Aurify Brands

Below you’ll find bios for each of the members of the Aurify team.

MARINA ROULIS, Director of Human Resources and Network Development

Marina is responsible for the company’s overall daily office operations. Her responsibilities include overseeing and managing the human resources department, employee hiring practices, employee benefits, policy making and compliance. In addition, she works closely with the accounting department, payroll department, and the management team of the various food brands. Marina also handles new company formation and vendor relations, insurance matters, review and negotiation of leases and contracts, and is the general liaison between operations and management. She also works closely with the construction team to ensure all permitting and job completions are in order. Previously, Marina was an Executive Assistant at a New York law firm for 31 years. Marina graduated from Queens College in 1981 where she earned her B.S. in Social Sciences. She is currently pursuing her Certification in Human Capital Management from NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

SPENCER RUBIN, Managing Partner of Melt Shop

Spencer is responsible for the brand development and daily operations of Melt Shop. He started his restaurant career at a young age cooking in his parent’s kitchen.   He always had a passion for food and it was clear he would be in the restaurant business in some capacity one day.  Spencer worked through a number of positions starting out as a prep cook for a special events company at the age of 14, interning at Union Square Hospitality Group and Restaurant Associates, and working at BCD as a project manager rolling out fast casual restaurants across the New York metro area. Spencer graduated from The Hotel School at Cornell University.

JOSH MORGAN, Operating Partner of Melt Shop

Having explored careers in both finance and commercial real estate, Josh realized early on that his true passion was in the hospitality business.  After completing the reputable management training program at Houstons Restaurant Group, Josh managed restaurants for the company in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles.  For several years, Josh worked directly with the Founder and oversaw multiple concepts, including Houstons, Bandera and Gulfstream.   In 2009, Josh decided to come back to New York and opened Choptank, a neighborhood restaurant in the West Village, inspired by the food of his home state of Maryland.  Josh sold the restaurant in 2011.  That same year, Josh was approached by Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, owners of Eleven Madison Park, to open their new project, the Nomad restaurant at the Nomad Hotel.  In the first year, the Nomad received 3 stars from the NY Times, 1 Michelin star and was nominated for a James Beard award.  Josh is also the founder of Hammer & Claws Blue Crab Feast, an annual food festival in NYC that celebrates the Maryland tradition of blue crab feasts.  After a decade working in the full service restaurant business, Josh decided to pursue his fascination with the fast-casual segment of the industry and joined Aurify Brands as an operating partner in June, 2013.

FRANKLIN BECKER, Executive Chef for The Little Beet

Born and bred in Brooklyn, NY, Chef Franklin Becker is currently quite busy. In addition to penning his third book on healthy cooking, titled GOOD FAT, GREAT FLAVOR, Chef Becker is opening The Little Beet in the summer of 2013. A seasoned chef, Becker has a stellar reputation and has garnered numerous accolades, including being named a Rising Star by StarChefs.com in 2006 and winner of The Burger Bash at the New York City Wine & Food Festival in 2011. Throughout his career, Becker has received glowing reviews from such high-profile writers as Gael Greene of New York Magazine, William Grimes of The New York Times, who wrote that Becker has “a talent for delivering big, punchy flavors,” and while at Capitale in 2003, Esquire’s John Mariani named it “Best New Restaurant in America.” Most recently, Chef Becker was the corporate executive chef of EMM Group, overseeing menus for Meatpacking hot spots Abe & Arthurs, which specializes in steak and chops; multi-level seasonal seafood concept CATCH, and Lexington Brass, a Midtown American bistro. Prior, Becker served as executive chef of such beloved Manhattan-based restaurants including Capitale, Brasserie, and Local.

ANDY DUDDLESTON, Managing Partner for The Little Beet

Andy Duddleston first joined the Aurify team to create Champion Access, an organization which teaches management competencies to adults working in the food industry. The goal for the organization is to help those in the food service industry to access career opportunities and to achieve to their highest potential. Andy’s background is in the restaurant industry and public service. Andy spent his undergraduate years working in the food industry, and spent breaks in Belize and Zanzibar helping local communities implement environmental initiatives. After serving in the Peace Corp, Andy went on to graduate in May of 2009 from the Wagner School at NYU with a Masters in Public Administration. Andy soon realized he could combine his food industry experience and his interest in public service – and soon after started Champion Access. Andy is currently overseeing the management team at Wahoo’s Tacos and preparing for the opening of Little Beet.

RICHARD BAUER, Construction Management & Site Development

Richard is head of our Construction Management and Site Development team.  He has 25-years of project management experience working with Best Buy, Bed Bath and beyond and Sony Entertainment.  He is a creative motivator and team builder, with a proven track record in the implementation of new business development ventures.

LOUIS RIGOS, Facilities Manager

Louis has over 30 years experience in the restaurant and food industry.  He has owned and operated businesses of his own and is now an integral part of the Aurify Brands team.  His expertise in operations, development and facilities management enables him to effectively oversee all maintenance, repairs, and on-going development needs across our brands. He assists with new store construction projects and site surveys, in addition to keeping all stores compliant with NYC and brand guidelines.

ALLISON WOLFE, Human Resources Manager

After graduating from Binghamton University in 2010 with a focus in psychology and an interest in business, Allison found a home in Aurify Brands’ Human Resources department.  Allison handles many HR duties including recruiting and hiring for all the restaurants and corporate office, employee relations, policy development, and on-boarding.   Additionally, Allison is focused on increasing employee morale in the stores and developing a culture which embodies Aurify Brands’ core values, and increases both employee and customer satisfaction.  Allison is currently pursuing a MS in Industrial/Organizational psychology from Baruch College.

JENNIFER DeCOURSEY, Director of Training and Development

With a decade in food service, Jenny is a high-energy, hands-on leader, with a focus on talent development and retention.

With a background in new restaurant opening and management with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jenny spent six years quickly and effectively training restaurant management and their crew. Jenny spent the next three years developing and training as part of the Magnolia Bakery and ‘wichcraft management teams.

Since joining the Aurify Brands team in July 2012 Jenny has made team training and development the focus for each restaurant. By cultivating a sustainable training program the management team took on new responsibilities and remained dedicated to internal growth.

LARA FERNANDEZ, Payroll Manager

Lara began her career in accounting in the Philippines as an Intern for the Treasury Department.  She subsequently worked in the family business where she was responsible for checking payroll, approving checks, working with clients, auditing receipts and other expenses.  She brought her past experiences to Aurify as an Intern in early 2012.  She is now handling all the company’s payroll needs, including running the weekly payroll by ensuring that all employees get paid the correct amounts, commissions, tips and bonuses, entering new hires and maintaining an organized record of active and terminated employees.  She assists Human Resources by making sure all proper documentations such as terminations, write-ups, absences, transfers and pay rate change forms are complete and accurate. She assists in the processing of workers’ compensation and housing authority paperwork, garnishments, and verification of employment.

SHARIF BHUIYAN, Financial Controller

Sharif has eight years of overall accounting experience in various industries, the last two years heavily focusing on the QSR industry. His areas of expertise are cash flow management, budgets, vendor relations, and income statements and balance sheets analysis. As the Financial Controller, his main responsibilities are overseeing the accounting department, following GAAP procedures, streamlining the accounting process and making accounting transparent.   Sharif earned a BBA in Economics and Finance from Bernard M Baruch College. Sharif is pursuing his MBA in Taxation & Finance from Bernard M Baruch College beginning in the Fall of 2013.