit industries.

Olivia is an award-winning designer with a passion for how branding can apply across all consumer touchpoints. She believes what a brand looks, acts, and feels like, is as important as what the brand produces, and has spent the last 10+ years working in the advertising and design industries with companies big and small to help them realize and achieve their vision.

Her experience includes brands in the hospitality, consumer packaged goods, finance, automotive, fashion, and non-profit industries.

 
 

Senior Project Leads

Michael is originally from Calgary, Alberta, and comes from a public accounting background. Having graduated from University of Calgary and continuing on to KMSS LLP and MNP LLP, he has had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients in multiple industries.  From this experience and education, he has the ability to address any bookkeeping or accounting needs in an ever changing environment. His client service background has led him to the understanding that no issue is too big to small to provide the assurance you need to operate you business successfully

Michael is originally from Calgary, Alberta, and comes from a public accounting background. Having graduated from University of Calgary and continuing on to KMSS LLP and MNP LLP, he has had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients in multiple industries.

From this experience and education, he has the ability to address any bookkeeping or accounting needs in an ever changing environment. His client service background has led him to the understanding that no issue is too big to small to provide the assurance you need to operate you business successfully

Michael Pachkowski // Manager, Restaurant Accounting

Steven Wright joins our Vancouver Consulting team with 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Steven started his career at an early age in Edmonton, Alberta and obtained international experience exploring summers in boutique Inns in Scotland. As a young adult, he then moved to Victoria, British Columbia before heading up the Sea to Sky corridor and spending 7 years in Whistler and has called Vancouver home since 2009. His roles in multi-award winning operations include Director of Operations for Wentworth Hospitality Group (Loden Hotel, Tableau Bar Bistro, Homer St. Cafe & Bar, Musette Caffé), General Manager of the Bearfoot Bistro and part of the opening team as Food and Beverage Director at Nita Lake Lodge.

Steven Wright joins our Vancouver Consulting team with 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Steven started his career at an early age in Edmonton, Alberta and obtained international experience exploring summers in boutique Inns in Scotland. As a young adult, he then moved to Victoria, British Columbia before heading up the Sea to Sky corridor and spending 7 years in Whistler and has called Vancouver home since 2009. His roles in multi-award winning operations include Director of Operations for Wentworth Hospitality Group (Loden Hotel, Tableau Bar Bistro, Homer St. Cafe & Bar, Musette Caffé), General Manager of the Bearfoot Bistro and part of the opening team as Food and Beverage Director at Nita Lake Lodge.

Steven Wright // Consultant

As both a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Jesse previously served as the Director of Operations for a rapidly growing business management firm, specializing in accounting for the music industry – client service in unique arenas is second nature to him.  Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Jesse comes from a public accounting background. Having graduated from Lakehead University and continuing to BDO Canada LLP, he achieved both professional designations (CA & CPA) as a Senior Accountant.  Through the years, Jesse has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients, each with a diverse set of needs and from a variety of industries. He has the know-how, education, and experience to address any bookkeeping or accounting issues that your team may face – meaning peace of mind for you.

As both a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Jesse previously served as the Director of Operations for a rapidly growing business management firm, specializing in accounting for the music industry – client service in unique arenas is second nature to him.

Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Jesse comes from a public accounting background. Having graduated from Lakehead University and continuing to BDO Canada LLP, he achieved both professional designations (CA & CPA) as a Senior Accountant.

Through the years, Jesse has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients, each with a diverse set of needs and from a variety of industries. He has the know-how, education, and experience to address any bookkeeping or accounting issues that your team may face – meaning peace of mind for you.

Jesse Young // Manager, Restaurant Accounting

Stephen brings 17 years of experience to the Fifteen Group team. Steve studied at the University of Guelph getting an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Hotel and Food Administration. He started his career with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts at the Chateau Lake Louise holding progressive positions leading to managing the signature dining room of the hotel. After taking courses with the International Sommelier Guild, Steve was responsible for the 300 label wine list at the hotel from 2002-2004. Once deciding to move to Calgary, he was recruited to work for the Joey Restaurant Group and moved up through the company to finish with them as the General Manager of the Saltlik Steakhouse. He then decided to open a new restaurant with the Creative Restaurant Group. In the first year, Cibo received awards for Calgary’s best new restaurant as well as Calgary’s best family restaurant.

