Carlos Gomez
Executive Chef
DoubleTree by Hilton, Reading PA

A culinary expert, Carlos with 30 years of experience gained at a variety of upscale restaurants and hotels, as well as a catering and restaurant management corporation. Carlos began his career as a Sous Chef at 'Talbots' restaurant in New Jersey. Since then, he has perfected his skills holding roles from Chef to Executive Chef at major recognized branded hotels throughout New York, the Caribbean, Europe and Southeast Asia, as well as a term as Venues Executive Chef at 'Great Performances' in New York, one of the most successful catering and restaurant management companies. Most recently, Carlos served as executive chef at the Baltimore Waterfront hotel, Valley Forge hotel and convention center, Executive chef at the Hilton Hotel and convention center in Trinidad and Tobago, Executive Sous Chef/Interim Chef at 'Hershey Lodge & Convention Center' in Pennsylvania - the state's largest convention resort with over 100,000 square feet of function space. Preceding this role, he was the first Puerto Rican to be appointed as Executive Chef at the renowned 4-star and 4-diamond 'El San Juan Hotel & Casino', now a Waldorf Astoria Collection hotel, while at Trinidad and Tobago he had a weekly cooking series on WIN TV called what's on the menu with chef Carlos and many other TV appearances on FOX, NBC and CBS. Chef Carlos also volunteers as a culinary instructor at Stratford University where he developed several students into chefs in the culinary industry.

Dan Hoch
Food & Beverage Manager
DoubleTree by Hilton, Reading PA

"Dream Maker" Dan Hoch has been pleasing customers with his brand of hospitality for over 30 years. His work mission is to provide exceptional total guest experience through entertaining high engagement. His life focus is to show, teach and work with others to empower them to their own success in the industry. Dan spent 15 years selling, creating, and managing others to produce over the top events at the nationally recognized off-premise catering company of the year, Feastivities Events in Philadelphia. With a passion to share his experiences with others, Dan has been a guest lecturer for numerous hospitality programs including Widener and Temple Universities and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. For 10 years he lectured on sales, event production and industry trends at the Catersource Conference, the largest gathering of caterers in the world. But Dan's achievements the past five years as the Food and Beverage Manager at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Reading, Pennsylvania are what has given him the most satisfaction. His servant leadership style has motivated his staff, many deemed marginalized and "second chancers", to understand and deliver great hospitality. They are empowered to be selfless, team-oriented and trusted to be independent of management making their DoubleTree number one in all of North America. His personal key to success - "Keep them laughing and everything will be just fine."

Thursday, October 8, 2020
12:30 - 1:30 pm Leadership in a Food Service Operation - Executive Chef Carlos Gomez and Dan Hoch, Doubletree by Hilton
1:30 -1:45 pm Break
1:45 - 2:45 pm Firestorm Session - YOU set the agenda! Bring your questions or submit them ahead of time to We'll talk about the topics you need to hear! - Dr. Ryan Argot, West Shore SD, Randi Mongiello, Upper Moreland Twp. SD, Bobbi Billman, Central York SD
2:45 - 3:00 pm Break
3:00 - 4:30 pm Updates from PDE - Vonda Cooke, Deb Morrow, Jen Jarrett and Dianne Dabulis, PA Department of Education
Thursday, November 12, 2020
12:30 - 1:30 pm Schools Best Practices in Food Service Spotlight
Virtual School Lunch Program - Dr. Ryan Argot, West Shore SD
Hybrid School Lunch Program - Randi Mongiello, Upper Moreland Twp. SD
Full In-person School Lunch Program - Kelly R. Price, Donegal SD
Bus Delivery - TBD
1:30 - 1:45 pm Break
1:45 - 2:45 pm USDA Updates and Preparing for a Department of Agriculture Inspection - Melissa Patterson, Melissa Harris, & Caryn Long Earl, PA Department of Agriculture, Erin Robinson, Coatesville Area SD, Angela DeSarro, Pittsburgh Public Schools
2:45 - 3:00 pm Break
3:00 - 3:45 pm Current Events in School Food Service - Nicole Melia, Great Valley SD, Shawn Harlacher, Cumberland Valley SD, Jenelle Himmelreich, Eastern Lebanon Co. SD, Curtistine Walker, Pittsburgh Public Schools
3:45 - 4:00 pm Break
4:00 - 5:00 pm Updates from PDE - Vonda Cooke, Deb Morrow, Jen Jarrett and Dianne Dabulis, PA Department of Education