Our Team is Our Family!
Todd Snopkowski, a pioneer in the food industry, has been leading the charge on workforce development, community building, sustainability and hunger alleviation for more than three decades. All of these personal priorities are present in every project that he’s involved with – most notably, Snapchef, which he founded in 2001 – and the 501c3 Snapchef Foundation, which he founded together with his wife Daniela in 2015.
The genesis of Snapchef was formed during Todd’s tenure as NE Regional Chef at the food service conglomerate Aramark, when we routinely had trouble finding qualified kitchen staff who had the right training and attitude. He was also profoundly influenced by his experience as Chef for The Olympic Village in Atlanta, 1996 – at which he led a team of 72 cooks which fed 15,000 athletes daily for two weeks. Through these experiences, Todd learned that creating win-win environments with a commitment to community would be the key ingredients for any successful enterprise.
Todd foresaw not just a solution to the acute shortage of trained temporary kitchen staff across the food service industry. He saw the opportunity to change lives – and change communities. Snapchef was not to be just an employment agency. Snapchef would be a holistic organization with a mission – dedicated to positive social impact by celebrating food as art and personal expression, sustenance, workforce development and community building.
Todd’s commitment to developing people – and supporting communities – has helped Snapchef grow to more than 1,400 employees. His unique “earn and learn” Fast Track culinary training method to get people started in the business has become a pioneering model of industry-sponsored workforce development.
Through his efforts, Snapchef increasingly collaborates with all levels of government and organizations to explore new ways to serve community members. Snapchef has received numerous awards for community entrepreneurship and continues to have a profound effect on the lives of its staff through job training and creation.
Todd holds a graduate certificate in Small Business Entrepreneurship from Boston University. In 2015, he was the recipient of the 2015 SBA Small Business Person of the Year Award for Massachusetts, as well as an Entrepreneurship Award with Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2016, Todd received the Interise Good Citizens Award for the positive impact that Snapchef has had in the communities in which it operates, and in 2017 he received the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Education Foundation Leadership Award.
As a company CFO and co-founder Daniela Snopkowski has been with Snapchef from the start, and is the driving force behind the company’s financial management and human resources functions. Daniela has managed the company’s financial growth and has developed from scratch the administrative procedures that Snapchef operates on today. Her unique approach to real time solutions and creative talents have taken her to create a state-of-the-art internal database that have optimized the day to day operations of the company and proven to be seamless for both staff and clients.
The secret of her success? Daniela is a hands on manager that is focused on perfecting the company’s systems for maximum efficiency. She began cultivating her business and entrepreneurial skills as a child. “I started working at my family’s business in Brazil at a very young age and was lucky to have my parents as role models not only in my personal life but also in the business aspect”, she says. By her teenage years she was versed in all areas of the business and ready for her next challenge.
After moving to the United States she joined the food service behemoth Aramark and Campus as a Catering Manager before earning her degree in Business Administration. Throughout the years she has attained the skills and knowledge she has today by her own efforts and ambition along with various business and management classes that have helped her lead Snapchef to new horizons.
When asked what she likes most about being part of building Snapchef, she says: “Making sure people have chances and opportunities to grow, and to go as far as they can go. That’s what makes this all so worthwhile.”
Hi – my name is Ed Christian, and I’ve been with Snapchef since 2007. My favorite thing about working at Snapchef is helping to operate a successful business that also helps community folks find work and more.”
Ed earned his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and post graduate degree in business from Harvard University. At the age of 25 he opened the award winning Papillion Gourmet Cafe in Brookline, MA. After that he served as general manager for Wyndham Hotels, Radisson Hotels and Director of Retail Operations for The Boston Convention and Expo Center.
Through his career Ed became increasingly dedicated to the concept of staff training as the key to team excellence. Certified to teach a handful of courses including ServSafe, Ed has helped develop Snapchef’s reputation for well-trained employees and as a training resource for our clients.
“Want to break into the culinary field? There’s lots of opportunity. You have to work with an eye to make it count by learning the trade,” he says. “To build a career, you have work your ass off. But if you love the business, you’ll love what you’re doing.”
George remains more than understated about his global culinary footprint and his contributions to culinary education – and would rather talk about his efforts to help young culinarians succeed. While he probably would never mention much about his accomplishments, we’re all too happy to do so.
