Topic: Food/Culinary Management
Michael Wray, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Hospitality at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has decades of collegiate teaching experience within culinary, brewing and beverage management and hospitality management industries.
As a chef and sommelier, Wray is active in the food and beverage industry by consulting with companies in restaurant design, menu and recipe development. He has also provided instrumental input into the vision that led to the creation of MSU Denver’s Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center and complementary laboratory classrooms. Wray has developed key partnerships with community and civic leaders for major events and charities such as Food for Thought Denver and the Denver Food and Wine Festival. He recently developed the framework for the brewery partnership with the Tivoli Brewing Company, leading to $7 million facility enhancements to the Tivoli Student Union and establishing integrated learning laboratories for students studying brewing.
As the former food and beverage director with Ramada Renaissance and Holiday Inn Hotels, Wray is regularly interviewed regarding his knowledge and creative abilities in food, wine and beer. His research interests include hospitality competency, learning environments and learning communities. Most recently, he co-authored the article “Effects of cooperative learning on Chinese students performing a formal table setting for American style service” in the Journal of Foodservice Business Research.
Wray received his doctorate in education leadership from University of Colorado, Denver, a master’s in business management from Salisbury University and a bachelor’s in nutrition and foods from Virginia Tech. He also holds multiple credentials in food and beverage, including Sommelier Diploma, Certified Wine Specialist, Master Certified Food Service Executive and Certified Culinary Instructor.
Jackson Lamb, MBA, is a professor in the School of Hospitality at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His areas of expertise include food insecurity, food waste, food rescue and food redistribution.
Lamb is a consummate professional in the hospitality industry who migrated into education fifteen year ago to make a difference in the future of students studying culinary arts and hospitality management. He takes particular interest in the effects of volunteerism on culinary skill competencies, customer service concerns in private club environments, global cuisine and hunger-related issues.
Lamb serves as a liaison between MSU Denver and the greater Denver and restaurant management communities and has built relationships in every sector of the food service industry, locally and nationally. He is a board member of We Don’t Waste, Food Bank of the Rockies, Colorado Restaurant Association and American Culinary Federation, Colorado Chefs Association. Lamb was honored as the 2016 Chef Educator of the Year by the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.
He received a master’s in business administration from Colorado State University and an associate of applied science in hotel restaurant administration from State University of New York at Delhi.
Shellie Kark, B.A., is the program manager of the Meeting and Events Incentive Program for the School of Hospitality at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In addition, Kark serves on the Culinary Council of Sterling Rice Group where she innovates and creates new product lines for the food and beverage industry. She is also the co-founder of KitchenCUE™, a series of technique-based videos that teach the fundamentals of food preparation and presentation through a simple, step-based approach. The KitchenCUE™ methodology has been utilized as a foundation for the development of an array of culinary programs spanning across diverse populations and has national recognition in a variety of publications, including O Magazine.
Prior to working at MSU Denver, Kark was a culinary professor at Johnson and Wales University Denver Campus and worked to establish the Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, where she was the Chef de Cuisine. She has spoken at the American Personal Chef Association annual summit, routinely develops and tests recipes for published cookbooks and consults with health and wellness organizations around nutritious, cooking and eating.
Kark received her bachelor’s in finance and accounting from Simmons University and procured her license as a CPA working for Arthur Andersen & Co. She graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has worked in a number of renowned restaurants including La Folie in San Francisco, Seattle’s Dahlia Lounge and The Palace Kitchen.