Karen A. Fox | President & Founder

After attending The University of Illinois as a James Scholar, Ms. Fox graduated With Honors from National Louis College of Education.


Having worked in the Hospitality Industry as a Cooking Instructor, Catering Director, Party/Event Planner, and Owner of a Fast Food Restaurant, Karen found recruiting a natural environment to use her skills of teaching and psychology and her love of helping people.   In 1987, Karen established The Hunter Group in order to set the highest standard in Hospitality Search.


Chicago Office

Lisa Fishwild Hale | Vice President

Lisa studied Journalism at the University of Iowa, moved to Chicago in 1988 and fell in love with the food business.


 She served, baked then managed at Suzette's Patisserie, opened Au Marche Cafe and Spoonful, The Bistro, then spent three years as General Manager at Zambrana's, The Food Emporium before joining The Hunter Group in 1996.


Chicago Office

Melissa Riback Associate

Melissa attended Columbia College in Missouri.  She has worked as a Server for many popular Chicago area restaurants including:  Lettuce Entertain You, Bravo Corporation, and Aspen Grill.


Melissa joined The Hunter Group in 1999 and manages the support systems in the Chicago office.


Chicago Office


Stacey LaMarche | Associate

Stacey has always been infatuated with the hospitality industry. She has years of experience working in many restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

No stranger to working hard to achieve her goals, Stacey worked her way up the ranks in Hospitality. Stacey has held Management positions in notable restaurant groups in the Chicago market such as Rockit Ranch Productions and headed up the food and beverage program at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

As an Associate at The Hunter Group, Stacey will channel her knowledge and love of the Hospitality Industry along with her desire to teach, mentor and develop people to assist others in achieving their goals as Hospitality professionals.


Chicago Office


Cindy Walker | Associate

Cindy has always had a passion for people and a love for creative food and design. So, it was only fitting that she would choose a career in hospitality. She graduated with a double major in 2001 with Bachelor’s Degree in Management & Human Resources and Social Psychology from Park University. Cindy has worked in the industry for 15 plus years from restaurants to upscale catering companies. She has held positions as Director of Sales, Director of Business Development as well as Director of HR.

With her passion for people and knowledge of the industry Cindy is excited to be able to assist others in finding their dream job in the hospitality world.


Minnesota Office


Sharlene Crandall | Associate

Sharlene has always found the hospitality industry exciting, so it was no surprise to anyone when she majored in Hotel/Restaurant Management at NYU. Sharlene's first job was as a member of the opening team at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York. Starting in entry level positions, she eventually worked her way up in the industry to Director of Catering where Sharlene's love of people and making them happy became her "special sauce"! Ironically, it seems her passion for hospitality extended to her personal life when she fell in love and married a Chef!

Now using that same energy and passion to make people happy, Sharlene has joined The Hunter Group where she can give others the opportunity to reach their career goals in the hospitality industry.


Chicago Office


Wayne Wood | Associate

Wayne's coast-to-coast career has spanned the gamut from amusement parks, cruise ship dining, contract food service management and nationally-known restaurants and hotels, and also includes a stint in the friendly skies of United Airlines along the way.

With a Bachelor's degree from Cal Poly Pomona, and a Master's degree from Michigan State University, Wayne stays close to industry trends and tastes in order to guide hospitality professionals seeking the next step in their own career pathing.



Cleveland Office


Josh Montellano | Associate

With a passion for cooking and helping others, Josh decided to follow his passion by attending Kendall College in Chicago to focus on Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.

Since graduating he has held various Managerial and Director level positions at esteemed hospitality groups including Lettuce Entertain You, Waldorf Astoria & Conrad Hotels and Resorts, Land & Sea Dept, Hard Rock International, and The Paramount Group. These professional achievements demonstrate his expertise and dedication to Hospitality.

Josh is ecstatic to join The Hunter Group where he is able to assist hospitality professionals advance their careers while, at the same time, assist companies strengthen their operations.


Chicago Office



The Hunter Group


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