Posts Tagged ‘University of Denver’

‘The Giveback’ a.k.a. Pay it Forward

Thursday, May 10th, 2018


This is a topic that we have explored previously on here, however this is a specific example and our Director of Operations, Corey T. Nyman’s involvement in the University of Denver, LEAD Mentorship Program.  Corey is a proud Alumni of the School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver and serves on their Executive Advisory Board, returning to campus frequently for mentoring students, meetings, events and speaking engagements.


Corey’s current mentorship is with a current student who is a Sophomore majoring in Hospitality Management pursuing her Minor in Spanish and Business Analytics.  She is active working in Knoebel Events at the School’s Event’s Center, preparing for a Summer Internship with MGM International and then gearing up for a Fall Semester Abroad.  Corey has been able to conduct bi-weekly phone calls and video calls with this young woman, guiding her through various topics, including the below


  • Ability to review different generational challenges from hers to mine
  • Focus on gaining experience in the industry
    • Not specifying, but being open to various opportunities
  • Tricks & Secrets of Interviewing and meeting leaders in the industry
  • Relating Real Life Lessons with Industry Advancement
  • Ability to Network and get out of just a classroom mentality


As she continues to grow in the Hospitality industry, Corey will happily remain a mentor and guide to her, even once the LEAD program is completed, as that is our industry works.  We support our own.




How are you choosing to give back to the next generation of upcoming leaders in Hospitality and Pay it Forward?

NEWH Conference

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Recently, our Director of Operations, Corey T. Nyman was invited to participate in a panel on Culinary Trends: Food and restaurant trends to watch in 2017 and beyond at the biennial NEWH Leadership Conference which was just held in Denver, Colorado – February 9th through 11th. NEWH is the premier networking resource for the hospitality industry, providing scholarships, education, leadership development, recognition of excellence, and business development opportunities.


Corey was able to share his perspective from an operational side, along with the panel moderator David Corsun, Ph.D., Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver, Tom Ricca of Ricca Design Studios who spoke on the Kitchen Design perspective and Brooke Taylor of Arcsine who shared from an Interior Design aspect.


The panel was the wrap up for the 3-day conference, sharing fresh perspectives from industry members tailored for designers, operators and those looking to be on the cutting edge of Hospitality in 2017 and beyond.


Mr. Nyman goes to Washington…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Over Memorial Day Weekend I had the pleasure to be able to travel once again, back to our Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C. for a long weekend and enjoy the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four, being held up the road in Baltimore.  I went to support my alma mater, the University of Denver Pioneers, who I had also played lacrosse for and on their first Division I team, graduating in 1999.  As well, I have always had an affinity for D.C. from my childhood years but greater more so after living there in the early 2000’s.

After flying in on Friday night and getting settled, I had a chance to catch up with a great friend who wanted to take me out for a night on the town in the District.  But first, we had to start in Arlington, over the river for a quick bite and cocktails at Circa.  A much needed cocktail and some snacks were in order, along with catching up with two buddies who were joining us for the evening.

Catching an Uber (drunk driving is VERY heavily frowned upon in D.C.), we headed towards 14th Street, currently the hot corridor in the city, starting at Barcelona, a tapas themed bar/restaurant.  It is a VERY lively place, with a big bar scene, large outdoor patio and high-energy environment.


Walking down the street, we popped into Pearl Dive; a multi-story seafood concept with a big bar downstairs, cocktail lounge upstairs along with a bocce court on the second floor.  Awesome to see the unique concept, including multiple sensory experiences there.


The last stop of the evening, on the same street, was for a glass of wine and some snacks at Ghibellina, a modern Italian spot, in their bar.  This was a great service experience, with the bartenders truly delivering upon the promise of Hospitality, through recommendations and going above & beyond what we needed.  We were able to have their Varieta Di Salumi Artigianali, which was a great board of various salumi, all more delicious than the last.


Saturday was to be the big day and I wanted to get to Baltimore as soon as possible to support my boys.  We hit the road and made our way to the important Lot O – where all of the tailgates were being held for the Final Four teams.  It just so happened that the University of Denver party was right next door (separated by one tent) to the Duke University party, our opponent in that day’s game.  There were parents, alumni, fans, friends and plenty of others there to cheer on our Pioneers; a truly great morning.  This was the 4th Final Four that I have had the pleasure to attend and the 2nd one in four years watching my university play.  There is such a fantastic energy in the air during the Memorial Day Weekend of lacrosse, definitely which was not lost on me.


