Hospitality Industry and Public Relations Firm Concept Group USA Adds Renowned Professionals to National Team

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Rachel Forrest brings fresh approach to restaurant consulting operations strategies; Fisher and Divine join as counselors to the firm.

Adding further branding and hospitality operations consulting capabilities to its areas of expertise, Concept Group USA ( today announced that Rachel Forrest has joined the firm as Partner. Forrest will operate out of the firm’s New England headquarters. A former San Francisco Bay Area restaurateur and AOL/Netscape executive in California, she brings 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry to the table, including management, service operations, customer relations, marketing, and menu development. She is also a food columnist and restaurant critic in New England.    

“Concept Group USA is a natural fit for my eclectic experiences in restaurants and other industries,” says Forrest. “I’ve spent ten years in Internet companies helping partners like The Gap and Barnes & Noble become more successful in cyberspace. Now I can combine those branding skills with my front and back of the house experiences in restaurants, and with the skills I gained from building out and running my own restaurant. In my role as a restaurant critic, I have the opportunity to help restaurants create better experiences for their guests. Now I can help them before the critic comes-- and help them keep guests coming back again and again.”

Tom Kelley, Managing Partner commented: “In the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out a fresh new concept in operations strategies for the retail hospitality industry. We’re excited to have Rachel on board to lead this part of our many offerings to the industry.”

Concept Group USA is also pleased to announce the "of counsel” affiliation of Bill Fisher and Andy Divine to the firm. "Bill Fisher is one of the most distinguished names in the hospitality industry. Andy Divine's personal and professional commitment to this industry is monumental. The firm and our clients are thrilled and honored to be able to call on Bill’s and Andy’s vast knowledge-base and wisdom," Kelley noted. Prior to his current position as Darden Eminent Scholar in Restaurant Management at the Rosen School of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida, Fisher was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) as well as the chief staff officer of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Divine's career began at UCLA and has led him to posts at Penn State and, currently, at the Daniels Business School of Hotel, Restaurant/Tourism Management at the University of Denver. Throughout it all, Divine has been an exemplary ambassador for the promise of bright careers in foodservice and hospitality.

Concept Group USA is a strategic industry and public relations consulting firm headquartered in New England. The firm specializes in developing brand and operational growth platforms for small businesses, hospitality operators and suppliers, retail operations, and trade groups, both regionally and nationally.

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Tom Kelley
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