Jon Wool, President/Owner

Jon Wool

Jon Wool is considered one of the hospitality industry's foremost experts and personalities.  Following his tenure as a Senior Vice President with Wolfgang Puck Catering, he established Finesse Cuisine Catering and Events, a boutique catering company serving Chicagoland and beyond.  Over the years he fielded requests to conduct workshops at institutions such as DePaul University, Chief Executive Boards International, Catersource, ISES, and Special Events.  He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Hospitality Management at Kendall College and became central to the national Catersource Consulting Unit.  The success of these assignments prompted him to launch JHW Hospitality Consulting in 2010.  As a consultant, coach, and speaker, Jon has been applauded for his warmth, humor, and ability to clearly communicate complex concepts.

 

Jon received a BFA in Acting at Carnegie Mellon University and attended Loyola University's MBA program.  As an actor, he appeared in movies such as Wall Street, television's The Untouchables, soaps, commercials, and regional theater.  This experience inspires Jon to approach each speaking engagement as a unique piece of theater and to bring to each coaching assignment a director's eye for show stopping success.  

Melanie K. Spratford, Director

Melanie Spratford

Melanie K. Spratford has worked in Chicago‘s special events industry for over a dozen years. With the catering teams at Finesse Cuisine, Food For Thought, and Wolfgang Puck Catering she focused on marketing and operations. She played a significant role in new business development through her work on RFP responses and creative proposal design, and she has managed website design and social media programs. Before joining the catering world, she was with the Special Events Department of the Field Museum, an experience which gives her insight into the specific needs of cultural institutions operating as event venues.

 

A former theatrical stage manager, Melanie‘s focus has always been on organizing the “backstage” details to help support flawless performances and events. Melanie graduated with a BA in Sociology from Kenyon College and has achieved the life goal of becoming a Jeopardy! Champion.

 

Venue Partner

JHW Hospitality is proud to partner with Chicago's premier creative meeting and event space, Catalyst Ranch. Through our agreement, JHW Hospitality uses Catalyst Ranch's award winning space as the exclusive host for our workshops and seminars.


As people in a creative industry, it's important for us to get out of our kitchens and offices and into a stimulating environment. Our goal is to encourage entrepreneurialism and proven business strategies while also sharing some warmth and humor. Catalyst Ranch offers the perfect fun and welcoming setting for that.

 

"We've loved hosting Jon at the Ranch in the past. Jon's sessions are filled with real life examples of customer service solutions that can be taken back to the office and implemented immediately," says Catalyst Ranch owner, Eva Niewiadomski. "We are beyond excited to bring our relationship with Jon and JHW Hospitality to the next level."

To experience the unique Catalyst Ranch environment while also learning strategies to enhance your company and well-being, plan to attend one of our upcoming seminars.

 

Valued Partners and Advisors

John M. Vautier, Communications Consultant

John Vautier is President of Vautier Communications, Inc. which provides presentation skills training for business executives. He has coached groups and individual executives from a variety of industries, both domestically and internationally. His wide range of experiences has enabled him to work successfully at all levels of corporate, government, and academic institutions from CEOs to new hires.

Carolle Partington, Image Consultant

Carolle Partington is a certified Image Consultant who works with clients and trains new consultants. Acknowledged as "the image expert," she has written articles for international publications such as Elle, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan and she is a contributing journalist for a British newspaper in Spain where she is based.

Jerald O'Kennard, Beverage Consultant

One of the world's foremost authorities on alcoholic beverages, Jerald O'Kennard is the Director of the Beverage Testing Institute, an independent alcoholic beverage review organization with a mission to create fair and reliable reviews of wines for consumers. He has developed beverage programs for major cultural institutions and trained thousands of service personnel in all facets of wine, spirits, and cuisine.

Terry Weaver, Business and Strategic Advisor

Terry Weaver is the CEO of Chief Executive Boards International, an exclusive group of business owners, presidents, and CEOs helping each other become more focused, effective, and strategic. A founder and former executive of engineering and IT services corporations, he has served on Technology Advisory Boards for Kansas State University, Furman University, University of South Carolina Upstate, and United Way of Greenville.