Professional Consultants, Industry Veterans

Lee Cohn

Managing Partner and Founder

Lee is a veteran senior executive, entrepreneur, consultant, board member with significant success in restaurants, food and beverage, hospitality, and franchising. Leveraging extensive experience in strategic planning, investor relations, and international business, he is a valuable asset for similar-sector companies looking for next-level revenue growth, and expansion. His broad areas of expertise include leadership, board, executive, and management consulting; capital fundraising; corporate, organizational, and people development; business analysis, strategy, planning, budgets, and development; P&L; marketing strategy; change management; turnaround; pivot; private equity; venture and angel capital; high-level communication and negotiation; mergers and acquisitions(M&A); integration; and high-performance team building and mentoring.

Lee is recognized and respected as a leading expert in restaurant concepts, development, operations, and management in the United States. Lee spent 12 years as a partner and co-founder of Lee Cohn & Associates. Lee’s new company is Lee Cohn and Associates continuing to do high level advisory work. Lee created a restaurant concept in Hong Kong called Dan Ryan’s Windy City Grill, created a steak house and other food service outlets for a casino in Louisiana.

Helped lead the effort to buy Mastros steak house in 2007 and was on the board for 7 years. Did board work for the Mastro family when they were creating Steak 44. Lee and Rich Melman (Lettuce Entertain you) co created Ed Debevics, which was their first collaboration together and have remained friends and partners ever since. Lee began his career founding Big 4 Restaurants, where he created Lunt Ave Marble Club (brought deep dish pizza to Arizona), Steamers, Pops (built first wood burning oven in Arizona), Oscar Taylors, Willy and Guillermo’s (good food from bad guys) American Grill, Cicero’s, Aldo Baldo, and other concepts.

He has spent half his career building up a company, and the other half mentoring people. He has successfully created concepts so strong they are considered global benchmarks in the industry. Lee believes in establishing a culture of success that really helps people grow- with many executives, managers, and personnel going on to be very successful not only in restaurants but other business and life endeavors

Lee obtained a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Arizona State University (ASU). He has served on boards for Steak 44, Mastros, Marie Callenders, McCormick and Schmick’s, Luther’s BBQ, Perkins, Oreganos, Quacker Steak and Lube, Real Food Daily (Vegan). Lee has additional community board experience serving for the Phoenix Thunderbirds, The Fiesta Bowl, Phoenix Ballet, YPO, Boys Hope- Girls Hope, and Valley Big Brothers and Sisters.


Senior Associate

Richard Melman is Founder and Chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, a Chicago-based corporation that owns, manages and licenses more than 60 brands and 130 restaurants nationwide.

The restaurant business has been Melman’s life work, beginning with his early days in a family owned restaurant, and later as a teenager working in fast food eateries, at a soda fountain, and selling restaurant supplies.  After realizing that he wasn’t cut out to be a college student, and failing to convince his father that he should be made a partner in the family business, Melman met Jerry A. Orzoff, a man who immediately and unconditionally believed in Melman’s ability to create and run restaurants.  In 1971 the two opened R.J. Grunts, a hip burger joint that soon became one of the hottest restaurants in Chicago.  Here Melman and Orzoff presented food differently and with a sense of humor, creating the youthful and fun restaurant which was a forerunner in the trend towards dining out as entertainment that swept this country in the early 1970’s.

Melman and Orzoff continued to develop restaurant concepts together until Orzoff’s death in 1981.  Through his relationship with Orzoff, Melman formulated a philosophy based on the importance of partners, of sharing responsibilities and profits with them, and of developing and growing together.  Today, Melman has over 80 working partners, most of whom have come up through the organization.

To operate so many restaurants well, Lettuce has needed to hire, train and develop people, and then keep them happy and focused on excellence.  Melman’s guiding philosophy is that he is not interested in being the biggest, the richest or the most well known restaurateur.  He has always just wanted to be the best he can be.  He places enormous value on the over 7,500 people who work for Lettuce Entertain You, and feels tremendous responsibility for their continued success. Melman’s commitment now is to develop the young leaders of Lettuce to ensure that the company will be around for another 50 years.

Melman’s personal life revolves around his family.  He and his wife Martha have been married for forty eight years and have three children who are leaders at Lettuce and successful restaurateurs themselves. 