George is a Certified ACF Culinary Judge and a Certified Lead ACE Certification Evaluator. He’s taken Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at the ACF Boston Food Show; numerous 1st and 2nd Prize Ribbons from the New York Food Show; and – most impressive of all – Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the IKA International Culinary Olympics in Germany. To “top it off,” George is also a member of the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque.
George holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University, where he was Associate Professor at the university’s College of Culinary Arts for more than 30 years, and actively involved with curriculum development. He was named 2004 Educator of the Year by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and was named the Federation’s National Chef of the Year in 1995.
Prior to joining JWU, George was owner and executive chef at G.A. O’Palenick Catering in Western NY. Currently, he is serving as Northeast Regional Vice President of the American Culinary Federation and has been an active member of the ACF Board of Directors for the last four years.
“As a culinary educator, one always looks for that ‘window of opportunity’ to pass your knowledge onto those who’ll follow,” says George. “Snapchef” has given me the perfect opportunity help others grow.”
“Well . . . I’ve had quite a ride before arriving at Snapchef,” says Ken with a grin. “Let’s see . . . after completing culinary school at Johnson & Wales, I’ve worked as a chef aboard La Costa Resort’s private yacht, as a personal chef on Steve Wynn’s Golden Nugget corporate jets, and as executive chef and manager for private dining services at Palmer & Dodge Law Firm in Boston.”
Ken also has great experience in education. He served as Chef Instructor for the Boston Private Industry Council’s culinary internship program with Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. He is also a Food Accelerator Advisor and an Aquaponics Changemaker Fellowship Mentor for Social Enterprise Greenhouse in Providence, Rhode Island.
On the front-of-the-house side, Ken’s culinary business development initiatives include collaboration with entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers and social support partnerships to maximize community participation, health and wellness education and business venture success.
“My philosophy is to strengthen one’s impact through meaningful partnerships and a connection with the community. There’s no greater satisfaction than being part of organizations that do well and do good,” says Ken. “My advice to those interested in a culinary career? Be open to varied experiences and business environments and don’t let your perceptions define your opinion of food service operations.”
Andrew joins the Snapchef team after years of working in radio and politics. He started his career out as a reporter for News/Talk 630 AM & 99.7 FM WPRO in Providence, Rhode Island where he covered a wide range of stories from sports to politics to even craft beers. Following his time in radio, he went to join the staff of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and then worked as a Press Secretary for Cranston Mayor Allan Fung’s Gubernatorial campaign.
Andrew attended Rhode Island College in Providence where he studied Mass Media Communications and was a part of the college’s radio and tv stations, the college newspaper, and the Student Government.
A native New Englander, Andrew is a fan of the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Revolution. He also enjoys running obstacle course races and rewarding himself with a craft beer once he finishes.
Carl also had his culinary “Ah-Ha” moment young in life. ““When I was young, visiting my uncle in Florida, he gave me some cash and told me to buy whatever food I wanted and to create him a meal he’d never forget,” says Carl. “I made him chicken parmesan. When he took the first bite, that was the moment I realized I wanted to have a career in hospitality.”
With his calling decided, Carl started as a cook at his uncle’s Italian restaurant. His passion for food led to his enrollment in culinary school. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an Associate degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management. His studies there opened his eyes to the wide and varied world of professional food services.
Carl joined Snapchef and immediately earned his place as a trusted manager. His wide range of cooking experiences and knowledge made him very understanding of clients and employees alike – a perfect fit for Snapchef. Carl has an uncanny ability to evaluate an employee’s abilities and potential, as well as look at any food operation and understand its needs.
“My favorite thing about working at Snapchef is the ability to work with such a diverse group of professionals who have such a wide range of goals.”
Cherise has been with Snapchef since 2011, and is responsible for maintaining office operations, procedures and payroll – which is no easy task considering how fast the company is growing!
With her Internet research abilities and strong communication and management skills, Cherise keeps our entire staff in line and on our toes – with her ever-pleasant personality. She’s in contact with our clients providing reliable and professional accounts receivable management services. Cherise has an outstanding work ethic which make her an invaluable asset to the Snapchef team. Cherise received a bachelor’s degree from Worcester State and has over 10 years of customer service experience.
“My favorite thing about working at Snapchef is the family bond we have here,” she says. “It’s a nice feeling coming to work with not only co-workers, but people who are more like family and who care about you on a personal level as well as professional.”
