When Mitchell Katz graduated from Purdue University in Indiana, he wanted to work in sports business. "Going in to college I knew what I wanted to do I was working for the Indiana Pacers as a ball boy and I was assistant to the trainer," Katz said.
Unfortunately, an opportunity did not materialize. "At that time, sports wasn't as big of a business as it is today," he said.
But his degree in hotel and institutional management didn't go to waste. He got a job as assistant manager at steakhouse franchise Charley Brown's and worked up to the position of executive general manager.
Eventually, Katz's career would send him West. In the mid-'90s, he moved to L.A. to work for California-based chain Koo Koo Roo. He began as a general manager at a Woodland Hills location, but within a year was named director of new-store openings. From there, he jumped to CG Investments owner of the Subway chain for a brief period before returning to Koo Koo Roo where he became senior director of operations.
"I loved working for KKR I enjoyed the concept of 'fresh and healthy foods,'" Katz said.
Katz was at the company for a total of 12 years, but then his career would bring him to a position suspended above the Pacific Ocean. He recently took charge of seven restaurants at the Santa Monica Pier's Pacific Park, working as the amusement park's food and beverage director.
"One of the first ideas that I had upon coming to Pacific Park was improving the speed of service for the customers," he said. "I'm responsible for the everyday operations and also the training of new management within the pier."
The new position is proving to be a good fit.
"What I really enjoy about the new job are the people that I work with," he said. "They all work together for the same cause."
Katz lives with his wife and four children in Thousand Oaks. He likes to spend his free time golfing, and enjoying the outdoors with his family.
"My wife always wants to go camping, but since there are six of us I think it might get a little too cramped," Katz said.
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