Senior Associate

Christin Marvin is a hospitality catalyst, coach, speaker, podcaster and dynamic professional with a profound commitment to serving others in the hospitality industry. Drawing upon more than twenty years of expertise, Christin has cultivated a reputation as a leading authority in the hospitality industry. As the founder and CEO behind Solutions by Christin, she collaborates with organizations to accelerate leadership development internally so they can prevent burnout, increase retention and operate thriving businesses.

Christin excels in personalized one-on-one coaching, energizing group coaching sessions, and facilitating impactful leadership workshops. When you embark on a coaching journey with Christin, it’s not merely about coaching; it becomes a transformative adventure, breaking down barriers and propelling you to levels of success you may have never imagined possible.

If you are ready to grow your leadership or your business, reach out for a 15 minute call at https//


Senior Associate

Danny Wallce is a “make your own luck” problem solver with more than thirty years of tech translation, data transformation, hospitality hardware, digital restaurant and franchise stack experience. Continually helping ownership turn good intentions and compelling promises into authentic practices.
Danny is deeply committed to providing IT leadership and cost mitigation, with an emphasis on innovative technical strategies, seamless systems integration, enhanced vendor partnerships, and best in class customer journeys, Danny positions himself as more than just a service provider. 
He is your partner in navigating IT complexities, dedicated to building robust and adaptable technical strategies for his clients. Guiding these relationships toward success, both foundationally and financially. Danny’s ability to identify objectives, define his clients digital bandwidth, and ensure the deployment of technologies and resources that help teams consistently reach their summit. For more details, visit

Chris Cohn

Senior Associate

Chris was born and raised in Arizona and went to Brophy College Preparatory. He then graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He then attained a Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling, Summa Cum Laude, from Grand Canyon University. In 2008, Chris Founded Scottsdale Recovery Center and its subsidiary, Arizona Addiction Recovery Center. Over the next 14 years, he built the rehabs to over 60 total beds, medical detox, inpatient, PHP, and outpatient levels of care.

In 2020, Chris Founded Daytryp Health, a Psychedelic Assisted Treatment and Plant Medicine Retreat Center in Phoenix, AZ. Currently Daytryp offers Ketamine Therapy but will provide MDMA and Psilocybin Therapy when legalization comes in 2024.

His experience and knowledge lie mostly in the addiction, behavioral health, psychedelic and mental health space. Being a founder and president of these three behavioral health organizations, Chris utilizes this experience and knowledge to help navigate any deals in the healthcare sector for Lee Cohn & Associates’ clients.  Daytryp Health stands as the pioneer of the Psychedelic / Ketamine Therapy space in the Southwest, with goals to open 15 clinics natiowide by 2025.

Barry Cohen

Senior Associate

Barry Cohen is a 53 year highly successful hospitality executive. He has been an advisor to service-oriented organizations around the world, residing in over 26 countries that covered Asia, Africa, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Bermuda, Caribbean and the USA, from New York to Florida and Texas. He works with companies who want to build strong sales and profits and a culture that promote being the best of the best. Barry is a founding director of The Astound Group, a Hotel and Restaurant consulting company. He is an author with Hospitality Masters Press, publisher of the acclaimed Hospitality Masters Series of industry books and self-published four additional best sellers.

Barry started his working life at the age of 13, doing creative catering and went on to earn a degree in Business from, Long Island University. Barry moved to Florida to develop and operate the banquet and catering program for Kapok Tree Restaurants. Here he built his reputation with large events and contracts which included the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and numerous high profile events, including Frank Sinatra’s final tour. He moved up to COO running the 800 – 1750 seat restaurant chain, with sales of $15 million in one of the restaurants

A veteran of the foodservice industry, Barry furthered his career with a move to Texas. Here he spent 20 years leading the team of the Old San Francisco Steakhouse organization. He further honed his ability to create high volume operations with 600- 800 seats. He was totally immersed in the Texas culture and operated 10 restaurants. He catered for the San Antonio Spurs and all inflight meals for outbound NBA teams. He has managed hotels, institutions and clubs. He has had the keys in his hand, his name on the loans and the payrolls to meet. His professional curiosity and practical experience enables him to understand the human factors common to the growth and success of every type of service-oriented business.

After OSF, Barry headed over to Bermuda to build a Steakhouse concept for the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. He took this restaurant to $7 million in sales within two years.

From there he was invited to join Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts as a corporate director. Responsibilities were to resuscitate the under-performing restaurant and bar facilities and make them successful.

Barry has been a featured celebrity chef on network Television and wrote a regular column in the trade magazines for over ten years. You can visit his website