Samuel, also known as the International People Connector, has been involved with the hospitality industry for over two decades. He has developed expertise in strategic relationships. Prior to joining the Big Chicken, Samuel served as Area Representative for Firehouse Subs responsible for Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Samuel’s restaurant serves as the training restaurant for the market. Based on his team’s restaurant catering success Samuel co-authored the top restaurant catering book “Catering Domination” to support restauranteurs in their development of a strategic catering business. Prior experience includes Director Partner Product Development & Industry Relations, National Restaurant Association including the support of the National Restaurant Association Military Foundation. President & CEO of the Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, in addition, he is a 12-year veteran of Marriott International.
Samuel holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and associate degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Johnson and Wales University.
Samuel volunteers his efforts to serve on the board of directors for the Bellwood Chamber of Commerce and recently past board member of Housing Forward an Illinois based homeless prevention organization. Other activities include: Advisory Board Member of the Illinois Restaurant Association, member of Les Amis d’Escoffier Society; and strategic adviser to Baci Hospitality Group. Past board of directors for the American Culinary Federation Chicago Chefs of Cuisine, past- president of the International Food Service Executives Association- Northern Illinois Chapter. Nightclub and Bar Magazine Advisory Council and co-chair of Teresa’s Trotters Cancer Team.
Samuel can also be found as the co-host of the Takeout, Delivery and Catering podcast on the Foodable network. Samuel frequently presents at international industry events and teaching for the College of DuPage Hospitality program. Samuel resides in Riverside, Illinois with his wife (Carmia), children (Constantine and Adriana).