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We would like to say a big thank you to all of the incredible women who are valued members of the Cameron Mitchell family.

We strive to create a culture of support and empowerment for all of our associates – and we are grateful to all of the women who make our company better.

We had a chance to catch up with some of our female leaders. Here is what they have to say:


TERESA DECKER

General Manager at Martini Modern Italian

Sheryl Sandberg says that “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” I live by this mantra daily in both my professional and personal life. As a leader within this company I am empowered and blessed to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the people’s lives that I come into contact with on a daily basis, whether it is a friend, co-worker or complete stranger. I encourage my team to do the same with our guests through genuine hospitality, delectable culinary creations, attention to detail and getting to know our guests as individuals and creating lasting memories.

I have grown as a leader because of my tribe- the amazing women that surround me, encourage me, raise me up, cheer me on and applaud my successes. I am grateful for this role and excited to see the growth and development in the future of the women that will follow in my footsteps and those who I have followed.


AMANDA HINTZ

General Manager at The Avenue Grandview

I feel blessed to have been surrounded by strong women since I was born. I grew up with the mentality that I could be or do anything that I want. That mentality was fostered by my mom, dad and numerous aunts while I was growing up. I always felt encouraged to explore whatever dream or idea that I had, no matter how big or small. As a young adult entering college, I was working in the food and beverage department at Embassy Suites and was unsure what my focus of study would be. I vividly remember sitting down with the Food and Beverage Director, Ann, and she encouraged me to go into hospitality. I admired her passion and commitment to provide meaningful and memorable events, not only for the guests, but for the team around her. From that point forward, I knew that I wanted to be involved in hospitality. I was so fortunate to join the CMR team and have found that part of the beauty of working for such a diverse and progressive company such as ours, is the privilege of working side by side with a number of strong leaders. Taking advice from each of them has given me strength that I draw on each and every day. I am passionate about my profession as it has given me some of the most meaningful and valuable relationships in my life.

My favorite quote is – “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader” –Dolly Parton


KELLY NORDSTROM

General Manager at Molly Woo’s

I’m inspired everyday by the people I work with.

My parents have always been the people in my life that have inspired me the most. They have raised my two sisters and I with integrity and character. I am grateful to have been given such wonderful people to learn from. We have such a strong bond, and I know that because of them as leaders in my life, I have been given the foundation of what it takes to be a great role model for not only my son, but the associates that work with me every day. Anytime growing up when my sisters or I would complain about something or get down, my dad would always say “It’s good for you, it builds character.”


HEATHER MCCORMICK

General Manager at Ocean Prime Denver

My favorite quote is – “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt

When I think about leadership, I always think about leading with love. As a leader I must be approachable, compassionate, driven, and strong- a little bit of everything. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing team of managers and associates that have become my family. They know that I have their backs, and I would never want to let them down. Over the years, it has been my privilege to promote associates and help them achieve their dreams and goals. Watching and assisting these team members reach for the stars is my passion. I try to always lead by example, never get flustered, and give my all. I host an amazing party every day and I love every minute of it.

 


LAURIE KNEISS

General Manager at The Pearl

Across the globe, many women and men inspire me daily with their confidence, dedication and perseverance through adversity. Close to home, my mother, sister and mentor inspire me greatly. My mother is one who is calm, level headed, strong yet sweet. She has provided me with the support and confidence to be who I am today, and to continue to grow. My sister has an unbelievable drive. Anything she puts her mind to she will achieve, despite any obstacles. My closest male mentor consistently pushes to make sure us female leaders rise, are treated fairly and with respect, and reach our fullest potential. It is refreshing to see a man who wants the women he supports to succeed so badly.

A quote that both my sister and I refer to on our tough days is to ‘Embrace the Grind’. It is a short yet sweet reminder to embrace the hard work you are putting in, and when you do, you will find yourself reaping the benefits.


TRICIA FINKE

General Manager at Ocean Prime Philadelphia

My inspiration comes day to day and week to week, but all starts with the support of my family. I have always lived by the quote, “Life ends at the beginning of your comfort zone.” I have never been content with complacency or mediocrity. I am inspired daily by my leaders and peers who consistently exhibit true leadership and CMR culture.


JENN GROSSKRUGER

Executive Chef at Ocean Prime Philadelphia

There are so many great women in the world today who inspire me. Though the woman who inspires me the most in my career would have to be our very own, Heather Buck. Her unwavering dedication to the highest standards inspires me to constantly challenge myself as a leader. I genuinely cherish the opportunities I’ve had to work closely with her, even in the least glamorous of settings. As for quotes. “The sky is not the limit anymore.” It speaks to me in how I set my goals.


