Call Us At: 609.748.2400

Founder|Executive Chairman Message

My commitment to you starts here.

 

Welcome to ICON Hospitality, a company rooted in hard work, integrity, and dedication to excellence. Whether we're serving you a cupcake or managing your construction project, we're committed to offering you superior quality and service at every turn.

 

Plenty has changed since I bought and operated the 30-seat pizzeria that was to become the cornerstone of ICON Hospitality, but the ideas and principles that guided me as I greeted guests in that restaurant remain unchanged:

 

If you'd like to learn more about our company, our portfolio, our history, and our people, feel free to explore this site. Then visit one of our properties, and experience the ICON commitment for yourself.

 

Michael J. Charlton

Founder | Executive Chairman

ICON Hospitality

 

Staff

Justin J. Lucas, President | CEO

As the President and CEO of ICON Hospitality, Justin oversees all of the day-to-day operations of the company. He joined ICON in 1998 and progressed through a variety of positions of increasing responsibility, including Takeout Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, and General Manager. A graduate of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Justin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, majoring in Hospitality Management. His formal education and practical experience at ICON, as well as the knowledge he gained in hospitality management positions in Atlantic City and New York, give him the skills and expertise to lead the staff, manage the facilities, and create outstanding experiences for every guest, every day.

 

Kristin Neafsey, Vice President of Sales

As the Vice President of Sales for Icon Hospitality, Kristin helps boost sales for ICON's properties, works with the sales team to meet goals and objectives, and gathers and implements new marketing ideas to sell The Carriage House. Kristin joined ICON in 2004 as a Customer Service Representative at Gourmet Italian Cuisine. In 2006, she was named Sales and Catering Manager for both Gourmet Italian Cuisine and The Carriage House, a position she held until she assumed her current position in 2010. Kristin's unique combination of education and experience, including a Communications degree from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, an educational program at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and her background in food and beverage sales and service allows her to help guests plan and execute outstanding events.

 

Deena Marie Moran, Marketing Manager

An ICON Hospitality team member since 2011, Deena oversees the marketing, advertising and promotional activities for each of ICON's properties and assists in the development of marketing strategies to meet the organization's objectives. The owner and florist at Driftwood Florist since 2005, she has held the positions of Computer Network Administrator and Computer Technician at BCI (an FAA contractor), and Computer Systems Analyst/Executive Assistant at Raytheon. Her Outstanding Performance Award from Raytheon and numerous Letters of Commendation earned throughout her career are evidence of her commitment to service and excellence. Deena has taken a variety of continuing education courses in subjects ranging from public speaking to computer software and networking, giving her a breadth of knowledge that serves ICON well.

 

Megan McNulty, Director of Event Operations

As the Senior Event Coordinator with ICON Hospitality, Megan ensures that every detail that has been meticulously planned with our Sales team comes to life the day of the event. Megan has been in the food & beverage industry since her 2001 graduation from West Chester University. She began her career in event planning in 2004 at Sand Barrens Golf Club then continued her hospitality training in 2008 with the STARR Hospitality organization within the Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City. During her more than six years at the Chelsea, Megan was promoted from restaurant GM, then Event Planner, and finally Food & Beverage Director where she was responsible for overseeing all events as well as two restaurants and a nightclub. Megan's knowledge, positive attitude, and overall understanding of the industry are what she will bring to every event hosted at the Carriage House or Gourmet.

 

