Speaker Bios

Mike Bausch – Owner-Operator, Andolini’s Pizzeria
Mike Bausch moved from California to Oklahoma in 2005 to found Andolini’s Pizzeria at the age of 22. He has since transformed ...
bio, mike bausch
Mike Bausch moved from California to Oklahoma in 2005 to found Andolini’s Pizzeria at the age of 22. He has since transformed what began as a 1,500-square-foot pizzeria with 10 employees into a multi unit restaurant business with more than 300 employees. Andolini’s currently has 7 highly profitable locations in the Tulsa area as well as a mobile food truck, and 2 Gelaterias. Along with his pizza and kitchen know-how, Mike brings an entertaining and hands-on approach to solving restaurant problems during his Pizza Expo seminars.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Melissa Rickman – Co-Owner and Operator, Wholly Stromboli
Melissa Rickman, co-founder in 2010 with her husband Eric of Wholly Stromboli Restaurant, has built a $1 million-plus sandwich ...
bio
Melissa Rickman, co-founder in 2010 with her husband Eric of Wholly Stromboli Restaurant, has built a $1 million-plus sandwich and pizza restaurant in the small-town of Fort Lupton, CO. She has won awards at the International Pizza Challenge been listed on Denver’s A-List of restaurants and has been featured on the Destination America cable and satellite channel.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
John Gutekanst – Owner-Operator, Avalanche Pizza
John Gutekanst owns high-volume Avalanche Pizza and bakery in Athens, Ohio. For 17 years it has been voted “Best Pizza in ...
bio, john gutekanst
John Gutekanst owns high-volume Avalanche Pizza and bakery in Athens, Ohio. For 17 years it has been voted “Best Pizza in Athens” and has been featured on the Food Network, Food Arts, National Geographic. He holds 14 culinary titles, including the coveted Best Pizza in the U.S.A. at the World Pizza Championships in Italy. Previously, he was a general manager/Maître d’ Hotel in Chicago and Boston and a director of restaurants in Washington, DC, where he handled the VIP room for President Bill Clinton. He is a regular contributor to Pizza Today and teaches artisan bread baking at Hocking Culinary College.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Tony Gemignani – Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco, Tony Gemignani’s Restaurant Group & International School of Pizza
Tony Gemignani has won 12 world titles for his pizza making and acrobatic dough-spinning routines, authored or co-authored three ...
bio, Tony Gemignani
Tony Gemignani has won 12 world titles for his pizza making and acrobatic dough-spinning routines, authored or co-authored three books (including “The Pizza Bible”), appeared on several national TV networks and is an owner in 16 pizzerias. His first, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco, opened in 2009, has been named America’s best pizzeria by USA Today, the Travel Channel and Forbes. Tony also runs the International School of Pizza, where he certifies chefs from all over the world and teaches a variety of pizza-making styles, many of which simultaneously appear on the menus at his restaurants. He teaches the Making Pizzas With Tony Gemignani workshops annually at Pizza Expo.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Peter Reinhart – Chef and Baking Instructor, Johnson & Wales University
Peter Reinhart is the co-founder of PizzaQuest.com, a video website devoted to the never-ending search for the perfect pizza, as ...
bio
Peter Reinhart is the co-founder of PizzaQuest.com, a video website devoted to the never-ending search for the perfect pizza, as well as to the celebration of artisanship wherever it may be found. Peter is the author of 10 books on bread, pizza, and food culture, and he has consulted with many pizzerias, bakeries and international product-development companies. He is a faculty member and baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., as well as a popular and inspirational speaker at numerous foodservice events and conferences.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Brian Spangler – Baker and Pizza Maker, Apizza Scholls
As founder and co-owner of Olive Mountain Baking Co. from 200-2005, Brian Spangler’s reputation went far beyond his Portland, ...
bio
As founder and co-owner of Olive Mountain Baking Co. from 200-2005, Brian Spangler’s reputation went far beyond his Portland, OR, location. In 2014, he put his dough knowledge to work on pizza, opening the highly acclaimed Apizza Scholls serving what have been described as “New York-meets-Connecticut” pies.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Rachel Cope – CEO/Founder, Empire Slice House
Rachel Cope is CEO and founder of 84 Hospitality Group, which currently operates seven unique restaurant & bar concepts in ...
