SERVANT LEADERSHIP TEAM
Founder & CEO
Rodney Couch is founder & CEO of Preferred Hospitality, Inc., the managing entity for Market Broiler Restaurants and Provider Contract Foodservice.
As Chief Executive Officer, Rodney’s primary duties include development of strategic plans to advance the company’s mission and objectives; organizational leadership; site selection; concept and design consultation; S.W.O.T analysis; promoting revenue, profitability, and growth as an organization.
VP CULINARY & OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
As VP of Culinary & Operational Excellence, Kipp maintains management interaction with all department levels, oversees all aspects of food service operations, and ensures client satisfaction by constantly staying abreast of client/operational concerns.
She has extensive experience in the contract food service management arena and is highly creative, dynamic, and energetic. She possesses a consistent record of positively impacting financial performance, client satisfaction, and culinary excellence.
Kipp has obtained her Culinary certification from the highly respected CIA Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Kipp’s 23 years specializing in College & University Leadership gives her the experience needed to oversee Provider’s operations successfully.
Operations & Business Development
Kevin Caffey recently joined the Provider team, having spent the last decade working in administrative leadership roles at universities across Texas. His unique understanding of the challenges facing higher education leaders today enables him to better serve our newest clients. As Provider’s Vice President of Operations & Business Development, Kevin has the privilege to craft partnerships that support the unique strategic goals and campus communities for the clients we have the privilege of serving.
Increasing enrollment and retention, student satisfaction, and financial transparency are just some of the key performance indicators Kevin targets through Provider partnerships. Kevin is passionate about bringing an entrepreneurial approach to our programs, and believes that in order to achieve long term success, we must approach programs with a nimbleness not typically offered by traditional foodservice operators.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Denise is responsible for the preparation and evaluation of monthly and annual financial statements for the Board of Directors and Senior Management. In addition to strategic planning, budget forecasting, financial modeling, analyzing and reviewing contracts and implementation of accounting related technologies.
Denise has been with Provider for over 28 years. She has served on multiple boards and is especially adept and implementing change.
Vice President of Finance
Rajesh Mehta has over 23 years of financial management background in the foodservice industry. As VP of Finance, he is responsible for accounting, treasury, audit, taxation, budgeting, forecasting, project management and system implementations.
A personable communicator, Rajesh fosters an atmosphere of ethics, integrity, and respect.
Director of Culinary Innovation & Operations
As Corporate Executive Chef, Robin is responsible for the supervision of all culinary items and research, including the development of new menu items and promotional specials, as necessary. Robin is also responsible for all culinary personnel training, enforcement of approved operating policies and procedures, ServSafe food safety handling standards, and cleanliness under the direction of each Executive Chef working at individual units. Robin earned his degree from Kapi‘olani College of Culinary Art, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Director of Human Resources
Jessica Garduno is a Human Resources Director who consults with and influences senior leaders on key business issues that have HR implication. In this role for over 10 years, Jessica’s future-focused approach to Human Resources has allowed her to introduce multiple policy and technological change initiatives to manage through the ever changing work force and enhance operations.
Intrigued by the legislative landscape and its impact on employers, Jessica immerses herself in complex employment regulations such as the Affordable Care Act and Wage and Hour Law in order to ensure continued compliance with regulatory and legal requirements.
For over a decade Jessica has held and maintained the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification. During her tenure with PHI Jessica pursued and obtained her Juris Doctorate and is currently licensed to practice law in the state of CA.
Director of Purchasing
Our purchasing efforts are led by career veteran, Dave Wicker. Dave’s career in the supply chain industry stretches over 3 decades.
Dave spent 13 years with US Foods where he rose to Vice President of National Accounts for Southern California. For the next decade he transitioned to the procurement side of the business heading up the purchasing/supply chain efforts for Claim Jumper Restaurants as Vice President of Purchasing. Dave went on to be a founding partner of West Coast Prime Meats, a local provider of the highest quality meats in the western US.
Dave’s expertise across a broad spectrum of categories in the food service industry ensures that our procurement is in line with even the most competitive cost structures. Additionally, Dave holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Director of Finance, Accounting & IT
Kevin manages the day to day operations of the Financial Department. He believes in giving his team "the big picture", allowing them to see how their role impacts the organization and our clients' overall success.
In addition to his financial responsibilities, Kevin has taken over the management of our technology services. He oversees the implementation of all new technology, to ensure the team is operating in the most efficient manner, ultimately ensuring we can provide the financial details necessary to live up to our "financial transparency" promise.
Director of Brand Marketing
With over 10 years experience in food and beverage, hospitality and non-profit marketing, Cassandra brings a diverse set of skills to her Provider's Marketing Team. Cassandra keeps a constant eye on market trends and ensures our clients' strategic marketing plans are ahead of the curve, leaving the guests we serve impressed not only by our amazing food, but the experiences we create through monotony breakers, menu design and promotional materials.
Cassandra is a data-driven marketer, who believes marketing is as much a science as it is an art. She provides senior leadership with the metrics necessary to determine what is working, what is not and the pathway towards success.
Kevin Murray brings with him thirty one years of hospitality experience. Kevin has been with Provider for eight years serving in management roles for many of our contract clients.
For the past four years, Kevin has been heading-up campus dining divisions as Campus Food Service Director.
Kevin is responsible for building a positive foodservice and hospitality culture, overseeing all dining venues, on-site catering, menu deployment, ensuring the delivery of premier quality food and service, spearheading student surveys, and adhering to special dietary requests for students and staff on campus.
Prior to working for Provider, Kevin spent 13 years with the Claim Jumper Restaurant group where he worked his way up to General Manager experiencing all aspects of Operations.
Kevin attended Cal Poly Pomona majoring in Economics before starting his career in hospitality.
Steve Torti joined Provider's parent company, PHI, working under the Market Broiler Restaurants concept in 2014, as the General Manager of our restaurant in Orange, California.
Steve started his restaurant career in 1989 at Claim Jumper, as a manager and was quickly promoted to the role of General Manager. He founded and ran his own company, Southstar Enterprises, in Pickens, South Carolina, a family style restaurant and catering company. He has also held management roles at concepts including Golden Coral, Flat Rock Grille, Sticky Fingers Rib House, and The Fresh Market. He specializes in technology with a deep understanding of POS systems, as well as the development of training programs focused on ensuring polished casual service standards.
In 2019, Steve was promoted to the role of Regional Manager, overseeing our Market Broiler, MB Grille, and Provider locations.
Sergio was one of the founding managers of Provider's commercial restaurant group, Market Broiler & MB Grille. He was promoted to his current position in 2000.
After arriving in America in 1985, Sergio was immediately hired by Seafood Broiler Restaurants. Sergio was trained in every position of operations, and over the course of his career became a Supervisor for the chain.
Sergio’s biggest challenge came with managing the new Market Broiler prototype, built in Orange. This was the first Market Broiler Restaurant to be located within a mall with higher customer traffic and more upscale decor package. The on-going increase in sales speaks volumes to Sergio’s success.
Sergio has been with Provider's parent company, PHI, since 1989.