With a combination of fifteen years of restaurant and hospitality industry experience, Annie Bowlin has brought her talents to Valentina’s, where she serves as the general manager.
Bowlin’s restaurant career started at the Wildflower Café where she was a server. After working in different career fields, Bowlin finally realized a job in restaurants and hospitality made her truly happy, so she made the decision to return to her roots.
A native to Columbus, Bowlin graduated from Columbus State with an art degree. Now, she’s in the art of restaurant management. She joined the CMR family in 2007 at Cap City; and in 2015 she claimed the title of Dining Room Manager of the year. Bowlin then served as the General Manager of Marcella’s Short North, and eventually returned to Cap City Grandview in the role of General Manager. Now, Bowlin operates as the General Manager of Valentina’s in Dublin’s Bridge Park.
According to Bowlin, a career in restaurants and hospitality means always being on her toes since anything can happen at any given moment. Being able to change things up without hesitation is key to successful restaurant management.
Bowlin believes in the power of a smile and positive attitude. “You can’t control the world, you can only control your impact on it,” she says. Her leadership skills influence those around her as she lives by the concept of good attitudes. “Your attitude is contagious and it will reflect on your team.”
In her free time, Bowlin pursues her love of photography, hands on projects and fixing up her home.
Todd Kessler, Executive Chef of Valentina’s, found his true passion of working in restaurants during high school and while studying architecture at The Ohio State University. In 2012, he began his Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) career at Cap City Fine Diner & Bar in Grandview as a sous chef.
“Never stop learning or being a sponge,” Kessler says when asked for advice to those interested in pursuing a career in hospitality. There is always something to be learned by everyone and in every situation.” Kessler also says his greatest lesson in his professional career is to “stay humble. There will always be challenges, but with the proper approach, you can accomplish anything.”
When asked what he hopes to achieve in his new role, Kessler spoke on the achievements he has already been working on. “Opening a new concept and being a part of the continued growth of CMR is incredibly rewarding,” Kessler says. “I am forever grateful for the opportunities CMR has given me.” Another achievement Kessler has earned is Executive Chef of the Year in 2019 for CMR’s Specialty Concepts.
A native of Sandusky, Ohio, Kessler now resides in Delaware, Ohio with his two daughters, Harper and Emma. His favorite CMR dish comes from Mitchell’s Ocean Club, the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, and he also loves everything on the menu at Valentina’s. Outside of work, Kessler enjoys being outside, spending time with his family, tending to his vegetable garden, watching baseball and listening to music.