Manask & Associates consultants are the most experienced cultural institution consultants in North America that provide expert and prompt advice with offices from coast to coast to serve you.
Principals — Food & Beverage Services & Facility Rentals
Arthur M. Manask, FCSI
Arthur M. Manask is founder and CEO of Manask & Associates, a consulting firm that provides management advisory services to cultural and other institutions that have in-house restaurant and catering services. Clients in the cultural sphere include museums, botanical gardens, historic homes, aquariums and zoos. Other clients include business corporations, colleges, and schools. The company services its clients from offices throughout the U.S.
He has more than 30 years experience in the foodservice industry. His experience includes 16 years as president and owner of his own foodservice management companies, 14 years experience in senior operating positions with two national foodservice organizations, and 16 years heading consultant firm Manask & Associates. His multi-unit operating experience includes corporate dining; school and college dining; leisure and recreational foodservices; museum restaurants/cafés (including opening and operating cafés and catering services at the Getty Villa in Malibu, CA and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the '60s and '70s); on-premise, off-premise and special event catering; commercial restaurants; and tablecloth dining.
He is a past chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association for 30 years. He is also a former member of Young President's Organization and current member of World President's Organization. Manask & Associates' professional affiliations include American Association of Museums, American Society of Technological Center, Society for Food Service Management and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association among other national, regional and state cultural institution trade associations.Back to Top
Don J. Avalier, FCSI, FMP
Educated at UCLA, his professional experience includes positions as vice president-operations for Longchamp's, Inc. of New York, area director of food and beverage for Sheraton Corporation of America, corporate director-food and beverage for Princess Cruises Resorts and Hotels, and corporate director-food and beverage of American Golf Corporation. Don is a member of Food Consultants Society International (FCSI), the California Restaurant Association and one of a limited number of Foodservice Management Professionals (FMP) accredited by the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association.
Don began working with Manask & Associates in 2000 after more than 25 years of operational experience and 10 years as a foodservice consultant. Accepted by the courts as an "industry expert," Don also provides litigation support to attorneys with expert witness support and consulting services. Some of Don's client projects include, but are not limited to: City of Santa Monica – Resource Management Department, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Museum of Latin American Art, Hanford Reach National Monument Interpretive Center, Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center, Audubon Zoo, California State Railroad Museum, Experience Music Project, Honda Proving Center of California, Indian Ridge Country Club, Moon Valley Country Club, Spencer's Restaurant, Four Oaks Restaurant, Johnny Rockets, and Maple Drive Restaurant.Back to Top
Jack O’Brien has over 35 years experience in the food service and hospitality industry which includes multiple senior executive level positions with Aramark Sports & Entertainment, most recently serving for 6 years as President of Convention Centers, Retail, Facilities and Culinary Operations. Prior to their move to the Parks & Destinations group, he was also President of the Cultural Attractions group. Before joining Aramark, Jack was the Director of Food & Beverage at the AAA Five Diamond RITTENHOUSE Hotel and Condominiums in Philadelphia.
Jack’s experience covers operational management for dining, catering, food and facility services in museums, zoos, aquariums, cultural institutions, convention centers, stadiums and arenas including but not limited to the Adventure Aquarium, Riverbanks Zoo, Experience Music Project, Florida Aquarium, Philadelphia Zoo and Ottawa Convention Centre. His most recent projects for Aramark included new business development, opening new client locations, management recruitment, creating growth strategies for catering and retail food operations, menu development, food and beverage initiatives and food safety.Back to Top
Dave Waddell has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry including several senior financial management positions during his 23 year career with Aramark Sports & Entertainment serving as CFO of the Convention and Tourism Group before being promoted to CFO of the Sports & Entertainment Division. Prior to joining Aramark, Dave assisted in the opening of several fine dining restaurants as well as a boutique hotel in suburban Washington D.C.
Dave’s combination of operations and finance experience in all aspects of the hospitality industry includes cultural institution and fine dining, fast casual, catering, facilities services, hotels, marinas, retail operations and tour operations. Dave provided financial and strategic leadership in contract negotiations with clients including Hearst Castle, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Mets, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell), Ellis Island National Monument, Las Vegas Convention Center and many more.
