Meet The Crew
A Brazilian turned Mainer, Rita loves to celebrate and is infatuated with the details and the joy of being involved in the organization of events. Anything from get-togethers with childhood friends to dinner parties, Rita is the planner and organizer for it all! A lover of writing and reading, Rita graduated from the number 1 Latin America university where she studied Brazilian Portuguese and Greek Literature. After school, she found her passion for advertising and creative planning, and built a 10-year career at some of the top agencies in Brazil planning events and live experiences for global brands. Rita is also crazy about live music, a staple in Maine culture. Through her love of music and her roadie husband, whom she met at a concert, she made her way to Maine after he proposed to her on one of Portland piers. Together, along with their dog Tito, they made their home in Maine, where Rita found her passion for the restaurant industry and decided to put her creativity and planning skills to work creating unforgettable experiences that put smiles on people’s faces.
Assistant General Manager, Seattle
Alex joined the Luke’s Lobster team in July of 2022. She is from the southern coast of Massachusetts, so quality seafood is something she grew up appreciating. She remembers spending summers digging for clams with her brothers and bringing them home for her parents to cook, which has become an unofficial tradition for her family. Alex takes pride in working hard, remembering faces, and connecting with guests. When she’s not working she’s writing songs at home with her cats or playing her music on a stage for anyone who will listen. Alex also loves watching bad scary movies and eating excessive amounts of peanut butter. She is grateful to be a part of the Luke’s team and family.
General Manager, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Tracy has been with Luke's since she was scouted by our Plaza GM Gonca in 2016, and then quickly became an integral part of our Brooklyn Bridge Park shack. As a shift leader in BBP, Tracy was there when we took over the whole smokestack building and is excited to move to the Upper West Side to bring her talents to a new neighborhood. When she's not giving our guests the Luke's experience that we're known for, Tracy is spoiling her granddaughter Brianna.
General Manager, Portland Pier
Kevin Bowen is the General Manager of our Portland Pier location. Kevin joined Luke’s in May 2021. He was born in Camden, Maine but grew up within a military family that moved all over the country (Illinois, California, South Carolina, a stop in England, Arkansas, and New York). Kevin returned to Maine for college and never left. Proud father of two amazing daughters that are his entire world. Before Luke’s, Kevin spent 15 years with Ninety Nine Restaurants as a General Managing Partner. When away from work, Kevin likes to hike, golf (terribly), and might be known for taking a vacation or two.
General Manager, Brickell City Centre
Jared was born in Ontario, Canada, and lived in Brazil for three years before moving to Florida when he was 5-years-old. He found himself bored halfway through high school, so he found a full-time job and homeschooled himself in the evenings. After high school, Jared attended Florida International University for a degree in Mathematics. Over the next decade, he taught, tutored, and exhausted his love for math. Jared switched to hotels and worked with Hilton and La Quinta for a few years before transitioning into his current love: restaurants! First at Chipotle, then at Five Guys, he quickly moved up the ranks from dishwasher to general manager. And as the general manager at Five Guys, his location succeeded in outperforming all nine units within our franchise, which put his store on the map. Jared is very excited to be a part of the Luke's Lobster family and to be a part of the Luke's story.
General Manager, Bethesda
Mike Bruna grew up in Northern Virginia and has been working in foodservice management for over 13 years. As a child, he spent his summers fishing and crabbing with his grandparents in Virginia Beach. He made the move to Brooklyn in 2016 with his partner of 15 years, where he enjoys playing piano, wrestling with his cat, and riding his bike around the city. Bringing his passion for both nature and food, Mike found a home that aligns with his personal values at Luke's Lobster. He looks forward to serving you the best Maine-style Lobster Roll you'll ever eat at our Garment District location on Broadway, just south of Time's Square in the heart of New York City.
