I am beyond grateful and humbled to have recently accepted the position of President of Winona Golf and Dining Inc. I believe my journey to this point of my life is a true testament of what hard work and dedication gets you. I come from a background of fifteen years of cooking experience. As a Winona native, I’ve worked at various restaurants around Winona and always had a love for the food I cooked. However, it wasn’t until I started working at Signatures that I found my passion.
I started working at Signatures in June of 2009 as the Garde Manger. As the Garde Manger I was responsible for much of the cold food preparation, such as salads and desserts. Here I was trained under two remarkable Chefs, one from the Culinary Institute of Arts New York, and the other from the Arts Institute in Minneapolis. Under their tutelage, my skills and knowledge of cuisine grew exponentially. From the intricate amuse bouche of soft boiled quail egg topped with tobiko caviar and garnished with fennel fronds, to how to how to correctly score the fat on a duck breast before rendering. I learned more those first couple months than I had in years of cooking elsewhere. After a few years of proving my worth and abilities I was promoted to Sous Chef. As Sous Chef I learned the importance of what it meant to lead. With a combined team of twenty some Chefs and servers working under me, I was educated on the importance of comradery, organization, timing, communication, and discipline.
I take great pride in telling people where I work. I love the fact that I can tell people that we work closely with local farmers and source our food that we serve from the immediate area (including our own garden). Fresh morel mushrooms and ramps from the surrounding bluffs in the spring always get me excited about what we can create in the kitchen. Innovation and variety keep our seasonal menus interesting.
In November of 2016, the President of Winona Golf and Dining Inc. at the time, David Wilson, announced his plan to retire in one years’ time. I took this opportunity to volunteer to step up and learn the front of house operations. Over the course of that year, David imparted upon me his vast wisdom of the hospitality business. Under David’s instruction, I gained experience to a side of the business I wasn’t completely familiar with. When it came time for David to retire, he had made sure that I had full competence in the overall operations of Winona Golf and Dining Inc. It was truly a pleasure and honor to learn from someone with over 40 years of experience in the service industry.
Moving forward, I will uphold the standards and integrity that this company is known for. I will continue to work hard to ensure the success of the company. This position comes with heavy responsibility, although I see it as an incredible opportunity to demonstrate my abilities on what I have learned.
I have great plans and ambition to make Signatures not only a destination or special occasion restaurant, but a place that locals and visitors alike can enjoy on a frequent basis. I know that the restaurant and golf course still have the stigma of being the expensive country club that it once was, but I plan on changing that perception. I’m eager to work with both new and old clients, helping their events or occasions be the best experience possible. I am confident that with the help of my Banquet Sales Coordinators Kate Sheffield, Tori Folkestead, and Matt Copet, as well as Golf Operations Manager Blake Westerberg, that we will make Signatures Restaurant, The Bridges golf course, theGrill at Signatures, and Visions Event Center, the most memorable and enjoyable guest experience in Winona.
I would like to thank my fiancée, family, friends, and co workers who support me and share in this great opportunity and joy in my career.