Hospitality and Tourism

Waukesha County Technical College
Culinary Management, 2008
Owner and Chef, Krimmer’s Restaurant

Wes Krimmer wanted to open up a restaurant since age 13. When he turned 14, he took his first step toward that dream, getting a job at McDonald’s, and he has been a fixture in the restaurant industry ever since...
Paul Sletten, Blackhawk Tech College graduate

Blackhawk Technical College
Culinary Arts
Owner/Chef, Abreo, Social Urban Bar & Restaurant, PK Diner

Paul Sletten discovered his passion for cooking in high school and followed it through Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) to owning two fine dining restaurants and a diner in Rockford, Illinois. He started out as a busboy, progressed to short order...
Alison Huber, Madison College alumni

Madison Area Technical College
Meeting and Event Management, 2006
Sales Manager, Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau

As a single mother with two part-time jobs, life was a grind for Alison Huber. A friend suggested she would like the Meeting and Event Planning program at Madison College and it could lead to a good career. “My bosses...
Karli Franske, FVTC alumni

Fox Valley Technical College
Culinary Arts, Hotel and Restaurant Management, 2010
Owner and Pastry Chef, Cake and Cookie LLC

After one semester as a science major at a university, Karli Franske knew she had made a mistake. “I was creative, but I didn’t want to be an artist,” she recalled. “My grandmother and mother baked a lot and I...
Mike Balistrieri, FVTC alumni

Fox Valley Technical College
Culinary Arts, 2005
Former Executive Chef, Culinary Instructor

Mike Balistrieri followed his father’s footsteps into the kitchen. By the time he was in eighth grade, Mike knew he wanted to become a chef. Fox Valley Technical College was an easy choice since it was close by and his...
Leah Fogle, FVTC Alumni

Fox Valley Technical College
Culinary Arts, 2011
General Manager/Executive Chef, The Appleton Beer Factory

When Leah Fogle’s husband suggested they open a brewery she thought it was a pipe dream. She also thought cooking wasn’t a legitimate career skill. The dream came true when The Appleton Beer Factory opened its doors in 2013 with...
Alison Weller, Madison College graduate

Madison Area Technical College
Meeting and Event Management, 2004
Event Services Manager, Association of Equipment Manufacturers

After enrolling in a state university, Angela Weller changed majors three times. She had an idea of what she wanted to do, but didn’t know which program matched her goal. “I had done some event planning as a volunteer,” she...
Molly Maciejewski

Moraine Park Technical College
Culinary Arts, 2008
Executive Chef, Cafe Manager, Madison Sourdough

Molly Maciejewski was already on her way to earning a bachelor’s degree in English when she discovered her true career passion—cooking. She completed that degree and then enrolled in Moraine Park Technical College’s Culinary Arts program. Molly started working in...
Judy Shakelford-Alberts, MATC-Madison grad

Madison Area Technical College
Hotel and Restaurant Management, 1983
Director of Sales Hilton Garden Inn

Not sure what she wanted to do, Judy enrolled in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Madison Area Technical College. While earning an associate degree, she found her passion for marketing and joined DECA, a student club that prepares emerging leaders...
Mark Biesack, FVTC grad

Fox Valley Technical College
Culinary Arts, 2008
Chef, Lawrence University

Mark discovered his passion for cooking in seventh grade and got a job with a local caterer during high school. Although he was accepted to a prestigious culinary school, a health issue prevented Mark from completing that program. Back home...
Joel Bernhard, MPTC grad

Moraine Park Technical College
Culinary Arts, 1999
Owner, Confections for Any Occasion

When Joel was four, he lost his eyesight due to a tumor on his optic nerve. However, he never lost sight of his dream of becoming a chocolatier. Joel became interested in candy making while taking an advanced baking class...
Justin Aprahamian, WCTC grad

Waukesha County Technical College
Culinary Management, 2002
Chef de Cuisine, Sanford Restaurant

Justin Aprahamian entered the culinary world at the age of 12 helping out with his uncle’s catering company. In his teens he worked his way up from dishwasher to garde (refrigeration) manager at Steven Wade’s Café. Justin began his formal...
Anna Anderson, FVTC graduate

Fox Valley Technical College
Hotel and Restaurant Management, 2001
Senior Sales Manager - Association Market, Radisson Paper Valley Hotel

Anna was displaced in her job in the paper industry when she began taking classes at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC). After discussing her strengths and interests, college advisors suggested she enroll in a Hospitality and Tourism related program. "By...