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Rachel Cope is CEO and founder of 84 Hospitality Group, which currently operates seven unique restaurant & bar concepts in Oklahoma City. In 2013, she created the effortlessly cool pizza joint Empire Slice House, which would go on win Pizza Today’s 2018 “Independent Pizzeria of the Year” award.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Dan Collier – Founder, PizzaMan Dan’s
During 30-plus years in the pizza business, Dan Collier has advanced from delivery driver to multi-unit manager, and from ...
bio
During 30-plus years in the pizza business, Dan Collier has advanced from delivery driver to multi-unit manager, and from director of operations for 20 units of Rusty’s Pizza to ending his franchise agreement and rebranding as an independent in 2012. He now has eight PizzaMan Dan’s stores in the Los Angeles area and is a regular speaker at Pizza Expo.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Ashira Prossack – Millennial & Gen Z Engagement Expert
Ashira Prossack is a Millennial & Gen Z Engagement Expert helping businesses understand, engage, attract, and retain the next ...
bio
Ashira Prossack is a Millennial & Gen Z Engagement Expert helping businesses understand, engage, attract, and retain the next generation of talent. As a Millennial herself, she offers companies an inside perspective on generational challenges. Ashira’s background includes 13 years in Management & HR, with 5 years focused on Retail Management and Talent Development and 10 years of business coaching.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Ann Farrell – Organizational Consultant & Leadership Coach, Farrelli’s Pizza and Align & Unify 2 Thrive
Ann Farrell lives in the Pacific Northwest in Sumner WA.She shares ownership with her family in the 9-location chain Farrelli’s ...
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Ann Farrell lives in the Pacific Northwest in Sumner WA.She shares ownership with her family in the 9-location chain Farrelli’s Pizza. Ann designed the processes and training that allows Farrelli’s to consistently re-create healthy PROFITABLE working environments.In 2017 Ann started Align & Unify 2 Thrive and now focuses all her energy on helping Farrelli’s and other organizations identify and grow leaders who build strong teams and get amazing results.Ann has a MA from Bastyr University in applied behavioral science with emphasis on organizational and leadership development.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Jacque Farrell – Co-Founder, Farrelli’s Pizza
A founding partner with her father, John, of Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza, Jacque Farrell helped develop the culture and ...
bio
A founding partner with her father, John, of Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza, Jacque Farrell helped develop the culture and operational systems at the now 9-unit company. A graduate of the Washington State University hotel and restaurant program, she implemented tools for measuring the financial health of Farrelli’s and for tracking progress with the buy-in of employees.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
John Arena
John Arena is a 50-year veteran of the pizza industry and co-founder of Metro Pizza, which currently has six locations in the Las ...
bio
John Arena is a 50-year veteran of the pizza industry and co-founder of Metro Pizza, which currently has six locations in the Las Vegas area. He also created and teaches a course in pizzeria concept development at the University of Las Vega School of Hospitality and is a consultant to several international foodservice companies.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Scott Anthony – Owner-Operator, Punxsutawney Pizza
Scott Anthony, a member of the World Pizza Champions, operates an award-winning pizzeria in Punxsutawney, PA. He is an author, ...
bio, scott anthony
Scott Anthony, a member of the World Pizza Champions, operates an award-winning pizzeria in Punxsutawney, PA. He is an author, speaker and consultant within the industry. His innovative marketing techniques over the last 23 years have gained him recognition as a marketing guru on a local and national basis.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Scott Sandler – Owner-Operator, Pizza Head
Scott Sandler opened Pizzeoli Wood Fired Pizza Napolitana in 2014 with a passion and no prior restaurant experience. In 2016, ...
bio, scott sandler
Scott Sandler opened Pizzeoli Wood Fired Pizza Napolitana in 2014 with a passion and no prior restaurant experience. In 2016, Pizzeoli was ranked in the 25 best restaurant in St. Louis by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In 2017 Scott sold Pizzeoli and opened his second place, Pizza Head, a New York-style pizza-by-the-slice concept with live punk rock music shows. Scott’s pizzerias have the unique distinction of being all vegetarian.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Chris Bianco – Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco, Tratto
When Chris Bianco started Pizzeria Bianco in the back corner of a Phoenix grocery store in 1988, he had no idea that he would ...
bio, chris bianco
When Chris Bianco started Pizzeria Bianco in the back corner of a Phoenix grocery store in 1988, he had no idea that he would become a driving force in the artisanal pizza movement. All he knew was that his food would reflect the respect and sincere intention that he brings to each of his recipes, as the result of his relationships with farmers, local producers, customers, and staff. Now the chef-owner of Pizzeria Bianco, with locations in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as Pane Bianco and his new white-tablecloth restaurant Tratto, also in Phoenix. Bianco won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2003 —the first pizzaiolo to receive the honor— and helped spawn a generation of independent and artisanal pizzerias, lending his advice, wisdom, and food philosophies to dozens of fellow chefs and restaurateurs. Bianco released his first book, Bianco: Pizza, Pasta and Other Food I Like in 2017. A full- color, fully illustrated cookbook that illuminates the fundamentals of pizza making and the philosophy behind Chris’s cooking, the book features recipes for his signature pizzas as well as strategies and techniques for translating chef’s methods to the home kitchen.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Jeff Smokevitch – Owner-Operator, Brown Dog and Blue Pan Pizzerias
Jeff “Smoke” Smokevitch co-founded and currently operates Brown Dog Pizza, a full-service concept in Telluride, Colo., ...