People + Culture Generalist
Kristin joined the Luke's team back in the summer of 2015 after years slinging pizzas with California Pizza Kitchen. She started off as the Catering Coordinator in the City of Brotherly Love - where she was born and raised. In 2016 she took on the role of General Manager, and now spends lots of time on Amtrak traveling along the East Coast as our Director of Operations. If you ever need a train discount, she's your girl! When she's not at Luke's you can find Kristin hanging at home with her husband and her puggle, or slowly losing her hearing in a SoulCycle class.
General Manager, FiDi
Kevin Casey is the current General Manager of our Park Slope location. Kevin started as a Teammate and delivery person at our Upper West Side shack back in 2013 and has worked in many of our New York shacks throughout the years. Hailing from Western Massachusetts, he spent many summers in Maine growing up with his family, where he determined that the lobster roll is the very best way to eat lobster. When not at a Luke's, Kevin spends his time in the great outdoors, surfing, biking, gardening, writing music, enjoying all of the fine cuisine in the city, and especially working on creative and artistic projects.
Restaurant Group Controller
Narie joined the Luke's Lobster crew in 2017. Prior to Luke's Lobster, she spent 4 years on the accounting team at Momofuku working closely with their various restaurants and other ventures. Narie graduated from New York University and also earned a degree in Classic Pastry Arts from the French Culinary Institute. Narie and her husband, Anthony, love to travel and plan their trips around where and what to eat. You can spot them around Long Island City with their 3 dogs.
Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer
Ben Conniff is the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Luke’s Lobster, with over 30 locations across 9 US cities and internationally in Japan and Taiwan. After answering Luke’s Craigslist ad in the summer of 2009 and opening our first location in the East Village one month later, Ben remains heavily involved in the day-to-day workings of Luke’s since the beginning.
Ben is also the author of Real Maine Food, and has written for Saveur, GQ, Tasting Table, and more. He was named to the Inc. and Zagat “30 Under 30” lists and serves as an advisor to restaurant, fishery, and agriculture businesses. He spends the majority of his time in Portland, ME.
Director of Operations
Chris is a twenty-year veteran of the hospitality industry. He comes from brands such as TGI Friday’s, Panera Bread, and Chipotle Mexican Grill where he was a Director of Restaurant Operations. Chris prides himself on having developed many leaders across several brands and he has a passion for investing in his people. Chris is the father of five amazing children: Alexis, Aiden, Ethan, Aubrey, and Ava. Chris is active in the community and coaches ice hockey. Chris also plays competitive hockey and played D1 in college. Lastly, Chris is a die-hard New York sports fan, particularly the New York Rangers!
General Manager, Upper West Side
Darren has been with Luke's for more than two years, and is the 2018 recipient of the 2018 GM of the year award! He started his manager career flipping ice cream and singing for tips at Coldstone Creamery. Now you can find him watering his beautiful plants and training new managers in the Upper East Side. Darren does not enjoy long walks in the park but prefers playing hours of playstation talking mad smack online.
Vice President, Marketing
Meaghan spearheads the marketing efforts of the brand which explains why she has more photos on her iPhone of lobster rolls than she does of people or dogs combined. Meaghan is a graduate of Fordham University and developed her love for all things food and culinary while working at the French Culinary Institute in SoHo. She moved on to work on the development team at Marcus Samuelsson Group where she was integral in opening a number of the celebrity chef's restaurants from Harlem to Bermuda. Meaghan currently lives in the East Village mere blocks from the original Luke's shack, where she alternates weekly between a shrimp roll and a lobster roll. She's also a passionate lover of pizza and all the reality TV that Time Warner has to offer.
Customer Experience Manager
Sam was born and raised in Brunswick, Maine and has been working on the water since he was 15. As a student clammer throughout highschool, Sam transitioned to co-founding his own oyster farm in 2018, where he grew a passion for the Maine coast. Attending college at the University of Maine for Marketing and Management, he used what he learned and directly applied it to his work. Shortly after graduating from UMaine in 2021, he has now joined Luke's team as Customer Experience Manager, where he uses his love for the working waterfront as his daily driver in the office.
