Bravo, Chef!

Fans of the Bravo reality cooking competition Top Chef got to witness the culinary chops of George Pagonis ’05. The show’s 12th season, filmed in Boston, began Oct. 15. Pagonis is executive chef and partner at Washington, D.C.’s Kapnos, the first Greek restaurant of celebrity chef Mike Isabella. Pagonis came to the restaurant in 2013 after having served as chef de cuisine at Isabella’s Graffiato, also in Washington. He has also worked in fine-dining restaurants in New York. After earning a degree in business administration at Mary Washington, Pagonis got a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. His first restaurant experience was at his father’s diner, The Four Seasons, in Alexandria, Virginia. … [Read more...]

Learning Lab

Service Dogs Train on Campus

There was a new student in the Tuesday afternoon principles of management class this fall. Meet Farrah, a Labrador and golden retriever mix and service dog in training. Farrah is one of two dogs in the University of Mary Washington’s chapter of Canine Companions for Independence started this fall and founded by UMW juniors Rebekah Selbrede and Abigail Hannell. Having grown up with dogs, both women were eager to put their love of animals toward a meaningful cause. After a year of planning, Selbrede and Hannell traveled to New York in June to pick up Dragon and Farrah. As service dogs in training, Dragon and Farrah will eventually be paired with people in need of help with a physical or hearing disability. Guiding pups to become service animals isn’t the same as having a pet. “It’s like having a child,” Selbrede said. “It’s a big responsibility to train these dogs.” Over the next year and a half, Dragon and Farrah will learn 30 basic commands, house training, and … [Read more...]

Film Exec Advises “Change and Innovate”

NBC Universal executive Daniel Wolfe ’84 came from California to spend two fall days on campus as the University of Mary Washington’s 2014-15 executive-in-residence. In October, Wolfe spoke with students and community leaders about the business of moviemaking, a subject he knows well. As executive vice president of NBC Universal’s Worldwide Creative Operations, he oversees a staff of more than 100 who provide marketing support for Universal productions. At UMW, he urged audience members to be innovative in their businesses and careers. “Maintaining the status quo is not a strategy,” he said. Businesses can either hold onto their success model until it becomes irrelevant or continuously look to change and innovate. “The biggest thing is: Are we listening to our consumer? The ability to ask questions, the ability to let your guard down and say ‘let me ask what would be a better way to do this’ is so important for any business and for any individual to keep growing,” Wolfe … [Read more...]