Robert K. Bell III, Corporate Director of Culinary

Robert has studied at some of the finest culinary schools both here and abroad. He began his education at Central Texas College, European Campus, and went on to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he completed his degree. He then received the Ritz-Escoffier Diploma from the Ecole de Gastronomie Francaise at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, France. After a tour of duty as a Food Services Specialist in the U.S. Army, Robert began his civilian career with the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, a Five Diamond, Five Star resort in Orlando, Florida. In 1991, Robert joined the Governors Club of the Palm Beaches, (a Club Corporation of America enterprise), as Executive Sous Chef. He later was promoted to the position of Executive Chef of the Bankers Club (CCA), in Miami, Florida. Remaining with CCA, Robert relocated to Jacksonville’s University Club as the Executive Chef. During his tenure there, the club underwent a two million dollar renovation which included an entirely new kitchen, the design and completion of which were his sole responsibility. His next position was with the world famous Wolfgang Puck in Downtown Disney at W.P.’s Grand Café, Orlando, Florida, where he headed the exhibition kitchen staff and expedited 1500 to 1800 covers a day. As an active member of the American Culinary Federation, he served as the President of his local chapter in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was the Executive Chef of The Memphis Country Club. While a member of the Greater Memphis Chapter, he also served as Certification Chairperson and Membership Chairperson. He was also awarded Chef of the Year 2000 and also received the Chef Professionalism Award in 2002. In 2004, Robert accepted the position of Executive Chef at the Doublegate Country Club in Albany, Georgia. During his tenure there, he developed innovative menus, while maintaining old favorites, thereby increasing membership. In addition, he designed an updated the kitchen and supervised the construction of an outdoor patio kitchen overlooking the golf course and introducing new and popular alfresco cuisine to the membership. In 2007 Robert accepted the position of Executive Chef at North Ranch Country Club in Southern California. However, after a year he decided to return to South Jersey, back to Ocean City where he grew up. That is when he helped open Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro in the heart of Somers Point, Formally Mac’s Restaurant. In 2013 Robert was offered the opportunity to become the Corporate Executive Chef for Icon Hospitality in Galloway overseeing the operations at The Carriage House, Gourmet Italian Cuisine and Luscious and Sweet Gourmet Bakery. This has provided Robert an intimate atmosphere for experimentation in excellence, the opportunity to bond with guests who appreciate the varied menus, the presentation, and the caring contact with The Chef.

 

Kenneth B. Trout CEC, Corporate Executive Chef

Kenneth always enjoyed cooking, and has fond memories of making stew in his mom’s kitchen. His career started at a local restaurant in New Jersey where he worked his way up from bus boy to prep cook. His career took off when he graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a culinary degree. Arriving at Resorts International a year after opening day, in Atlantic City as a young culinarian afforded him the opportunity to gain knowledge and skill in the Brighten Steak House and prestigious La Palais restaurants. As a chef it is a pleasure for Kenneth to be part of the opening of the Trump Plaza and Trump Castle Casinos. His career progressed when he became Executive Sous Chef at the Sands Hotel and Casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. As the Executive Chef of Parx’s Casino and Race Track, Derby days were always exciting. Kenneth took great pride in preparing for a wonderful race day for the crowds, especially the running of Smarty Jones. Throughout this all, he was an active member of the South Jerseys Chef Association, It was an honor for him to serve as the Sergeant at Arms, then Corresponding Secretary, than Treasurer and finally as the Vice President. As Chairman of the Chef and Child program Kenneth was able to give back to the community by educating young students, while providing lunches to many in local shelters. Kenneth also worked closely with the local Food Bank. Working with and learning from great chefs of Atlantic City has afforded Kenneth the opportunity to peruse his dreams. Throughout his career he has had the privilege and honor to become a Certified Executive Chef and be recognized as”Member of The Year” and “Chef of The Year”.

 

Kristina Bannon, Finance Administrator | Executive Assistant to the Chairman

As a key member of the administrative team, Kristina is the Executive Assistant to the Chairman and Finance Administrator at Icon Hospitality. She brings over 6 years of administrative experience to the table with expertise in financial administration and payroll. Kristina’s experience makes her an invaluable asset to Icon Hospitality. Originally from Galloway, NJ, Kristina graduated from Atlantic Cape Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Psychology. Reporting directly to Michael Charlton, the Executive Chairman, Kristina has worked with Icon to develop improved management systems for finance, payroll and Human Resources. While keeping an open channel of communication within and between departments, her efforts have resulted in a clear increase in the efficiency amongst all levels of the company.

 

Heather Dodson, Administrative Coordinator | Office of the President

Originally from Bergen County NJ, Heather began her career in the Hospitality Industry when she worked in the bakery department of her local Shoprite during high school. After working in several restaurants and developing a passion for all things food & drink, she knew immediately it was what she wanted to do and decided to attend Stockton University to pursue a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management studies. During college, she worked at the Water Club at Borgata, Guy Fieri’s Chophouse at Bally’s, and the Office of Event Services and Campus Center Operations at Stockton. Since graduating in 2015, she held an Inventory Management role at Wawa for a year and a half before arriving at her current role of Administrative Coordinator at ICON. Her diverse background of experience and strong work ethic have prepared her well for this new role, which focuses mainly on Accounting and Human Resources. She’s very excited to be part of the ICON family.

