Faculty and Staff
Melanie Adams, Assistant Professor
Ms. Adams is an Assistant Professor of 13 years, specializing in the lodging/tourism and event planning programs in the Hospitality Management Center of Excellence at Cuyahoga Community College. Her career began 20 plus years ago. Ms. Adams knew she wanted to be involved in hospitality management at the age of 16 when she was a housekeeping supervisor for the Sheraton. She received a full four-year scholarship to, and graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She continued her education with an MBA in Hospitality and Tourism Business Management from Columbia Southern University. She currently holds the status of Certified Hospitality Educator and is in the process of achieving her Certification as CMP, (Certified Meeting Professional).
Ms. Adams has worked in many executive positions as General Manager, Director of Guest Services, Operations Manager, Residential General Manager, Director of Sales, and Executive Director of Event Planning. These positions were working with major hospitality companies and resorts such as Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Accor, Studio Plus, Wyndham International, Lakeside Resort, and the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida. She resides on the west side of Cleveland with her two sons.
Jack Ahern, Hospitality Lecturer
Chef Jack Ahern has made a career in the restaurant industry. After bussing tables in high school, he started on his culinary path at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. His internship at Le Francais restaurant in Wheeling, IL, solidified his passion for the industry. After receiving his Bachelor Degree at CIA, he returned home to work at a number of the city’s finest establishments including Pier W and most recently was the Chef de Cuisine at L’Albatros in University Circle. Before joining L’Alabtros, Chef Ahern spent a summer in Normandy, France, working and traveling.
Chef Ahern started teaching at Tri-C in 2015, and has a passion for passing on his experience and knowledge to students in the classroom. He is currently teaches Garde Manger at the Hospitality Management Center, and was Chef Instructor at the Metro Campus Bistro 87 student-run restaurant.
Thomas Capretta, Assistant Professor and Chef
Tom Capretta, Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Educator, has been an instructor in the Hospitality Management Program at Cuyahoga Community College for the past 17 years. Chef Capretta helped in the organization of the opening of the Hospitality Department at the Eastern campus in the Fall Semester of 2009. In academic year 14/15, Chef Capretta spent a year on Professional Improvement Leave to study issues surrounding sustainability in the hospitality industry, and to develop ways to incorporate these topics into classes and practice at Tri-C.
Helping to develop new instructors, and sharing his enthusiasm for the culinary industry with students are Chef Capretta’s passions.
Chef Capretta has won the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) President’s Award in 2005 and 2008, and was named the ACF’s Educator of the Year in 2003 and 2014, and received the August LoPresti Fellowship Award in 2002. Chef Capretta has served as the President of the American Culinary Federation, Cleveland Chapter. In addition to his teaching assignments, Chef Capretta is a member of the advisory committee for the Culinary Arts Programs at Beachwood High School, Normandy High School in Parma, and Polaris Career Center in Middleburg Heights. He is currently a board member for the ACFEF Accrediting Commission.
Chef Capretta was employed as a chef at Canterbury Golf Club, Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he had the opportunity to supervise the food preparation for the 1996 U. S. Senior Open as well as other exciting events. Past experiences also include Stouffer’s Restaurant Group, Cleveland Racquet Club, and Mitchells Fish Market.
Chef Capretta holds Associate Degrees in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Technical Education and a Master of Technical Education, Instructional Design, all from the University of Akron.
Gwendolyn (Wendy) Cox, Coordinator
Gwendolyn (Wendy) Cox, CAP-OM, has almost 20 years of experience in the administrative professional field. If you call the main Hospitality Management phone number, you may get Wendy on the other end as the friendly voice who can answer your question, or connect you to the person who can. Currently, Wendy is the administrative coordinator for the Hospitality Management Center on Public Square. In this capacity, she supports the Hospitality Management program’s associate dean and general manager/dean; focuses on faculty workload and budget; and assists students and prospective students with questions, tours and whatever else they might need.
Wendy has been employed at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) since 2002 in various administrative capacities. Most recently she was the coordinator-scheduler for the Unified Technologies Center at Tri-C’s Metropolitan Campus, scheduling meeting spaces and classrooms along with coordinating related hospitality and meeting services. Previous positions also include office assistant and program coordinator for the Organizational Excellence Institute at Corporate College, and administrative assistant for the president of Corporate College.
Before joining Tri-C, Wendy worked as a senior administrative assistant at Lamson & Sessions. During her four and a half years in the Carlon business unit, she supported the vice president and manager of Carlon, and then the Carlon National Sales Manager.
Wendy has an Associate in Applied Sciences Office Service Administration degree, concentrating in legal secretary skills; and a Bachelor of Science in Arts and Sciences for Office Administration, both from Youngstown State University. She is also an active member of International Associations of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), serving as Publications Chair twice. She also served on the Forest City IAAP chapter’s executive board in multiple roles. Wendy received her CPS® rating in November 2000 and recertified in 2005. She received her CAP® rating in November 2007. Wendy recertified her CAP-OM rating in 2012.
