Who we are

Trifecta Management Group® (TMG) provides innovative concepts, comprehensive management services and value added solutions/systems to the restaurant and retail entertainment industries. The founders and managing partners of TMG, Ron Lam, Bruce Nussbaum and Michael Auger, comprised the executive management team and the strategic, operational and development nucleus at GameWorks, the acclaimed restaurant and interactive entertainment concept founded by Steven Spielberg, Universal Studios and Sega.

TMG was built around two simple, yet focused, ideas:

  • to create, deliver and manage compelling, customized restaurant and entertainment concepts tailored to the specific needs of the marketplace
  • to maximize profitability for shareholders of retail concerns focusing on product enhancement, sales, management and operating efficiencies

Trifecta has forged a strong strategic partnership with Food Network Chef Aarón Sánchez, which has resulted in menu development projects for House of Blues and Zocalo Mexican Grill and Tequileria. In addition, Chef Sánchez and TMG have developed Mestizo™, located in Leawood, Kansas, which is poised for a national rollout.

TMG’s management also includes seasoned executives known for their respective expertise in the industry including Jill Mather (partner/training), Pat Hart (Operations), Bridget Smith (Marketing & Sales), Michael Long (Consulting and Projects), Brad Rishmany (Culinary Director), Adam Kleinhenz (Operations), Jimmy Hayward (Projects), Bennie Thomas (Group Sales) and Grace McMahon (Marketing).

The management team has broad and deep experience operating restaurants and entertainment businesses (including theme parks) domestically and internationally, with expertise in all aspects of strategic planning, concept development, project management, training and ongoing operations for all types of restaurant and entertainment destinations.

Known for creating some of the restaurant industry’s most dynamic concepts and brands, this team is also recognized for delivering superior operational performance and execution, and for structuring “win-win” deals with developers and other partners. TMG works closely with partners to develop unique concepts in formats from 1,000 to 100,000 square feet, providing a compelling anchor to multi-faceted projects or free-standing destinations.

TMG has quickly become recognized for its custom concepts, including The Corner Alley®, 4th Street Bar & Grill, KDB® (Kitchen, Den, Bar), Zocalo Mexican Grill and Tequileria™, Pizzeria Villagio™, Mic & Moe’s™, Mestizo™ (by Aarón Sánchez) and Uptown Alley®. TMG acquired and reinvented Flannery’s Pub™, a neighborhood Irish pub and restaurant that is now a cherished downtown Cleveland landmark. It also owns Cowboy Food and Drink™ in Bainbridge, Ohio.

TMG manages venues located in Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, California, Kansas, Arizona and Virginia.

TMG offers a full array of consulting services to the restaurant, retail and entertainment industries. Led by Jill Mather, TMG offers Trifecta Learning Solutions™, a training/development system.

As a founding member of Trifecta Management Group, Ron Lam’s primary responsibilities include strategy, concept development, brand management, marketing / group sales and general management.

Ron is a seasoned entertainment/restaurant professional, who led the GameWorks strategic direction as CEO/President. With over 20 years of industry experience, Ron has been credited with developing innovative retail entertainment concepts, successful restaurant and bar brands and marketing/entertainment programs – all with an eye towards creating exciting, captivating entertainment and dining destinations that appeal to a broad and diverse audience.

Lam joined GameWorks as its COO and CFO in 1999, and was promoted to CEO/President in 2001. During his tenure with GameWorks, Lam spearheaded the company’s turnaround/growth plan, which resulted in a financially healthy entity (with a fixed cost reduction of over 30%) and ultimately in the proactive sale of the company in a competitive auction. During Ron’s GameWorks tenure, the company expanded globally with four new domestic openings and three international franchise agreements.  In addition, Lam created numerous marketing/sales and entertainment programs which increase same store sales each year as CEO.

Prior to that, Ron served as Senior Vice President and CFO of Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk, a critically acclaimed “one of a kind” retail/entertainment destination, and was part of the executive team responsible for the opening of the Waterworld, Jurassic Park the Ride and Terminator 2-3D attractions, as well as the expansion of CityWalk.

As a senior executive of MCA Inc. (Universal Studios) from 1989 to 1995, Lam headed up the Corporate Planning function where he was responsible for business planning activities company-wide for the $6 billion entertainment conglomerate and was involved in numerous business development efforts in film, television, music, recreation, publishing and retail.   His participation in over 150 strategy and business development meetings with Hollywood’s legendary duo of Lew Wasserman and Sid Sheinberg provided a foundation for his business acumen and consumer-focused approach.