Vice President, Ops Services
Emily is a Luke's original in both hire date and personality and is the rock of Luke's Lobster. She's the one that ensures all the LL stores are running smoothly and is the first call respondent to any emergencies that arise at the shops. When not running from store to store, Emily can be found enjoying the finer things in life. Whether that's watching a movie on her projector screen or making tomato sauce that would make any nonna jealous (secret ingredient: butter) - she's a quality over quantity gal, and that's probably what makes her so great at her job. If you're ever feeling stressed get in line for one of Emily's killer back rubs. While her hands may be slight, they are freakishly strong.
Director of Food Safety and Quality
Sabrina was born and raised in Farmington, Maine. After graduating from Maine Maritime Academy, she went to Alaska and worked as a Marine Biologist monitoring catch on commercial fishing vessels. It was also where she met her husband- you may have heard of him, Denny Fiaalii, Raw Supervisor at Seaco! Sabrina joined Luke’s Lobster QA department in 2016, shortly after Denny started working here. Sabrina is a natural leader who brings palpable warmth and positive energy to work. Her passion at work is building and empowering the team while keeping our product safe and ensuring the best quality.
Sabrina loves country music, bonfires, camping, fishing, hunting, playing basketball and softball, Sunday morning coffee, and walking around without shoes. Any time she spends with my family is treasured- she has two daughters, Manaiah and Emery, a dog, Sailor, and of course, her husband, whom she loves to pieces.
General Manager, Farragut
Caleb Fisher started at Luke's in 2019, running our Georgetown shack in Washington, D.C. With a passion for service and food, it's no wonder that he's worked in the food service industry for most of his professional life. A determined and hard working individual, most of Caleb's friends and family consider him shy, but just wait until there is a crowd and you'll see him in his element.
Logistics Coordinator, D+I Co-Chair and External Communications Liaison
General Manager, Back Bay
Imer is a recent college graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia. He was initially hired as a teammate and has moved up within the company to Assistant General Manager in our Rittenhouse shack. He's been with the company for 5 years now and enjoys the pace of the restaurant industry. One of his biggest accomplishments in life was hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2018, which he completed in 5 months and 1 day. His free time is spent cooking and discovering new mountains!
President & Chief Development Officer
Having grown up in Cape Elizabeth and attending Bowdoin College, Bryan is the epitome of all things Maine. After stints in banking and consulting, Bryan decided to join the family business. Known as the Doze, Bryan is the ultimate Renaissance man: All-American lacrosse player, lover of theatre and art, deft carpenter and flexible yogi. It was once rumored that he grew the best mustache on the East Coast, an allegation he will neither confirm nor deny. But perhaps Bryan's most admirable characteristic is his uncanny ability to bring his unique sense of humor to any situation.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Luke Holden grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine – a third-generation lobsterman who started learning the trade at age 13. After attending Georgetown University and beginning an investment banking career on Wall Street, Luke was remiss to find that every lobster roll available in New York was overpriced, drowning in mayo, and diluted with celery. He craved a real Maine-style roll and simply couldn’t find one.
Luke saw an opportunity to bring a casual seafood spot, like the homegrown lobster shacks of his childhood, to New York’s culinary landscape. In 2009, Luke decided to harness his passion for excellent seafood and his family’s 40-plus years in the Maine lobster industry to open the first Luke’s Lobster in the East Village with his dad Jeff, a lobster processor, and Ben Conniff. To keep up with demand, Luke and partners opened Luke’s Lobster’s own seafood processing facility in 2012. The complete vertical integration ensures every lobster served at Luke’s is handled with care and kept pristine.
