Chef Askren is an instructor in the College of Hospitality & Technology Leadership at USF Sarasota-Manatee. He was a Chef Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts from 2007 to 2012. While teaching at Le Cordon Bleu, Askren was twice voted Teacher of the Year by the school’s graduates, in 2008 and 2011. Chef Askren received his BSBA from the University of Florida and an MBA in Hospitality Management from Colorado Technical University. He is also a culinary graduate of Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation and is a Certified Executive Chef as well as a Certified Chef Educator.
After graduating from culinary school in Jacksonville, Chef Askren moved out west to work for Chef Anton Brunbauer at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. Chef Askren worked at the Hyatt Regency’s Golden Swan, which was awarded a 4-Star rating by Mobil Travel Guide and named one of the “Top Five Restaurants in America’s Southwest” by Condé Nast Traveler. He then became the Executive Chef at the Radisson Woodlands Hotel & Resort in Flagstaff, where he ran one of the largest banquet facilities in Northern Arizona along with two successful restaurants. Chef Askren moved back to Scottsdale to work for Chef Anton Brunbauer again at the newly built AAA Four Diamond Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.
A Canadian native, Chef Colpitts is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada and Holland College of the Province of Prince Edward Island. He has worked in hotels and resorts specializing in international cuisine, chocolate and breads. Colpitts is an ACF Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation.
Before joining USF Sarasota-Manatee as the Culinary Services Manager for the Culinary Innovation Labs in Lakewood Ranch, he was program manager of the Culinary Arts program at Manatee Technical institute in Bradenton, Fla.
Donald Wood: Instructor
Mr. Donald Wood is a new Instructor within the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership. After receiving a BBA from the University of Mississippi, Don Wood co-founded and managed an award winning restaurant and bar concept in Memphis, Tennessee, which has multiple units still operating. After 30+ years in the hospitality industry he returned to graduate school and received an M.S. in hospitality administration from Oklahoma State University. Additionally, he completed the course requirements for a Ph.D. in Hospitality at OSU.
He was a faculty member and Director of Catering Operations at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 10 years before joining the faculty at the College of Hospitality and Tourism Leadership.