Lam also worked for Price Waterhouse Management Consulting as a senior consultant, working on projects in strategic planning, reengineering, reorganizations, distribution planning and other executive management services. Since 1999, Lam has served on the Board of Directors of CentroMart Inc.

Ron holds a Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento, and an MBA with honors from the University of Southern California. He is married with two children.

 

As a founding member of Trifecta Management Group, Bruce Nussbaum’s primary responsibilities include business development, real estate, human resources and legal activities.

Prior to Trifecta, Bruce served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel of GameWorks. Nussbaum was instrumental in the formation of GameWorks as principle outside counsel for Sega Enterprises on the extremely complex transaction, and formally joined the start-up company shortly after its inception in 1996.

As head of GameWorks corporate development, Bruce led the company’s efforts in establishing and negotiating significant strategic transactions, such as domestic expansion, international ventures, sponsorship arrangements and strategic partnerships. In his capacity as general counsel, Bruce’s responsibilities included handling and/or overseeing all legal and contract matters including real estate, landlord/tenant relationships, employment, intellectual property, bankruptcy, risk management and investor relations. He also supervised the company’s human resources functions.

Nussbaum devised and implemented the creative structuring of joint ventures and management arrangements that enabled GameWorks to continue to expand even during capital-constrained periods. These deals proved beneficial both to the company and to its developer partners. In addition, he was chief architect of the company’s strategy that resulted in the significantly improved lease economics that in turn enabled the sale of the company in a competitive auction.

Prior to joining GameWorks, Nussbaum practiced law for more than eight years with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, a leading New York-based firm, having spent time in its New York headquarters as well as in its Tokyo, Japan office. His practice was concentrated in the areas of corporate and securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private equity and debt offerings, joint ventures and international transactions. He also counseled the owners of a professional sports franchise.

Bruce was born in New York, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. Economics degree in business management from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce and a B.A. degree in natural science from the College of Arts and Sciences. He obtained his J.D., graduating cum laude, from The Harvard Law School. Bruce is married with three children, residing in Studio City, California.

As a founding member of Trifecta Management Group, Michael Auger’s primary responsibilities include personnel management, operations, product development, training and technical and project management.

Michael, a seasoned restaurant and entertainment industry professional, brings tremendous hands-on operational experience and conceptual development knowledge to Trifecta Management Group. In his stint as GameWorks Executive VP of Operations, he spearheaded the development of the JAX Grill, Arena Sports Bar and Hopscotch Lounge concepts, as well as a companywide overhaul of the restaurant, bar and gaming programs and concepts.

In his 8-year career with GameWorks, Mike led the operations group as it opened and operated 16 GameWorks flagship units, 7 GameWorks Studio units and 4 international licensed units, with complete operating responsibility and oversight for a total of more than 250 management personnel and 3,000 employees. During this tenure, he was responsible for managing all aspects of the field P&L, the creation of all operating systems, crewmember and management training programs (including innovative ‘Gen X/Y’ DVD training materials), international franchise operations, game/technical operations and food and beverage program development for all domestic and international locations.

Before joining GameWorks, Auger gained valuable experience from eight years of operations management with the Paragon and Famous Restaurant Groups, operators of multi-themed restaurants in the United States. During his time with Paragon Restaurants, he was part of an executive team responsible for the acquisition and reorganization of a 60-unit restaurant chain, Garcia’s of Scottsdale. This reorganization included the development and national expansion of a new restaurant concept – Quila’s Fresh Mexican Cantina.

Auger credits his ability to lead people effectively to his solid cultural training received when working at Paragon, one of the first national restaurant chains to implement an employee ’empowerment’ program and an innovator in personnel development.

Mike holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management from California Lutheran University. He is married with four children, residing in Thousand Oaks, California.

As a founding member of Trifecta Management Group, Jill Mather’s primary responsibilities include management of the Trifecta Learning Solutions consulting division, training, management development, product development rollout, design and implementation of training programs and support of operations.

Jill, a senior restaurant and entertainment industry training and development professional, brings innovative and creative learning programs to Trifecta Management Group. She was previously the GameWorks Vice President of Training and Development where she created the crewmember and management training and career development programs.

In her 8-year career with GameWorks, Jill led the training department in creating and implementing the new venue opening and crewmember training which was implemented in the successful opening of every GameWorks flagship, both domestic and international, and the GameWorks Studios. Jill developed an innovative generationally sensitive DVD based training program that streamlined the learning and made it more effective for crewmembers. Jill also developed various career development programs to promote succession planning and internal management promotions.

