Meet Our Team

  • James Richards
    General Manager

    James grew up in Maine where he learned valuable lessons about cooking and family time around the dinner table was a sacred time for gathering and enjoying bountiful, local food cooked from scratch. While attending the University of Southern Maine, he worked in several local seafood restaurants doing many jobs required of small, local restaurants and also spent time leading white water rafting groups.
    James is a life long foodie who travels the country in search of a great meal and other unique outdoor experiences. He owned and operated Silver Street Tavern in Waterville, Maine before beginning a career managing food service operations of larger corporate accounts. With an interest in gardening, cooking from scratch, responsible sustainability practices, James joined Bon Appétit at Cornell College recently and enjoys getting to know the Cornell community.

  • David Smigo
    Executive Chef

    David Smigo joined Bon Appetit at Cornell College after 25 years of experience in the dining industry. He began working for a small restaurant and catering company in the suburbs of Chicago, doing pretty much every possible job there including remodeling, maintaining a warehouse, then later delving into the culinary side. After graduating from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, he opened a brew pub in Rock Island, and later became involved in marketing for the craft brewing industry in the 1990’s. Several years later he returned to Augustana College to oversee catering operations and grew into the role of executive chef. David finds himself at home with Bon Appetit’s principles of creating fresh, flavorful foods using local whole ingredients, and enjoys using these products in all cuisines including a special fondness for international cuisines, and particularly vegan creations.


  • Ivy Risch
    Retail Board Manager

    Ivy spent 18 years of her childhood in Indonesia and Malaysia and came to appreciate the diversity of Southeast Asian cuisine. She describes Malaysia as a melting pot of Chinese, Indian and Malay cuisine and has fond memories of weekend visits to local food stalls eating many of her favorite local foods. Many of her classmates came from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, and Indonesia, so she grew up learning the nuances and differences of the different cuisines and cultures of the region. That passion for food continued throughout her 30 years in the hospitality industry. She attended University of Illinois to complete a degree in Hospitality Management and later attended culinary school to receive degrees in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts. Ivy has been involved for most of her career in catering with a short stint working in a corporate test kitchen in Chicago, as well as teaching cake decorating at a local community college. Ivy relocated to Iowa a few years ago and while working for Bon Appetit, has enjoyed the relationships established with farmers.

  • Jen Howell
    Catering Manager

    Jennifer Howell joined Bon Appétit Management Company with ten years of experience in the food and beverage industry. She began like many of us, serving tables and tending bar part-time for a restaurant management company in Cedar Falls, Iowa while completing a degree in Health and Leisure Services at the University of Northern Iowa. Jennifer’s talent for detail and friendly customer service led her to senior event coordinator for the event services division before leaving for her current position. In Jennifer’s own words, “My belief in fresh food and love for event services makes this an incredibly exciting start to my career with Bon Appétit.”


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  • Austina Smith
    Executive Sous Chef

    Austina Smith is originally from Sierra-Leone in West Africa and lives in Cedar Rapids Iowa with her husband and two boys. Austina is a graduate of the culinary program at Kirkwood Community College and has worked at Crowne Plaza Hotel and cafes in Cedar Rapids. Austina believes that wholesome food can be used to create memories and is passionate about making those memories positive. Her hobbies are going for walks with family, traveling and reading.

  • Shane Olinger
    Sous Chef

    For Shane it all started at a young age while helping in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother who were really good cooks. By age 12, Shane was helping cook family dinners at home and continued learning family recipes and techniques through the years. Shane attended a few different colleges and training programs before enrolling in the Hospitality and Culinary program at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. His extensive work experience includes cooking and managing operations for hospitals, casual dining, and restaurants. Shane enjoys the friendly, motivated, dedicated people he gets to work with each day and feels good about working for Bon Appetit. He feels that the partnerships built among the people of Bon Appetit and Cornell College help create an overall impact on the well-being of students, staff, and faculty.


  • Allen Norton
    Retail Supervisor

    Allen’s interest in hospitality began as a child helping his mother who managed an assisted living home. He was intrigued with how she assisted others and landed his first management position at age 18. Allen has worked in restaurants, and as a student worker for Bon Appetit at Cornell College. His responsible nature and experience has helped promote him to his current position as retail supervisor. Allen is a graduate of Cornell College with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Allen enjoys the Bon Appetit family, loves coming to work each day, trying new things, and feels that interaction with students keeps things interesting.

  • Nic Supercynski
    Retail Supervisor

    With a passion for cooking, Nic started working in kitchens at a young age that, and was quickly promoted to jobs with more responsibility both cooking and managing operations. This lead Nic to pursue a degree in hospitality management from Iowa State University. He has been a member of the Cornell College team for three years, starting here as a lead cook, where he eventually moved to the role of supervising the retail operation. To Nic the most important part of his job is spreading his passion and knowledge to the students of Cornell College.


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  • Peter Todaro

    Need help with a sustainability related initiative or want to know more about Bon Appétit’s national commitments to sourcing and operating as sustainably as possible? Contact Peter, your regional Fellow. Read more about Peter and his interest in food issues here!