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Team

Rodney K. Couch

President & Founder

Rodney Couch is president & founder of Preferred Hospitality, Inc., the managing entity for
Market Broiler Restaurants and Provider Contract Foodservice.

A native resident of Riverside, California, Rodney was born, raised and schooled in Southern California. He is a graduate of Biola University’s BOLD program. His B.S. in Organizational Leadership brings added knowledge and strength to all his endeavors.

His restaurant career began at the age of 15, as a dishwasher for C&C Corporation. He worked continuously in numerous positions for various restaurant concepts.

At the ripe age of 19 he landed a job with the Seafood Broiler Restaurants, where after a period of management training, Rodney was appointed General Manager of their City of Industry location. Shortly thereafter, Rodney was awarded as one of the top sales performers of the chain, and was promoted to “opening” General Manager. With his new title, he took on the role of training, mentoring, and developing of all new managers & locations for the Seafood Broiler concept into the new markets of San Diego and Northern California.

In 1988, the 28-unit Seafood Broiler chain was sold to Red Lobster (of Darden Industries) by the French company, ACCOR.

Red Lobster offered Rodney a position in management, but he declined, determined instead to build his own business. He chose to partner with an entrepreneur, Joseph Pitruzzello, in a local Italian restaurant in Riverside. Rodney was able to add to his restaurant knowledge, by experiencing life through the eyes of an independent owner.

Soon he was becoming restless — his real dream was to own & operate his own business. He drafted a business plan and with the support of his family and a collection of former key executives from Seafood Broiler, Rodney was able to compile both the financial contributions and advisory capabilities to launch the new Market Broiler Restaurant.

Mr. Couch opened his first Market Broiler Restaurant in 1989, a seafood restaurant that has earned the crown of “Best for Seafood” continuous since 1994. The chain has enjoyed great success and continues to thrive, operating six restaurants throughout California.

The contract foodservice division ”Provider” was started in 2002 and aim’s to be the foodservice company of choice in the Inland Empire. Bringing to the table new ideas, fresh site designs and truly appetizing menu offerings, was an innovation to an industry that has been often burdened with the notion of being “institutional” in nature. As you will see, their foodservice client will attest to the facet that Provider shatters the myth that contract food has to be boring.

With decades of success to his credit, Rodney Couch would like to accelerate the growth of both his concepts, vowing to never compromise superior quality and polished service that has become the foundational cornerstones of the Market Broiler concepts today.

Mitch Holt

Chief Operating Officer

Mitch Holt directs all of the Operations functions for the multiple-concepts under the management company, PHI, which includes Market Broiler Restaurants and Provider Contract Food Service. Mitch has served in a management capacity for several companies most recently, including Claim Jumper and New York Grill Restaurants.

Mitch was promoted from within the Group to the District Manager position of Provider in 2004. Over the years, he was recognized as a Daily Coach to our 600+ staff members. His strong attention to detail while focusing on the enhancement of the guest experience, along with the analysis and improvement of efficiencies to the Operations, Mitch was able to improve overall P&L profitability, and as a result was later promoted to COO of PHI in 2007. Mitch's experience also includes a position as a union representative for the United Food & Commercial Workers of Los Angeles County, where he developed his stellar mediation skills.

As an energetic and results-driven Executive Leader with an exceptionally strong skill set acquired with over 3 decades of successful food service achievements; Mitch has moved through the ranks of operations, building a flourishing career in the hospitality industry.

Mitch has been with PHI for since 2004.

Rajesh Mehta

Chief Financial Officer

Rajesh Mehta directs the accounting, treasury, audit and all financial functions of the Company. He has held the position of Chief Financial Officer of the Company since 1991, after graduating from California State University, San Bernardino with a BSC degree in Business, majoring in Accounting. Rajesh is also a credited CPA in California.

Concurring with Market Boiler, Rajesh held the position of Staff Accountant at Backstrom, Gandhi, & Soni, Certified Public Accountants.

Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Rajesh is a naturalized American citizen, and is married with one child. As a shareholder of the Company, Rajesh is committed to growing our concepts through securing the proper financial means.

