John Graf, Director of Operations – Priory Hospitality Group:
One of the owners of the Priory Hospitality Group, John has been with The Priory and Grand Hall full time since 2002. John is responsible for the day to day operations of The Priory Hotel, Grand Hall at the Priory, and Priory Fine Pastries, as well as overseeing The Priory’s real estate acquisition and development activities. Prior to joining the Priory Hospitality Group, John was a practicing attorney for over 12 years.
In addition to his duties with Priory Hospitality Group, John serves on the boards of directors of the North Side Chamber of Commerce (Immediate Past President), North Side Cultural Collaborative (President), the National Aviary, the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association (Western Pennsylvania Chapter), the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, and Union Dale Cemetery. His is also a member of the Community Advisory Board of WQED Multimedia, and is President Emeritus of Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 32. In the hospitality industry, John is a member of Skäl and Meeting Planners International.
Rebecca Lazeration, General Manager – Priory Hospitality:
Following a term as General Manager of the Priory Hotel, Rebecca Lazeration now serves as General Manager – Priory Hospitality, and is responsible for the day to day operations of both the Priory Hotel and Grand Hall.
Rebecca has been with the Priory family for five years, also serving as Director of Hospitality and Assistant Manager-Grand Hall, where she managed weddings, parties and other events large and small. Before serving as Director of Hospitality, Rebecca worked at the Priory as an Assistant Manager, where she assisted in hotel operations and also oversaw events in both The Priory Hotel and Grand Hall. Though she joined the Priory in 2008, Rebecca is an old hand in the field of hospitality, bringing with her more than 16 years of experience in event planning and supervision. Before coming aboard with The Priory, Rebecca served as Clubhouse Manager for Longue Vue Country Club in Verona, and prior to that she acted as Director of Restaurants for the Pittsburgh Hilton.
Rebecca was awarded her associates degree in hospitality and travel management from Sawyer Business School in 1993.
Heather McDowell, Director of Food & Beverage– Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at The Priory:
In her capacity as Director of Food and Beverage – Priory Hospitality, Heather oversees the day to day running of all events in the Priory Hotel and Grand Hall, including all of our wedding receptions, parties, and corporate meetings. Heather started her career with the Priory in 1997, helping in the office and bartending. She subsequently became the Priory’s Wedding Sales Specialist, and in late 2012 was promoted to Director of Food and Beverage. Heather has assisted literally hundreds of brides with their wedding plans over the years, as well as planning many corporate and charity events.
Tim McGlothlin, Facilities Manager – Priory Hospitality:
Tim McGlothlin, Facilities Manager, returned to The Priory family in 2007 after an 11 year hiatus. In his present capacity, Tim oversees all Priory Hospitality systems – computer, software, heating and cooling, grounds, and many others – and makes sure that everything is working smoothly.
Gene Lucente, Sales Manager, Corporate and Group Sales – Priory Hospitality Group:
Gene Lucente, who has been with Priory Hospitality Group since 1997, oversees group and corporate event sales for The Priory Hotel and Grand Hall. Gene began his career in the travel industry in 1974, working for a number of travel agencies in the Pittsburgh area, including Simon International Travel and Your Man Tours. He migrated into the restaurant and catering industry in the 1980’s as bar manager and banquet bartender for Holiday Inns. Gene is well schooled in handling and planning events of any size and type – from the formal corporate dinner to the family reunion party to an all day sales seminar.
Michael Henney, Executive Chef: Mike Henney joined The Priory team in 1999. Mike and co-Executive Chef Pete Phillipy both personally oversee food preparation and cooking for every event at Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at The Priory. Prior to his tenure with The Priory, Mike served in a variety of capacities for Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA, culminating in being named Executive Chef at that renowned property. Mike is a graduate of Community College of Allegheny County’s Chef’s Apprenticeship Program. Chef Mike was featured in Bon Appetit Magazine in 1996, and was named Pittsburgh’s Most Handsome Chef in 2003 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Pete Phillipy, Executive Chef: Pete Phillipy is the other member of The Priory’s culinary dynamic duo. Like his partner, Pete began his engagement with The Priory in 1999, and is present at every Grand Hall event to ensure that the food is completed to perfection. Prior to his tenure with The Priory, Pete was a chef with Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and the Hyeholde Restaurant. Pete is a 1983 graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary Arts Institute, and completed an internship program with the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, WV in 1986. Pete qualified as a certified chef by the American Culinary Federation in 1995.