Michele Gaw, Assistant Professor and Chef
Born and raised in Akron, Chef Michele Gaw is a Northeast Ohio native whose passion for food and the hospitality industry pole vaulted her career. “My passion for food started at home, my mother is a tremendous cook, always making something different as I was growing up and spending time with my grandmother who cooked the old fashioned way. It was with my grandmother that I learned to can foods and still do so today.” Her love of the culinary arts drove her to become an executive chef, including winning numerous awards (Cleveland National Chicken Cookout, Taste of Cleveland and Ohio Pork Competition), as well as a consultant and business owner. She is a past president of the American Culinary Federation-Cleveland Chapter, and a founding member of Cleveland Les Dames Escoffier (LDEI).
Chef Gaw received her Associate Degree in Restaurant Management from Cuyahoga Community College, and her BA in Business from Tiffin University. Her career includes stints at Li’l Joe’s Pub in Akron, the Holiday Inn in Strongsville, and the Cleveland Airport Marriott. She spent 18 years as the Executive Chef for Cleveland’s Watermark Restaurant, known for outstanding seafood, a beautiful view and an award-winning wine list. It was this passion for the culinary arts and hospitality field that drew her to share her talents at Cuyahoga Community College, first as a part-time instructor for 20 years, and now as a full-time instructor and supervisor of Café 4250.
As Chef Gaw says, “I love teaching the restaurant class for Café 4250, as I can challenge the students to prepare new foods in a restaurant setting. It is a little like being back in the restaurant business. I am so happy to be teaching full time as I get to share my past experiences with the students and see them grow. The greatest reward is when the students are successful. Sometimes it is many years later and I will see a student who is so proud of what they have accomplished. It makes me beam with pride for them and our college.”
Paul Glatt, Assistant Professor
Paul Glatt has been an Assistant Professor in Tri-C’s Hospitality Management department since 2002.
Mr. Glatt was born in the Cleveland area, but worked his way across the country in a wide variety of hospitality positions: dishwasher, chef, night-club manager, hotel manager, and bartender in places such as New Jersey, New Yory City, Seattle and Tucson. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arizona, and a Master of Management in Hospitality degree from Cornell University.
In 1999, after graduate school, Mr. Glatt returned to his roots in Cleveland to work with Restaurant Associates as beverage manager at the new Cleveland Browns Stadium and the newly renovated Severance Hall. Before joining the faculty at Tri-C, he was the owner and operator of JoJo’s Colony Tavern in downtown Cleveland, winner of the Free Time’s Best New Restaurant Award in 2001.
As a Tri-C faculty member, Mr. Glatt strives to contribute to the community and campus, most notably working with such charities as the Cleveland Food Bank and the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Paul is married and has two great dogs, Harvey and Jupiter.
Michael Huff, General Manager/Dean
Michael Huff brings a broad spectrum of industry background and education to the Hospitality Management Center of Excellence.
Dean Huff began his career washing dishes in a family restaurant. While working in the industry, his education began at community college. He worked in culinary roles throughout college, and eventually transitioned into the front of the house. Specialty restaurant and fine dining management led to a career in hotel food and beverage management. Dean Huff served as food and beverage director for Hilton Hotels, Starwood and Marriott. He brings experience with resort, corporate and convention hotels in Scottsdale, Portland, Seattle, Boston and Cleveland. Just prior to joining Tri-C, Dean Huff was the general manager of special events and fine dining for Bon Appetit Management at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
He has a BS in Marketing Communications and an MBA from Arizona State University. His personal passions are for travel, family and time in the outdoors.
Giovanna Mingrone, Adjunct Instructor
Chef Giovanna Mingrone has been teaching as an adjunct instructor for Tri-C since 2011, and is currently working as a lecturer. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis in printmaking from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She has recently applied to Capella University to begin a master’s program in Adult Education.
After several years working at San Franscico’s Zuni Café, a James Beard award winner, Giovanna moved to Italy for six months to do research for her Cleveland restaurant, Battuto Ristorante, which was housed in Little Italy for eight wonderful years.
As an educator and culinarian, Giovanna spends most of her free time writing recipes, practicing her butchering and charcuterie skills, dabbling in candy making and playing with her dog, Jack.
Karen L. Monath, Associate Dean and Chef
As a young girl, Karen Monath, tended the garden, peeled a lot of apples and helped with the canning and preserving of the bountiful harvest from the family’s quarter-acre garden. At the young age of ten, she knew she wanted to be a chef.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY), Chef Monath rose to become an executive chef of a very successful restaurant by the age of 20. She has spent the better part of her life refining her craft with a diverse range of experience. She has served royals and billionaires, catered meals for two and for a 1,000, peeled grapes table-side, and planned and executed weddings for 600.