Today, Luke spends the majority of the year in Maine, where he maintains relationships with lobstermen and oversees production at Luke’s Lobster’s processing facility. He also sits on the board of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, the Island Institute, and the Tenants Harbor Fisherman’s Co-op, which he helped found. Luke’s donates a portion of its proceeds to The Ocean Foundation and the Island Institute, helping preserve Maine’s fishing communities and the sustainability of our oceans. Over the years, Luke has also been included on the Forbes’ 30 under 30, Inc 30 under 30, Zagat’s 30 under 30, and Crain’s 40 under 40.
Director of Development
Michael Holden, affectionally known as Mikey, has been with the company since 2012, working in various operations and development roles in Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. He graduated with a business degree from Skidmore College in upstate New York. Today, Mikey is the glue that holds the team together during new openings. A Maine native and the youngest Holden brother, Mikey approaches problems with a strong work ethic and a sense of humor. In his spare time he enjoys Boston Sports, playing golf, and strategy based board games.
Ops Services Coordinator
In true Luke's fashion, Cassandra found her way to the company as a teammate through a Craigslist ad recruiting for the opening of our Rittenhouse shack in Philadelphia. From Teammate, to Shift Leader, to Senior Shift Leader, Cassandra grew to love lobster shack life so much so that - even when she took a brief sabbatical from the company to move to the 'burbs - Luke's was never far from her mind. As soon as she had the opportunity, she jumped back on the line as the GM of Rittenhouse. Now, 6 years from answering that fateful ad, she's followed the bright LobStar of Luke's all the way to San Francisco to GM our first west coast shack! When not slingin' lobster, you can find Cassandra... well, actually you probably can't find her. Because she's most likely at home with her husband and mustachio'd cat Tom Selleck or off exploring the wilds of California.
General Manager, Penn Quarter
Patrick is a Maryland native but has lived in places like Germany, New Jersey, and most recently, Boston. In 2015, Patrick found himself missing home and decided it was time to move back to Maryland. As a career-long food service professional, Patrick has done it all! He got his start in the catering industry at the age of 16, and since then, he's held many different titles throughout his career. He has worked for the prestigious Harvard University in their dining services and some prominent think tanks in Washington D.C.
Patrick is a huge sports fan, and since his father grew up in Ithaca, NY, his number one team is the New York Giants. Patrick is an avid sneaker collector who has been building his collection for over 20 years. He also spends time buying and selling sports cards and memorabilia. Patrick has an 11-year-old boxer lab mix named Charlie, who he has had since Charlie was a six-month-old puppy.
Vice President, E-Commerce + Retail
Lauren joined the Luke's team in 2011. As VP of E-Commerce + Retail, Lauren oversees Luke's Online Market and Branded Grocery channels and is responsible for executing a strategic product roadmap that enhances the Luke's brand image and sales performance targets through product. Lauren's entrepreneurial spirit and passion for cooking stems back to age 10, when she held regular lemonade stands in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - which helped fund her BA degree in History & Chinese from the University of Pennsylvania. Although born and raised in NYC, she's happy to call Portland, Maine home now where she lives with Chris Jordan (Luke's Logistics Director) and their rambunctious pup Otis.
People + Culture Manager
After graduating from St. Lawrence University with a B.A. in Spanish & Fine Arts, Morgan thought she'd spend just a summer in Portsmouth, NH working in restaurants while she figured out how to apply her obscure double major. Instead, she stuck around and built a career in the hospitality industry growing from Server, to General Manager and ultimately VP of Operations of J.Group - a hospitality group founded by James Beard nominated restaurateur, Jay McSharry.
Now, as People + Culture Generalist at our processing plant in Saco, Maine, she loves using her Spanish daily to support our diverse, multi-lingual team. Nicknamed "The Morganizer" at age two, Morgan has a knack for bringing order and building systems. Outside of her Luke's life, she is most often hanging with her husband doing projects on their "almost fixed" fixer-upper in Cape Neddick or enjoying the beaches and hiking trails of southern Maine.
