Founder and CEO
Partner, Vice President of Development & F.M.
Senior Vice President of Operations
vice president of Business Development
PARTNER, DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE
creative project manager
human resources director
partner, Chief counsel
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS,
East Hampton Sandwich Co.
Vice President of Operations
Vice President of Culinary
Founder and CEO
Bio: Hunter is the Founder and CEO of Vandelay Hospitality Group and serves as its current Chairman of the Board. Hunter founded the business in 2012 at the age of 24 with the launching of the first concept in East Hampton Sandwich Company. Named to the Forbes 30 under 30, along with numerous other accolades, Hunter continues to focus on leading the company into multiple different verticles within the hospitality space. Outside of company business, Hunter’s interests include his involvement in church, YPO Dallas, golf, NBA basketball, and his growing family.
Education: Texas Tech University, B.A.
Bio: Kyle is a founding partner of Vandelay Hospitality Group. Growing up in the restaurant industry, Kyle has had a passion for the business for a significant part of his life. He followed that passion with his pursuit and receipt of a Restaurant Hotel & Institutional Management degree at Texas Tech University. After graduation, Kyle joined the Chili's Brand Strategy team at Brinker International. Presented with the opportunity to join the Vandelay team as a partner in 2014, Kyle left Brinker and has been overseeing marketing for the Vandelay brands ever since. Outside of work, Kyle enjoys traveling, attending concerts, and spending time with his nieces. Kyle is an avid supporter of St. Jude Children's Hospital and serves on the St Jude Evening Under The Stars underwriting committee.
Education: Texas Tech University, B.S.
Partner, VP, Development & F.M.
Bio: Wes Freeman is a Partner and Vice President of Development & F.M. for Vandelay Hospitality Group. Originally from South Carolina, Wes attended Auburn University and majored in Finance. While assisting in the explosive growth of the fast-casual brand, Zoe's Kitchen, from 8 to 55 units, he made his way to Dallas, Texas. Seeking to continue his education in the hospitality space, Wes took a position with NCR to grow its hospitality software sales division. While visiting customers one day, he found his way to the original East Hampton Sandwich Company location and knew he had to get on the Vandelay team as soon as possible. Wes enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.
Education: Auburn University, B.A.
PARTNER, DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE
Bio: Matt is a Partner and the Director of Real Estate for Vandelay Hospitality Group. Matt had worked in all aspects of commercial real estate project leasing, buy, sell, development and tenant representation. Matt really found his passion for the business working with restauranteurs, and helping them achieve their specific goals. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, golf, tennis, relaxing at the beach, and snow skiing. Matt was raised in Texas and is the holder of a Texas Real Estate Commission’s salesperson license and a member of ICSC.
Education: College of Charleston, B.A.
Vice President of Business Development
Lauren is Vice President of Business Development for Vandelay Hospitality Group. Lauren spent nine years in New York, leading business development in her role as Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Special Events for the world’s leading auction house, Christie’s. Lauren lead the Americas team in creating luxury brand partnerships, cultivating new and existing business, and ultimately driving revenue for the Kering brand. She was responsible for all food and beverage, catering and site rentals for Christie's US flagship location at 20 Rockefeller Plaza. Escaping the cold, Lauren moved to the West Coast, where she built sales, marketing, and operational infrastructures for start-up luxury brands including The Private Suite at LAX, Accor Hotel Group's onefinestay brand, and a Silicon Valley platform that was later acquired by Expedia. When not working or traveling, Lauren enjoys being in Texas with family and spending time with her rescue dog, Scoobs.
Education: University of South Carolina, B.A.
SENIOR VP, OPERATIONS
Bio: Jon Peck serves as Senior Vice President of Operations at Vandelay Hospitality Group. Jon started his career in the restaurant business in 2006 after serving four successful years in the United States Marine Corps, including two tours overseas. After leaving the Marine Corps, Jon enrolled in school for Restaurant Management, and began working for Darden Restaurants’ growth brand, Seasons 52. Over his eight year career with Seasons 52 he saw the brand grow from 5 restaurants to 45 restaurants, all the while working his way up from Server to Managing Partner. In 2014, Jon joined Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group as opening General Manager of their Woodlands, TX location. He was promoted 2 years later in 2016 to Regional Director of Operations, whereby he oversaw 6 restaurants across two states. Jon is an avid reader and is passionate about leadership development, he has been recognized multiple times throughout his career for increasing employee performance and engagement. When not at work, Jon enjoys watching baseball, running, and spending time with his wife and three daughters.
creative project manager
Bio: Lauren serves as the Creative Project Manager at Vandelay Hospitality Group. Lauren discovered a passion for painting during her time at Southern Methodist University, where she earned a degree in Engineering and Creative Computation. Upon graduation, Lauren served as a creative professional for Siemens Smart Infrastructure, designing interfaces and branding for various clients. With her creative engineering background, Lauren blends smart, functional design with timeless composition. As an artist, her elegant freehand adds a polished flare to branding elements of Vandelay. In her free time, Lauren enjoys painting in her studio, giving her cat too many treats and exploring Dallas.