 

Brian Hess, Executive Chef

Brian graduated from Temple University. He started out managing pizzerias in Wildwood and Ocean City and then went to Bally’s Grand/A.C. Hilton for 13 plus years. Here Brian worked as cook, then chef in all outlets, including: Production Kitchen, Buffet and High Volume Coffee Shop. Most of his time was spent as a cook and then a chef in the Oaks Steakhouse. Brian spent a short time at Savaradio in Linwood and then Phillips for 10 years as a Kitchen Supervisor, Sous Chef, then Executive Sous Chef. Icon Hospitality then welcomed Brian in September of 2016 as Executive Sous Chef and now he has been promoted to Executive Chef.

 

Solange Gavrilis, General Manager for Gourmet Italian Cuisine

Solange started her career in hospitality in 1998 at Harrah’s Casino where she started as a front desk agent. Due to her performance, a year later she was offered a promotion and was transferred to Player Services as a Player Services Specialist. Player services was a department formed by VIP Check in, Limousine Operations as well as the Diamond Club. This was a buffet style restaurant and lounge for top rated players. At that time, Solange was also attending Atlantic Cape Community College pursing her degree in hospitality in which she made the president’s list in more than one occasion. In 2001 Solange was promoted to Player Services Supervisor overseeing all areas of the department. In 2004 along with her husband, Solange opened a bartending school, certified by The State of NJ Department of Education, where she trained hundreds of bartenders. She then returned to Player Services, but now at Bally’s Casino, overseeing their Diamond Club, serving up to 2,500 guests in one evening. In 2010 Solange left Bally’s to pursue an opportunity with Phillips Seafood Restaurant at the Pier at Caesars as a Restaurant Manager. She was then promoted to Beverage Manager and awarded “Manager of the Year”. Her last promotion was to Assistant General Manager, and the same year she was awarded a second time with the “Manager of the Year Award”. She stayed at Phillips for six years until she was given the opportunity to join Icon Hospitality as the General Manager of Gourmet Italian Cuisine.

 

Tricia McNulty, Sales and Catering Associate for Gourmet Italian Cuisine Restaurant

Tricia has been a part of the hospitality industry for over twelve years. She began her career in the industry as a Banquet Server for Courtyard Marriot in Ewing, New Jersey while majoring in Elementary Education and Psychology at The College of New Jersey. After spending a few years traveling and living abroad in Australia, Tricia settled back in South Jersey and pursued her love of hospitality, focusing on event planning and catering sales. She spent four years at The Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City as their Social Sales Manager before accepting a position with Brulee Catering in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as an Off-Premise Catering Sales Manager, gaining valuable knowledge in the operations aspects of event planning from the ground up. Tricia’s passion for helping guests make each of their special events perfect have made her a great addition to the Icon-Hospitality family.

 

Karen Dalbora, Corporate Pastry Chef

Karen Dalbora has brought decades of expertise to Icon Hospitality. As a two time Gold Medalist in the Culinary Societe Philanthropique, Salon of Culinary Art, Silver Medalist in the Niagara College International Hot Kitchen Competition, and an Atlantic City Host Award nominee, she has earned her reputation as a decorated culinary artist among peers in her field. From her early apprenticeship with the Walt Disney World properties to her award winning presentations in the Atlantic City Patisserie Markets, Karen embraces the industry’s highest standards with her creative expression. Trained locally at the Academy of Culinary Arts, she has continued her specialized education in New York, Maryland and Florida. Her personal creations include custom desserts in high end gourmet rooms throughout the region, exquisite savories and sweets for private tea parties, and plated desserts for high volume banquet events. Karen’s resume also includes heading up the pastry Team for 2 Liberty Awards Dinners at the National Constitution Center, honoring Steven Spielberg and Tony Blair. Annually, she created Tropicana’s custom Gingerbread House Display, and Gingerbread House competition at Seaview Country Club. Also noteworthy were her design and creation of Tropicana’s VIP cakes for guests including Buddy Valestro, celebrity “Cake Boss”.

 

 

Advisory Board

Chairman

Carmen Bannon, Area Director, Special Olympics

 

Alfred Scerni, Esquire, Parker McKay

Charles Wimberg, Vice President, Atlantic City Electric

Rich Petry, Vice President, Glenn Insurance

Andrew D'Arcy, Esquire, D'Arcy Johnson Day

Patrick D'Arcy, Esquire, D'Arcy Johnson Day