Lenore Vlasic

Chief Marketing Officer

Starting in the hospitality industry at the ripe age of 13, Lenore Vlasic has experienced all aspects of restaurant life. A veteran to the business, Lenore has worked in all areas of operations, training, and since 1998 has held C-level executive positions in marketing and public relations. She is a native to southern California, and is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton with a BA in Communications and Public Relations.
Lenore is a true Brand Champion with an innate talent and passion to define, develop, enhance and strengthen a company's brand, vision, mission, values, and culture. Her well-earned reputation for being a Collaborative Leader with the proven ability to build, train, motivate, and mentor highly successful teams to outstanding performance is evident by her loyal relationships with many of her past and present colleagues.
In addition to her professional experience at Seafood Broiler Restaurants, Lenore had a long career as VP of Marketing for the 212-unit national chain of Marie Callender's Restaurants, and assisted in the initial development of the frozen food division, through entree item identification, superior food quality standards, packaging and approvals to send products to market. Most recently she served as the Vice President of Marketing for Ruby’s Diner, a 30-unit chain in the Western US.
Lenore is experienced in all aspects of the restaurant operations, executive management, her corporate responsibilities have included: brand stewardship, unit expansion, non-traditional venue development, advertising, marketing, public relations, menu ideation, and strategic concept development, line extension through retail sales, franchise relations, communications and training.

She has been a member of the National Restaurant Associations Marketing Executive Group since 1992, and has served on the Board of Directors for the City of Hope.
Lenore has been with PHI since 2009.

Robin Higa

Corporate Executive Chef

A native of Hawaii, Robin trained at Kapiolani College of Culinary Arts. He started his career in the restaurant industry at the age of seventeen, and started “moving up the ladder” when he reached the Mainland.

He moved to California in 1988 where he continued to excel as a chef in some of Orange County’s finest restaurants. He spent four years with the top-rated Chanteclair Restaurant, followed by a five-year stint with Jon Dominis in Newport Beach.

Robin is an experienced executive chef adept at creating and managing a wide range of retail food and beverage concepts from casual themed dining, catering operations and fine dining restaurants.

His responsibilities included strategic planning, product ideation, food and liquor menu development, creation of purchasing programs, and establishment of individualized Best Practice training programs. His off-site catering experiences reflect a blend of technical expertise and management skill sets.

Robin is the consummate chef who truly understands the balance of menu item development and the alignment and execution of delicious food, which is complimentary to our operations. He is also an everyday, hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeve team player who goes to great lengths to get the job done.

Robin was named, for the prestigious honor of “The Great Chefs of Orange County” award, for multiple years. And he has won numerous awards throughout the Inland Empire, presenting upscale seafood creations that celebrate his passion with food. Robin joined the Market Broiler Restaurant team in 1998 as Executive Chef, and was promoted in 2003, to Executive Corporate Chef. Robin has been with PHI since 1999.

Sergio Mendez

District Manager

Sergio Mendez is currently overseeing the Market Broiler Restaurants in the capacity of District Manager. Sergio was one of the founding managers of Market Broiler Restaurants, promoted to his current position in 2000.

After arriving in America in 1985, Sergio was immediately hired by Seafood Broiler Restaurants. Sergio was trained in every position of operations, and over the course of his career became a Supervisor for the chain.

Sergio’s biggest challenge came with managing the new Market Broiler prototype, built in Orange. This was the first Market Broiler Restaurant to be located within a mall with higher customer traffic and more upscale decor package. The on-going increase in sales speaks volumes to Sergio’s success.

Sergio has been with PHI since 1989.

Paul Reardon

District Manager

Paul Reardon joined PHI, working under the Market Broiler Restaurants concept in 2010 as the General Manager of our flagship restaurant in Riverside, California. He was immediately noticed by supervisors as having exceptional leadership skills which lead to his rapid promotion to District Manager in July of 2011.

Paul’s career path started at the age of 15 as a cook for a small diner. After gaining proficiency throughout the back-of-the-house, he branched-out to another, more popular 38 unit restaurant chain, called Seafood Broiler. There he promoted to a supervisor level. Next he transferred and became a manager for LA based Marix Tex Mex; then took a chance at a small growing chain named Claim Jumper.

Paul started at Claim Jumper as a manager and moved from a local management position to becoming a Regional Kitchen Operations Manager overseeing 17 units. Progressing further, he became the Corporate Beverage Director for the entire chain of 45 units. While at Claim Jumper, Paul was involved in 10 new store opens, including 2 ’virgin’ states, which were added to the growing chains’ national reputation. Paul was a valued member of the Claim Jumper team for over 18 years. Once Claim Jumper was sold, Paul became a consultant, for Lascari’s Italian restaurants, where he was in charge of consolidating purchasing, menu engineering and digitally converting all recipes to computerized manuals.

In 2009, Paul was hired as the Senior Kitchen Operations Manager for the nationally recognized chain, Ruby’s Diner, researching all new products, overseeing all new menu item introductions, and implementation at the store level to maintain the quality standards of the chain.

Paul has been with PHI since 2010.