Hospitality & Culinary Arts Success Stories


Hospitality & Culinary Arts Success Stories


Josephine Martinez-Rivera

Josephine was enrolled in the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management program while working full time as an office manager in Colorado State University’s Continuing Education office. She was a year away from earning her A.A.S. degree with a goal of becoming an event planner when the job of scheduling coordinator in the CSU Lory Student Center became available. “My education helped me get that job,” Josephine says. In addition to the A.A.S. degree, Josephine earned certificates in Restaurant Operations, Hotel Operations, Hospitality Supervision, and Advanced Culinary Arts. Josephine is part of the team that plans 16,000 events a year, from meetings between two people to major conferences. “I like my job because it’s different every day,” she says. “I enjoy pulling off events successfully.” When she spoke recently to an event planning class, she gave her keys to success: be well organized, have a great relationship with vendors, and be detail oriented. It works 16,000 times a year.


Ian Kaman

Ian is the chef at Solitude Grill, the restaurant at 11,200 feet above sea level on the ski slopes of Copper Mountain. The restaurant serves skiers hungry for crawfish etouffee, jambalaya and gumbo, as well as favorites like burgers, pizza, Asian noodles, and soup. Ian’s climb to the top started as an intern at Bon Appétit, the food service provider for Hewlett-Packard in Fort Collins. After earning his A.A.S. degree, he continued at Bon Appétit before joining Poudre Valley Hospital. He worked the grill and the cash register, was the prep cook for Meals on Wheels and the medical staff, then cook for patient food, and then chef overseeing patient food and the cafeteria. “My food prep classes at FRCC were really insightful,” he says. Last year at Solitude Grill, he was the sous chef, making a reputation for his Cajun-cooking skills, including a dynamite gluten-free jambalaya. “My passion is food,” he says. “When you make good food, people are happy.”