General Manager, Pike Place
Chris has been in the restaurant industry for over 25 years and tried to get out a few times but just kept returning for the people. He has a wonderful partner and two sons who keep life interesting. He is always up to sing karaoke and enjoys the occasional golf game and game night with friends. He enjoys watching sports (Go Mariners and Seahawks). He might also be found spending a weekend at a Sci-fi/Fantasy convention playing board games and Magic: The Gathering.
General Manager, Las Vegas
Heather joined the Luke's team in 2017 when she decided she wanted to participate in something healthier than bartending. When she's not chatting up the guests at our shack on the fabulous Las Vegas Strip, she can be found perusing museums, riding roller coasters, reading classic literature (from Bukowksi to Austen to Kafka!) , sipping craft beers, and hanging out with her super duper rad kiddo. As a self-proclaimed "steward of the Earth," her favorite part about working at Luke's is how our respect for the environment has a huge impact on all aspects (big and small) within our company.
Vice President, Sales
Adam Joined Luke's in June of 2016. He manages all of the wholesale and grocery business, both domestic and international. Born on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Adam moved to Maine in 2009 for College. He graduated in '13 from the University of New England. He worked for a local branch of Xerox in Portland, ME for two years, managing multiple territories in Southern Maine during that stretch. In 2015 Adam was recruited by Designs for Health and managed all Sales & Marketing initiatives for Northern New England overseeing 100+ medical practices.
Outside of work, Adam spends his time playing hockey and golf, at the gym, and grabbing a couple beers pretty much anytime the opportunity presents itself. Adam reluctantly self-identifies as an emotionally-drained, lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan and has one son, named Gilmour, seen in his photo with him.
General Manager, Rittenhouse
John grew up in South Jersey (which needs to be its own state) and started his career in the hospitality industry when he was in high school. He went from retirement homes to Italian delis, dive bars, Philly cheesesteak shops, spring break beach bars in Florida, culinary school, and fine-dining operations. Throughout his travels, John picked up a hobby or two. He loves golf, vintage stereo equipment, anything car-related, and being near any body of water. He also wove in and out of the construction industry and still owns a handyman business. Bald, bearded, and married to his beautiful wife, Beth, who has probably had more than enough of his dad jokes and puns. In the end, after all the different organizations he's been involved in, he's very excited to be part of a company that puts people over profits.
Area Manager, NYC
Thanh Le aka Le, comes from a long line of restaurants including TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, and Houlihan's. Originally from Northern Virginia, Le came to New York in 2015 to join the restaurant Vapiano. After traveling the world and becoming a certified international trainer, Le joined Luke's Lobster in 2018. He is a family man with three beautiful daughters and a stunning wife to match. He enjoys princess tea parties and spending time with his family. Check him out at our FiDi and Midtown East locations.
General Manager, Midtown East
Darwin enjoys the outdoors, especially when he is working on his garden planting herbs, vegetables and snapdragon plants! He loves working in the hospitality and food service industry where he gets to meet all types of interesting personalities which make for good storytelling. Darwin grew up in the beautiful island of Barbados and moved to New York where he received his education.
Julia is a native Mainer, born and raised in South Portland, ME. She’s been working in the seafood industry since 2014, getting her start serving all things seafood at a local restaurant and fresh fish market. In 2016, she moved to Boston to attend Simmons University. A couple of months later she joined the Luke’s team at our Back Bay shack, initially as a teammate and then as a shift leader. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations and Marketing Communications, she traded in her apron to join the Luke’s Marketing Team as a Marketing Coordinator. In her free time, you can find her cooking, exploring Boston neighborhoods, or taking a bus up to Portland to visit with her family.
People + Culture Coordinator
Aislinn began her career at Luke's Lobster in the summer of 2021 as the People + Culture Coordinator; in this role, she has the pleasure of supporting the team at the processing plant and shacks nationwide with all things payroll, benefits, and compliance. Aislinn recently relocated to Maine from New Hampshire, where she hiked all 48 of the 4,000 footers and worked in restaurants and hospitality for the better part of 15 years. When not in the office, you can find Aislinn renovating her house, taking pottery classes, and swimming in the ocean as often as the weather allows.
