Meet the


that makes it happen

Our Team

When big dreams meet fierce determination, amazing things happen.

Gourmet Events Hawaii is comprised of a team of senior staff that together brings over 70 years of event management and catering experience to every event they produce. The team unites experts in every aspect of event management, from catering and menu planning, to staffing, to facilities and logistics, to vendor management, and marketing and communication. The unified vision of the entire Gourmet Events Hawaii staff is to produce exceptional events with style and taste that exceed client expectations.

Kathleen Lin-Hurtubise,  Founder & President
An accomplished marathon runner, community builder, marketing strategist and event producer, Kathleen, better known as “Kat”, has a great appreciation for delicious food and excellent service. For many years prior to her work in the industry, Kat tried out the finest restaurants Hawaii had to offer in an effort to experience their culinary craft and to learn from the very best. In 2003, she combined her passion, work ethic and talents to found Gourmet Cooking Hawaii, which quickly evolved into Gourmet Events Hawaii, the full-service catering and event planning company of today.

One of Kat’s favorite activities is picnicking in different parks throughout the island with her husband and her boys. A coffee devotee, Kat is known for her signature drink: a Grande Starbucks coffee in a Venti cup, with an extra shot of espresso and a healthy portion of heavy whipping cream!

Susan Scrivner, Office Manager & Executive Assistant

Susan Scrivner brings her managerial and administrative experience from the medical and educational fields, in which she had key roles in laboratory management, medical research, and as a biologist. She has also held various lead roles through volunteering for her children’s schools. Her educational background includes bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology. The passion, determination, and diligence she applied in the medical industry, she now brings to GEH! Her organizational, communication, managerial, multi-tasking, and high attention to detail skills will propel us forward as she oversees our office operations, Front Desk services, internship program, and office expansions. Susan’s favorite pastimes are reading, traveling, cooking, hiking, and enjoying nature and the beach.


Gail Nipitnorasate, Senior Event Production Specialist

Gail brings almost 6 years of event planning, catering and restaurant experience to GEH. Upon completing her degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California, Berkeley, she began with successful execution of fundraisers and galas. She then expanded to catering and restaurant experience in both seated dinners and buffets for corporate events, private parties, conferences and weddings, with responsibilities ranging from pastry and prep cook, server, coordinator to oversight of inventory, rentals, equipment and staffing.

Along with her passion for food and restaurant trends, Gail loves baking, traveling, running, and zumba.

Kittie Wu, Senior Event Production Specialist

Kittie graduated with a degree in Travel Industry Management (TIM) with an emphasis in Hospitality Management at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her past experience in both the restaurant business and employee relations provided the perfect combination of skills to excel in a busy catering and event-production office.

Kittie loves traveling and eating…especially trying new eateries wherever she roams. Kittie’s sincere wish is that someone in Hawaii would open up an “all-you-can-eat dessert buffet” like one she visited in Taiwan. She is also an identical twin!


Kawika Burdine, Head of Staffing

As our Head of Staffing, Kawika oversees event staff, scheduling at the Hawaii Convention Center, and implementing operational solutions. His past work experience managing a restaurant, including its off-site catering, provided him with excellent management experience and a comprehensive awareness of all the details involved in top-notch event execution.

Born and raised in CA, Kawika was thrilled to move back to Hawaii and connect with his family’s Hawaiian roots. A surfer and beach volleyball player, Kawika loves that Hawaii is a destination which inspires visitors from all over the world.

Ana Madamba, Staff Executive, Recruitment & Retention Manager

In coordination with her recruitment efforts, Ana oversees the next steps of onboarding of our hospitality professionals (HPs) and full-time staff, our referral bonus program, and company retention initiatives. Her connection to our HPs will also enable her success in managing our off-site staffing clients! Ana’s previous experience as a staffing manager at a local, well-known staffing agency, brings a unique and perfect fit! She brings a depth of recruiting and client service experience in fulfilling client job orders with well-matched team members!

Chris Nicolas, Staff Trainer

A firm believer in the nobility of service with a lifelong interest in food and world cultures, Chris brings over 20 years of hospitality experience to his role of coaching service professionals and developing future leaders of GEH. He has supervised and trained staff in a variety of corporate settings including hotels, banquets, and catering as well as managed restaurants specializing in cuisine ranging from German to American Regional, Mediterranean to French Polynesian.

An accomplished musician, Chris enjoys singing and playing guitar, and has performed professionally in ensemble and as a soloist. He has produced several recordings of guitar music in classical, slack-key, and swing jazz styles and plans next a CD of Japanese anime film scores. He also loves exploring the island in search of new ethnic restaurants and hidden beach gems.

Jenny Silao, Scheduler

Pursuing her bachelor’s degree in marketing and management, Jenny began her career at GEH as an intern in January 2017. She began learning and growing with the Staffing team, under Kawika’s mentorship. Upon completion of her Spring internship, she joined the team as a part-time scheduler. Jenny brings 7+ years of retail management experience. As an assistant manager, she managed the highest-volume store on the island and in the brand’s region. Her proven dependability allowed her to additionally manage different store locations. Through this experience, she has learned to work well in our fast-paced environment, embracing and driving change with her organizational skills. In her free time, Jenny likes to do taekwondo. She is presently a red belt and working toward receiving her black stripes to become a first degree black belt (One belt color below black–so close!). In addition to her competitive side, Jenny also enjoys doing sunrise hikes and trying new places to eat.


