About Us

Virtual Hospitality Group is comprised of food & beverage industry experts who have a variety of experience in restaurants, bars, QSR’s, recreation and leisure time facilities, large scale special events, private and governmental organizations, employee and student dining, vending, as well as Native American Casinos throughout the country. These seasoned experts work together to create a breadth of experience, with the common thread of hospitality excellence.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark W. Healey – Principle

Virtual Hospitality Group, LLC

Mr. Mark Healey has over thirty-five years in the hospitality industry. In 2006, Mark and co-founder Robert J Stephan launched Virtual Hospitality Group, LLC. (VHG). The company serves a broad range of complex food, beverage, and hospitality markets in three ways: (1) as a management services provider; (2) as a design and development services provider; and (3) by providing training and development for client teams.

Mark’s retail and contract experience spans business & industry sites, recreation & leisure venues, as well as working with federal and state agencies. Mark has held senior positions Shula’s Steak Houses, LLLP; Ovations Food Services, LP; and Boston Culinary Group, LLC., leading projects in 28 states and Canada. From 2006 to 2016 VHG provided the alcoholic beverage services for WEFEST in Detroit Lakes MN. WEFEST is the largest and longest running Country Music and Camping Festival in the US with typically attendance for the three days approaching 150,000.

Mark heads up VHG’s effort in Recreation & Leisure time accounts and concentrates much of his efforts working with Native American Casinos and Resorts to maximize their food, beverage, and hotel opportunities.

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Robert J. Stephan – Principle

Virtual Hospitality Group, LLC

Mr. Robert J. Stephan has over thirty years in the hospitality industry.  In 2006, Rob and co-founder Mark W. Healey launched Virtual Hospitality Group, LLC. (VHG).  The company serves a broad range of complex food, beverage, and hospitality markets in three ways: (1) as a management services provider; (2) as a design and development services provider; and (3) by providing training and development for client teams.

Rob’s retail and contract experience spans business & industry, recreation & leisure venues, as well as working with federal and state agencies.  Rob holds a senior positions at Presitge Services, Inc., one of the largest Canteen licensees in the USA.; and worked in Sales and Business Development for Aramatic Refreshment Services, Inc; spending the early part of his career as an owner operator of small clubs while working with Bob and Ron’s Fish Fry.  In his career he has lead projects and start ups throughout the East Coast from NY to Florida. From 2006 to 2016 VHG provided the alcoholic beverage services for WEFEST in Detroit Lakes MN.  WEFEST is the largest and longest running Country Music and Camping Festival in the US with typically attendance for the three days approaching 150,000.

Rob leads VHG’s efforts in Business & Industry accounts and concentrating on working with Government Agencies to maximize their food, beverage, and retail opportunities.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Max Van Rees – Facility Design

Virtual Hospitality Group, LLC

Max has more than 40 years’ experience in facility design and procurement.  He began as a salesperson for a large Midwest equipment and supplies company in 1970, his territory covered the state of Iowa. In 1982 Max moved to a new Sales Management position in Winter Park FL, his duties included design services, supply and installation of equipment and furnishings, and complete turnkey packages for several chain restaurant accounts. In 1985 Max became a manufacturer’s representative with a South Florida brokerage covering central and northern Florida.  Max eventually represented twenty-six factories in this capacity.

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Darleen Ghirardi – Procurement & Supply Chain

Virtual Hospitality Group, LLC

Darleen Ghirardi has over twenty-five years in the hospitality industry. Darleen brings to VHG an unwavering commitment to building relationships, driving profits, and ensuring exceptional business results. Darleen’s method begins with a fact-finding mission, creating a holistic portrait of the needs of both the client and their customers. Armed with this information, she leverages buying power to benefit the client, creating new savings and increasing overall profitability. As Darleen likes to say, “At VHG, we each have the opportunity to make a difference—we all contribute to the success of our clients.” A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, Darleen’s years of experience in purchasing, strategic sourcing, contracts and procurement negotiations on behalf of leading gaming and resort venues has provided a wealth of industry and supplier experience. As a result, she is fluent in the business processes of all of VHG’s clients and supports VHG’s ability to provide optimum price value profiles for our clients across our market segments. Darleen’s career to date efforts have resulted in over $1B in Company and Client savings. Darleen’s expertise extends beyond the bottom line to the front line and she uses her own success as a tool to help others. A Certified Executive Coach and Master Life Coach, Darleen is keen to give back through training and mentoring emerging leaders.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Juan E. Zayas – IT and Web Guru

Mr. Juan E. Zayas takes care of all VHG’s website, IT, and software programming.  Currently he is pursuing his degree in Computer Engineering full time at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.  Juan keeps the Company current on social media and software trends and maintains our web presence and LMS platform. (LITMOS).