Unfortunately, my boys, while staging furious rally, fell short to the Blue Devils on Saturday.  While there were no shortage of long faces, it was a truly tremendous season and a pleasure to watch as an alum.


Coming back to the DC area, we decided for an early evening cocktail at The Graham Hotel, on their Rooftop patio, overlooking Georgetown and DC, all the way down K Street.  This is one of the newer hotels to open in Georgetown, keeping with the trend of smaller, boutique hotels offering unique experiences.  It was a gorgeous evening out, perfect for cocktails and good friends.


We then moved on to a classic restaurant from other city’s which is actually newly opened in D.C., Joe’s Stone Crab in the former Union Trust Bank location.  Choosing to sit in the lounge, we enjoyed a delicious bone-in Halibut Fillet along with Roasted Sweet Potato with Maple Pecan Butter.  Included in the atmosphere was some great people watching, including Washington Wizards star player, John Wall.


Last stop of the evening turned out to be a damn fun one, heading underground to Heist Nightclub on Jefferson.  Heist is a TINY club/lounge, accommodating less than a 150 people and you could feel it; with the vibe running hot, music being loud and party going strong.  We enjoyed this energy late into the night for sure.



By Sunday I was in need of a small detox, which fortunately came courtesy of a workout at Sports Club LA next to The Ritz Carlton, D.C.  After enjoying a steam, long hot shower and down time, I was back in the game and ready to go!  We ventured down to the Washington Harbor in Georgetown at the Waterfront for Brunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers, a temple of a restaurant that had lines running out the door, with an ode to all who allow restaurants to do what they do with their products.  Fortunately, we were able to score a seat at the bar before taking a walk to check out the full range of various offerings of the Sunday Brunch.



Before heading out, my friend and I enjoyed our annual multiple games of shooting pool, at a really cool little neighborhood spot in Arlington, Carpool.  Definitely a joint, but plenty of games and fun to choose from for a casual night out.


Continuing on, we headed towards downtown D.C. to one of my buddy’s favorite places, The Hamilton.  Just blocks from the White House, The Hamilton is much more than just a restaurant, with multiple bars, hundreds of restaurant seats and a subterranean concert venue!  We headed inside to the 2nd bar, which is actually right by the Sushi Bar (yes, really) taking over the side of the bar, with a great view of the crowd coming in for the show later that night, Lisa Loeb.


We enjoyed a fantastic selection of fresh sushi including Hamachi, Big Eye Tuna and plenty more fish, before I enjoyed a Roasted Asparagus Salad with Ramp Pesto.



Memorial Day Monday was back to Lacrosse up in Baltimore, starting at a Baltimore staple, Miss Shirley’s for a quick breakfast sandwich (on gluten-free bread I might add!) topped with plenty of Old Bay.  After watching Duke win their 2nd straight National Championship with my buddy, who is a Duke Alum we realized we needed a solid late lunch/early dinner before I headed out on my flight.  Going for a simple, straight forward yet classic option, we headed to the Capital Grille in the Inner Harbor, catching them right at 5pm when they opened.

I must say, I’ve had the pleasure to dine at quite a few Capital Grille’s and this was definitely not one of their top locations.  It could have been the Memorial Day Holiday, just a bad night or something else, but the restaurant was off overall.  My buddy’s steak was overcooked (Filet) and my Sirloin was also overcooked, plus was a vein-end piece of meat.  Things happen and they attempted service recovery pretty well, but it just wasn’t the best option.


Getting to the airport now full and exhausted, I was ready to head home back West.  Overall, it was a great trip catching up with some damn good people, lots of go go go and proud of my University of Denver Pioneers.  Looking forward to being back in our Nation’s Capital sooner rather than later and enjoying what it has to offer…




University of Denver – Speaking With Our Future

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

As some of you know, I attended the University of Denver’s Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management (formerly Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management) in the Daniels College of Business and take great pride in my university, including being a member of the school’s Executive Advisory Board. I am happy to dedicate my time and efforts to the further success of our program, students who are committed to hospitality and the university as a whole – giving back to what you are most passionate about is extremely important to me.