Jennifer graduated from Worcester State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She has nine years of experience in the staffing industry focusing in the professional and clerical fields. Jennifer served as a Regional Manager for seven years, overseeing the daily operations of five offices in the Boston area. After raising her 3 children, Jennifer returned to the workforce in an IT department as a Business Development Coordinator, before joining the Snapchef team in our Holden office.
“I love helping people that are looking for a new career. Helping to teach news skills and then helping someone find a permeant job is really gratifying to me.”
Will has been a valued part of the Snapchef team since 2005, arriving with years of experience in a variety of food service arenas. “I spent most of my teen years in El Salvador – working in the five different kitchens that were part of my family’s amusement park. I then went to culinary school in California before coming to Boston.”
Will helped our growing company in any capacity he could; office management, working at locations and building our client base. In the early days, he was the only one who had extensive pastry experience. The Westin Copley was in need of a pastry chef and Will was quick to raise his hand for the assignment. Little did we know, his offer to help the Westin Copley turned into a seven plus year assignment for him. Snapchef was thrilled to be able to provide Will with this permanent, full-time opportunity.
Will kept in touch with us though, and a close eye on the growing Snapchef organization. He knew in his gut that he’d be back to work for Snapchef in some capacity. To our great pleasure, Will returned as our recruiting director, a critical role for the success of the organization. Will has a natural ability to connect with people and the gift of being a former “Snapchef” to share with his potential new hires. “Beyond helping people with their careers, I also love that I can work mornings and then be a father and a husband at home while working in the culinary industry,” says Will.
James has been in the SnapChef organization for 3 years. He started as a regular employee and driver. He has held various positions within the management structure of SnapChef.James came to SnapChef after being the Kitchen Manager at The SpeedWell tavern in Plymouth, Ma for 3 years. He had food creations that were highlighted on The Phantom Gourmet television program and received awards in South Shore magazine for food excellence.James spent approx 15 years in a Corporate setting with most of that time in Financial Accounting. He also has experience in Office Management, HR and Logistics.James is a Veteran of The United States Army.
Keith comes to the Snapchef team after a working in a variety of fields over his career. From working at a Rent-a-Center to video stores, Keith has gained a vast amount of knowledge from each of his positions.
He first joined Snapchef as a dishwasher. While learning skills in the kitchen, he also took an interest in learning the day to day operations of Snapchef. He was always ready to help when he could and would drive Snapchefs all over to help them get to their jobsites. He worked his way up to Recruitment Manager as well as Community Outreach Manager to help forge strong relationships with the community and help bring in more chefs.
In his spare time, Keith enjoys watching and discussing sports with his friends and family as well as watch a good movie.
A Boston native, Steven Payne joins the Snapchef team after years of experience in the Culinary Field. He has been working in full-production kitchens since he was a teenager and has always had a curiosity for the ins and outs of the kitchen. By 18, Steven was the Head Baker and Assistant Manager at Dunkin’ Brands Corporation.
Shortly thereafter, Steven left the bakery position to pursue other dreams, but missed the hustle and bustle of the restaurant industry. He enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Le Cordon Bleu College. While in school, he started working at Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger and Michael Schlow’s Alta Strada, where he continued to excel both in the classroom and kitchen.
After graduation, Steven worked as a Sous Chef with the Cirque Du Solei (Kurios) traveling circus under renowned Brazilian Executive Chef, Paola Muller. During his time, he helped prepare ethnic cuisines for each meal of the day, seven days a week with exceptional options for a variety of diets. After working there for more than a year, he was offered to travel overseas with the performers, but choose to stay stateside to raise his family.
After Cirque De Solei, Steven worked at the Adria banquet facility in Bridgewater, MA and helped a few restaurant chains open new locations in the area. After hearing about Snapchef through family members, Steven was excited to join the team as our Boston office’s Culinary Training and Operations Manager.
Luis has had a passion for the culinary since he was a child. Growing up with a mother as a chef, she would always take the time out of her day to show him different ways to cook and helped develop his passion. Getting his start as a dishwasher at 16, Luis worked his way up through the kitchen learning skills and becoming a talented cook.
After working in the kitchen he was given an opportunity to become part of a management team at The Tilted Kilt. There he was able to learn more skills and grow professionally in different aspects of the restaurant industry.
Always looking to learn more, Luis joins the Snapchef team as a Culinary Training Manager. In his free time Luis enjoys going out with the family and creating new memories that will last a lifetime. He also likes to take time and work on cars.