Shelbi is a born and raised Mainer. She grew up in the Sebago Lake region and now resides in Portland. She joins Luke's as the Marketing Manager, assisting the marketing team with content creation, social media, and customer service. She developed her love of all things Maine during her time as online editor for Maine and Maine Home+Design magazines. When she is not eating her way through Maine's burgeoning culinary scene you can find her enjoying the natural resources of Moosehead Lake during all the seasons or spending quality time with her large, loud, and lovely family.
Ops Service and Innovation Coordinator
JP McIntyre grew up in Baltimore near the Chesapeake Bay, which engendered in him a lifelong love of seafood and a passion for sustainable fishing methods. He is incredibly proud to bring his decade of hospitality experience to the team at Luke's Lobster. Look for him at Luke's Lobster Chicago City Hall, where he'll be happy to serve you the best seafood you've every tasted.
Assistant General Manager, Portland Pier
Meghan was born in New York but raised in Florida, she brings a good mix of the Northern charm and South hospitality to the pier. She joined the Portland Pier team in August of 2020 as a FOH manager and in 9 short months was promoted to Assistant General Manager. She has spent the last 9 years in the restaurant industry here in Maine. The years before she found her passion in our industry she spent her time in the animal care field with the Humane Society. When she isn't on the pier you can find her out and about with her husband and pups enjoying all the outdoor activities Maine and New Hampshire have to offer.
Assistant General Manager, Portland Pier
Brian Noble was born by the ocean in Bridgehampton, NY and grew up in love with jumping and riding the waves at Scott Cameron Beach. He was a 3-sport athlete in High School, playing Football, Basketball, and Baseball. He began his service industry career as a dishwasher at 14 years of age and moved up the ranks to become a bartender on his 18th birthday. During his summers in the Hamptons as a local on the South Fork, Brian worked two jobs; cleaning beachside mansion pools by day and bartending late into the summer nights. He began bar managing in 2008 and brought his hard work ethic north to Vermont in 2010 where he continued his management career for several establishments in and around Stratton Mountain Resort. Shortly after the opening season as the first GM at "Bar 802" in VT in 2016, Brian fell in love with his gorgeous fiancee Lia and moved south to be with her, first in Stamford and then in South Norwalk CT.
Mr. Noble sharpened his restaurant skills for 3 more years before the newly engaged couple moved to Portland, Maine where they couldn't be happier! Fun Fact: Lia & Brian are currently planning to be wed right on the pier at Luke's in September of 2022!
Head Bartender, Portland Pier
Kai was born and raised on Peaks Island, ME, taking a boat to school every day. His life and identity have always been entwined with Maine's coast and it's fishing communities. Escaping the isolated lifestyle of a Maine island boy, he went to college in Switzerland Franklin College traveling all through Europe and then ended at New York City and Hunter College. Like so many, Kai paid his way through school by joining the service industry. He was trained by some of NYC's finest cocktail experts and at 23 years old he and his business partner built their own whiskey bar in Brooklyn, NY named Post Office. After ten years they sold the bar and he was looking for a new project, enter Bryan Holden. They met up at a bar to talk about the newest Luke's Lobster in Maine and Kai decided to take a trip home and see what it was all about that February in 2019. Blown away by the care and craft Luke's had put into the Portland Pier (and the prospect of coming home after 15 years in NYC) he asked to become a part of the Luke's team, applying for his position, which did not exist. He has now been at the Portland Pier longer than any other teammate and would probably have to be dragged off the pier if we ever wanted to get rid of him. Kai, his wife Edith and their dog Ruffian now live in the house they bought during the pandemic in South Portland where they garden, look through their telescope at the stars and sip on concoctions that Kai makes in his lab.
