Jeanne & Frank Cretella - Founders

Jeanne & Frank Cretella - Founders

Not only are Jeanne and Frank fully committed to the success of their venues, but also to the communities in which they stand. Their philanthropic efforts spread far and wide, including Landmark’s own corporate giving program H.U.G. (Help Us Give), established in 2001 to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. They are passionate about the future of New Jersey and give generously to programs that benefit the local youth, including the Snowflake Awards and NJ Sail. The pair have been happily married for over 25 years.

Christopher Bruder - Corporate Accounts Manager

Christopher Bruder - Corporate Accounts Manager

From a young age, I always found myself in the kitchen, If I couldn’t sleep I would pull pots out, sit on my kitchen floor and pretend like I was cooking. Little did I know it would turn into a passion I push myself to learn about every day. After Business school, I attended the Culinary Institute of America to hone my skills. Since then I have experimented with flavors trying to push the limit by mixing ingredients you’d never expect. Some combinations work, while others are concoctions I’ve noted to never do again. “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing” – Julia Childs. Education never ends & that’s my favorite part of cooking.

James Graham - Executive Chef

James Graham - Executive Chef

James A. Graham, II has an extended history in the field of culinary. Chef James developed his love and a passion for food at a young age of 12, while shadowing his grandmother in her kitchen. His passion continued in his early twenties when he attended and graduated from The New York Food and Hotel Management in New York.Chef James appeared as a contestant on the Food Network cooking show, “Chopped” in November 2017. James has also been featured on In The C-Suites on Princeton TV. Chef James is also a member of American Culinary Federation(ACF). Chef James is being honored to receive the National Black Chefs Award in May 2018.

Liza Stankowski - Director of Catering

Liza Stankowski - Director of Catering

Liza began her career at just 14 in a New Jersey Country Club as a prep cook. This started the great passion for the food and service industry. Managing Emeril’s Italian Table and planning events for up to 80 guests cultivated her desire to create a train, mentor, and development program for the staff to grow with these events and appreciate the passion that goes into a single plate. She is most proud of booking and planning a James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner working with many JB Award winners and nominees. Liza is more honored than words can say to have the privilege to work side by side with Hotel du Village team and is overjoyed that she gets to help couples plan their special day in a place that holds such a distinguished place in her heart.

Christine Ayers - Executive Chef

Christine Ayers - Executive Chef

Executive Chef Christine graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and forged her reputation as a culinary artist with outstanding mentors in the finest kitchens in Manhattan, including Restaurant Daniel, and in New Jersey at the Ryland Inn and the Farmhouse. She is a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

Kenzi Dignes - Event Stylist

Kenzi Dignes - Event Stylist

Kenzi is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and a minor and concentration in design. With previous roles in restaurant management and sales and marketing, she was excited to begin a career as an Event Stylist in 2018 helping bring clients’ visions to life at The Boathouse at Mercer Lake. In her free time, Kenzi enjoys being in the mountains either skiing or hiking, cooking up new recipes, and spending time with friends and family and her pup Beau!

Francis Hannan - Executive Chef

Francis Hannan - Executive Chef

Chef Fran Hannan is a graduate of The Philadelphia Restaurant School (The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College) and apprenticed at the famous Four Seasons Hotel. Chef jumped on the rock and roll wagon cooking for Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones Steel Wheel Tour, President George Bush, President and Mrs. Clinton and also participated in Philadelphia’s Cook and the Book. He has contributed recipes to several published cook books and donated time and services to charity and live television promotions.After leaving his mark on the Hotel atop the Bellevue and the Penn Tower Hotel, Chef moved across the bridge as the Executive Chef / General Manager of the Garden State Race Track where he introduced his classical training combined with extraordinary presentations. Chef ventured into showcasing his talents through his own venues opening several fine dining and family style restaurants in the area.

Sonya Siso-Lasky - Director of Events

Sonya Siso-Lasky - Director of Events

Sonya has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor's in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. She joined the Landmark team in 2013 and has been with The Boathouse at Mercer Lake since it opened in 2015. As an event stylist, it is very important to her to focus on the success of every event no matter how big or small and ensuring her clients are happy with their event. When she is not at work, she is spending time with her daughter and husband.

Vivian Bifulco - Event Stylist

Vivian Bifulco - Event Stylist

After leaving the world of IT in 2004 to pursue something a little more creative, Vivian made the transition into event planning. She considers her guests an extension of her Liberty House family and feels privileged to help them create their lifelong memories.

Alexandra Argenio - Event Stylist

Alexandra Argenio - Event Stylist

A passion for celebration and attention to detail led Alexandria to a career in event styling. She aims to bring every client’s vision to life and make their experience at Liberty House unforgettable.

Danielle Villa - Banquet Director

Danielle Villa - Banquet Director

Ever since Danielle got her start booking weddings in 1995, she’s been driven by a passion for perfection. Her favorite part of her job is providing her clients with lasting memories while adding exciting twists to the classic elements of their events.

