Newport Restaurant Group (NRG) today announced the hiring and promotion of 18 employee-owners.

According to NRG, it is the only employee-owned hospitality company in Rhode Island and offers comprehensive benefits, food and beverage discounts, generous time off and career advancement opportunities.

“This is the largest wave of hiring we’ve had in our history, demonstrating the strength of our business, even after two years of pandemic setbacks,” said Kristin Allain, director of human resources at a statement. “It is a true testament to our unique employee ownership model and strong leadership that we have been able to attract and retain talent, despite the labor shortage that goes far beyond of the hospitality industry.”

Here is a list of promotions and new hires. The background of each employee is provided by NRG.

Alia Asher from Westport, MA was promoted to Executive Sous Chef at the Boat House in Tiverton. Prior to her new role, she was a sous chef at 22 Bowen’s in Newport, and had also worked at a local slaughterhouse in Massachusetts, and in numerous restaurant positions in Fort Lauderdale, FL, including line cook, supervisor Chef and Sous Chef at the Riverside Hotel, Sous Chef at the Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grill and Executive Chef at the Boathouse at The Riverside. Alia is originally from Kingston, Jamaica and holds a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Paul Sousa from North Providence, RI was promoted to General Manager of Bar ‘Cino and La Vecina, responsible for the day-to-day operations of nearby restaurants in Newport’s Washington Square. Paul joined NRG in 2014 as Restaurant Manager at Hemenway’s before taking over as Head of Waterman Grille. Prior to joining NRG, he ran Cafe Paragon and Viva on Thayer Street in Providence. Paul holds a degree in business management from Rhode Island College.

Tobey Sanborn, an NRG veteran, has been appointed Director of Training, responsible for achieving strategic goals related to the training and development of all staff members with a focus on succession planning. Prior to joining NRG, Tobey held various positions with Capital Grille and Back Bay Restaurant Group, then served as Managing Director of Hemenway’s prior to its takeover by NRG in 2009. Since then, he has held various positions within NRG including supervision of management training. programs, the acquisition of the Papa Razzi sites in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Waterman Grille and Boat House. Tobey is a former board member of the RI Hospitality Association and has been involved in several fundraising initiatives with the RI Community Food Bank, Save The Bay and Ronald McDonald House in Providence.

Celia Darragh from Johnston, RI was appointed General Manager of Trio in Narragansett, responsible for managing all restaurant operations. Celia joined NRG in 2017 as Dining Supervisor at the Mooring Seafood Kitchen and Bar and rose through the ranks to Assistant General Manager in February 2021 before being promoted to her new position. Prior to joining NRG, she worked as Assistant Restaurant Manager for the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Newport, overseeing the property’s five food and beverage outlets. Célia holds a associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts and a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management from Southern New Hampshire University.

Gary Morrison from South Grafton, MA has been appointed Regional Manager and is responsible for directing and overseeing the management activities of assigned Business Units (BUs) by partnering with General Managers (GMs) to maximize profits through efficiency, policy and best practices. practice.

Prior to joining NRG in 2012, Gary was General Manager and then Regional Manager for Back Bay Restaurant Group.

Greg Coccio from East Greenwich, RI has been appointed Corporate Executive Chef, responsible for training culinary teams on advanced cooking techniques, quality assurance, implementation and training in regards to new culinary goals and operational support for each restaurant . Chef Coccio has been with NRG since 2010, first as Kitchen Supervisor and more recently as Executive Chef at Avvio in Cranston. Prior to joining NRG, he was Executive Chef for Tavistock Restaurant Group and Executive Sous Chef at CBS Scene.

New employees

Jarrod Carter of Attleboro, MA was appointed head of inventory control. The Johnson & Wales University graduate previously worked as Operations Manager at High Limb Cider and as Systems Manager and Beverage Manager at G Hospitality.

