President and Founder
Gregor Gerlach was Vapiano’s original investor five years ago and continues to serve as the Chairman of the Board. Mr. Gerlach is currently the CEO of Seaside Hotels, a boutique hotel chain with 7 world class hotels in Germany and Spain. Mr. Gerlach spent four years with McKinsey after receiving his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
CEO Vapiano USA, Canada, Middle & South America
Bill Bessette joined the United States Marine Corps at age 17. After serving 7 years, he graduated college before transitioning into the restaurant industry with the Outback Steakhouse team. His immediate success led him to the Chart House Restaurants where he spent 8 years covering key markets, working his way up to Regional Manager for the Northeast. Mr. Bessette joined Legal Sea Foods as the Director of Operations in 2004 overseeing 10 restaurants, before accepting a position as Sr. Vice President of Operations overseeing 32 restaurants (Including 3 different concept Legal Sea Foods, Legal Test Kitchen and Legal C-bar). Mr. Bessette’s work in US markets includes: California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, NY/NJ, and Boston.
Design and Architecture
Milan design star Matteo Thun is the brainchild behind Vapiano’s unmistakable image. A veteran in the architectural world, Thun has won many awards including “Hotel of the Year for the Side Hotel Hamburg" and the "Worldwide Hospitality Awards" in 2005.
Steven R. Halt has over thirty years of public accounting experience in representing small to medium size businesses, including emerging and fast-growing companies, non-profits and individuals. His experience in accounting and tax and his excellent communication skills allow him to provide clients with a variety of services such as general business and strategic planning, business valuation, human resources, systems design and tax and financial planning.
Mr. Halt was appointed to the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations and has served on a number of committees with the Fairfax and Alexandria Chambers of Commerce. He often speaks at various forums on tax matters. For the past fifteen years he has served as a coordinator and participant of the Executive Forum Group of the Fairfax Chamber, advising business owners on a variety of issues. Mr. Halt is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He holds a BA in Accounting from the University of Maryland.