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David has been a hospitality leader for over 40 years. He began his career washing dishes and has worked all restaurant positions. He became a manager at TGI Fridays. They were known as the college of the food and beverage industry. Training their managers to operate a high-volume highly profitable business utilizing systems and cost controls that are still a standard of the industry. David became a Managing Partner with Entertainment One operators of nightclub concepts with 55 locations in 23 states 3 countries and 3 continents. He worked internationally as the franchise representative to Osaka Japan.


In 1992 the Truluck’s Restaurant Group was founded. David and the team grew the company to 13 locations in 4 states and the District of Columbia. During his tenure he wore many hats and rose to become Chief Operating Officer.


The hospitality industry is a people business. David believes that a “People First Culture” with highly engaged, involved employees is a must in business. He is known for his commitment to the continuous development of restaurant leaders and the further development of their careers. His commitment to the people of Truluck’s was rewarded in 2018 with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Company Culture Award. David is savvy in all aspects of operations including concept development, financial planning, employee and leadership training, marketing, food and beverage offerings, growth planning and exit strategies.


“The largest rewards in life come as you move forward and bring others with you!”

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Chris Tripoli has over 40 years of service in the hospitality industry as a concept developer, owner-operator and restaurant consultant. Chris has created award winning restaurant concepts, consulted on a wide variety of restaurant projects through-out the US and internationally. He has developed successful food service programs for airports, parks, theatres, arenas, convention centers and medical centers.


He also teaches classes in opening restaurants, menu development, and growth strategies at the University of Houston’s Small Business Development Center and is a regular contributor to Restaurant Start Up & Growth Magazine and Chris hosts the podcast “Corner Booth, candid conversations with today’s restaurant entrepreneurs”



Culinary Specialist

Brian Wubbena has been a culinary professional for more than 25 years.


He began his career with Houston’s in Austin, Texas, where he learned to appreciate the discipline of cooking quality food with quality products and following systems to create consistent guest experiences. Brian assisted in the opening of a new concept called Xena, which featured eclectic American comfort food and became the chef at Austin’s premier Italian restaurant, Mezzaluna.


Brian became a chef at the historic St. Paul Hotel in Minnesota, leading culinary execution in restaurants, banquets and in-room dining. He gained experience and insight into the craftsmanship behind the farming, ranching, and fishing industries, as well as the true meaning of farm to table.


He returned to Austin in 2003 to join the Truluck’s Restaurant Group. His leadership skills were quickly recognized and, in 2006, Brian became their director of culinary. He authored job descriptions, training materials, and personalized development programs.


During his tenure, Truluck’s received many accolades for its food quality  and freshness, by focusing on the best seasonal and sustainable ingredients.


This formula for success enabled Truluck’s to grow from four locations in 2004 to 12 locations today.

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Operations Specialist

Michael Coughlan started his career in the hospitality industry, training under Chef Arthur DiAgastino. He was then Executive Sous Chef at The Hilton Hotel, where he also led banquet production and food management. He continued his career as a Sous Chef at The Breckinridge Inn and Resort, then accepted a position with TGI Fridays, followed by a move to The Four Seasons Hotel.


Michael assisted in the opening of restaurant concepts in Texas, including Lillian Street Grill, Uptown Diner, and Fat Frank’s Grub & Saloon.


In 1987, he joined The Entertainment One Group as General Manager of The Acapulco Bar in Elk Grove, Illinois, the Wurlitzer Night Club in Piscataway, New Jersey, and Walter Payton’s America’s Bar in Chicago. At all three locations, he exceeded sales and profit expectations.


In 1992, Michael became the founder of the Village Tavern and Grill in Schaumburg, Illinois. His creativity with menu items and award-winning recipes created a one-of-a-kind experience that set him apart in the area. Within a short period of time, he added two more locations. A fourth restaurant, Pilot Pete’s, had a unique menu, theme, and experience. Customers could enjoy a selection of steaks and seafood, while viewing private planes taking off and landing on the airport runway. For 30 years Michael has been a successful independent restaurant owner operator.


Having worked with thousands of employees and customers, Michael has always treated people with high regard. He has said, “People are not just here to eat, they’re here for the experience! If you cannot make people feel good about spending money, then you failed. If you do not have time to acknowledge your staff daily, make time! Our job is to make a difference.”

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