WENDY MIDDLETON

General Manager at The Barn

I want to recognize my Dad for being an inspirational person in my life. He taught me about having a great work ethic and trying my best at everything that I do. An inspirational quote I like is “There are not secrets to success. It is the result of hard work, preparation and learning from failure.” -Colin Powell


CLAIRE WINE

General Manager at Hudson 29 Upper Arlington

I am inspired every day by successful women who have achieved balance in their lives and have become stronger leaders as a result. I’m inspired by the idea of betterment in all areas of my life- both personally and professionally. I strive to be the best version of myself in every role I play whether it be GM, wife, friend, or family member. I believe that I am a better leader for my team professionally when I am maintaining a happy and healthy life. This lifestyle allows me to keep up my drive, passion, and spirit to better support the growth of my business and those who I have the honor to lead. This is a quote that inspires me every day on my journey to be my best self:

“We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated that they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” – Kavita Ramdas


NATALIE MUEHLFELD

General Manager at Hudson 29 New Albany

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is the difference between managing and leading. Some people get this very confused but there is quite a difference. Leading is moving forward as a team and I believe seniority is not a factor as long as you can all move towards the same goal.(“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”) A lot of leadership is learning not only who you want to be, but who you don’t want to be and being able to make your own style and what works best for you. I think one of my biggest inspirations in this company has been Kelly Nordstrom. I would not be who I am today, without her leadership and guidance. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from her is “big picture thinking.” It opened a whole new light for me and my career.

One quote that has always stuck out to me is “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”


KRISTEN LUFF

General Manager at The Avenue Dublin

My favorite quote is – “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

I remember starting with CMR, and thinking to myself that I had finally found a group of restaurant professionals that I could be proud to work with. At the time, I didn’t know it was the beginning of an 18 year (and counting) career with the company. I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with countless talented individuals that have provided me with motivation, inspiration, and support to be the best version of myself as a leader in the company. I am inspired by the idea that we work in the people business, which happens to be in a restaurant setting. I am most fulfilled by providing our guests with genuine hospitality to create memories that they will never forget. In addition, the relationships and bonds I have formed with my fellow associates are long lasting and life changing. I have grown over the years in my leadership style, coming to realize that the success of the team is most important, and to be able help those team members reach their professional goals has been extremely gratifying. I know the future of our company is bright because of the great people we have on our team.


KAITLIN SHARBO

Executive Sous Chef at The Avenue Grandview

My favorite quote is – “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” -Sara Blakely

I am inspired most in my career by the people around me everyday; at home and at work. Food always has and always will be a uniting force that brings people of all backgrounds together, whether you are eating it or preparing it. We have the good fortune of working in an industry that draws people from all cultures and backgrounds to one common ground. It gives each of us an opportunity to learn about each other through the food we are passionate about. The restaurant business is a difficult one to work in and succeed in but I believe it is the ever evolving and changing, often unknown terrain of it that keeps us interested and passionate!

The women in my family and in my life are all incredible cooks and incredible people. It was from them that I learned how to bring people together with food. They inspired me to follow my dreams even though it was very much unknown to me at first and not an easy career. I’ve been fortunate to have such strong female role models in my life to show me that you can have both a career and a family.


ANNIE BOWLIN

General Manager at Marcella’s Short North

I have many inspirational women in my life. My first inspiration is my mother; she is such a giver and a fighter all in one. She has worked her whole life from being born on a farm to raising a family and working the entire time. She has also fought cancer and has a new lease on life now as an amazing grandmother. Speaking of grandmothers my grandmother is my second inspiration. She came to Ohio on a covered wagon and has made a great life running a dairy farm with her two of daughters. Talk about strong women. Family is extremely important to me and my inspiration to be who I am for them and myself.


STACEY CONNAUGHTON

Vice President of Corporate Affairs

It’s pretty easy to look back on what has inspired me in my nearly 25 year career at CMR and that all started with Cameron and the fact he had the 8 points of our philosophy written out and posted in the construction trailer before the first restaurant even opened! That spoke volumes to me about what a great working environment we would have because there was a level of genuine caring that made it feel so welcoming I just knew I had to be a part of it. I have been absolutely blown away ever since then by the power of our culture emphasizing: Associates First, the Value of the Team, a Positive Attitude, Fun, Quality, Open & Honest Communication, Creativity and a Commitment to Growth.

Those foundational beliefs have guided us and inspired us as we have built 13 unique concepts and nearly 90 restaurant locations in the last 25 years.

Although Eleanor Roosevelt has a treasure trove of inspirational quotes which I love and encourage anyone to look up and study, I found a perfect quote from Steve Jobs that I shared with my son as he was nearing completion of his college degree that I think perfectly sums up how I feel about the career path one takes in life:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs


DIANE SMULLEN

Vice President of Finance

My fellow female coworkers at CMR are my inspiration. Some of them are older than me and I’ve learned that the “been there done that thing” really does matter. Additionally, younger females in our office think and communicate differently than I did at their age. They are so creative, collaborative and absorb information like a sponge. Both of these groups of women make coming to work so much fun and rewarding.

My mother in law once told me, “The power people have over you, you give them.” I’ve had to remind myself of this quote numerous times during my career. I started for this company as a young female CFO. Along the way, I had people doubt my ability, but kept a strong belief in myself. Additionally, it reminds me to take criticism and feedback in a positive manner and helps me curtail naturally getting defensive. Now I often find myself telling this same quote to my daughters!


