Starting small and growing big in the restaurant world.


Come learn the ins and outs as well as the ups and downs from seasoned restaurant professionals of starting with a small idea and building it big in the food service world.

This MIT Enterprise Forum program will highlight how regional food service entrepreneurs utilized technology, innovation, and systematic organization combined with a lot of hard work and sweat equity to build successful restaurant and food service business ventures that are poised for further growth and expansion.

The program will feature 2 successful restauranteurs; a leading regional food service executive; and a high technology human-performance coach speaking about what it takes to create the magic of a wonderful and tasty restaurant experience utilizing a highly functional and efficient team to make it happen.


  • Tyler Duncan, President and CEO, Rusty’s Pizza
  • Pete Jordano, CEO, Jordano’s Food Supply
  • Byron Low, President & CEO, I-Woven


About the Speakers

Pete Jordano, CEO of Jordano’s Food Supply

petejordanoResilient, Respected & Really Down to Earth – Jordano’s CEO, Pete Jordano has navigated his company through rough waters of the food service provider world to emerge stronger, smarter and more successful than ever.  Jordano’s recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and during that century of service, Jordano’s Foodservice has embraced its roots as a family-owned business who remain passionate purveyors of fine food products serving a majority of the regions local restaurants and food service venues.  Pete’s no-nonsense approach to his name parallels his 56 years in business. To Pete, it’s a simple equation where people, plus a dedication to quality and customer service, equals success. Frankly, that mentality hasn’t changed since the early 1900s when his grandfather, James Jordano, paved the way for the Jordano family.  He will be the first to tell anyone that difficult decisions mean refocusing, not losing sight.

Tyler Duncan – President of Rusty’s Pizza Parlors, Inc.

tylerduncan20 West Coast Restaurant Locations

Tyler was a Senior Technology Analyst at Paramount Pictures for 5 years before returning to Santa Barbara to run the family business. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree with an IT emphasis from the USC Marshall School of Business.

Rusty’s Pizza was founded in Isla Vista in 1969. During the 80’s and 90’s Rusty’s expanded rapidly in the Santa Barbara, Bakersfield and Ventura markets. In its 47-year history, Rusty’s has become an iconic local brand, best known for its award winning pizza, fresh salad bars, outstanding delivery service and historically themed stores. Rusty’s is a technology driven company. Having pioneered a one number ordering system in the early 90’s to better serve its delivery customers, Rusty’s created industry leading POS and Call Center software. Online Ordering launched in 2013 and was carefully designed and integrated into the existing IT architecture, resulting in maximum efficiency gains across the enterprise.

Byron Low – President & CEO of I-Woven

byronlowByron Low is Founder and CEO of I-Woven a Human Performance consulting company that has worked with several leading restaurant and technology companies including McDonald’s, Aramark, and Honda Corporation.  Byron applies technology to the human performance side of business and helps company leaders achieve their highest and best performance from the human resource element within their organization.  How do company leaders know who has the inherent skills and emotional intelligence to determine who will be a good Restaurant Manager, Team Leader, Employee Trainer, or even an excellent Waiter / Waitress or Counter Person?  Byron and I-Woven will help to answer that question and demonstrate how technology assessment and personal coaching can help insure which people are best suited for the various roles they provide within an organization.



debbieThis program will be moderated by Debbie Horne. Debbie is the Vice President of Human Resources & Administration for Seek Thermal, Inc., a design and manufacturer of high quality thermal imaging products and core platforms for consumer and commercial applications. Debbie has served as the Human Resource Leader for several start-up organizations in Santa Barbara, including Indigo Systems (acquired by FLIR) FastClick (acquired by ValueClick) and Inogen. She is currently on the faculty in UCSB’s Technology Management Program (TMP) and a past instructor in USCB’s Human Resource Management Certificate Program. In addition, Debbie has 18 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, having worked for the Chart House, Inc., responsible for opening several new locations and working in their Management Training Program, as well as owning her own restaurant, Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler, in Santa Barbara. Debbie previously served as the California State Director for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and board advisor for SHRM, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), and The SHRM Foundation and is a past President of the Santa Barbara Human Resource Association.

Debbie holds a Masters in Organizational Management, a BA in Business Administration, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and a Certificate in Human Resource Management from UCLA.


Event Registration:

When:  Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93103


  • Student $15.00
  • Regular (Online pre-registration only) $30.00
  • At the Door $40.00
  • Parking $4.00 – $6.00 (separate; paid at lot)


  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Registration includes appetizers and refreshments.

If you miss the early-bird registration, not to worry! We welcome walk-in guests to register at the registration table in the lobby of the venue, if space is available.

Click to Register.

Online event registration for Restaurantrepreneur powered by Eventbrite


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