Before joining GameWorks, Jill gained valuable experience from her four years as Director of Training with Famous Restaurant Group, operators of multi-themed restaurants in the United States. She also created a more innovative and effective management training program for Tony Roma’s as Director of Management Training. Her effective communication and presentation skills were honed by serving as Executive Trainer for Decker Communications, renowned for video feedback training in communications for executives. Her operational background was obtained through various restaurant positions: Manager for Farrells Ice Cream Parlor Restaurants General Manager at Lawry’s Restaurant concepts; General Manager at Victoria Station Restaurants and Director of Operations with a Tony Roma’s franchise group.

She credits her ability to be creative and innovative with learning and development to her passion and dedication for helping people be better at what they do, both professionally and personally. She has a fascination and in-depth understanding of the generational differences in today’s workforce which guides her learning programs.

Jill graduated from California State University at Northridge with dual majors in Psychology and English, and holds numerous certifications directly related to the restaurant training field. She resides in Chatsworth, California.

Pat Hart is the Chief Operating Officer with Trifecta Management Group overseeing all operational aspects and day-to-day operations. He is also involved in food and beverage research and development and new unit openings.

Prior to joining Trifecta, Pat Hart started with GameWorks in January of 1997 as one of the opening managers of GameWorks Seattle and subsequently directed the opening of World Sports Grille and all the domestic and international GameWorks locations.

As Vice President of Food & Beverage, he was responsible for all aspects of the restaurant and bar operations including bar and restaurant design, food and drink menu development, national food and liquor distributor negotiations and relationships, national contract pricing and quality control. He also worked extensively with the field management in day-to-day operations and training.

He was instrumental in developing the new restaurant and bar concepts for Jax Grill, Arena Sports Bar and Grill and World Sports Grille and was responsible for converting chosen locations into the new concepts, ensuring continuity in the menu, food, drinks, uniforms and aesthetics and design of each property.

As the company continued to extend the franchise into other countries, spearheaded research and development for ambitious international growth and worked with franchisees to develop food and drink menus tailored to regional flavor profiles and assist in all international opening operations.

Because of his success, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all operational aspects of the business, including food and beverage, training and development, technical operations, group sales and games and attractions. Hart’s intuitive knowledge of the business was instrumental in the evolutionary development of GameWorks and Sega Entertainment from its prototype to a world-class entertainment destination.

Prior to joining GameWorks, Hart spent the early part of his career as a Manager and General Manager in the restaurant industry with companies such as Marie Callender’s and Famous Restaurants.

Bridget Smith is the Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales for Trifecta Management Group, overseeing the advertising, marketing and sales efforts for the company’s entertainment venues.  Supervising a team of individuals throughout the US, Smith is integral in the development of advertising, marketing and sales programs for the company’s group and individual client sales efforts.  Additionally, she is an active member of the launch team for several of the company’s locations.

Prior to working with Trifecta Management Group, Smith was the Chief Operating Officer for Fresh Produce Sportswear, an independently owned and operated retail operation of three women’s clothing stores in Southern California.  In addition to running the operations for the three stores, she worked as the general contractor on the build out of a new flagship location in the Metlox Center.

Additionally, Smith was Vice President of Sales and Marketing, at GameWorks playing a key role in the sales and marketing efforts of the company. She managed a team of fourteen Sales and Marketing professionals around the country. Smith also acted as the official liaison for the company’s successful Ford Racing partnership, which included vehicle giveaways at GameWorks locations throughout the US.

Before joining GameWorks, Smith managed client accounts in commercial advertising for the automotive industry with L.A. Prep Inc. Smith drove revenue opportunities in her role as an account director from the development of initial concepts through final billing and production. Smith also acted as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Romer Inc., where she managed a national sales force, negotiated contracts with Fortune 500 companies, implemented key strategic partnerships, and developed broad ongoing marketing campaigns.

Smith received her B.A. from the University of San Diego, and an M.S. from National University.

Beginning his work history as a bus boy and last serving as a Senior Vice President of International Operations for a multi-national food service and entertainment company—GameWorks, Mike Long has worked in virtually every position the restaurant business has to offer and brings significant management and operational expertise to TMG.

Starting at GameWorks inception in 1996 as Director of Operations, Mike designed, developed, and implemented operational systems including, but not limited to: management job titles and responsibilities; crewmember job titles and responsibilities; operational procedures; operational systems; menus; service style and procedures; training and development programs; quality control and inspection systems; cost control systems; reward and recognition programs; budgeting and financial planning; compensation programs; and administrative systems.

Beginning in March of 1997, Mike directed and managed the rollout of 12 GameWorks flagship locations, with aggregate annual sales of $75 million and was promoted to VP of Operations. In 1999, Mike turned his fulltime attention to develop international franchising as Senior Vice President of International Operations.