KATIE LAUDICK

Director of Human Resources

Starting with CMR nearly 17 years ago, I was given a quote by my mother that I still have hanging in my office “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism” by Norman Vincent Peale. This quote has guided me through the years, in knowing I will only get better if I know how to get better, which is feedback given to you by your colleagues. Praise and recognition is great, but it doesn’t help you be better tomorrow than you are today. Awareness of your weaknesses has been something I try to focus on each and every day of my career. In order to succeed, you have to know your opportunities and then change the opportunities into successes.


AMBERLYN HEINEY

Regional Director

My mother is a big inspiration for me. She worked throughout my childhood and she was and is passionate about her career and her family. She tried very hard to find a balance- I am sure she never did, as we all never do, but her efforts were huge. She is a pediatric nurse and takes care of children day in and day out, many of whom come from low income and under developed areas. Her heart is huge and if she could fix the world for every single one of them she would. I find it heartbreaking, but she does it every single day.

Daily I am inspired by two people in our company, Walter Carpenter and Heather Buck. They are wonderful mentors who are always inspiring me to be better. I look to them for advice both personally and professionally and they have been a huge part of my growth in this company.

What I find myself saying to my team members frequently these days, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

This is hugely important to me because I never want to get too comfortable. I encourage everyone to step outside of their “zone”. If it scares you, run to it. There are very few things that are actually as scary as they seem, but you will never find out if you are hiding from them!


SUMMER SCHOTT

Executive Pastry Chef

I would say most of my inspirations came from my teachers. Ever since elementary school I wanted to be a teacher. Of course my passion for art also influenced me later, and my teaching took a slight turn to the Culinary realm. But it was always my teachers who I looked up to, that pushed my love for reading and creativity. My teacher for Culinary arts high school vocational program, Ms. Campos, would tell me she believed in “life long learning” and that I should never stop my pursuit for knowledge. This has been my motto throughout my career, as I love to seek out new skills and continue to read and grow. In turn, I have also become a teacher of sorts in training the bakers in each of our restaurants. My favorite part of my job is hosting CMR Culture classes where all associates, front and back of the house or even from the home office, are invited to learn a new cooking skill or learn about the food we cook and where it comes from. This year I am hosting a cake decorating class, back by popular demand, and my now yearly tradition of an associate and family apple pie workshop.

My favorite quote that has shaped my life, personally and professionally, is from Maya Angelou. “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.”

I am proud to work for a company that does so much to give back to its community and help teach our future leaders. I hope I can continue to give and teach in the future as well.


HEATHER BUCK

Director of Training & Guest Services

Who inspires me? Anyone who is doing it for the betterment of themselves and those around them. What inspires me in my career? Our industry has no bounds-anyone can be successful regardless of their education, language, gender, color, etc. I love that hard work still counts and we have the honor of being part of people’s lives AND livelihoods. We celebrate life moments with our guests and have the ability to ensure our families are taken care of too . . . powerful.

 


MELISSA JOHNSON

Managing Director Cameron Mitchell Premier Events

I have always been inspired by strong women! I love reading biographies and my favorites I’ve read are about Eleanor Roosevelt, Empress Alexandria, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and many others. Their stories of perseverance, resilience, inspiration and selflessness by women and women who were strong, tough (in their way) and thinking of others and how they leave the world better was always something I knew I wanted to try to emulate in any small ways I could, to ideas of large impact I could maybe make someday.

A couple quotes I love are:

“You May encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated.” -Maya Angelou
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but they won’t forget how you made them feel.”-Maya Angelou
“One person can change the world.”-Rosa Parks
“If you are going to change things you have to be with people who hold the levers”.-Ruth Bader Ginsburg

My mother and grandmothers were always strong influences for me with their love and nurturing that helped instill in me the love and urge to want to take care of people.

I would have to give a shout out to some men too- my Dad, my husband, Cameron Mitchell, David Miller, Chuck Kline and Jim Torski and my two boys. My husband has taught me over the last 20 years to not focus on being a woman ‘competing’ in a man’s world but to be me, believe in myself and give everything my all. He keeps my thoughts about myself positive and strong. Cameron, David, Chuck and Jim Torski believed in me as a young woman early in my career. They have allowed me to learn, grow and drive myself and my team. Their belief in me fuels my strength! My two sons are proof that anything can happen and the miracle you pray for may not be the miracle you get. They look at me and trust my love and my ability to take care of our family. I’ll never let them down and that really keeps me strong as I strive in my career.

I am very lucky to have always had a strong foundation, strong and understanding people in my young career and the most amazing people everyday today believing in me as I continue to strive to motivate, inspire and unite my team, my students and any young people looking for an interesting mentor.

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Our Restaurants

The Avenue
The Barn
Budd Dairy
Cameron's American Bistro
Cap City
Cameron Mitchell Premier Events
Del Mar SoCal Kitchen
The Guild House
Harvey & Ed's
Hudson 29
Lincoln Social Rooftop
M
Marcella's
Martini Modern Italian
Molly Woo's
Ocean Club
Ocean Prime
The Pearl
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390 W. Nationwide Blvd.   |   Columbus, Ohio 43215   |   614.621.3663