Where are they now? Catching up with Business alumna Kristin Nelson

Where are they now? Catching up with Business alumna Kristin Nelson

Kristin Nelson (’12 Business) loves her industry because “there is never a dull moment running your own business. I never get bored because each day brings new challenges. The best thing about my job besides the kids I get to teach is the variety of tasks you get to undertake each day.” Kristen opened Constructive Chaos, where she is a Co-Owner and the Art Director, in March 2012. The Kendall College Alumni Association... read more

Catching up with hospitality alum Melissa Baca Parra

Kendall College, July 17th, 2014 | Category: Alumni | Permalink | Email this
tagged: ,

Melissa BacaMelissa Baca Parra, Hospitality Management alum in 2011, recently “received” Mr. Paul Van Deventer (President  & CEO of  Meeting Professionals International) for the 8th edition of the MPI Mexico Chapter Convention this month in Chihuahua, Mexico at the EXPO CHIHUAHUA Convention and Exhibition Center.  She is currently working in the convention center as an Event Coordinator. EXPO CHIHUAHUA Convention and Exhibition Center is one of the top 10 convention centers in Mexico according to ¨MDC, The Meeting Planner’s Magazine.¨

We caught up with Melissa to check in with her on her impressive career progress!

KC – Can you tell us about what it is you did at this event?

MBP – As the venue hosting the 8th edition of the MPI Mexico Chapter Convention, I am responsible for the overall coordination of the event within the convention center and the liaison between the organizing committee and event professionals in Chihuahua.

KC – Can you tell us about your job?

MBP – Being a Sales Executive at Expo Chihuahua involves more than selling venue space to potential customers. It also requires positioning Expo Chihuahua Convention & Exhibition Center as the best venue for local, national and international meetings and conventions through the ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) database. From building a community of event professionals in Chihuahua, public relations, promoting the destination, and organizing events this is definitely a very dynamic job position with high-stress levels.

KC – What do you like most about your job?

MBP – The greatest satisfaction about my job is knowing that by bringing and bidding for national and international meetings, I am helping my state increase the economic impact that a convention generates on the destination. I love that I never get bored and the relationships I build along the way.

KC - How did Kendall prepare you for what you are doing now and what you would like to do in the future?

MBP – Kendall College prepared me by providing opportunities to improve my networking and public relations skills, acquiring a greater scope of what the industry is and become up to date with what top meeting professionals around the world are doing and looking for in venues, events and destinations. I also love that it is located in one of the top cities for Conventions and Exhibitions which gave me the opportunity to witness many great and different types of events.

From the Kitchens at Kendall College: Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Kendall College, July 16th, 2014 | Category: Featured, Inside Kendall | Permalink | Email this
tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Lime-Smashed Avocado & Jicama-Pineapple Salsa

Yield: 8 tacos

These lively tacos meld flavors of the Caribbean and South Seas for a fresh summer interpretation of seafood tacos. With the addition of shaved coconut, this taco is reminiscent of coconut shrimp. Courtesy of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts.
read more

“Hey Cupcake” coming to Kendall! Q&A with baking phenom Chloe Stirling

Kendall College, June 30th, 2014 | Category: Around Town, Featured, Inside Kendall | Permalink | Email this
tagged: , , ,

chloe stirlingEarlier this month, with the signing of the tastiest bill in the State, Governor Patt Quinn said let them eat cake! Chloe Stirling, aka the cupcake girl of “Hey Cupcake”, is a 12 year old baking sensation. Her passion for baking started before she was 10 and now has blossomed into a budding career as the go-to cupcake (young) expert in Illinois, which has included an appearance on the Rachael Ray Show!

We’re thrilled to announce that Chloe will spend a week with us here at Kendall College during an upcoming Kendall Summer Camp. As a student in the baking course, she will be able to continue to hone her skills and maybe learn a few new ones as well!

KC: Tell us about how happy you were when the state passed the bill to keep you in the baking business.

CS: I was really happy that the state passed the bill, because it won’t just help me get back in business, but it will also help hundreds of other home bakers and cooks get back to baking.  It was never just about a cupcake.  It was bigger than that.