Before joining the Snapchef team, Michelle was the Program Manager for the number 1 international personal and business development company in the United States for 7 years.
After impacting and making a huge difference in the lives of others, Michelle decided to spread her wings and plant herself here at Snapchef to make an impact in this new chapter of her life.
Prior to her career in personal development, Michelle was a paralegal for 20 plus years while raising her son Nick.
Being the one who coordinates everything in her family and in her world, family means everything to her. With 6 siblings herself, she recently took the new title of “grandma” to twins, Navi’a and Nikyle who as you can imagine mean the world to her.
With an exiting new future in her personal life and career, Michelle is grateful to work with such an amazing group of people at Snapchef and she is happy to say her experience is being at home.
Christina Duquette comes to Snapchef after five years working as the Operations Coordinator at Smith College. During this time, she managed all the events in the Campus Center as well as the daily operations of the building.
Before this, Christina spent time working in the restaurant industry while she earned her Business Management degree from Roger Williams University. After continuing her education and earning her MBA in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practices from Bay Path University in 2018, Christina was ready for the next step in her career. With her business management background, previous restaurant experience, and her passion for food, she knew Snapchef would be a perfect fit. Christina is excited to join Snapchef and looks forward to contributing her skills and knowledge to this unique company.
When she is not working, she enjoys sports, in particular rugby, cheering on her favorite New England teams, and spending time with family with friends. In addition, she has a passion for travel and seeking out the local culinary treasures whenever she gets the chance!
Amarilis joins the Snapchef team after working 10 years in the logistics industry. Over that time, she oversaw different aspects of the industry and expanded her knowledge.
A Springfield native, Amarilis graduated from Commerce High School and then went on to receive her Associates Degree from Springfield Technical Community College.
When she is not working, she can be found around Springfield volunteering her time to help animals.
Leanna has come to understand the food service world the old fashioned way, growing up working in a family-owned restaurant, in both the front and back of the house. “I always enjoyed busy Friday nights in the kitchen. I loved the smell of sizzling pans and the feeling of a rush,” she says. “This was the first job that led on a career path. Looking back, this was the first four years of my culinary journey!”
Leanna brings her almost life-long experience in the food service industry to her role as Operation Manager of our Worcester office. Deciding to branch out, Leanna first began working in healthcare food services and gained an understanding of professional corporate kitchens. This made her an invaluable Snapchef manager who was able to jump into a range of client kitchen experiences.
As she began to understand Snapchef operations it soon became clear that she was extraordinary. Her ability to relate to fellow Snapchefs and our Snapchef clients – plus her love for cooking, eagerness to learn and commitment to excellence all make her a valuable addition to our management team.
“My advice to those interested in pursuing a culinary career? Be patient and start with something you love,” says Leanna. “If you’re just starting, I recommend buying a Betty Crocker cook book, as it’s a classic for a beginner in need of a quick reference. Or, you can come and learn with us at Snapchef!”
Meagan has always been an ambitious over-achiever. Her love of cooking started early in her life. The moment she realized she wanted to pursue a culinary career was around the age of fourteen. “I was working in a seafood restaurant in an open kitchen as a fry cook,” she explains. “I loved Friday nights there, and for me it never felt tedious. I learned so much and never left work defeated. I was lucky enough to develop a mentor who guided me towards a culinary future.”
Meagan graduated from the culinary program at Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford, MA fourth in her class in 2010. She subsequently received a Christan Herter scholarship to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.
During her time at Johnson & Wales, Meagan worked full time in New London, CT as a Sous Chef at Gaspars on Bank Street. She also made the Dean’s list several times. Upon graduating from Johnson & Wales in 2015 with her bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management, Culinary Capstone, and Arts Literature and Writing, she accepted a Sous Chef position at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center. At the age of 23 she was the youngest chef in the Hotel’s history.
Although Meagan loves cooking and being in the kitchen, her desire to mentor and guide others in their career paths is now being fully realized as an Operations Manager of our Springfield office. “My favorite thing about working at Snpachef is the people,” she continues. “I love meeting new employees and watching them hone their kitchen skills. Being able to assist in other people’s journey s is not only great for Snapchef, it’s personally rewarding as well.”
Matt has always loved the Culinary industry. His interest in cooking began when he was a child playing in the kitchen while his mother baked. He enjoyed the smells and sizzles of the pans on the burners and always liked to sit down with the family at the end of the day. Matt began working in the culinary world later in his life. He launched his career in the cooking industry while working as a carpenter. His boss had a business idea to start up a restaurant and asked if someone as dedicated as Matt would like to step in and help. Matt was unsure of this leap but knew that something good was to come of it.