 


Business Channel Partners

Accounting, Business and Financial Services

Michael V. Berardi – CEO, Owner

Berardi & Associates, LLC

Berardi & Associates LLC is a full-service Tax Planning and Preparation and Business financial Services firm based in Norwood Massachusetts.  The Berardi & Associates team provide all the accounting, payroll, banking, and financial service for VHG.  Michael serves on the VHG advisory board and (on an as needed basis) with the VHG special events team, including 10 years at WE Fest, the largest country music festival in the United States.  Michael also serves as a financial representative for Bay Financial Associates of Waltham MA.  Bay Financial Associates is licensed to provide financial services through LPL Financial.  Michael began his accounting career as an auditor With Honeywell after graduating in Accounting from University of Massachusetts, North Dartmouth.  For more information about Berardi & Associates visit mvbtaxes.com.


Marketing & Public Relations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristen Thompson – President & Chief Marketer

Thompson Marketing Partners, LLC

Thompson Marketing Partners provides a full range of marketing services to clients in the hospitality industry, including working closely with VHG.   Kristen has spent the vast majority of her 16-year marketing career in the foodservice/hospitality industry.  She began her foodservice career with Spectra Food Services and Hospitality, where she spent 11 years marketing catering and concession services at large public assembly venues throughout North America.  Kristen led the food service marketing for Spectra’s more than 140 client venues including convention centers, arenas, stadiums, festivals, fairgrounds, zoos, museums and casinos.

In 2016 Kristen further honed her consumer marketing skills by joining a national restaurant group as Vice President of Marketing.  In this role, Kristen was responsible for branding, programming/content development, digital marketing, eCommerce, social media and loyalty for the restaurant group’s 25 locations, encompassing 5 different concepts.  Concepts range from fine dining to fast casual.

Today, Kristen works with clients in the hospitality industry to provide food & beverage marketing services.  She creates and implements marketing strategies that help to achieve their business goals.  This includes development of the overall marketing strategy, process development, execution and results analysis.  Her specialties encompass website development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, email marketing, online reputation management, content creation, marketing collateral development, design/branding and proposal development.

Kristen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Florida State University and resides in St. Petersburg Florida with her husband, Scott, and two rescue dogs. To learn more about Thompson Marketing Partners, visit thompsonmarketingpartners.com.


Strategic Development Worldwide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Zillioux, Ph.D – CEO and Chief Scientist

Strategic Development Worldwide (SDW)

For over 30 years, Strategic Development Worldwide (SDW Companies) has workedwith a variety of businesses, schools, Native American Tribal organizations and nonprofit groups to help them become more effective, more focused and more successful. VHG is proud to collaborate with SDW to provide these services to its clients.

SDW works with clients, large and small, to promote organizational excellence, and improve efficiency at all levels. The company has expertise in management science and advocates for the potential of every person in an organization. They provide solutions with a focused, proven approach, built around clients’ needs.

Each of their solution groups supports the others with specific competencies, profound experience, proven assessments and training designed to work together. Organizational intervention strategies, assessments, analytics and workshops are interwoven to complement and strengthen clients’ organizations. Find out more at sdwnet.com.


Casino Marketing and Training Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd Strusz – Owner & CEO

ROI Solutions, Inc.

Todd is recognized as an industry leader and as one of the most innovative thinkers in the casino marketing world. As a former Vice President of Marketing with Grand Casino Hinckley and Mille Lacs, and former Director of Marketing at Treasure Island and Lake of the Torches casinos, Todd has more than 25 years of experience in gaming. Todd’s results-oriented approach to marketing shapes the company’s reasoned, strategic and data-driven philosophy. An expert in all areas of casino marketing and operations, he specializes in strategic and long-range planning constantly focused on maximizing clients performance.  VHG is proud to partner with Todd, and ROI solutions to extend these skills and services to our clients.  To learn more about ROI Solutions, visit roisolutionsinc.com.


Full-Service Resort and Hotel Design and Implementation Specialists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brett Magnan – Chief Strategist and Asset Manager

CherryTree Management, LLC

Brett works with several NW based hotel companies to analyze business plans, proformas and suggest operational efficiency for improved profitability. Successes included several hotel openings, re-brandings as well as creating a new hospitality company with central sales and reservations within a new brand. He is retained by many of these companies as outside asset observations to the owners.  VHG is proud to partner with CherryTree Management to bring Brett’s skills and experience to the team.

Brett also works as a Brand Partner with Raving Brands, as an experienced hospitality executive.  His unique leadership and managerial skills are particularly relevant to operating high-quality hotels, casino resorts, spas, food and beverage facilities, as well as the challenges associated with new hotel/resort developments. Brett has strong F&B experience in opening and positioning restaurants as well as a strong technology background in hospitality systems. He has construction project management experience and has helped to build seven properties. Brett has strong asset management skills, and is skilled at building relationships.