About Creative Hospitality Associates

We are very proud of our CHA staff, many of whom are recognized leaders in their field

– The Principals of CHA®

                 Facing the challenges and demands of the foodservice industry and management we recognize that it is people who drive excellence above all else – their particular skills and what they bring to the organization and projects. Our people are our greatest asset – whether training, operations, engineering, architecture, management, property consulting, planning, and many others – they all contribute to our success.

Our Executive Team:

Chuck Hamburg – Principal and Partner

With over 30 years of hospitality experience, his work has spanned the U.S. and abroad, including Faneuil Hall in Boston, South Sea Port in New York, Bayfront in Miami, the Monte Carlo Tennis Club in Monaco and the Swiss Grand Hotel in Montreux, Switzerland. A pioneering hospitality educator and veteran management consultant, Hamburg’s critical services and expertise have been sought after by key decision-makers ranging from independent restaurateurs, hoteliers to corporate CEO’s.

Applying his unique first-hand knowledge in developing practical and client specific business solutions, Hamburg has been involved in hospitality academia since 1971, and is currently an Associate Professor in Roosevelt University’s Hospitality Management Program and was Program Director from 1987-1994. Hamburg holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Massachusetts; a Masters in Counseling from Suffolk University in Boston and pursued doctoral work in Beverage and Food Service Marketing at the University of Marseilles in France.

Hamburg is an Illinois BASSET Certified Instructor. Along with Brian Margulis, Chuck was the General Partner of Flatlander’s Restaurant & Brewery in Lincolnshire Illinois before selling the restaurant in March of 2007. His expertise includes restaurant development with specialties in hotel, casino and commercial foodservice.

Brian Margulis, MCFE – Principal and Partner 

A member of the International Foodservice Executives Association and Chapter President for the Illinois Restaurant Association, Margulis is an operations specialist with extensive experience in single and multi-unit management. Margulis has been a valuable resource to organizations looking for turnaround, sales improvement, growth and expansion and new business development.

After several years with Chicago’s Levy Restaurants, he became V.P./Director of Operations for Chicago Dining Authority, where he helped develop and grow the operations of Harry Caray’s, the Hyatt Prairie, and Burhop’s Restaurant. Margulis utilizes real and practical operations systems, cutting edge developments and proven professional talent to craft programs tailored to each client’s needs. Margulis is a University of Illinois graduate and holds a Masters in Hospitality Management and Tourism from Roosevelt University. He is an adjunct Professor of Hospitality Management at Roosevelt University. Margulis is also a BASSET Certified Instructor and hold an Illinois Sanitation Certified License.

His expertise includes operation’s analysis, internal controls and management development. Along with Chuck Hamburg, Brian was the General Partner of Flatlander’s Restaurant & Brewery in Lincolnshire Illinois before selling the restaurant in March of 2007.

 Eric Feltman – Vice President of Operations

With over 30 years of experience, Eric Feltman brings a wide range of talents to Creative Hospitality Associates. He has extensive knowledge of operational excellence in both bar and food environments and has used this experience to grow the business of small and large establishments alike.

Mr. Feltman apprenticed with iconic Chicago chefs, including Patrick Collins of the Racquet Club and went on to be named the Executive Chef for the Green Room at the Lyric Opera of Chicago where he presided for many years over memorable events for local and visiting dignitaries, celebrities and Fortune 500 companies. 

He has worked with corporate icons, (Wendy’s International, Cracker Barrel, Krispy Kream and Bloomingdale’s) immersed in the operational training of successful management team members inclusive of expanded profitability and controls. 

As a consultant, Mr. Feltman has been instrumental in the development and turn around of numerous food service establishments since 1997 and joined Creative Hospitality Associates in 2004.

Mr. Feltman was the General Manager of Flatlander’s Restaurant & Brewery in Lincolnshire Illinois before selling the restaurant in March of 2007.

Bruce Povalish – Finance Specialist

Mr. Povalish has over 35 years of financial and operational experience in over a dozen industries including Hospitality. After completing his college degree with honors he accepted a position at the largest international CPA firm in Chicago (KPMG). Specializing in the “Private Business Consulting” practice of the firm, Mr. Povalish worked closely with small and medium sized business owners on tax, audit and consulting matters. Industries he served as a public accountant at KPMG included domestic and international banking, insurance, finance, manufacturing and service. After public accounting he went on to formalize his career in the retail automotive industry for 22-years where he held every position from Controller, Director of Operations, CFO, F&I and General Manager.

Later, he entered the retail services industry where he was a Principal, Chief Financial Officer and VP of Operations of a national $25 million manufacturer’s representative company that included nationwide field and construction services for retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, True Value, Kohls, Target and The Sports Authority. He was responsible for building and monitoring national field service and fixture/remodeling construction divisions with 800 employees in 38 states including corporate ownership in a national temp staffing company in N. Carolina with over 10,000 registered service reps.

Now, Povalish specializes in restructuring debt financing packages and consulting for small businesses who cannot afford a full-time CFO and as a start-up consultant and funding broker through BGP Business Solutions Inc. Mr. Povalish is also an owner in other companies including a video gaming consulting practice named Video Gaming Consultants & Advisors which represents establishments in the Illinois video gaming market.

Mr. Povalish has sat on the Board of Directors of various companies and volunteers his time with local not for profit organizations benefiting small business owners and local charities. He is also a regular lecturer at business functions and higher education events and is an adjunct Professor of Accounting at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL.

Gail Vida Hamburg – Marketing Belle Letterist

Gail is an award-winning journalist, author, and writer, with an unorthodox Marketing specialty in Hospitality that fuses the humanities, psychology, and storytelling. 

Gail’s work for clients is informed by Jungian brand archetypes, Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), and semiotics; grounded in research and data, and shaped by competitive intelligence and marketing landscape. A brand architect with a flair for synthesizing dense notions to deep meaning, she is a lyrical designer and communicator of brand stories.

A multicultural globalist who has worked internationally developing, marketing, and promoting traveling museum special events, Gail has lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
Gail holds a Master of Fine Arts in Literature and Creative Writing from Bennington College, Vermont, with undergraduate work in Mass Communications at North East London Polytechnic in England, and Hospitality and Tourism Management at New York Institute of Technology. Gail is also a multimedia producer, and serves as adjunct faculty at Roosevelt University’s Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality Management in Chicago, teaching Communications and Research Methods.  

For CHA client projects, she strives to bring together behavioral psychologists, business improv facilitators, customer facing journey mapping and service design practitioners, humanities professionals, and an assorted band of eggheads, writers, and artists.

Affiliate Consultants:

Mark Losurdo – Kitchen & Bar Design Consultant

Mark Losurdo , a twenty two year Food Service Equipment distributor and facilities planner, offers complete food service facilities planning and interior design services, integrating both “back and front of the house” into a total concept solution. The result is an efficient and effective project, on time and within budget.

Losurdo Inc.’s range of services include schematic drawings showing space allocated for the kitchen and dining areas based on client’s menu, budget, and building parameters, development of preliminary floor plans and/or preliminary interior pencil sketches and, upon approval, the final floor plans, and/or final interior pencil sketches and mechanical and electrical rough in plans for all kitchen equipment.

Losurdo’s services also include complete kitchen equipment specifications and bidding documents, submission of equipment brochure books and plans to client, governing health authorities, and mechanical trades for approval. Losordo’s team will be responsible for purchase, consolidation, delivery, and installation of all kitchen equipment and fixtures-furnishings, including approval of shop drawings and coordination with field conditions, along with periodic visits to the site to determine the progress and quality of the work for compliance with the specifications.

Jim Lencioni – Architectural Consultant

In 1989, Lencioni co-founded Aria Group Architects. The firm’s concentration in the hospitality industry allowed him to lead the design development of restaurant concepts for such properties as Maggiano’s, the Corner Bakery, P.F. Chang’s China Bistros, California Pizza Kitchen and Brinker International. Jim Lencioni holds extensive experience as a draftsman, designer, architect and project manager.

He worked with Bernheim, Kahn & Lozano as Project Architect and in 1983 became the Senior Architect, attracting the firm to a higher concentration of restaurants including Charlie Trotters, Bennigan’s and McDonald’s custom units. Lencioni is a graduate of the University of Illinois and his areas of expertise are in Architectural Design, Site Selection and Kitchen Development.