Mara McMullen - Office Manager

Mara McMullen - Office Manager

With a grandmother who opened one of NY’s first Mexican restaurants, Mara was born into the industry. Since she began at Liberty House in 2003, she has worked her way up from Host to Office Manager. Not only does her role allow her the opportunity to meet new people and put her organizational skills to good use, but also provides a sense of excitement since no two days are ever the same.

Jose Peralta - Chef De Cuisine

Jose Peralta - Chef De Cuisine

Inspired by a childhood spent helping in his family’s kitchen, Jose decided to attend culinary school in his native country, the Dominican Republic. Ever since joining Landmark as a Memorymaker in 1996, he has not only opened quite a few of our venues, but has helped give our menus a global perspective.

Kenny Trickilo - Executive Chef

Kenny Trickilo - Executive Chef

With a career spanning back to high school, Chef Trickilo’s love for cooking has taken him across the country. Since his days studying at the Culinary Institute of America, he has perfected his farm-to-table technique, and uses only fresh, seasonal ingredients to formulate his farm-to-table menus.

Isaiah Kelsey - General Manager

Isaiah Kelsey - General Manager

Isaiah embarked on his hospitality journey over 15 years ago working in some of the finest restaurants, hotels, and resorts that included Walt Disney World, Marriott Hotels, and Hillstone Restaurant Group. Alongside his experience, he attended Johnson & Wales University receiving his A.S in Baking & Pastry Arts & B.S. in Food Service Management. Since then, he has diversified his resume working in every facet in the industry inclusive of the kitchen, managing restaurants, his own catering business and even as on-air personality with Food Network & ABC’s The Chew. He brings fourth his expertise, discipline, and passion for hospitality to the Landmark Hospitality Group.

Charles Howlett - Banquet Chef

Charles Howlett - Banquet Chef

Chef Charles Howlett was born and raised in New Jersey. After graduating from Johnson and Wales University, Howlett worked his way through some of New Jersey’s top fine dining restaurants, gaining unmatched experience. In 2017 he joined the Ryland Inn team, growing his love for the farm-to-fork movement. Howlett also enjoys Gastronomy in his personal life, where he studies beer and cider making, charcuterie and cheesemaking.

Crawford Koeniger - Chef De Cuisine

Crawford Koeniger - Chef De Cuisine

After Graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, Crawford Koeniger worked in some of the most prestigious restaurants in New Jersey and New York. The past ten years have been a focus on refined comforts from true farm-to-table concepts. Each restaurant has had their own farm giving Crawford the chance to build and compose with ingredients specific to his art. His passion and attention for food, culture, and people brings a perfect fit to Landmark Hospitality’s venue: The Ryland Inn.

Samantha Lipman - Office Manager/Event Stylist

Samantha Lipman - Office Manager/Event Stylist

Graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management, Samantha has always had a passion for the industry. In her seven years at Landmark, Samantha has held a variety of positions. Her creative hunger and impressive experience have made her a natural fit as one of the Event Stylists at the Ryland Inn. She aims to bring every client’s vision to life and make their experience unforgettable. Expect exceptional guest service from Samantha in her new role.

Michelle Ross - Event Stylist

Michelle Ross - Event Stylist

I have always been passionate for providing exceptional customer service. I majored in Hotel & Restaurant Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I started my career by interning at Walt Disney World. I have over 16 years of management experience from working at numerous properties throughout Marriott, Starwood and the Four Seasons. My true love and passion for weddings began at The Ritz-Carlton where I held the role as a Senior Manager of Special Events. I take great pride in building relationships with my brides and being with them on their special day.

Lara Nestler - Event Stylist

Lara Nestler - Event Stylist

From early on in life, Lara has always been affected by food, travel and culture. Because of this, it was only natural for her to pursue a career within the hospitality industry. She now translates her passion into both serving others and creating unmatched experiences.

Jeff Straub - Sommelier

Jeff Straub - Sommelier

Starting in high school, Jeff's first job was a bus boy at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge, eventually promoted to a server, and then bartender. He then moved on to become the assistant brewmaster at Harvest Moon, in New Brunswick, NJ. While working towards his Culinary Management degree at the Institute of Culinary Education, he returned back to Stone House and has been with Landmark ever since. Jeff is a Certified Sommelier through the Sommelier Society of America, and the in-house Sommelier at the Ryland Inn.

Christopher Albrecht - Executive Chef

Christopher Albrecht - Executive Chef

Since his graduation from the Culinary Institute in 1996, Executive Chef Albrecht has built an impressive resume that boasts both a 12-year run as a Top Chef and a Ted Talk. He is dedicated to farm to table cuisine, which is the foundation for his menu at The Ryland Inn.

Danielle Gomez - General Manager

Danielle Gomez - General Manager

After studying Hospitality Management in college, Danielle has dedicated her career to the industry. She has experience in overseeing events of all sizes and delights in adding refined country elegance to her clients’ biggest life milestones.