Director of Dining Operations
Diane Bobak is an island girl who has brought the spirit of “mahalo”, meaning thanks and gratitude, to the world of hospitality. Raised in Hawaii, Diane got her first taste of the business working as a counter server in a restaurant on her native island. She knew immediately that she’d found her passion and so started her career she’s been immersed in for more than three decades.
Diane headed to the mainland where she first took on with the Lincroft Inn along the Jersey shore. She learned the ropes of the catering business while beginning to establish her strength with customer relations. From there she was offered a position with the Smithville Inn properties which began a relationship among the Executive Staff that saw Diane ascend to the esteemed position of General Manager.
A dream was realized when she was given the opportunity to come on board the Knowles family of restaurants. During her 18 year tenure she made sure customer satisfaction was of the utmost importance. Reflective of her teams efforts, the Rams head Inn was recognized as a DiRoNA Award Winning Restaurant for its excellence in fine dining.
With Executive Chef John Griffo Diane went on to purchase her own catering and equipment company.
The Madison has had the good fortune of having Diane’s versatility and dining touch for the last decade. Her philosophy is making work fun and easy going and it never feels like a job, which is evident in her excellent reputation with the Madison’s dining faithful. In fact, Diane had the inspiration to create the “Mobile Madison”, a unique food delivery service that allows catering and other delivery services to guests so they may enjoy a Madison meal off site.
Director of Sales & Event Coordinating
Jessica Crespo is the Director of Sales and Event Coordinating for The Madison. Jessica began her food service career while attending Shawnee High School in Medford NJ. Her first job with the PJW Group was as a hostess for their restaurant in Medford. She excelled in her responsibilities and was given the opportunity to waitress and manage the Medford establishment. Her work ethic and enthusiasm for working with the guests also led to her bartending for not only the Medford establishment, but also for some of the other PJW Group of restaurants; The Pour House, Treno and The Chop House.
While attending Rutgers University as well as after graduating, Jessica worked as an Event Planner for Brulee Catering, Philadelphia’s premiere catering company. While at Brulee, Jessica’s leadership, creativity, integrity and inspiration continued to enhance her knowledge and passion for event planning.
Jessica then went on to work for Infinium Spirits, a sister company of Young’s Market Company, a California-based supplier of premium wine and spirits as a Territory Sales Manager in the South Jersey area. Jessica’s dedication to her craft, her ability to develop and foster client relationships while focusing on sales initiatives, helped her to excel in meeting and exceeding her sales quotas while at Infinium.
As Sales Director, her creative ideas are always brewing, giving new energy to every event she plans while maintaining a focus on her clients’ wishes and a critical eye on the details to make every occasion unique and special. While maintaining an upbeat, can-do attitude, Jessica is quick at responding to changing circumstances and values her relationships with guests and clients alike. She is always quick to lend a helping hand to staff and can step in to help get the job done. Her desire is to make sure all guests know that once a client of The Madison, you are always considered part of The Madison Family.
When Jessica is not busy planning fabulous events at The Madison, she can be found spending quality time with family and friends and, of course, playing and cuddling with her Yorkie, Bella.
Manager of Event Operations
Thomas Stanimirov is Manager of Event Operations at The Madison.
Thomas is no stranger to The Madison. He started working here in 2012 as a Coat Check attendant for the Valentine’s Weekend. Since he started here, Thomas has fallen in love with the Hospitality Industry – specifically in Catering and Event Coordination. Thomas attended Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) where he received his A.S. in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Hospitality. He later graduate from Stockton University (2017) with his B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies. After graduation, Thomas went to work for Chick-fil-A Centerton Square & East Gate Square as Assistant Marketing and Hospitality Director, where he assisted in creating and meeting sales goals, customer experience monitoring goals and creating events for CFA fans all around. After his time at Chick-fil-A, he worked for the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce as the Events and Marketing Manager, where he put his drew on his organizational skills along with his knowledge for using marketing platforms.
When Thomas is not working, you may see him in the Community Theater world performing on stage or even hear him singing show tunes while setting up for all your special events. He also spends time volunteering for Hainesport School as the Music Director for the Musical Theater Club.
Head Chef Tyler Wilhelm is a South Jersey native who knew early of his inclination towards the culinary arts. While he participated in traditional sports growing up, his heart always led him to the kitchen where learned and perfected family recipes and began to create his own dishes that were enjoyed by all who indulged.
At the age of 15 he took the first steps towards his career when he found work at his families favorite Italian restaurant. Being introduced to a professional kitchen environment further ignited his passion for cooking and his career path became even clearer.
Tyler enrolled in a culinary arts school where his focus was on hot foods. He studied international cuisine, bar manger, charcuterie, baking and pastries among other elements of food preparation and presentation. Shortly after graduating The Madison was fortunate to bring his talents on board.
Admired and respected by his coworkers for his drive and knowledge, Tyler quickly established himself as an integral component of The Madison kitchen staff. He worked and trained in the Cafe kitchen before his first promotion came to banquet kitchen manager. Shortly thereafter he was again promoted to Sous Chef for The Madison. When the opportunity came to assume the Head Chef position, it was another smooth and seamless transition to his new leadership role that he diligently prepared for during his decade of studying and service.
“I’ve always been driven to create and explore in the kitchen,” noted Tyler. ” I am proud to have to opportunity to do something that I absolutely love and enjoy.” It’s the result passion that Tyler wants his clients to enjoy. “It’s my goal for everyone to love our food. We aim to give our customers an enjoyable and rewarding experience when they choose to dine with us at The Madison.”
One of The Madison’s longest tenured employees is our Bar Manager, Jeff Barton. This Moorestown native first professionally immersed himself in the action sports field which took him across the country, first out to San Diego and then a stint in Orlando where he became an award winning journalist and a two-time World Champion wakeboarder.
A move back to New Jersey represented in change in his daily responsibilities. He assumed the role of stay home caregiver to his three children, what he considers one of the most valuable experiences of his lifetime. Once all three kids were in school he came to The Madison in the fall of 2009 and he’s been here ever since.
Jeff’s friendly, outgoing personality has connected well with our customers for over a decade. His first home at The Madison was in the Towne Tavern where his enthusiasm for his work shined brightly. Working both day and night shifts, he cultivated a great relationship with the diners, offering them menu for suggestions while also soliciting input on what the people enjoyed and what they would want added to the menu.
While ascending to the position of Bar Manager, overseeing all five bar venues at The Madison, he still loves the interaction with the customers and still works behind the bar, welcoming our patrons with a positive greeting and an inviting smile for all who come through the door at The Madison.
Emil Suarez, our Sous Chef brings an international flavor to The Madison. Born in Atlantic City, he moved with his family to Honduras for 5 years before returning to “American’s Playground”. Emil attended Absegami in Galloway township where he played soccer.. From there he went on to pursue his undergraduate degree at Kean University.
It was during this time Emil came to join us at The Madison. Initially hired to be a dishwasher, he quickly distinguished himself as creative and energetic with a fine attention to detail. Our Executive Chef liked what he saw and took Emil under his wing, teaching him the nuances of the culinary world. Quickly the passion for the kitchen grew and Emil ascended within the ranks of the kitchen staff. Emil has proven his versatility in virtually every kitchen area of The Madison. His influence is enjoyed in the Towne Tavern where Emil introduced lunch and dinner specials to compliment the regular menu items. He had a leadership position with our banquet cooking team, delivering delicious platters to groups with up to 200 attendees. And we are proud of his latest accomplishment, his ascension to Sous Chef at The Madison.