bio, jeff smokevitch
Jeff “Smoke” Smokevitch co-founded and currently operates Brown Dog Pizza, a full-service concept in Telluride, Colo., serving six unique styles of pizza, including his award-winning Detroit Square. He’s also opened two locations Blue Pan Pizza in Denver and was winner of Pizza Triathlon (baking three different styles) at the 2015 World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Michael Shepherd
Michael Shepherd is a four-time World Pizza Champion and president of the pizza resource website perfectingpizza.com. Michael ...
bio
Michael Shepherd is a four-time World Pizza Champion and president of the pizza resource website perfectingpizza.com. Michael owned and operated three pizzerias in Northwest Ohio for 20 years, growing the small-town locations into a multi-million dollar company using nontraditional marketing methods, out-of-the-box thinking and a systemic approach to operations that consistently earned him more than 20 percent in profits.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Clayton Krueger – Marketing and Communications Director, Farrelli’s Pizza
Clayton Krueger is the director of marketing and communications for Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza in Washington State. Having ...
bio, clayton krueger
Clayton Krueger is the director of marketing and communications for Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza in Washington State. Having first joined the company at age 16, he’s been in his current role at the 9-unit company for the last decade. He has been instrumental in elevating the company’s brand and increasing their regional and national presence.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Tom Lehmann – Pizza Dough Specialist, The Dough Doctor Consulting
Tom Lehmann is a Pizza Expo fixture and one of our most respected and popular speakers. Tom has been director of bakery ...
bio, tom lehmann
Tom Lehmann is a Pizza Expo fixture and one of our most respected and popular speakers. Tom has been director of bakery assistance at the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan., and a renowned technical advisor and field consultant for the pizza industry. He writes the regular “Dough Doctor” column for Pizza Today.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Nick Bogacz – Owner-Operator, Caliente Pizza & Draft House
Nick is the founder of Caliente Pizza & Draft House. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, he opened his ...
bio, nick bogacz
Nick is the founder of Caliente Pizza & Draft House. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, he opened his first location in 2012 in Pittsburgh and has grown to four current locations. Caliente has won numerous awards in the industry, including 2016’s first place in the Pan Division of the International Pizza Challenge at Pizza Expo.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
TJ Schier – Restaurant Owner and Consultant, Smart Restaurant Group
In 2007 T.J. Schier founded SMART Restaurant Group, which now operates 15 Which Wich Superior Sandwiches shops. He tests ...
bio, tj schier
In 2007 T.J. Schier founded SMART Restaurant Group, which now operates 15 Which Wich Superior Sandwiches shops. He tests cutting-edge hiring, guest survey and training methods in his company and applies them as a consultant providing custom training materials and guest-services programs. He has written several books and developed operational training materials for Coca-Cola, Kraft, Evian and selected leading restaurant and hotel chains.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Pasquale di Diana – Owner-Operator, Bacci Pizzerias
Working in his family business since he was 13 and being involved with over twenty store openings, Pasquale has learned the hard ...
bio, pasquale di diana
Working in his family business since he was 13 and being involved with over twenty store openings, Pasquale has learned the hard way how to bring restaurants from start up to profitability.He currently owns six restaurants in the Chicagoland Area and offers Coaching and Consulting services to restaurant and small business owners.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Scott Wiener Founder Scott’s Pizza Tours
Scott Wiener is the founder of Scott’s Pizza Tours in New York City, bringing his infectious love for all things pizza to more ...
bio, scott wiener
Scott Wiener is the founder of Scott’s Pizza Tours in New York City, bringing his infectious love for all things pizza to more than 40,000 guests since 2008. He also writes the “Man on the Street” column for Pizza Today magazine and has been featured talking about top pizzerias on CBS “Sunday Morning,” the Travel Channel, the Food Network and in various national publications. Scott will be leading a Las Vegas Pizza Tour on Wednesday of Pizza Expo Week.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article
Audrey Kelly owner/pizzaiola Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage
Audrey Kelly is the owner/pizzaiola of Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage in Boulder, CO. Since opening in October of 2015, the Pizza ...
audrey kelly, bio
Audrey Kelly is the owner/pizzaiola of Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage in Boulder, CO. Since opening in October of 2015, the Pizza Garage has been featured in numerous publications and even on the FoodNetwork. Audrey is also a member of the World Pizza Champions and an Ambassador for Women in Pizza.
Pizza Expo 365 Speakers Article