Prior to GameWorks, Mike spent his entire career advancing in the restaurant business, gaining valuable management experience in new-unit openings, concept development and implementation, repositioning of concepts, workout groups, and a merger and acquisition. Over his career, Mike has been intimately involved with many different concepts: The Old Spaghetti Factory, The Boat House; Monterey Whaling Company; Rusty Pelican; Hungry Hunter; Mountain Jacks; Carlos Murphy’s; Quila’s; Garcia’s; and Casa Lupita.

In 2002, Mike relocated to Denver in order to be near his family and to participate in the creation of 33 and a third Inc. 33 and a third, which owns and operates two critically acclaimed upscale casual restaurants in Colorado. Most recently, Mike published his first novel; a wilderness thriller entitled Saint Lucy of the Cowboys.

Bradley Rishmany is the Culinary Director for Trifecta Management Group, overseeing all food and beverage activities for the multi-concept restaurant and retail entertainment development and management firm.

Prior to joining Trifecta, by age 18, Bradley was already a managing partner of a small cafe. He soon realized that he would need formal training and enrolled in the Johnson County Community College Culinary Arts Program, a nationally accredited culinary program. He spent the next five years finishing his apprenticeship and working at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel-Kansas City alongside some of the finest chefs in the city. In 1995 he had the pleasure of cooking for President Clinton.

In the 18 years since completing his apprenticeship, Bradley has been fortunate enough to operate some of the most successful restaurants in and around Kansas City, St. Louis and Memphis. Prior to joining TMG, he opened his own culinary consulting business resulting in valuable client relations, bar and restaurant design, food and drink menu development, purchasing, contract pricing and quality control.

Since joining TMG, Bradley has been featured in Kansas City Biz Journal, 913 Magazine, Spaces K.C., InkKc and has cooked his way onto television promoting TMG venues. He has cooked at the Super Bowl, Telluride Food and Wine Festival, James Beard Awards, The White House in July 2012 and has personally trained with renowned Latino Chef Aarón Sánchez.

Adam Kleinhenz is the Vice President of Regional Operations for Trifecta Management Group (TMG), providing regional oversight of operations for our current venues as well as all of the opening aspects for multi-concept restaurant and retail entertainment venues.

Adam joined  TMG in August of 2006 to assist with the opening of The Corner Alley, and has become a vital member of our team since then.  Adam has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, holding positions as General Manager for Rock Bottom Brewery (Seattle, WA) and J. Alexander’s (multiple locations) as well as various management positions nationwide with GameWorks.  During his tenure with Trifecta, Adam oversaw operations at The Corner Alley (Cleveland, OH), Aloma Bowling Centers (Orlando, FL) and Zocalo Mexican Grill & Tequileria (Cleveland, OH), and consulted on Jewel City Bowl (Glendale, CA) and Stars & Strikes (Wyoming, MN) as well as the Latitude Global locations.

Adam graduated from Mercyhurst College with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He is currently married and has a daughter.

Jimmy Hayward is the Project Manager for Trifecta Management Group, overseeing all opening aspects for the multi-concept restaurant and retail entertainment development and management firm.

Most recently, Mr. Hayward served as the primary liaison for the newly-opened Revolution and Cine Bowl & Grille concepts in Bethlehem, PA and Delray Beach, FL, respectively. He personally trained the kitchen staff on the execution of the food standards. He also trained the management staff on the day to day operations and oversaw the training and development of the staff in both locations.

Jimmy started in the business as a 15 year old dishwasher. Before he left that first concept 10 years later, he was the General Manager. He moved onto Applebee’s and became General Manager after his first year. He also became the training coordinator in the Columbus, OH market, training all kitchen Managers, General Managers and key employees for all new promotional menu roll outs. He then moved on to GameWorks and became involved in all aspects of the venue up to and including the entertainment side of the business. He also helped open numerous GameWorks locations domestically and internationally in the kitchen. Jimmy has been with TMG since the beginning. He has opened/operated several of the different concepts in the Trifecta Management Group family.

Brent Newman is the Regional Director of Operations for Trifecta Management Group (TMG), contributing to the development and operations of our current venues and team members in a variety of concepts including retail and family entertainment centers as well as single-concept restaurants.

Brent joined TMG in 2010 as General Manager of KDB (Columbus, OH) and has since gone on to assist with new venue openings nationwide, contribute to the ongoing development of team members across TMG venues and offer direct operational involvement for various projects for TMG overall. Brent’s background includes over 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, with high level positions held with Specialty Restaurants Corporation (Cleveland, OH), and General Manager positions with Buca di Beppo (Columbus, OH) and KDB (Columbus, OH). Brent is currently the General Manager for Uptown Alley Surprise (Surprise, AZ) as well as serving as TMG Regional Director of Operations.