Tank Room Manager, Portland Pier
Ward joined the Luke's team in May of 2021 as the Portland Pier Wharf Assistant but came to Maine 20 years before from Glen Rock, New Jersey in 2001 after an internship at UNESCO in Paris, France. Ward worked as a writer, reporter, and editor at a handful of community newspapers in Biddeford, Cape Elizabeth, and South Portland as well as administrative coordinator in Portland Scarborough at Maine Medical Center and MaineHealth. He enjoys spending time with his son and showing people around a growing Portland.
General Manager, Grand Central
Amoi started in restaurant management in 2012 while in school, majoring in biology, and has loved the hospitality field since. She has a passion for helping people and developing her team.
In her spare time away from Luke's, Amoi likes to explore her creative side. She plans events, runs an online business with tons of custom creations such as custom shirts, and she also loves to bake.
Vice President, People + Culture
Haleigh Petroe is the VP of People + Culture for Luke's Lobster. She was one of the first hires in 2009 at our original East Village shack and climbed up the ladder from roll slinger to General Manager to Director of HR to VP of People + Culture. She doesn't much like ladders though. Over the last 10 years, Haleigh has focused on bringing great people into the organization and growing the Luke's community, most recently at our processing plant in Saco, Maine. In 2016, she earned her SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) Professional Certification through Pace University. Also, Haleigh has notably won 2nd place in our office Halloween costume contest 3 years running (next year is her year). You can find Haleigh in Brooklyn, NY walking her dachshund Begbie or trying to fix her '96 Jeep Cherokee.
People + Culture Manager, Restaurant Group
Bryan Petroff is returning to New York City, where he previously lived for twenty years, to take on the role of People + Culture Manager, Restaurant Group. He brings 15-years of Human Resources experience in the fashion industry, focusing on training and development, employee engagement, and communications. He has worked for both national retailers (Limited Brands) and global (Calvin Klein) retailers.
Bryan’s career took a wild left turn in 2009 when he co-founded Big Gay Ice Cream, which quickly became one of New York’s most popular food destinations. Over the years, it has received numerous accolades, such as the best ice cream parlor and best food truck in the country. Bryan has also published a critically acclaimed cookbook and appeared on various TV programs.
When Bryan is away from work, he loves to travel, make candy, and add to his growing Prince vinyl collection. Bryan is also the proud papa of three fabulous felines—Ham Hock, Giblets, and Hollywood.
Senior Staff Accountant
Klaudia Ramos was born and raised in New York and joined the Luke's team in 2020. After graduating from Baruch College with a BA in Accounting, she worked for The Standard, High Line and The Brooklyn Brewery in the accounting department. KlaudiaI loves to travel to new places and see Broadway and Off-Broadway shows with her partner. She also has a maltese dog who she spoils with treats and hugs, and who loves to take car rides with her.
Director of Operations
Maria is a lifelong Jersey girl who is excited to be in the New York City world as a Director of Operations! In addition to being passionate about business operations and logistics, Maria is an avid autumn enthusiast, she’s always looking for the ultimate fall-themed adventures with her family. An adrenaline junkie, you can find her on the next plane to skydive, parasailing in the Caribbean, or zip-lining in Puerto Rico! Growing up in an old-school Italian household, family dinners are what she looks forward to every week, with a big pot of gravy on her stove, of course!
A proud mother to her eight-year-old son Ethan Elias, Maria and her husband Miguel are always looking forward to planning their next family adventure!
Chief Operations Officer, Restaurant Group
Virginia watched the Muppets take Manhattan so many times as a child that at 22 she packed up a U-Haul with $600 in her bank account and moved to New York City. Like many failed actresses, she quickly realized that being able to pay rent and eat was more important than seeing her name in lights. Little did she know her true love, hospitality was waiting just around the corner. Virginia has run operations for TGI Friday's, BR Guest Hospitality, Joes Crab Shack, The Meatball Shop and found a forever home here at Luke's Lobster. Virginia has opened up 17 restaurants in her career and can't wait for the next ones to come. She's fed everyone from Warren Buffet, to the Rockettes, to our community soup kitchens.
