Owner and Chief Executive Officer
Constantine Katsifis was raised in East Brunswick, he attended East Brunswick High School, ran track and worked at the Colonial Diner as a busboy. After graduation he attended Rutgers University, double majoring in English and Engineering. During this time period, he engaged in the family business by working at the Americana Diner.
Since his first day operating the Americana Diner in 1990, Constantine Katsifis has embraced and focused on guest satisfaction and improvement. He has transformed Americana Hospitality Group (AHG) from a “one store owner and operator” to include multiple locations that serve over 25,000 guests each week. AHG now consists of Americana Diner in East Windsor, Skylark Fine Diner and Lounge in Edison and the legendary banquet hall Pines Manor in Edison with a total of over 350 employees. By offering careers in hospitality and not “just jobs” AHG is poised to continue exponential growth with significant increases in profitability.
During the last two decades, he has redefined the diner category in New Jersey by continually improving food quality, service and ambiance. This vision earned Skylark Diner and Lounge their highest rating of “Don’t Miss” from the New York Times, the first ever for a diner. Mr. Katsifis believes you place your management and employees above all and they in turn create a much better experience for the guests. This belief has produced off-the-charts retention rates for management and staff.
The management team working with Mr. Katsifis upholds the Company’s primary operating philosophy that guests are earned one at a time through personal interaction and delivering on his simple yet powerful message: “Our Effort is Our Distinction.” He believes that dedicated efforts in a focused direction over time pays the greatest dividend and continues to lead by example.
Constantine continues to set this example by staying active in charitable and civic organizations. His most notable charity includes the Embrace Kids Foundation where he is on the Board of Directors. AHG continues to support this charity by donating food for the yearly walk-a-thon at Johnson Park, Dance Marathon at Rutgers University and Annual Dinner. Additionally, he works with East Windsor’s Community Action Service Center and has been a recipient of the Civic Activist Award. By partnering with them for more than 10 years, AHG has provided thousands of families with a Thanksgiving dinner.
Director of Operations
Joseph Amore is the Director of Operations for AHG. He has extensive experience in the hotel and restaurant business, working for some of the premier properties in New York City. Teaming with CEO Constantine Katsifis at AHG, he has helped restore the century-old Pines Manor to its position as the leading and largest caterer in Central New Jersey. Amore helped create a luxury-level of service at affordable prices.
He simultaneously built a strong social and corporate clientele leading to increased business in areas otherwise overlooked. His commitment to custom-tailored menus, professionally-trained staff, and creating special environments meets the cultural requirements of the area’s ethnic populations.
Joe Amore is the heart and soul of the Pines Manor. He puts everything he has into not only pleasing guests, but also creating a positive working environment where employees are encouraged to grow emotionally and professionally.
Amore’s prior experience includes 11 years serving as Director of Banquet Services at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City and as back of the house manager of the Hotel’s famed former French Restaurant, Lespinasse. He also was the Food and Beverage Manager at another legendary property, the Pierre Hotel.
Amore is a graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Sonny Soemarsono, Executive Chef at the Pines Manor, has been recognized as a leader and mentor, as well as for his creativity in the restaurant world. He has received many awards and won many competitions including, to name a few, First Place at the Community Resource’s First and Fifth Annual Pasta Bowl Festivals in Staten Island, NY; two Silver medals at the International Hotel/Motel Management Restaurant Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY; “Best of Show” piece at the ICF and ACF New York Chapter Food Show in New York, NY; and was the People’s Choice Award winner at the Celebrity Gourmet Gala for the March of Dimes held in New York, NY.
Chef Sonny is also well known in the celebrity world for developing menus, preparing lunches, and for designing and carving ice sculptures for a vast array of organizations such as the Grammy Awards, MGM, Radio City Music Hall, Access Hollywood and the New York Giants Super Bowl Champions celebrations. Chef Soemarsono – or “Chef Sonny”, as he likes to be called- graduated from the Hotel and Tourism Institute of Trisakti Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1977, and the French Culinary Institute in New York City, NY, in 1988.
Shortly after graduating, Chef Sonny held the position as Executive Chef at Ramayana Indonesian Restaurant , New York, and then went on to become Sous-Chef and Chef de Cuisine at Prince Street Bar and Restaurant in Soho, NY. From there Chef Sonny further developed his career by working in prestigious restaurants and hotels which included The Rainbow Room, as Sous-Chef and Lead Garde Manger Chef, while holding a position as Chef Tournant at the New York Palace Hotel, NY. Afterwards he further enhanced his career by becoming the Chef de Partie-Sous Chef at the Five Star/Five Diamond St. Regis Hotel in New York City where he met and worked with Joe Amore, the present Director of Operations at the Pines Manor.
