|Alumni Association Board|
DJ Amborski '02, Liberal Arts
Dana holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in International Studies and Japanese in addition to her Associate's degree in Culinary Arts from Kendall College.
Dana chose to attend culinary school because of her love for food and culture, which evolved from a hobby into a passion after she lived in Japan during her junior year of college. Kendall was an extremely challenging and rewarding time in Dana's life. She spent a grueling six months at Takashi Restaurant learning classical French techniques with a Japanese twist. After Dana graduated, she worked as the Lead Cook at The Meatloaf Bakery and as a Supervisor and Associate Team Leader at Whole Foods Market.
Last year, Dana decided to pursue a different path in International Higher Education. Now she works as the International Enrollment Advisor at Kendall College and is pursuing her M.Ed at Loyola University. Outside of work and school, Dana serves on the communications committee at Chicago Fair Trade and she owns a cute little dog named Otis.
Kimberly Gibson '12, Early Childhood Education
Kimberly is the proud mother of eight wonderful children. While working as a teacher assistant at Chicago Public Schools, Kimberly found that she had a passion for working with young children and desired to become a teacher. Kimberly entered the Early Childhood Education Bachelor's program at Kendall College with a concentration in Special Education with her Type 04 Certification.
During her time at Kendall, she received all A's and became a lifetime member of Alpha Chi. Kimberly received the Kendall College Charitable Trust Scholarship. Kimberly was a member of NAEYC and UNITE which offered her valuable professional development opportunities during her time as a student teacher.
Currently, Kimberly is a Special Education Teacher in a self-contained Early Childhood Special Education classroom in a Chicago Public School. Kimberly is committed to being a lifelong learner and recently received the Gateway to Opportunity scholarship and is attending National Louis University seeking a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Bilingual/ESL endorsement.
During this wonderful experience she discovered the foundational principles of her personal mastery - high and uncompromising academic standards, the trilateral educational relationship, and the concept of the learning team.
Francine is driven by her favorite quote, "I have never met a child that I cannot mold into a citizen”.
Autym Henderson '03, A.A.S Culinary Arts
Autym is a graduate of the Culinary Arts program and attended Kendall when it was located in Evanston, IL. During her time in the program she worked part time as a Student Ambassador in the Admissions Office where she gave tours and answered prospective students’ questions about life as a student at Kendall. After graduation Autym worked in the industry for a while before being offered an advising job at Kendall. This is where she found her passion of working in Higher Education and helping students achieve their academic goals.
Autym currently works as the Graduate Student Administrator at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park and is pursuing an MS in Higher Education. In her personal life she lives on the northside of Chicago with her husband, Paul and their cat, Kitty. They love to travel to various neighborhoods in the city to try new restaurants, check out new bars, and listen to live music.
Heide Hirschtick '06, Personal Chef & Catering and Professional Cookery Certificate
Heide is a lifetime culinary enthusiast who, after spending 20 years in the global financial capital markets advancing her professional career, opted to pursue her avocation. She attended Kendall College, earning dual Certificates in Personal Chef & Catering, and Professional Cookery in 2006. Heide holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, and dual degrees in Finance and Engineering from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania.
Heide is the founder of Chef Domain, a personal grocery shopper service. The focal theme is nutritional efficiency, combining simple and convenient products for active lifestyles. Heide also moonlights with caterers and at charitable events throughout metropolitan Chicago.
She aspires is to be an equity partner in a nutritional, preferably Kosher culinary (ad)venture and be a product specialist/sales representative for a nutritionally efficient item. In the interim, Heide and her daughter, Joi Willow reside near downtown Chicago, and can be found roaming the aisles of local, select grocery stores on weekends, or designing bread creations together when weather keeps them indoors.
Jaime Mestan '07, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management
Born in Illinois, raised in her grandmother's kitchen in Arizona, Jaime Mestan CSC, has been cooking all her life. While attending Kendall College, Jaime worked as a teaching assistant where her duties included managing on campus restaurants and events. After winning first place in The Chef's Of Grey Poupon Competition as well as a $20,000.00 scholarship, she graduated from Kendall with a Bachelors degree in culinary arts and hospitality management.
Jaime worked for Oprah's personal chef, Art Smith, at Table Fifty-Two in Chicago's Gold Coast. Her area of expertise is currently working as Assistant Research Chef at Ed Miniat, Inc. Her responsibilities there include working with national chain accounts and creating new menu items and protein concepts. Chef Mestan obtained her Sous Chef Certification through the American Culinary Federation by demonstrating her skill, knowledge and professionalism in the food service industry.
Jeff Vicik '11, Hospitality Management
Jeff has always been a leader in the classroom and at work, and he truly enjoys interacting with customers. The Hospitality Management program at Kendall College helped Jeff grasp the industry including the complexes of franchises.
Since 2010, Jeff has been the General Manager of the Jimmy John's in Frankfort, IL. The store opened in 2008, but struggled to break the $700k revenue mark. After successfully opening a third location in Orland Park, Jeff relocated to the Frankfort store. In the two years that he has been in Frankfort, sales have increased 40% while food and labor costs have been slashed. In April 2013, Jeff will be handing his store over to a new manager so that he can focus on the success of all four stores as the Regional Operations Manager.
Jamie Walters '12, Hospitality Management