Thursday, October 28, 2010

Interview With Jim Farrell of f'Real

Jim Farrell is the founder and President of f'Real! Foods.

After graduating college in 1979, Farrell founded a company which designed and manufactured insulation systems for commercial greenhouses based on his Master of Engineering design project to reduce greenhouse energy usage by 80+%, receiving a patent for the design of the system in partnership with the Cornell University Technology Transfer Office. This business was successful for a period of time, but ultimately closed when the price of oil dropped to less than half of its late 1970s highs.

Farrell next attended Harvard Business School and received his MBA in 1985. Upon graduation from Harvard, Jim moved to San Francisco to join McKinsey & Company as a senior management consultant specializing in Corporate Strategy with an emphasis on Change Management, which focuses on moving beyond corporate strategy to accomplish successful implementation of the strategy. He later joined Dreyer's-Edy's Grand Ice Cream as General Manager of their FoodService business unit as Dreyer's-Edy's worked to successfully complete their national roll out from their West Coast roots.

While at Dreyer's-Edy's, Jim conceived of the product concept upon which his current company, f'REAL! Foods, is based. Jim founded f'REAL! Foods to pursue a new approach to making frozen blended beverages such as milkshakes, fruit smoothies and frozen cappuccinos. The concept utilizes a f'REAL! patented blender, which blends up frozen drinks right in their serving cups. The serving cups are shipped to retail locations with all of the ingredients for their drinks pre-frozen into the cups.

Jim Farrell graduated from Cornell University with Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Agricultural Engineering. He received his MBA from Harvard.

Here are his clips.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interview with Ted Teng

Ted Teng was appointed president and chief executive officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., in September 2008. In his position, Mr. Teng oversees and directs all aspects of business strategy, operations, and performance growth for the premier luxury hospitality organization. The company, which represents over 450 predominantly independent hotels, provides global sales, marketing and distribution services through an expansive network of worldwide sales and reservations offices. Based at the company's headquarters in New York, Mr. Teng also holds a seat on the board of directors.

Since joining The Leading Hotels of the World, Mr. Teng has developed and begun executing a detailed five-year business plan which focuses on strengthening the brand and driving increased revenue to member hotels. Within the plan, he has also asserted the crucial importance of dedication and adherence to quality, in the firm belief that by elevating the overall level among the collection, all hotels will benefit. Taking as his motto "Preserve, Enhance, and Invent," he seeks to honor and uphold the more than eight-decade-old traditions of the organization, while innovating to achieve greater strength and success in the future.

Immediately before joining the organization, Mr. Teng was the principal and chief executive officer of Prime Opus Partners, LP, a hotel investment and operations firm he founded in 2006. In 2005/2006, he served as executive-in-residence and was actively involved through various volunteer leadership roles at the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University.

Throughout his 30-year career in the hospitality industry, Mr. Teng has been responsible for the growth of some of the most prominent brands in the world. For five years he was president, chief operating officer of Wyndham International, Inc., where he oversaw the core branded hotel products, as well as the company's third-party management operations, comprised of over 200 properties generating USD 2.5 billion in annual revenue.

He also served as president, Asia-Pacific, for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., immediately following the merger of Starwood Lodging, Westin, and Sheraton. He oversaw the integration of that company's branded hotel operations in the region, and was responsible for the operating and financial performance of over 70 hotels and resorts in 17 countries. New projects executed during Mr. Teng's tenure included the St. Regis in Shanghai, the first international W in Sydney, the highest quality Four Points Hotel in Sydney, the Sheraton in Sapporo, and the Westin Kyoto.

Prior to the Starwood merger, Mr. Teng was the president of Asia-Pacific for Westin Hotels, where he was credited with having achieved significant growth in the number of hotels, including the launch of notable new flagships in Sydney, Melbourne, Guam, Kuala Lumpur, Awaji Island, Taipei, and Shanghai. Before coming to Westin, he was with ITT Sheraton, where he served for 14 years in a variety of senior and strategic capacities in operations, finance and development in North America, Hawaii and Asia. Most notably, Mr. Teng successfully negotiated the first ITT Sheraton equity investment in China in a multi-use project that included today's St. Regis Beijing.

Ted Teng is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He has an MBA from the University of Hawaii. Born in Shanghai, China, he grew up in Hong Kong and emigrated to the U.S. at age 13. He became an U.S. citizen at age 18.

Watch the clips!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dan Brown Interview

Dan Brown is the Associate Executive Director at Franziska Racker Centers, Inc.

Video here.