Matt worked as a line cook and fry cook later only on weekends and found that the two days spent behind the line enticed him more than building any house. He enjoyed the senses that were used and the demand and volume of the line. “I love to make people smile, and food has a way of communicating more than words” Matt states.
Matt decided to utilize what he learned behind the line and make cooking a full-time job. He wanted to first learn how to cook from the best and decided to go to school for Culinary Arts. Matt started his school career at Quinsigamond Community College and majored in Hotel Restaurant Management. He learned the ins and outs of the back of the house and enjoyed learning from others. While Matt was attending school, he was given an opportunity to learn and earn.
Matt began working in Walt Disney World at a Cosmic Rays Starlet Café. He was able to learn about urgency, and speed while understanding and maintaining precision. After completing an internship Matt’s thirst for knowledge grew and he applied to Johnson & Wales.
He was quickly enrolled and maintained a stellar 3.6 GPA while working full time. Matt later received an Associates in Culinary Arts. He was able to land a job working as a chef at a fine dining restaurant in Uxbridge. He worked there for years but knew that there was always going to be room to grow. He thought of the days at Johnson & Wales and missed meat cutting and learning how to butcher. Matt was able to find a job that filled the need to learn at the Worcester Restaurant Group as an Assistant Butcher and worked at The Flying Rhino as a Kitchen Manager. Matt was provided with a hands-on opportunity to learn at Snapchef as a Culinary Instructor.
Like so many in our growing Snapchef family, Mohamed brings a wealth of global cultural experience – and a return to his passion for food after initially pursuing a more traditional career path.
Mohamed graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1995 from Alexandra University, in his home country of Egypt. After moving to the U.S. to pursue his career, he found himself missing his native cuisine and so he started cooking. Once he saw the pleasure he was able to provide to friends with his cooking, he instantly knew what he wanted to do with his life.
That epiphany led to a 22-year career before Mohamed joined our Snapchef family. After an extended corporate food service career with Sodexo EMC, Mohamed branched into the restaurant business to pursue his love of Italian cuisine. After working his way through the kitchen and into management at a family-owned Italian restaurant, he eventually purchased two Italian restaurants from the family and ran these for several years.
It was the busy, fast pace that gave Mohamed the drive to accomplish his early career goals. Today, his focus is more on teaching and coaching others to realize their career dreams in the food service industry, which aligns his career goals perfectly with those of Snapchef.
With a degree in Business Management and a passion for all things food, Arwen comes to us with over 10 years of managerial experience. Growing up in an Italian kitchen, she learned how to cook and appreciate all the details from a very early age. Her passion for her employees is unmatched and will help in guiding and leading the Providence location. Her favorite quotes regarding leadership come from Richard Branson, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business. It’s as simple as that,” and “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Caylin joins the team as she finishes her Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management at Johnson & Wales University. When she was little, she would join her mom, grandmother, sisters to bake holiday cookies together in matching Christmas aprons. She always loved food and began baking for her friends in middle school. This passion led her to begin exploring more and she eventually decided to pursue culinary not just baking.
Originally from Florida, Caylin moved to Rhode Island to attend school. She gotten a wide range of experiences in the culinary field while working in deli’s, pizza shops and at RISD.
There is nothing like Snapchef in Florida, so when she found this company she was excited to see what she could learn from everyone. Getting the best of both worlds, Caylin loves being able to cook while learning the management side of the industry
Jahnelle-lee is originally from Jamaica. She came to the United State to receive a better education. While in high school, she attended BOCES CTECH in Goshen, NY for Culinary Pro-start. That is where she learned the techniques and skills needed to work in a kitchen. She recently moved to Providence to continue her education. Snapchef was one of the first jobs she land being a line cook. After being with us for several months, she went away twice to New York where she continued to learn and worked in various culinary positions before coming back to Providence and joining the Snapchef team.
Jahnelle-lee obtained her Certificate in Culinary Pro-start. She attended Sullivan County Community College where she graded with an Associate’s degree in the Pastry Arts. She then attended Johnson & Wales University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Baking & Pastry and Food Service Management.
When she is not working /studying, you can find her working out at the gym. If not there,she enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, cooking or baking, doing hair, reading, crocheting, or simply playing video games.