Special Events Team


 
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B. Allan Kurtz

Managing Director

Managing Director of both Ziegfeld Ballroom and Gotham Hall, Allan has been at the helm of Iconic Spaces’ venues since 2003. His background includes five years as Director of Catering at Sheraton Meadowlands, three years at Water’s Edge, and 13 years at the Tavern on the Green in various positions, the the last five years as Managing Director.  A married father of two boys, Allan resides on Long Island and in Bucks County, PA. He is an active member of the prestigious NYC & Co.  Restaurant Committee and served on the board of the Central Park Precinct Community Council and on the advisory board of his alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University, for over 15 years. 

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James Munz

Vice President, Sales

James began his hospitality career at the legendary Plaza Hotel where he soon became one of the youngest people to assume the pivotal position of maître d’hotel.  Shortly after, he took on the role of Catering Sales Manager.  It was James’ success at The Plaza that led to a managerial position with Cipriani, USA in 2004, where he assumed responsibility for many of its exclusive event spaces, including the Rainbow Room. After six years at Cipriani, James joined the Mandarin Oriental as the Associate Director of Catering and was promoted to their Director of Catering two years later.  A married father with three young daughters, James is a resident of River Edge, NJ.  BA: St. Francis College, Brooklyn.

 
 
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Jamie VanValkenburg

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF CATERING

Jamie graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, with her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality. Always wanting to work in New York City, she found her way to the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Working her way up in various rolls in the Catering Department, she worked at the five-star property for over six years. Following her boss, James Munz, Jamie was one of the few members on the opening team of the Ziegfeld Ballroom, starting in early 2017.  

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Katherine Warfield

SENIOR CATERING SALES MANAGER

Katherine joins the Ziegfeld Ballroom with five years of event sales and operation experience. She started her New York City hospitality career as a member of the re-opening team of the landmark restaurant, Tavern on the Green. Working her way from event coordinator to senior sales manager, she joined the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Fall 2017. Katherine graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, Political Science.

 
 
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Nico Ramirez

ASSISTANT CATERING SALES MANAGER

Nico graduated from Cal State University Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He moved to New York and pursued his dream of performing for many years, until he began is hospitality career as an events manager at Tavern on the Green. From there, he went on to open multiple venues and events concepts for Pier 17 in the Seaport District as the Operations Project Manager for the Howard Hughes Corporation. He joins the Ziegfeld Ballroom team as the Catering Sales Coordinator, and couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this iconic landmark.

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Jessica Barbarite

CATERING SALES COORDINATOR

Jessica joined the Ziegfeld Ballroom shortly after graduating from East Carolina University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Public Relations. She always dreamed of starting her career in the hospitality industry in New York City. Jessica is excited to support her team to keep the legacy of this iconic landmark live on. 

 
 
 
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Stephanie Black

Consultant

A part of the Ziegfeld Ballroom since its inception in 2016, Stephanie provides expertise in core areas such as client engagement, operations, sales, and marketing. She was instrumental in creating the Ziegfeld Ballroom logo and an important member of the opening team.  At the age of 29, her work ethic and skills led to her becoming the Director of Catering and Events at Gotham Hall, making her one of the youngest females to hold this position at an iconic NYC venue. Stephanie engages clients for both Iconic Spaces, helping clients find the best venue for their event. Stephanie holds a Bachelors in Hospitality Management, as well as a Masters in Communication Arts from the New York Institute of Technology.

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Joshua Crane

EXECUTIVE CHEF

Most recently a veteran of Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group, where he was executive chef of the three Epicerie Boulud locations and their commissary kitchen, Crane has logged more than 15 years as a catering industry executive chef in New York and California and over 28 years in the food industry. Prior to joining Dinex, Crane was executive chef at Flik Hospitality, where he was in charge of executive dining services, corporate events and catering for two years after having spent the previous three years as executive chef at FCI Catering & Events. He also served as the executive chef for Mint Catering in NY for three years, Coast Catering in LA and San Diego for four years and Delicias in Rancho Sante Fe, CA for four year. His transition from restaurant top toque to catering executive chef came when Delicias opened a catering division in 2003 and he was tapped to run its culinary show. “Creating and orchestrating food for events means I’m developing new menus and working with different ingredients every day, which for me is the ultimate professional joy.” Crane’s other joys include diving and tending to his salt water aquariums at his home in Westchester where he resides with his loving wife. He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu.

 
 
 
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Craig Beckerle

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SERVICE

Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Craig was accepted into the managerial succession planning program at the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel, where he worked in a number of positions over five years.  Subsequently, he served as Banquet Director, Catering Sales Manager, and Director of Operations for New York at Cipriani; Director of Catering at the Museum of Natural History; Director of Catering at the Garden City Hotel; and Director of Banquet Services with Abigail Kirsch at Pier Sixty, The Lighthouse, and Current, before being reunited with his former colleague and close friend James Munz at Ziegfeld Ballroom in 2017. When not working, Craig spends his time with his wife Diana, his children Matthew and Lauren, and their dogs Junior and Sookie.

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Paul X Fraser II

EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF

Born in Stuttgart, Germany to a military family Paul joined the Navy at 15 through the delayed entry program, where he was top of his class in both Boatswain mate school and Aviation Ordnance school. Paul’s culinary career started in Tampa Bay under the direction of Chef Jeannie Pierola and Chad Johnson at the Famous Side Bern’s (fine dining sister) of Berns Steakhouse (Personally cooked for George W. Bush on 2 occasions) and later, The Elevage at The Epicurean Hotel. After a few years of working at both Sidebern’s and Berns Steakhouse, Paul left to consolidate his efforts at Mise En Place under the direction of Chef Marty Blitz. After almost 7 years at Mise En Place, looking for the next challenge, Paul ventured into the freelance world and started traveling, finding his home here in NYC.

 

 
 
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Maureen Acampora

BEVERAGE DIRECTOR

Maureen Acampora serves as the Beverage Director for both the Ziegfeld Ballroom and Gotham Hall. Beginning her work at Gotham Hall ten years ago, Maureen soon became the Beverage Manager at Gotham Hall before being promoted to Beverage Director. Prior to this, Maureen worked as a Manager for a music venue located in Greenwich Village while attending school.

 

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