Stephen brings 17 years of experience to the Fifteen Group team. Steve studied at the University of Guelph getting an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Hotel and Food Administration. He started his career with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts at the Chateau Lake Louise holding progressive positions leading to managing the signature dining room of the hotel. After taking courses with the International Sommelier Guild, Steve was responsible for the 300 label wine list at the hotel from 2002-2004. Once deciding to move to Calgary, he was recruited to work for the Joey Restaurant Group and moved up through the company to finish with them as the General Manager of the Saltlik Steakhouse. He then decided to open a new restaurant with the Creative Restaurant Group. In the first year, Cibo received awards for Calgary’s best new restaurant as well as Calgary’s best family restaurant.

Stephen Hamelin // Consultant

 
Phil brings thirteen years of hospitality experience building a positive culture, exceptional guest experience, and operational excellence. His hospitality career began in the back of house operations at local Toronto restaurants Grazie Ristorante and Il Fornello. He then went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  Upon returning to Canada, Phil joined the Hyatt Hotel Calgary as the Food & Beverage Manager. He then transferred to Toronto, and played a significant role in the re-launch of Houston Avenue Bar & Grill.  From 2013-2016, Phil was a part of the Signature Division team at SIRCORP, supporting the re-brand and operational improvements at Far Niente, FOUR, Petit Four and Reds Midtown Tavern. Phil’s work and expertise was recognized when he was awarded the 2016 Signature General Manager of the Year.

Phil brings thirteen years of hospitality experience building a positive culture, exceptional guest experience, and operational excellence. His hospitality career began in the back of house operations at local Toronto restaurants Grazie Ristorante and Il Fornello. He then went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Upon returning to Canada, Phil joined the Hyatt Hotel Calgary as the Food & Beverage Manager. He then transferred to Toronto, and played a significant role in the re-launch of Houston Avenue Bar & Grill.

From 2013-2016, Phil was a part of the Signature Division team at SIRCORP, supporting the re-brand and operational improvements at Far Niente, FOUR, Petit Four and Reds Midtown Tavern. Phil’s work and expertise was recognized when he was awarded the 2016 Signature General Manager of the Year.

Phil Shumeiko // Consultant

Cheryl’s restaurant management career began nearly 15 years ago with corporate west coast restaurant groups, Earls Restaurants and Boathouse Restaurants. Through her career she has held positions as, Operations Manager, Assistant GM and GM. Her love of food and travel lead her into 5 year hiatus as an international culinary tour guide, making her way through some of the world’s most important culinary regions. After her return to Canada, she opened her first restaurant in Corner Brook, NL. The Bay of Islands Bistro garnered national attention in multiple publications including Zoomer Magazine and Where to Eat in Canada. Shortly after, Cheryl added a successful coffee house and a commercial small batch craft coffee roaster to her business portfolio. Cheryl joined the Fifteen Group Team in Vancouver in 2011, and now heads up our Maritime Projects

Cheryl’s restaurant management career began nearly 15 years ago with corporate west coast restaurant groups, Earls Restaurants and Boathouse Restaurants. Through her career she has held positions as, Operations Manager, Assistant GM and GM. Her love of food and travel lead her into 5 year hiatus as an international culinary tour guide, making her way through some of the world’s most important culinary regions. After her return to Canada, she opened her first restaurant in Corner Brook, NL. The Bay of Islands Bistro garnered national attention in multiple publications including Zoomer Magazine and Where to Eat in Canada. Shortly after, Cheryl added a successful coffee house and a commercial small batch craft coffee roaster to her business portfolio. Cheryl joined the Fifteen Group Team in Vancouver in 2011, and now heads up our Maritime Projects

Cheryl Gardner // Consultant

After a fifteen-year career in Hospitality Operations, Chris has joined The Fifteen Group where his extensive career in the industry is put to use, helping new and aspiring restaurateurs bring their concepts to life. Chris began his career with Cara, under the Milestones Brand, helping to open several locations before moving to SIRCorp where he worked at Alice Fazooli’s. Later, after joining a Micro-brew pub concept from France; Les 3 Brassuer/The 3 Brewers, he helped to expand their presence in the Ontario market assisting in opening several locations with them across the GTA. Chris is also a graduate from George Brown College with a diploma in Hospitality and Food and Beverage Management.

After a fifteen-year career in Hospitality Operations, Chris has joined The Fifteen Group where his extensive career in the industry is put to use, helping new and aspiring restaurateurs bring their concepts to life. Chris began his career with Cara, under the Milestones Brand, helping to open several locations before moving to SIRCorp where he worked at Alice Fazooli’s. Later, after joining a Micro-brew pub concept from France; Les 3 Brassuer/The 3 Brewers, he helped to expand their presence in the Ontario market assisting in opening several locations with them across the GTA. Chris is also a graduate from George Brown College with a diploma in Hospitality and Food and Beverage Management.