Dave has a Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant Management from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA, Finance from Widener University.Back to Top
Robert D. Schwartz
Rob, who resides in Detroit, MI, joined Manask & Associates in 2003 and works with cultural institutions throughout the country. Rob has over 30 years experience in the hospitality business that covers contract management with ARAMARK and Sodexho as well as private restaurants. He received his MBA from Michigan State University and majored in hotel, restaurant and institutional management. He received his BA from Alma College with a business administration major.
Rob's experience covers operational and financial management for foodservice in businesses, hospitals, colleges, and museums. Some of Rob's client projects include, but are not limited to: Detroit Institute of the Arts, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Zoo Atlanta, Anchorage Museum of History & Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Central Illinois Regional Museum, Cincinnati Museum Center, Amgen, Inc., RAND Corporation, Louisville Science Center, Toledo Museum of Art, Paramount Pictures Studios, and EdVenture Children's Museum. His international experience includes three years in Mexico focused on the Maquiladora industry on the border as well as project consulting/analysis in Argentina. Rob is fluent in Spanish.Back to Top
Jonathan J. Wernick, CPA and CGMA
Current work with Manask & Associates includes the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as well as beats by dr. dre. He has held management positions with several multi-unit food related companies. At Compass Group he oversaw financial operations for 90 distinct operating units. During his tenure he oversaw the renewal of key venue contracts including the Hollywood Bowl and the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. At Organic to Go he brought the company public. At Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, he stabilized the finance area during the onset of the great recession. At Trader Joes Company he organized the finance function to support massive growth beyond the West Coast. .Jonathan started his career at KPMG. Jonathan currently consults with a myriad of middle markets companies improving operations and ensuring optimal financial stewardship. Jonathan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Yeshiva University, an MBA from University of Southern California and a certificate in the culinary arts.Back to Top
Principals — Gift Shop Services
Marjorie Sheldon, recognized internationally as an expert in her field, serves as a consultant to non-profit organizations, including aquariums, botanical gardens, museums and zoos. Her projects have included directing the planning, design and merchandising of new stores, managing store renovation projects, business reviews, concession evaluations, new business development, business start-up and visual merchandising. Some of Marjorie's client projects include, but are not limited to: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Woodland Park Zoo, Science Museum of Minnesota, Hanford Reach National Monument Interpretive Center, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Chinese Garden, Detroit Zoological Institution, Melbourne Zoological Garden and the San Francisco Zoo.
As director of merchandising for the Zoological Society of San Diego for 20 years, Marjorie was responsible for all merchandising activities for the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Wild Animal Park, as well as management of the Society's 38,000-square-foot warehouse facility. She provided leadership to more than 300 employees and directed all planning, budgeting, buying, display and revenue tracking for more than 40 sites within the two facilities. Under her leadership, retail sales tripled and numerous revenue opportunities were realized. She was instrumental in the Society's long-range planning efforts and introduced innovative practices to ensure a leading edge in the industry.Back to Top
Shelley L. Stephens
Shelley Stephens has been in the retail profession for almost 30 years. She spent 17 years as director of merchandising at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, where she expanded the retail operations from two stores to six permanent stores and set up 12 special exhibition stores. She also produced a wide variety of custom products and established a wholesale division to market these products to venues worldwide.
Since 1993, Shelley has been providing consulting services to stores at cultural institutions across the country. She specializes in directing the planning, design and merchandising of new stores, as well as managing store renovation projects. She has also assisted institutions in areas such as providing store audits and evaluations, retail management and point of sale searches, producing new products, compiling feasibility studies, implementing e-commerce sites, concession evaluation, buying and visual merchandising. Some of Shelley's client projects include, but are not limited to: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, City of Los Angeles (Griffith Observatory), California Academy of Sciences, Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Central Library, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Ocean Institute, and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.Back to Top
Joan Doyle has 25 years of diversified retail planning and management experience with emphasis on store operations and strategic planning. Her project services include store evaluations, feasibility studies, profitability improvements, store design and renovations, buying, product development, staff coaching, and new store openings. Her diverse client list includes public agencies; fine arts, history and science museums; and performing arts and cultural organizations. Some of Joan's client projects include, but are not limited to: Seattle Art Museum, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, McNay Art Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Zoo, the Franklin Institute, and the Pennsylvania Conventions Center. In addition, Joan has worked with specialty market retailers such as the NFL, casinos and major event attractions.