I was recently invited once again to speak with Dr. Cheri Young’s Restaurant Development class, which I had the pleasure to have done last year. This year, Dr. Young is teaching the class with a great restaurateur (also a former classmate and good friend of mine), Jon Schlegel, the founder of Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. I immediately committed to speak with the class and was all set to head to Denver on Tuesday morning, when a freak Spring snowstorm hit and changed my plans. However, we had modern technology on our side and Dr. Young suggested a call via Skype to connect me with the class – a great idea!

All of the students in the class were seniors, poised to graduate this June and head out into our amazing industry; so I wanted to make sure that I was supportive, informative and captivating of their attention. When you have a chance to speak with high school or college students, especially with the current generations, you must make every effort to keep their attention/keep them involved since they process information at such a fast rate with the technology, information and everything around them.

My conversation with these students was exactly that – I wasn’t speaking towards them, but rather with them. We kept a great back and forth going on the do’s and don’ts of restaurants, design elements, how to gather research/information and other elements of the business. I think I enjoyed the hour and a half Skype session as much as they did – these students are extremely bright, very engaging and forward thinking with the concepts that they are putting together. I look forward to having a chance to check out the 5 groups restaurant concepts at the end of their class and prior to their graduation.

I can’t thank Jon Schlegel and Dr. Young enough for this opportunity and look forward to the chance to speak with future classes at the school in the near future. My closing message to each of you is this – it’s not enough to follow your passion and embrace that passion; it is your task to SHARE your passion with others and support those who are just getting started in your industry. Take time, give back; the rewards you gain from that will be endless.

A chance to give back…

Monday, April 30th, 2012

On Wednesday, April 25th I had the pleasure to speak with the Restaurant/Bar Concept Development & Entrepreneurship class at my alma mater, the University of Denver, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. I am fortunate that I also sit on the Executive Advisory Board at the school and I take an extreme amount of pride in doing so. I try to take every opportunity to return to the school and share my expertise and when the invitation came to visit, I immediately jumped at the chance.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Cheri Young and Director, Operations Eric Lane are teaching a class on developing business plans and concept development, while working with a local entrepreneur to help him develop his gluten-free beer concept/brew pub. They asked me to give the students a consultant’s perspective, while helping to lead them in the right direction. What made this class special was that it only contained 8 students and all are seniors graduating in the next few months.

The professors let me know I would have the full 1 hour and 50 minutes of class to speak, conduct a question-and-answer session and true back & forth to engage the students, which I was extremely flattered by and definitely appreciated.

I tried to give the class a varied perspective overall, while guiding them through the process.  To start I shared with them my personal background and industry experience, including how important that the University of Denver was and remains to me.  Then, I had to give them a ‘reality check’ by driving home the point that passion will only get you so far, but focusing on ROI is a key with any concept and operation.  We then talked about the overall methodology of a business plan/concept statement, in broad terms and what was needed in this report.
The life of a consultant and what it means to be a consultant – this was an interesting conversation to have with 20-22 year old students soon to enter our industry.  This can sometimes be tough for people overall to grasp, since everyone believes that they can be a consultant.  On the value of experience – too many people call themselves consultants, however, few have the true time, knowledge and awareness of the industry to provide clients with an appropriate perspective and valued analysis.  Finally, I shared a case study by The Nyman Group of a former client of ours that showed the students the positives and negatives of the hospitality industry, along with a comprehension of how we do our job.
I finished speaking, talking about moving forward and their role in the hospitality industry upon graduation.  I let the students know that they could feel free to contact me directly and I would happily remain available to them should they have any questions that I could assist with.

I can’t wait to return to campus to visit with the students and more classes soon. Next trip will before our Spring EAB meeting, held the day before graduation and I will then have a chance to meet the graduating seniors and their families at the going away celebration. I’m thrilled I continue to have the chance to give back to the university and program that I love and care so deeply about. Don’t ever forget about the value your experience in your chosen industry has, especially for those who are just starting in the business – you have something to teach! Give back and share…