Brent attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and currently lives in Goodyear, AZ with his family, including his two young children.

Pat has been in the hospitality and entertainment industries his entire 26 year career. Prior to joining the Trifecta team in 2015, Pat was Director of Operations of GameWorks, a family entertainment center where he was responsible for sales growth and financial development of 7 locations across the nation. He also was a Director of Operations for 5 locations of a popular steak house in the California and Washington markets. Pat’s specialty includes increasing the financial posture of operations, developing cost controls and analyzing cost-effectiveness of programs. His expertise also includes video game purchasing, game room layout and food and beverage execution.

Bennie Thomas, Director of Sales for Trifecta Management Group, has over 10 years in executive level sales and marketing in the entertainment industry. It has been demonstrated that he is the “go to guy” to make things happen and achieve positive results. Additionally he has created an extensive network with many top leaders of banking, advertising, motion pictures, automotive and many Fortune 500 companies due to his tenure and active involvement in the Los Angeles market.

Thomas began his career with GameWorks originally inspired by the genius of Steven Speilberg, Dreamworks and Universal in 1997. Being hired as an entry level employee joining a team of 250 employees, Thomas very quickly was the highest producer among his peers and was promoted to Event Coordinator in 1998. This was a very extensive feat as Thomas was brand new to the fast paced world of Group Sales and Corporate Marketing. Thomas had a very unique selling ability and was able to increase revenues and hit his aggressive sales goals and was quickly promoted to Sales Manager in 1999, making him the youngest Sales Manager at GameWorks Ontario. In 2001, Thomas was promoted to Director of Sales and was recognized as one of the few Directors to produce 4 consecutive years of positive sales results.

In 2001, with the major acquisition of SEGA Entertainment and GameWorks, Thomas was promoted to Sales Manager at GameWorks Long Beach, the flagship location producing over 7 million dollars in annualized sales. Thomas adapted quickly and helped Long Beach reach new heights by exceeding corporate sales goals and becoming a training store.

In 2007, Thomas was promoted to Director of Sales and corporate trainer. He initiated and launched the first “E-Card Program”, accredited for selling bulk game cards to clients on a national level. Currently Thomas is at KDB Long Beach responsible for corporate event sales including local marketing and provides national and training support to multiple concepts under the Trifecta umbrella.

Thomas has two Associate Degrees in Business Administration and Liberal Arts and Sciences from Chaffey College in 2001 and also many Event and Hospitality accreditations.

Sarah Vigil is the Marketing & Operation Manager for Trifecta Management Group in which she supports both the Marketing and Operations teams assisting with a variety of tasks from advertising to budgeting and beyond. As a relatively recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz, Ms.Vigil exemplifies the ability to work as a team player and appreciates the results achieved from doing so. She strives to bring the same collaborative attitude and attributes to TMG, which will lead to great innovation and success.

Sarah has most recently joined our corporate team, beginning her career first at our Oakland, California venue, plank. As plank’s Sales and Marketing Coordinator, she had a proven track record of successfully coordinating over 400 group events. Ms. Vigil was also responsible for marketing coordination of some very successful campaigns including our VIP event, Summer Programming, Charity Events and Social Media efforts. Her exceptional ability to manage various ongoing projects and coordinate high level events has made her a great fit to be apart of TMG’s corporate team.

Partnerships

Design Development Company is a full service design firm specializing in creative and cost effective food service, restaurant and kitchen design. Established in 1983 by Ron Lieberman, the firm offers clients a comprehensive package of services, from concept to completion, including the design expertise of Design Director, David Lieberman who helps his clients visualize the dynamic creative results necessary for a memorable and enjoyable customer experience. TMG is proud to partner with Design Development Company to create entertainment and restaurant spaces that are unique and captivating.

» For more information, please visit their website at www.designdevelopment-group.com.

Brunswick owns and operates family-friendly entertainment centers, offering the very best in bowling, billiards, arcade games and more. Designed to meet the entertainment needs of families, friends, groups and businesses, Brunswick centers offer everything from birthday parties, to group events, to a place to celebrate a special occasion or hold a serious league competition.

» For more information, please visit their website at www.brunbowl.com.

TerreMark Partners is a retail real estate services firm specializing in maximizing the potential and identifying the highest and best use of real estate with an innovative approach. TMG and TerreMark Partners have collaborated and plan to continue to work together on a variety of real estate development projects.

» For more information, please visit their website at www.terremarkpartners.com