He later accepted the position as Executive Chef at Nicotra Ballroom, Lorenzo’s Bar Restaurant and Cabaret at the Hilton Garden Inn, New York, NY, before becoming the Executive Chef at the Pines Manor.
Marisa Dervech email@example.com
Marisa has been helping brides and grooms realize their dream wedding at the Pines Manor since 2004.
She was hired as Sales Manager and quickly learned her clientele at the Pines Manor. She has been Catering Director since 2008, overseeing all weddings, social events and corporate conferences. She has built long lasting relationships with her clients.
Marisa’s formal training and acquired expert knowledge came most notably from holding the position of Assistant Coordinator for a reputable Financial Institution’s Conference Center in the Princeton area.
Marisa always surrounded herself with customer service roles. She owned and operated a Retail store in Flemington NJ for 4 years and prior to that she worked for a Wealth Management Firm, and was responsible and accommodated high profile accounts.
Her role at the Pines Manor will continue to provide the best for her clients while raising the bar for the industry.
Janet Baio firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager of Business Development
Janet Baio has over 25 years of successful experience in the Hospitality Industry in both the corporate and social markets. Baio works very closely with the community to foster relations. She has been able to extend to potential guests the benefits of what the Pines Manor has to offer through one-on-one interaction. Her personality is very warm and contagious and perfect to help you plan an event with ease.
With all the challenges we may face today she has been able to customize budgets to meet the clients needs. That is why her repeat business is very high and referrals as well. Baio is a graduate of Taylor Business Institute.
Associations & Awards:
- Currently Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edison Chamber of Commerce
- Past Second Vice Chair Edison Chamber
- 2010 Edison Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year
- Serves on the Edison Job Corp Industry Council
- Two Time recipient of Community Recognition Awards
- Co-Founder of Marketshare
- Served on the Board of Directors for Women Helping Women
- Served on the Board of Trustees for NJ Women’s Aids Network
- Serves on the St Barnabas and NJ State FMBA Committee
- Served on Edison Ten
- Co Chair of Taste of Middlesex
Patty Fragioudakis email@example.com
Patty Fragioudakis has been a valuable asset to the Pines Manor since she started as an intern. Using that time, she was very eager to learn the business and did quickly. That enthusiasm to be a great student started at Montclair State University where she was on the Dean’s List. Pair this with her natural bubbly personality and willingness to please people made it a wonderful fit for her new position as a Catering Manager.
Patty is very active in the community and involved in several groups and organization. Her experience includes working with national and international schools to coordinate Proms, Educational Meetings, Workshops and Dinners. Patty also works within the corporate community specializing in logistics for conferences.
Mrs. Fragioudakis best asset is to brides to be. Patty chose to have her dream wedding at the Pines Manor and can talk to brides intimately about the experience from both sides of the table. That includes working with all local vendors to find the one that best fits your needs.
Vicki Kapanieris firstname.lastname@example.org
Vicki lives by two main philosophies:
- Do what you say you are going to do
- Under-promise and over-deliver
As a result, she is pro-active, service oriented, organized and efficient. Her main strengths are that she is dedicated; detail oriented and enjoys working on a team.
Vicki has an extensive background in Early Childhood Education and Multicultural teaching both in US and in Europe. She received ongoing recognition and the Family Partnership Award from the parents and staff within six months of employment. This passion for nurturing and helping people is what drew her to the Hospitality Industry over six years ago.
At the Pines Manor Vicki had to work hard on her way up and did so with such a drive she was Employee of the Month five times and 2010 Employee of the Year. Her journey to Catering Manager included positions as Executive Office Administrator, Accounts Payable, Purchasing & Invoicing and Marketing Assistant. Vicki has a full understanding of how the whole operation works and her guests benefit from her well-rounded knowledge.
There is not a task, event or problem that Vicki shies away from. Her diverse experience has made her perfect for clients of all backgrounds and ethnicities. She is always positive and works efficiently in all situations delivering the same high quality results to each and every project. Stop in to visit Vicki today and discuss the your event with her. She will be more than happy to make your event a success.