Bob Voelker, the CEO, of Gateway Hospitality Group, was born and trained in the restaurant business in Wisconsin. At the age of 11, his interest in food began in the family restaurant and after graduation he attended the Culinary Institute of America. Voelker graduated number two in his class of 420 students with high honors, and was thus awarded a fellowship instructor position. Following his fellowship he attended and graduated from the University of Houston Hotel and Restaurant Management School, earning his way through college by working in many of the finest restaurants and clubs in the Houston area.
After graduation, he spent eight years with Hilton Hotels Corporation in the Food and Beverage Operation department concentrating on the creation of fine restaurants and banquet facilities. During his tenure with Hilton, Voelker designed and operated four concept restaurants at the Foutainblue in Miami. Today, the Fountainblue is still one of the cities most recognized eateries.
Voelker‘s career progressed to Stouffer Hotels, where he was responsible for designing 45 conceptual restaurants and bars. His Sans Souci Restaurant, located in the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel, is still recognized as the city’s premier restaurant.
His love for food and hospitality grew into the development of Gateway Hospitality Group. In 1988, Voelker has used his expertise to develop and build conceptual service-focused hotels with meeting and banquet space. Today, Gateway Hospitality Group managed Hilton Garden Inns have built a reputation for creative and outstanding food, venues and service.
Continuing his passion for creative design & extraordinary food, the Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern restaurant emerged. Blue Canyon restaurants are currently located in Twinsburg, OH (the flagship restaurant); Missoula MT; and Kalispell MT.
Tenacity is his backbone, amazingly hard work and personal risk are his methods.
A large part of the Gateway Hospitality Group culture revolves around community service. Every grand opening celebration for a Gateway Hospitality Group hotel or restaurant benefits a local charity to create stronger community ties and assist in the betterment of the community. After a hotel is open, the general manager and their team are required to continue community aid via hotel employee service projects. This concept began at the Twinsburg hotel and has not changed. Some of the organizations that have benefited include The Salvation Army, Coats for Kids, Chiari Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, local schools and fund drives.
Voelker, as owner of the Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland/Twinsburg leverages the property’s sales staff to cross-sell the restaurant and banquet facilities. Few restaurants can boast of a sales team of four, cross-selling banquets and meetings in the facility in 5 major surrounding markets. Voelker hopes to further improve the hotel occupancy by offering meeting and convention guests with a full service restaurant and bar, adjacent to the hotel. A win/win situation for Voelker, Evans, guests and the two facilities.