William Cerf was born in Los Angeles. He completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at California State University and a Master's Degree in Business Communication at Jones International University. From 1987 until his departure from California, Cerf was employed as a Paralegal at the law firm of Sedgwick, Detert, Moran and Arnold. He later worked for two years as a Contractor at Bombardier Aerospace and Allied Signal Aerospace in Tucson, performing contract management, planning and purchasing. In tandem with his commitment to establishing Workers, Cerf has taken employment with the PAX Foods franchise in order to gain ground in practical aspects of the restaurant industry. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Restaurant Opportunities Center – New York (ROC-NY), and is currently completing a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at Union Institute & University.
Gabriel Martinez was born in Mexico City. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the City University of New York. Martinez has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, having worked in Front-of-House and Back-of-House positions in many of New York City’s finest dining restaurants, including its sole worker-owned restaurant – COLORS. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of ROC-NY.
Chris Michael was born in New York City. He attended Columbia University for the study of Physics and Political Philosophy. Upon receipt of his baccalaureate, Michael lectured in Mathematics at Wadleigh Secondary School. He later relocated to Berlin in the capacity of a Translator and Copywriter, adapting international corporate campaigns for clients such as BMW, Mercedes and Nescafé. He is currently pursuing a JD/PhD (Politics) at the City University of New York.
Christopher Faulkner attended the
esteemed Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and has since consulted in the NYC
metropolitan area on menu design. He acted as consultant Head Chef at COLORS
Restaurant for three years, and is currently opening a nightclub and fine dining restaurant
Melissa Hoover is the Executive Director of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the national membership organization for worker cooperatives. She is also a founding director of the nonprofit education and training organization, the Democracy at Work Institute, and works with the Arizmendi Association to start new worker cooperatives and provide training and support for existing cooperatives. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund and the Leadership Circle of CooperationWorks! Melissa has been working with worker cooperatives for almost fifteen years, most of them in the dynamic cooperative economy of the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a B.A. in History from Stanford University with a research focus on immigrant women’s roles in cooperative movements in the U.S. She is inspired by principled commitment, quick wit, generosity of spirit, and creative democracy in all its messy beauty.
Jenny Kassan has over fifteen years of experience as an attorney for and creator of social enterprises. She has raised funds for and launched a public space cleaning and maintenance business, a landscapers’ cooperative, and a public market. She has extensive experience with public-private partnerships, nonprofit-for-profit joint ventures, cooperatives, and local government financing. She is the president of Sustainable Business Alliance and serves on the board of Post Carbon Institute.
Joshua Schwartz worked for over twenty years in many of New York City's most exclusive restaurants. In recent
years, he relocated to Miami in order to serve as General Manager of one of the country's
largest tourist restaurant attractions: the Hard Rock Cafe in Miami. Now returned to NYC, Schwartz is investing his energies into a burgeoning practice as a
restaurateur, opening an upscale lounge/restaurant in Stamford, CT and a bar/eatery in
Michael Van Patten has over 20 years of experience on Wall Street and has been integrally involved in the design and implementation of private placement and illiquid security transactions platforms for several companies including co-founding the highly successful NYPPEX. Michael has been a featured speaker at several environmental and social markets conferences and has written several articles regarding environmental capital markets innovation and financial structure. Michael is also involved in several regional and national working groups that are developing standard metrics to measure biodiversity and habitat function and apply them to financial transactions. Michael possesses FINRA registrations 7, 24.
Sylvia Wehrle has over 15 years of information technology and product design experience. She led design projects for companies including ideeli, The Business Insider, The Ladders, Conde Nast Digital, and Morgan Stanley. Sylvia is seasoned in user research, information architecture, mobile design, usability, art direction, and social media. She received her MPS from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. She is currently the head of product at RedRoverapp.com.
Barry Wohl is the head of TriBeca Sales & Development. In business since 2000, TriBecas has developed restaurants, bars, lounges. TriBeca is ideally suited, as compared to “general contractors” and/or restaurant groups, as it wears both hats, and has successfully done so for 10 years. TriBeca utilizes an extremely talented and experienced team of architects, designers, contractors, as well as site criteria and negotiation team--all to bring forward the fairest proposal and to get clients into business. Permits and liquor licenses are also handled in-house.