Erik Oberholtzer, Matt Lyman and David Dressler met in 2002 while working at Shutters on The Beach in Santa Monica, California where David was the director of food and beverage and Erik and Matt worked as chefs. Fed up with the corporate work environment, they decided to start their own project and create a restaurant serving farmer’s market fresh food in a casual atmosphere at affordable prices.
Chief Financial Officer
Lina began her career in the restaurant industry working as the Assistant Controller at the original Spago in Hollywood. Meanwhile, she earned a BS in Business Administration at California State University, Northridge. She later served as the Assistant General Manager at Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. In 2004, Lina graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration having earned a Master's degree in Management of Hospitality with a concentration in revenue management. Upon graduation, Lina worked for several years in the hotel industry. First, as an Area Revenue Manager in Silicon Valley for Marriott International and then as an Asset Manager for a real estate private equity investment company located in Marin County. In 2007, Lina joined Vine Solutions, a Bay Area based company that provides financial and consulting services for over 150 restaurants. She then relocated to Los Angeles and served as their Director of Southern California operations before joining Tender Greens as the Director of Finance in 2012. Lina enjoys spending time with her husband and two young boys while fitting in yoga and spinning classes, farmer's markets and travel between play dates and bedtime stories.
Vice President of Real Estate and Development
Brian joins Tender Greens from Starbucks, where he was formerly the Director of Global Store Development. His experience spans more than 30 years in developing and growing high-performing brands in consumer food and restaurant companies.
Director of People Services
Having grown up in Venice Beach, Cynthia is a local girl who loves her hometown. She has been in HR since college and most of that time has been spent in hotels. The St. Regis, Shutters on the Beach (where she met the founders of Tender Greens), and W Hotels are a few of the places she has worked. Cynthia thoroughly enjoys HR and has done everything from creating startup HR offices to assisting transitioning employees due to a business closure. She has always said, "I will continue to do what I do until it's no longer fun." Fortunately that end is nowhere in sight. When not at work, she considers herself a big bookworm. But Cynthia doesn't just like to read about the world, she also has a passion for experiencing it. She travels as much as she can because, in her own words, "The world is a small place and I want to get out there and see it."
Director of PR & Brand Expression
Born and raised in SoCal with a brief stint in Washington, D.C., Christina has worked with Tender Greens managing their PR and social media since 2008 at JS2 Communications and Murphy O’Brien Public Relations. She’s enjoyed working with notable food & beverage brands, restaurants and luxury hotels including See’s Candies, The Counter Custom Built Burgers, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Maggiano’s, Ruby’s Diner, Waldorf Astoria Park City and Patina Restaurant Group to name a few. Christina earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations from University of Southern California (USC) and a Bachelor’s of Arts from George Washington University. In her free time, she’s most likely to be found tending to her vegetable garden, at puppy school with her dog Miles or in search of something delicious and a little unusual.
Regional Operations Manager
A New Jersey native, Ronit began working in restaurants when she was 13 years old. Her passion for restaurants stem from “the high energy, the people, and the idea that you can make people happy through food and great service.” She graduated from Cornell University with a Master of Management in Hospitality and previously worked closely with David Myers at the David Myers Group and at the Hillstone Restaurant Group before joining Tender Greens.
Hailing from New York City, Fermin Arias’ culinary roots stem from his days of working in kitchens during his summer breaks from school. He followed his culinary passions to apprenticeships in several of New York’s top restaurants. He eventually moved to the West Coast where he worked at acclaimed hotels like Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco, the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, where he first met the future owners of Tender Greens. He joined the Tender Greens team as the executive chef of the West Hollywood restaurant before being promoted to regional manager of 'Los Angeles' Westside restaurants.
Pete Balistreri met his mentor-to-be, Chef Erik Oberholtzer, while working at the Union Square's Pan Pacific Hotel. Erik was soon recruited as Executive Chef for Santa Monica’s premier beachfront hotel, Shutters on the Beach and enlisted Pete to work as lead chef for the hotel’s restaurant, One Pico. Pete left One Pico to work at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, the luxurious Five Diamond resort in La Jolla, California. After three years at The Lodge, Pete was contacted by Erik and his partners to work on developing Tender Greens. Pete signed on as an investor in Tender Greens before they opened in their first location in Culver City in 2006. Pete now manages restaurants in the San Diego region. Pete launched his own line of artisan salumi, P. Balistreri Salumi, in fall 2012.
German native, Sean Canavan got his culinary start in Berlin as an apprentice at the famed Michelin starred Bamberger Reiter Restaurant. After completing his apprenticeship, Sean moved to San Francisco where he worked under Chef Roland Passot at the iconic La Folie Restaurant, then later to New York City where he worked at the famous Lespinasse Restaurant. He returned to San Francisco several years later and contributed his culinary expertise to fine dining establishments such as Chapeau Bistro, Kokkari Estiatorio and Roland Passot’s Left Bank Brasserie. He met Erik Oberholtzer while working at the Pan Pacific Hotel in San Francisco. Sean is the regional manager of the San Francisco Bay Area restaurants.
Andrew DeGroot grew up in upstate New York and studied cooking in 3-Star Michelin restaurants in France, Vienna, Austria and Munich. After his culinary training abroad, he went on to work for the best chefs at the time including Chef Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel, Chef Guenter Seger in Atlanta and Wolfgang Puck. Andrew's shares his passion for food and the love of being chef with the Tender Greens team and executive chefs. He is Regional Manager overseeing Los Angeles restaurants.
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