Jason Messier from Pawtucket, RI was appointed Director of Human Resources, responsible for special projects within the Human Resources Department. He attended Rhode Island College and held various human resources positions for Peak Event Services, Russell Morin Catering & Events and Blount Fine Foods.

Jay Nearhoof from Taunton, MA has been appointed Deputy General Manager of the Mooring Restaurant. He attended the University of Rhode Island and was most recently assistant general manager at Splitsville and Howl at the Moon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Previously, he held various positions for five years at the Splitsville and Howl at the Moon locations at Patriot Place in Foxborough, Massachusetts, starting as a bus and working his way up to assistant general manager.

Jeff Tenner from Narragansett, RI was appointed Director of Concept Development, responsible for idea generation and the development and commercial implementation of new concepts and production practices, with an emphasis on balancing current values, trends emerging and new opportunities. Prior to joining NRG, the 25-year hospitality industry veteran served as Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations for Spyce, a Boston-area restaurant startup powered by robotics and technology. ‘automating. He helped lead the organization through its recent acquisition by Sweetgreen.

LAura Schnaible of Marlborough, MA, was named Director of Recruitment. Before joining NRG, she was a teacher and later a human resources representative at the New England Center for Children, where she cared for children and young adults with autism. A native of Indiana, she graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and holds a Master of Science in Education from Simmons University. She is also a Certified Professional with the Society of Human Resource Management.

Lisa Knowles from Middletown, RI was named Show Manager, overseeing sales, marketing and operations for the Newport International Boat Show. Prior to joining NRG, Lisa worked in landscaping, responsible for logistics, graphics, editorial and site operations. She holds a degree in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is a Certified Crowd Manager, and was a board member of the RI Marine Trades Association.

Robin Pearson of Newport was appointed Chief Digital Marketing Officer, responsible for NRG’s digital strategy and presence, as well as its strong customer retention campaigns. Prior to joining NRG, Robin worked in marketing and strategy for Reebok and Samsonite. She graduated from George Washington University.

Steve DeLuca from Pembroke, MA was appointed General Manager of Foodlove Market, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Market and Chef’s Cafe, including strategic direction, finance, inventory management, etc. He holds a Master of Science in Organizational Development and a Master of Business Administration from Bridgewater State University.

Tony Ojih from North Providence, RI was appointed Staff Accountant, responsible for maintaining, reviewing and preparing financial records and assisting in the verification and reconciliation of accounts. Prior to joining NRG, he held various accounting positions at TD Bank, Finish Line, City of Lincoln (RI) and Dunkin’. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Rhode Island College.

Christine Coogan of Milford, MA was appointed General Manager of Papa Razzi Wellesley, responsible for the management of the store and the management team, the hiring and development of new staff and the customer experience. Prior to joining NRG, Christine worked as Assistant General Manager for Barking Crab in Boston’s Seaport district as well as the Back Bay Restaurant Group.

Cindy Vigneau from Coventry, RI was appointed Director of Benefits and Compensation, responsible for overseeing the administration of all benefits and compensation plans, the development of various benefit plans, and the maintenance and changes in the company’s compensation plan. Cindy brings to her new role 30 years of finance and HR experience, across a variety of industries. She holds a degree in Financial Management Principles/Basic Accounting I/Basic Accounting II from the Community College of Rhode Island.

Cori Desmond from Bristol, RI has been appointed as the Inventory and Menu Systems Administrator, responsible for supporting the Inventory and Menu Systems Manager in the creation and maintenance of inventory back-end systems for all NRG business units. Cori holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island.

Still Hiring

Additional positions are currently available at Castle Hill Inn, 22 Bowen’s, The Mooring, Smoke House and Foodlove Market and include a variety of front and back of house positions including managers, servers, hosts, busses, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, banquet staff, valets, baristas and cashiers.

Read More – Newport Restaurant Group to Host Three Hospitality Career Fairs in May

Interested candidates who are unable to attend the summer job fair are encouraged to apply online by visiting:


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