Member Login

Newsletter Signup

Luncheon Speaker Series: Hospitality

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Hospitality industry has been faring well for several years now with consumers wanting a new experience every time they step into a hotel or restaurant. In NEO the RNC sparked hotel & restaurant investment, and Cleveland became a destination city nationwide. We will look to our expert panel to talk about their strategies in terms of growth of their businesses, how we compare to other markets, and how we continue the momentum here in Cleveland.


Rocco Whalen  |  Farenheit

Rocco Whalen, if nothing else, is wrapped up in the love of cooking: the idea and vitality of it, the invention and sustainability of it, and the day-to-day enrichment of it. All combine as convictions he affectionately shares with regulars and first-timers who dine at his remarkable restaurant, Fahrenheit the first open-air rooftop restaurant and bar in Uptown Charlotte, and also in Cleveland’s historic Tremont neighborhood.

Rocco does not stand still.  Which is why, today, with Fahrenheit home to a packed house every day of the week, he has emerged as one of the best chefs in Charlotte, in Cleveland and in the Midwest. His restaurants and recipes have been featured nationwide. He is also a sought after television personality and culinary guest on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and numerous local TV news programs.

Early in his culinary career, Rocco held positions with Wolfgang Puck at Spago, Obachin, Granita and Chinois. As the Fahrenheit Restaurants have grown, he also expanded his brand with Rosie & Rocco’s; Rocco’s at the Q at Quicken Loans Arena; Great Lakes Cheesesteaks  and Rosie & Rocco’s both at FirstEnergy Stadium; All Access Café at the Cleveland Rock Hall of Fame; and traveling near and far in his food truck, ShortRib1.

Rex Carpenter, AIA, LEED AP  |  IRG Realty Advisors

Prior to joining IRGRA in April of this year, Rex was a partner in a global architecture firm focused on mixed use environments. Past experience in the hospitality sector includes the University of Texas AT&T Hotel and Conference Center and a duel brand hotel in Denver’s downtown. He is currently working on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Hotel and Mixed Use development, repurposing of an existing office building into a mid-market hotel  and a Boutique Hotel and destination Spa focused on a connection to nature.

Sam McNulty  |  Market Garden Brewery

Register for Event  

Event Location

City Club
850 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 2166210082
When: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

What our sponsors are saying...

“SMPS has been a tremendous resource to our company [CBLH]. It has reshaped the way we conduct marketing. All of their programs, seminars, articles and conferences have given us the ability to educate our marketing staff on the changing tactics and strategies facing our industry. Lastly, we have built relationships through all the networking opportunities SMPS offers. It only made sense to support our chapter through sponsorship as they have supported us”.

John Rach, AIA, Director of Marketing
CBLH Design, Inc.

“We are proud once again to support the local SMPS Northeast Ohio Chapter as renewing Annual Sponsor, and have been actively engaged with the SMPS NEO Chapter for over 5 years now. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the SMPS NEO family, as it has brought us closer together with the local A/E/C community and has created new partnerships with fellow SMPS'ers.”

PCS Annual Sponsor

"My membership with SMPS was gifted to me while working at Karpinski Engineering and while I was hesitant to get involved in the operations of the board, I can’t imagine life without SMPS and my fellow committee members. Volunteering has afforded me not only great professional relationships, but great friendships as well. I truly believe our board members are the best around and some of the hardest working individuals I know. In short, I joined SMPS for the educational resources and have stayed for the relationships and interaction with fellow contemporaries and the fun."

Vanessa Aron

"As someone who was new to the industry, I was inspired by the NEO board members and all the hard work and dedication they put in to provide this region with an organization that is educational, entertaining and that puts you face to face with some of the most significant people throughout the A/E/C industry. As Membership & Social Media Chair, if I can give back to others half of what SMPSNEO has given to me; my job will have been a success."

Dave Eyssen
Precision Environmental Co.

"I discovered SMPS while looking at a Properties Magazine (no plug intended) and had a discussion with the owner of my firm, Scott Maloney. He encouraged me to get involved but stressed to really be engaged and take a role in the organization to really get something out of your membership. He was right! It was easy to engage with such a great group of people but really getting involved, being a part of the organization and not just an attendee has really opened up doors and introductions that would not have been possible. Coming from outside of the A/E/C industry prior to working at K2M, SMPS really helped me to understand and grasp this dynamic industry."

Stephanie C.
K2M Design

“The Mentor/Protégé program provided me a third-party resource to help me clarify and realize some of my career goals. By working with a mentor, I was able to identify those areas where I could improve my marketing skills, but also helped me see where my strengths were of benefit to my organization. I highly recommend this one-on-one program!”

Tamara Zupancic
Tec Inc.