KC: At what age did you first start baking and how did “Hey Cupcake” take off? 

CS: I started baking when I was nine and a half.  My great aunt took me to a cake decorating class at Michaels and I really loved it!  I came home and just started trying to make new things.  I would take cupcakes to family and friend things, and before long, people were asking me to make things for their kids’ birthday.  I kind of found myself in business.  And I loved it.

KC: You’ve appeared on many exciting TV shows lately, including Rachael Ray. What has this experience been like for you? 

CS: I never could have imagined that I would get this far in this amount of time. When this all started, all I wanted was to be able to bake again.  We actually CHANGED THE LAW!!  Now I get to bake again, but the awesome things that have happened since this all started are unbelievable.  Rachael Ray was so amazing, and meeting Buddy the Cake Boss was my dream come true!  I testified to the state house, the senate, sat down with dozens of legislatures, had probably a hundred interviews, got to go to NYC twice! The Governor actually came to my house to sign my bill into law and now I get to come to Kendall.  I am so excited about that!!!!  I really can’t wait!!!

KC: What do you hope to learn during the Kendall Camps baking course?

CS: I would love to learn how to use sugars and fondant and modeling chocolates.  I always want to learn new techniques to make my stuff look cool.

KC: What do you want to be when you grow up? 

CS: I want to be a baker that can also do special baked stuff for animals.  I really love two things: baking and animals.  I want to do both.


From the Desk of the Director: Aurora Reinke

Kendall College, June 18th, 2014 | Category: Faculty | Permalink | Email this
tagged: , , ,



In each issue we showcase business courses and academic outcomes through student work, assessment results, assignment and classroom examples, company and instructor profiles, and more. F.O.G. Cosmetics, is a new line of color cosmetics for all skin types and colors. The owner, Tondalah Day Stroud, is a native of Chicago, a former runway and fashion model, and a licensed Aesthetician. The BUS 280, Business Case Development, class is very excited about having this firm work with our students and allow them real experience in the business world of cosmetics. As part of a class project, our students are able to work on marketing, packaging, international shipping, as well as actually making some of the cosmetic products. Mrs. Stroud has been an open book for our class and has even allowed the students access to her financial records to understand the daily cost to run a business.


We’d like to introduce you to people we appreciate or admire – students, Kendall faculty and staff, employers, alumni, and others who make a difference to us. Even though Rob Watson was featured in a past issue, we are proud that he recently won the Kendall College Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Here’s what our students had to say to demonstrate how Rob captures the essence of the Kendall spirit:

• With Rob’s teaching style his lessons are directly related to real life situations. I was able to learn new material at a fast pace and without even realizing it I was applying his lessons at my job.

• He creates a healthy learning environment and every class will mentally keep you on your toes.

• He is a brilliant, creative, and entertaining professor.

• Rob is brimming with confidence, displays an almost inhuman level of patience, and possesses a heart of gold.


Whether the goal is to start a company, break into a new industry, advance in a career, or change the world, we want to help students turn passion into rewarding profession. I recently received emails asking if students are interested in social media marketing jobs. Clearly, there has been growth in activity related to social media; however, when I poll students, I find they have very little familiarity with it as a professional tool. If you have not already, you should start using LinkedIn and Twitter right away to build a professional habit and reputation.

The Business of Craft Beer: Styles of the Summer Infographic from Kendall College

Kendall College, June 11th, 2014 | Category: Faculty, Featured, Inside Kendall, Uncategorized | Permalink | Email this
tagged: , ,

The craft beer industry is booming. With the sales of craft beer is at an all time high, including nearly 16 million barrels of beer sold last year (nearly a 25% increase from the previous year), we pegged our panel of experts to deliver the latest trends in the realm of new beers, including food pairings for the summer.

Last year, we produced our first craft beer infographic, “Tap into the Business of Craft Beer.”

For more information on our Beverage Management program at Kendall College as well as our partnership with the famed Siebel Institute, please visit this link.
CB Infographic FINAL