Chris Knight // Consultant

 
 

Executive Chefs

A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Cuff’s career choice was a product of his environment. Growing up in a small farm town, owning a John Deere Dealership and sourcing much of their food directly from their massive garden & nearby farmers. Be it eggs, vegetables, bread or meat from the neighboring farms and butchers, Cuff grew a natural passion for food, Wine and a fine appreciation for the hard work and dedication of small-scale farmers and producers.  After studying culinary arts at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and working in Europe, and in some of Western Canada’s Best Restaurants. Cuff has had the opportunity to be the Chef in some of Canada’s most reputable restaurants The Terrace at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, The Wickaninnish Inn, West Restaurant, Aura at Nita Lake lodge in Whistler. Most recently, for the past 2 ½ years, Cuff was the Executive Chef of West Oak Restaurant in Vancouver’s Yaletown.  As testament to Cuff’s dedication to the culinary profession, in 2006 Cuff received the prestigious Chef de Cuisine certification by the Canadian Culinary Federation. The designation is one of the highest professional culinary recognition and accreditation in Canada representing the culmination of the highest standards of managerial and administrative responsibilities, culinary skills and dedication to the cooking profession. By working with influential leaders of the Canadian culinary profession who have helped shape his style and depth of knowledge, Cuff has developed his own distinctive style and culinary philosophy. For Cuff, it’s about respect. Respect for classic cooking techniques, for food, and for the myriad of local suppliers that he works so closely with. He insists that there is a difference, a richness, depth of flavour and freshness that comes from their passion and attention to detail.  With over 19 years of experience Tim looks to continue his passion for culinary excellence with project work for our west coast clients.

A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Cuff’s career choice was a product of his environment. Growing up in a small farm town, owning a John Deere Dealership and sourcing much of their food directly from their massive garden & nearby farmers. Be it eggs, vegetables, bread or meat from the neighboring farms and butchers, Cuff grew a natural passion for food, Wine and a fine appreciation for the hard work and dedication of small-scale farmers and producers.

After studying culinary arts at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and working in Europe, and in some of Western Canada’s Best Restaurants. Cuff has had the opportunity to be the Chef in some of Canada’s most reputable restaurants The Terrace at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, The Wickaninnish Inn, West Restaurant, Aura at Nita Lake lodge in Whistler. Most recently, for the past 2 ½ years, Cuff was the Executive Chef of West Oak Restaurant in Vancouver’s Yaletown.

As testament to Cuff’s dedication to the culinary profession, in 2006 Cuff received the prestigious Chef de Cuisine certification by the Canadian Culinary Federation. The designation is one of the highest professional culinary recognition and accreditation in Canada representing the culmination of the highest standards of managerial and administrative responsibilities, culinary skills and dedication to the cooking profession.
By working with influential leaders of the Canadian culinary profession who have helped shape his style and depth of knowledge, Cuff has developed his own distinctive style and culinary philosophy. For Cuff, it’s about respect. Respect for classic cooking techniques, for food, and for the myriad of local suppliers that he works so closely with. He insists that there is a difference, a richness, depth of flavour and freshness that comes from their passion and attention to detail.

With over 19 years of experience Tim looks to continue his passion for culinary excellence with project work for our west coast clients.

Tim Cuff // Executive Chef, West Coast

With over twenty years of culinary experience, Steve brings his strengths of recipe and menu creation, team training, and restaurant openings to the Fifteen Group.  Upon completing the Italian Arts program at George Brown College, Steve moved to Italy and spent two years perfecting his culinary skills at Palace Hotel Villa Cortine on Lago di Garda, and Savini Ristorante in Milano. Upon returning to Toronto Steve trained under Master Chef Giampiero Tondina, eventually becoming the Chef at popular French Bistro Pastis for six years. Steve then joined the Sircorp brand as Executive Chef of Alice Fazooli’s Italian Restaurant. Steve oversaw the brand transition to Scaddabush Italian Kitchen and Bar, and assisted in opening new stores while renovating existing locations.

With over twenty years of culinary experience, Steve brings his strengths of recipe and menu creation, team training, and restaurant openings to the Fifteen Group.

Upon completing the Italian Arts program at George Brown College, Steve moved to Italy and spent two years perfecting his culinary skills at Palace Hotel Villa Cortine on Lago di Garda, and Savini Ristorante in Milano. Upon returning to Toronto Steve trained under Master Chef Giampiero Tondina, eventually becoming the Chef at popular French Bistro Pastis for six years. Steve then joined the Sircorp brand as Executive Chef of Alice Fazooli’s Italian Restaurant. Steve oversaw the brand transition to Scaddabush Italian Kitchen and Bar, and assisted in opening new stores while renovating existing locations.

Steve Silvestro // Executive Chef, East Coast

 
 

Full Team