Dean Monath has a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University. She has taught at the Pennsylvania State University, and is an Assistant Professor at Cuyahoga Community College, having taught Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. Dean Monath draws from her years of experience as a chef and the owner of a large banquet and catering facility to bring real life knowledge and skill to the academic program. Her passion is helping students be successful in life and in business.
Outside of the classroom, Dean Monath pulls from her childhood experiences of tending the garden to be an avid organic home gardener, and is most interested in healthy food preservation methods and teaching young mothers how to provide healthy meals for their children. Dean Karen Monath is a 2000 graduate of Leadership Lorain County, a Certified Hospitality Educator and the proud mother of a 24-year-old son who majors in music at Wright State University. She looks forward to seeing her son play in symphony halls around the world.
William Scully, Lab Assistant
Don't let the job title fool you. William Scully is responsible for procuring all the ingredients and equipment for the Hospitality Management program, along with any other last-minute needs and procurement miracles that need to be performed. His behind-the-scenes knowledge of suppliers, food markets, and more keeps the program and daily classes on track, meeting student needs.
Says Scully, “It’s crazy to say that I have been in the food industry, in some way, for 27 years. Time flies when every day is different, and you constantly need to keep up with everything happening around you. Non-industry people don’t understand the constant deadlines that need to be met, and the sense of urgency that is needed just to have a good day. Most important of all, the planning needed to have the right food, at the right time, in the right amounts.”
Growing up in an Italian family, Scully would garden with his grandfather and cook with his grandmother. This created a foundation of growing food and cooking for guests, making sure everyone was happy and fed. “My first real job was after school in a bakery. I was fifteen years old. I started out just cleaning up after the pastry chefs, but increased responsibilities almost immediately.” Since then, he’s worked in a grocery store, a catering company, a private yacht club, sales, corporate restaurants, healthcare, and now education. He has a Bachelor Degree in Restaurant and Institutional Foodservice Management from Bowling Green State University.
When not working, Scully enjoys spending time with his family. “I have been married for 13 years, and have two children. We keep a busy schedule, but somehow everyone gets where they need to go.”
Kimberley Susbauer, Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor Kimberley Susbauer focuses on courses for the Lodging and Tourism concentration of Tri-C’s Hospitality Management program. Prior to joining Tri-C, she was a manager with the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. She studied Commercial Recreation Administration at Bowling Green State University, and has her Master’s degree in Adult Learning and Development from Cleveland State University.
Ms. Susbauer is a member of the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association (OHLA); a member of International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Industry Educators (ICHRIE); and a Commissioner for the Accreditation Committee on Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACHPA). Her academic and industry passions are quality customer service and food safety. In her free time, she likes to talk to strangers, make people laugh, and is active in animal rescue.
Traci Turner, Unit Operations Specialist
Traci Turner began her hospitality career in 1980 in Beachwood, Ohio. She flourished in the industry as it was a great fit for her passion for helping people. Traci joined Tri-C in 2004 as both a student and work study office assistant. She became student ambassador, and eventually the Health Careers enrollment specialist. From there her career progressed to Program Assistant with EMT. In the fall of 2016 Traci’s career went full circle and she rejoined the Hospitality Management Program.
At the HMC, she focuses on assisting students enter the various programs, and to ultimately become successful graduates. She has completed her Associate of Applied Business degree and is now pursuing a Bachelor of Business degree from Tiffin University. She is a native Clevelander that grew up on the East side and is a die-hard sports fan. She loves her city and her Lake Erie Monsters, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians and Cavaliers.
Ky-Wai Wong, Assistant Professor
Chef Ky-Wai Wong, known as Chef KY, is an Assistant Professor in Tri-C’s Hospitality Management department. He has a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from UCLA and master’s degree in Hospitality Management from Auburn University.
Chef KY has a strong background in fine dining. His first restaurant job was at Giovanni's in Beachwood. From there, he went to culinary school in London, England. In addition to earning a certificate in Cuisine and Baking/Pastry from Le Cordon Bleu, London, he had the opportunity to do an apprenticeship at Le Gavroche (2 Michelin Star Restaurant). He returned to Cleveland and continued to work in fine dining at places such as Blake's Seafood Grill, The Century at the Ritz-Carlton, Fire Food and Drink and Seballos Pastries. With much experience under his belt, Chef KY worked his way up to top positions at some of the areas premier fine dining and well-regarded establishments: sous chef of Classics at the Intercontinental Hotel (AAA Five Diamond Restaurant), executive chef of Lockkeepers and Park City Diner, chef de cuisine of Dante (Valley View), and chef de cuisine of Lucky's Cafe.
Chef KY enjoys cooking and loves sharing his passion and knowledge about food with his students. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and doing fundraisers that help the community.