Joan is a recognized speaker and writer on the topic of museum retail planning and business improvement strategies and has presented for the PEW Charitable Trusts, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, the Museum Store Association and Global Shop. Joan is an avid enthusiast of the arts and has served as president and development chair for Collab, the committee that supports modern design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.Back to Top
Janice Yablonski-Hickey is a consultant to art museums and cultural organizations in the areas of ecommerce and interactive marketing, specializing in creating online retail businesses that enhance and extend an organization’s store presence or catalogue operation. Janice was The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first head of ecommerce, a position she held for 13 years, where she was responsible for the merchandising, marketing, technology, strategy, and design of store.metmuseum.org. Janice has conceived and led complete web site builds, re-branding and re-design efforts, 3rd party implementations, content enhancements, and functional improvement projects. She has an extensive background in web and print design, creative direction, imaging, copy, assortment planning, analytics, and reporting, as well as 10 years’ experience in product development, publishing, and museum reproductions. Her work has won awards including the American Alliance of Museums’ Best Institutional Web Site and Advertising Age’s Best Ecommerce Site. Janice has experience with both custom code as well as software as a service (SaaS) platforms, cloud solutions, and advanced technology for online retailing. Janice recently completed a project to completely re-design and re-platform the National Gallery of Art’s ecommerce site, shop.nga.gov, which launched in the fall of 2013.
Janice has more than 25 years’ experience working with museums and is known for her ability to understand an institution’s mission and brand while also optimizing its site for high-volume transactions, increased conversions, and maximized revenue. Janice’s marketing work includes email, SEM, SEO, banner ads, social media, blogs, cross-channel programs, loyalty, database marketing, and partnerships with membership and development departments. She has spoken at Direct Marketing Association events and Search Engine Strategies, was an executive council member with Creative Good, has served on the customer advisory board for WebTrends, and is a member of the American Alliance of Museums.Back to Top
Matt Mundok, FMP
Matt's experience includes more than 18 years of consulting and on-site operations management experience in business dining, cultural institution, and college and university food service. His experience also includes design services work in the U.S., Canada and Europe. A proven project manager, Matt's knowledge of information technology, space planning, financial analysis and the development of strategic retail food service programs has earned him high marks with clients, employees and service providers.
Matt has successfully led numerous food service evaluation, strategic planning and operator selection projects for clients across the country. He has also been an innovator in the areas of point-of-sale (POS) systems and cashless payment solutions. His experience includes developing information technology strategies and systems that include common POS platforms, remote order entry, and data warehousing solutions to drive revenue growth and operator efficiency. Matt has been a featured speaker for technology forums, has served on advisory boards for software manufacturers and speaks regularly at Penn State University, School of Hospitality Management.
Matt is currently an active member in Society for Foodservice Management (SFM), National Association of College & University Food Services (NACFUS) and International Facility Managers Association (IFMA) where he is leading development of the Restaurant and Foodservices Community. Some of Matt's client projects include, but are not limited to: the National Law Enforcement Museum, Grounds for Sculpture, Imiloa Astronomy Center and University of Central Missouri.Back to Top
Ray Coen has teamed with Manask & Associates to work with the Los Angeles Zoo, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Science Museum of Minnesota, among others, in developing marketing and business plans for the special events department of public attractions. Ray started his consulting firm in 1981. He has built a successful practice, building sales volume for a variety of clients in the restaurant industry. He works with chains and institutions of every size and at every dining level on issues of business strategy and marketing. His client list includes the revival of Boston Market, KFC, Islands Burgers, King's Hawaiian Restaurants and Bakeries, Winchell's Donuts, Sizzler, Ponderosa, The Daily Grill chain and others. Uniquely, he also consults to supermarkets and other retail chains, as well as packaged goods companies. This enables him to bring retailing expertise and brand building skills to the foodservice industry. Some of Ray's work on client projects includes: The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, a destination restaurant study for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/Great Lakes Science Center, and the National Zoo.Back to Top