Education: Southern Methodist University, B.A.
Human Resources Director
Bio: Aubri serves as Human Resources Director and Corporate Administration for Vandelay Hospitality Group. She brings a culture-centric background and passion for employee and customer satisfaction. Aubri's numerous honors include several achievement awards for her project work, creation of company mission, vision and value statements, book publishing, managing international conference events, and creating a company culture. Aubri enjoys live music, traveling, cooking, and riding roller coasters with her kids.
Partner, chief counsel
Bio: Chris McNeill of Block, Garden & McNeill, is an experienced mergers and acquisitions specialist, along with securities and blue sky law, financial transactions, and corporate governance. He serves as VHG Chief Counsel in all legal matters. He previously worked as an Associate with Fish & Richardson P.C. in the Corporate and Securities group (2003-2007) and as an Associate with Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. in the Corporate, Securities and Transactions Department (2001-2003).
Education: The University of Mississippi, B.A. summa cum laude; Harvard Law School J.D. 2001; Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy
Bio: Kathryn serves as the Marketing Manager for Vandelay Hospitality Group. She began her marketing career in the Dallas technology start-up world, helping to create a mobile app based around large events and conventions. Discovering a passion for events and bringing people together, she went on to work in events for Boka Restaurant Group in Chicago. There, Kathryn solidified her love for the hospitality industry—realizing that it is truly magical to create and be ringside to some of the greatest moments in people’s lives. When she’s not dining out, Kathryn enjoys traveling, live music, running, and spending time with her golden retriever, Waffles.
Education: University of North Texas, B.B.A.
Bio: Steven serves as the Director of Operations for Vandelay Hospitality Group. He studied Culinary Arts at Texas State Technical Institute while working as a saucier for ClubCorp’s Brazos Club in Waco, Tx. Steven has previously served as a Director of Operations for Applebees, Starbucks, and Potbelly Sandwich companies. In these experiences, he engulfed himself in the development of operational standards. Next, Steven returned to ClubCorp as the Director of Operations for the Baylor Club located in McLane Stadium. Hospitality has always been the center of Steven’s life; he learned the values of hard work and determination at a young age by working in his family’s restaurant. Steven looks forward to continuing the development of people and creating new concepts with the VHG team. During his time away from work, Steven enjoys gardening, tailgating with friends, and hiking through national parks with his wife and two daughters.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, East Hampton Sandwich Co.
Bio: James Douglas serves as Vice President of Culinary at Vandelay Hospitality Group. James is a native Texan who has resided in Miami, Atlanta, Southern California, East Hampton, New Orleans, and Houston, he credits his culinary range to the great many teachers who welcomed him into their kitchens. His culinary repertoire flourished during his 22-year career with Hillstone Restaurant Group. James completed workshops at The Culinary Institute of America Grey Stone with HRG in 1999-2001, and he extended his skills to all outlets of the organization. After serving as a General Manager, James went on to lead the Culinary Program for many locations nationwide. James has been recognized throughout his career for his strong leadership, high standards, and undying commitment to excellence. When not at work, James enjoys spending time with his two daughters, marathon racing, and pampering his two dogs.
VICE PRESIDENT OF CULINARY
Bio: Jeff Lee serves as Vice President of Operations at Vandelay Hospitality Group. Jeff’s food and beverage career began at age thirteen, where he worked in the kitchen at acclaimed Aunt Rose’s Italian Restaurant, in Key West, Florida. Jeff joined Hillstone Restaurant Group in 2002. Over the next fifteen years, Jeff worked his way from a junior management position, to various senior leadership positions, including Executive Chef, playing a key role in restaurant design in construction for multiple locations throughout the US. Next, Jeff joined Dream Hotel Group as Vice President of Food & Beverage and Development. During his four years at Dream, Jeff was tasked with growing the F&B internally across 18 existing lifestyle hotels, and the development of an additional 25 projects worldwide. Jeff enjoys mountain biking, and spending time with his wife and four daughters
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS