Industry Update
Press Release17 February 2010

Restaurateur Sheila Laderberg to Speak at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration

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Restaurant entrepreneur Sheila Laderberg will be the featured speaker in the Conversations with Entrepreneurs series to be presented next Tuesday, February 23, by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell University. Laderberg will present from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. in 198 Statler Hall. She will dine with selected students after the event and meet with students, staff, and faculty the following day.


Laderberg is co-founder of Punk's Backyard Grill, a fast casual backyard cookout restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland. Her co-founders are Jeffrey Sloan and David McCabe, who along with Laderberg, are 2006 graduates of the Master of Management in Hospitality program (MMH) at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

Laderberg, Sloan, and McCabe came up with the idea for Punk's Backyard Grill while collaborating on a project in the school's Restaurant Development class taught by Senior Lecturer Stephani Robson. After years of refining the concept, planning, and raising capital, they opened Punk's Backyard Grill in February 2009. In its first year Punk's was named one of Washingtonian magazine's "Top 100 Bargain Restaurants" and What's Up! Annapolis magazine's "Best Bang for Your Buck." The restaurant was also featured in the spring 2009 issue of the School of Hotel Administration's alumni magazine.

Prior to launching Punk's Backyard Grill, Laderberg was general manager of Marvelous Market Capitol Hill and worked with other hospitality companies in operations and marketing.

In addition to her Cornell MMH degree, Laderberg holds a BA degree from the University of Virginia.

The Conversations with Entrepreneurs series is sponsored by Hotelie Entrepreneurs, Cornell Hospitality Advisors, and eClips.

About The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship | An operating unit of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the Pillsbury Institute advances the study and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation in the hospitality industry. Through our network of faculty, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs, we give students the knowledge and skills they need to successfully pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. To learn more about the institute, visit , or contact Tom Ward, managing director, at 607.255.1217 or at [email protected]

Lauren Benfante
Phone: 607-255-0179
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