Virginia oversees operations all across the country so you can most likely find her with our awesome teams from coast to coast, working reg during our busiest shifts, inspecting under refrigerators, in the nearest airport lounge on her laptop or phone, or doing very important research for new cocktail development on the beach.
We are so lucky at Luke's to build a family who truly embodies our core values of Taste, Transparency, and Purpose-Virginia feels constantly humbled by the hard work, good vibes, and passion of those around her.
General Manager, Downtown Crossing
Shakeal was born in upstate New York (Syracuse, go orange!) and raised in Boston, MA, but since he comes from a military family, he has also traveled and lived in many random states. He has spent the last 10+ years in the food industry working at places like Chipotle and sushi restaurants. Shakeal loves to cook at home and attempt new dishes, not always successfully, but he enjoys the journey of trying something brand new and mastering the craft. His lifelong dream is to one day be a restaurant owner, maybe in his golden years (when he is 60+ years old).
While he is a big-time New York sports fan (Yankees, Jets, and Knicks), he also uses his free time to teach online yoga classes and host meditation events. Shakeal believes a healthy mind, body, and spirit is the key to happiness in life and that everyone can have the chance to achieve this. It's about putting people first- Over his decade in management, he has learned that people make for an amazing business, and not the other way around- if we care for each other with respect and live up to that, there is nothing we cannot achieve!
With hopes of making some cash and biking throughout the city, Brian got on Craigslist and applied for Luke's Lobster. In 2015, he started out as a delivery biker and earned his nickname B$. He became an official Teammate continuing at FiDi and most recently Brooklyn Bridge Park. As a shack veteran, he traded the kitchen counter for a desktop and joined the Finance team in 2023. He's a huge baseball fan and loves movies.
General Manager, Union Square
Zach has been serving guests in some capacity for most of his career. He is proud to continue that at Luke's Lobster with its focus on sustainability, locally-sourced products, and looking after the environment for future generations. Outside the shacks, you can find Zach gardening, working on his yoga practice, and hoping the Knicks finally get it together. He met a guy, who knew a guy, and the rest is sustainable seafood history.
Chief Financial Officer
Steve Song is the Chief Financial Officer for Luke's Lobster having joined the crew in 2016. Prior to Luke's Lobster, he spent 14 years as a private equity investment professional working with various companies and management teams across a variety of industries. He began his career at JPMorgan in 2001 before working at hedge funds and private equity firms including Magnetar Capital and Altpoint Capital.
Since 2011, Steve has also served a Board Member of Minds Matter of NYC, a nonprofit organization serving low-income high school students, and served as its board chair until 2018. He has served on the Board of Directors for private companies, including Ford Models, AHN International and Sanchez Resources. Steve graduated with a joint Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics-Mathematics from Columbia University in 2001. He has traveled to over 30 countries and has watched a game at every Major League Baseball stadium. He is based in New York City.
Assistant General Manager, City Hall
Noelia was born and raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. After graduating college, she moved to New York City in 2011 on impulse with $300 to her name. While working for a big retail company, Noelia soon realized that a full-time job wasn’t enough to survive in NYC and she needed a second job, and that’s how her journey at Luke’s Lobster began back in 2015. Noelia started as a delivery driver and teammate and worked her way to becoming a shift leader.
After 7 years in NYC, and the last 3 years of those at Luke’s, she made the decision to move to Chicago to be closer to my best friend and transferred to the Luke’s City Hall shack.
When not at Luke's, she’s probably at a concert (been to over 70+ concerts and counting), on an adventure with her dog Riley Earp, or yelling at the tv on game days as a die-hard Lakers fan.