Meet Our Management Team

Patrice Rice, CEO and Founder
Derek Spurlock, Vice President
Danielle Scott, Vice President Franchise Development
Debi Dakis, National Account Manager
Joanne Blank, Executive Director of Business Development
Nadine Vauthier, Executive Assistant

Patrice Rice, CEO and Founder

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patrice-picPatrice Rice has an entrepreneurial background with a history of building successful businesses. Her hospitality career began in the hotel industry where she was the Sales Manager for the Holiday Inn and the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Lord Baltimore Hotel in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Her entrepreneurial career started when she opened Chesapeake Cruising, the largest fleet of powerboats for charter on the Chesapeake Bay. She became the first woman Captain on the Chesapeake and launched the industry of corporate entertaining on luxury yachts in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Patrice then purchased and operated a marina restaurant from when she further developed a catering service specializing in the yachting industry.
Patrice & Associates opened in 1989 and has grown to be one of the largest hospitality recruiting firms in the country. For over 20 years, Patrice has been a staffing partner with some of the largest corporations providing hospitality managers at all levels.
Patrice is driven to stand apart from others through the development of recruiters and franchisees that share her same belief and which has been the cornerstone of her business, “Recruiting is not about money, it is about helping people”.
With an extensive training program based on her business model, Patrice has developed a network of successful recruiters nationwide and is now expanding the company’s reach and effectiveness through franchisees. Her commitment to the success of others is evident throughout her organization.

Patrice Rice, who founded Patrice & Associates in 1989, is recognized as an expert in the area of Jobs in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industries. She has been quoted in many articles and has been interviewed on television news stations. Recently Patrice was one of 12 women selected, out of 5,000 submissions, to be featured on the 2011 Women in Business Calendar that will be available in bookstores nationwide and on amazon.com.

Some of the publications that sought advice from and included Patrice’s expertise in articles include Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, QSR Magazine, HR Executive and Business News.

Patrice has also been sought by television news stations to share her expertise in the Hospitality Job Market. She has appeared on Fox 35 News Orlando and the Washington Business Tonight news program.

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Derek Spurlock, Vice President

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Derek joined Patrice & Associates in 2005 as a Special Projects Manager and moved into his current position in 2007. Having spent 15 years in the IT industry as a senior level network engineer and project manager, his organizational abilities have contributed greatly to the company growth. Derek is solely responsible for all back-office support and development including the Patrice & Associates brand, website and brochures; development of business and promotional items for franchisees; trade show booth design and convention coordination. Derek’s contributions have forged Patrice & Associates to the next level of professionalism in keeping with their new branding efforts and franchising program.

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Danielle Scott, Vice President Franchise Development

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Danielle_finalDanielle joined Patrice & Associates in March, 2012 bringing more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry as well as an impressive record of success in Franchise Development.

Danielle’s hospitality expertise stems from positions as General Manager and Regional Manager for such outstanding concepts as Mortons of Chicago, Bucca di Peppo and House of Blues. She has held executive positions in franchising with Cosi, Inc. and Sylvan Learning. Danielle also brings experience as a successful franchisee to her position as she formed a company that purchased and operated 6 Sylvan Learning Centers.

Danielle’s unique background gives her unprecedented insight to recruiting in the hospitality business, developing successful franchisees and overcoming the challenges of owning your own business. She has a contagious passion for the level of support required to make franchisees at Patrice & Associates successful.

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Debi Dakis, National Account Manager

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DebiDebi joined Patrice & Associates in January 2012 as a Recruiter successfully finding candidates new management careers in the hospitality industry. In November 2012, she joined the Corporate Team as an Account Manager where she interacts with clients ensuring customer satisfaction, works with the National Account Manager in updating job postings, and represents Patrice & Associates at local and national networking events. She brings a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm to the office.
Debi has over 30 years’ experience in the non- profit associations and private industry. Her Hospitality experience was gained from her many years of trade shows and meeting planning. Her experience ranges from trade show management, meeting planning, sales and project management. Her Recruiter background stems from focus group recruitment in the residential building industry. Her Sales and Management experience was in private industry in various markets.

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Joanne Blank, Executive Director of Business Development

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Joanne joined Patrice & Associates in November 2013 having worked for over 25 years exclusively in the hospitality industry as an owner’s rep, consultant, or “C” Level executive for prominent developers and major brands such as Trump, Tishman, Ignite Restaurant Group, Front Burner Restaurants, Coyle Hospitality, and Gaylord Hotels & Restaurants to name a few. Joanne has lead development and operational teams to insure that objectives were met from inception through completion; on time and within budget. She has won awards for Outstanding Working Woman from Conde Nast Publications, was a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) established in NY, and served as an adviser to the NYC School Construction Authority and Mentor program as well.

Joanne has the uncanny ability to match corporate initiatives and colleagues in winning combinations that add value for each client. By creating win-win relationships and strategic partnerships the end result propels client needs to a defined culture and team. With a full understanding of operational excellence, enhanced guest experiences and improved brand performance, Joanne ultimately works to strengthen market share, trending, and demographics that yield a higher ROI for each client.

As the Executive Director of Business Development for Patrice & Associates, Joanne utilizes her skills to expand the company in multiple verticals that increase the client base, create strategic partnerships as an added value proposition, and reach the next level of client development and excellence of service so project team efforts remain focused, efficient, and successful.
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Nadine Vauthier, Executive Assistant

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Nadine joined Patrice & Associates in the spring of 2010 and provides administrative support for our growing organization. Having prior hospitality, sales, management and hiring experience, Nadine handles the administrative and organizational duties here at Patrice & Associates. Nadine’s “behind the scenes” support plays an integral role in the smooth operation of Patrice & Associates. Some of her duties include management of all shipping logistics; help with Franchisee compliance tracking, web site maintenance, Accounts receivable/Accounts payable and contacting potentially new recruiters. She is also responsible for coordinating travel arrangements for and often attending national trade shows in support of Patrice & Associates franchising efforts.
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