Sandra Nakao, Bookkeeper

Sandra comes to GEH with over 10 years’ experience in small to mid-sized companies. Upon completing her degree in Business Management with a minor in Psychology from Whitworth University, she quickly discovered her passion for employee development, recognition and retention initiatives, employee wellness programs, organizational processes and community service.


Harriet Kirihara, HR Counsel

A veteran in the Human Resources arena, Harriet’s current focus has been in developing programs and strategies for employee development, leadership development and organizational development. She practices the “best places to work” philosophy for employee engagement, training, supervisory coaching and organizational alignment.

Harriet enjoys international travel and experiencing diverse cultures and cuisines. Recently, she has been cooking Tuscan style and an Icelandic signature dessert. To further memorialize a sense of place, she paints scenes, using oil on canvas, to capture impressions from her travels.

Iqbal Ashraf, Growth Partner

Iqbal Ashraf is the Growth Partner for GEH. As an extended team member, he assists in formulating annual/quarterly goals, aligning our key projects to these goals, and helping to execute these projects faster. He is a cofounder of, which acts as our gateway to outside expertise. In the past, he managed ProAccounting Hawaii, the top outsourced accounting firm in Hawaii. Prior to that, he was a finance leader at General Electric.

Bill Fotsch, Business Coach

The “Open-Book Management Coach,” Bill Fotsch has helped more than 400 companies boost employee engagement and increase business results over the past 25 years.

Bill has worked with industry majors such as Southwest Airlines, BHP-Billiton, Harley-Davidson, Roadway Express, CarlsonWagonlit Travel, Scottish Hydro Electric, and Capital One. He has also coached many small to medium-sized privately-owned businesses. As Head Coach at Great Game of Business, he spent over two decades applying open-book management principles to help companies deliver results through a highly motivated staff. In the initial years of his career, Bill gained experience in management, marketing, and consulting at organizations such as Briggs & Stratton, Bain & Company, Case International and Litton Industrial Automation. Today, as Founder and President of Open-Book Coaching, Bill’s mission is to inspire great business performance and wealth creation through the principles of open-book management.

Author or co-author of three online articles published by Harvard Business Review, Bill holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Marquette University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar. In the past, Bill has presented in varied speaking roles at numerous functions, including serving as a guest lecturer at University of Chicago Business School. In addition, he conducts webinar presentations on a regular basis. Since the summer of 2015, he has written a biweekly article on the Forbes website, in partnership with John Case.

Frank Haas, Marketing Consultant

Frank Haas is a marketing and sales consultant to GEH. He plays an active role in elevating GEH’s ability to communicate and share about its extraordinary services. He has a business consultancy, Marketing Management, Inc., based in Honolulu, and his career is highlighted by executive positions in higher education, tourism and hospitality, advertising, quick service restaurants and high technology. Frank has been the recipient of many marketing awards including the Wayne Lemberg Award granted by the American Marketing Association, AMA Hawai‘i Marketer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Advertising Foundation Silver Medal, Pizza Hut Franchise Marketer of the Year, Hawai‘i’s 100 Top Technology Leaders, and Honolulu Ad Federation “Ad Man of the Year.” Frank has served on many Hawai‘i non-profit boards and resides in Kailua with his wife Susan.


Hawaii Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber works on behalf of members and the entire business community to improve the state’s economic climate and help businesses thrive.

Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA)
HLTA is a statewide trade association of lodging properties, management firms, owners, suppliers, and other related firms and individuals, who work together to provide education and advocacy to the hospitality industry.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
HVCB is a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to promote our islands to travelers throughout North America.

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
HSMAI provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue.

Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
Meeting Professionals International, the premier global association community for meeting and event professionals, believes in the unequalled power of events and human connections to advance organizational objectives.

Oahu Wedding Association
Oahu Wedding Association is comprised of a network of industry experts in wedding planning and coordination whose purpose is to provide exceptional talent and services to wedding events in Hawaii.

Rotary Club of Honolulu
As Honolulu’s premier service organization, The Rotary Club of Honolulu is comprised of some of the region’s most prominent community leaders — men and women with diverse backgrounds in business, professions, religions, civic and non-profit organizations.


Best Caterers in Honolulu       Best Of Honolulu 2015  Best Of Honolulu 2014  Best Of Honolulu 2013   Best Place to Work Best Place to Work   Best Place to Work 2014 Pick - Wedding Wire   2013 Pick - Wedding Wire   2012 Pick - Wedding Wire Pacific Business News' Fastest 50Pacific Business News Hawaii's 50 Fastest Growing Companies 2017

Pacific Business News 2016 Best In Small Business

Hawaii’s “Fastest 50” 2017, Pacific Business News
Hawaii’s “Fastest 50” 2015, Pacific Business News
Hawaii’s “Fastest 50” 2014, Pacific Business News
Hawaii’s “Fastest 50” 2013, Pacific Business News
Hawaii’s “Fastest 50” 2012, Pacific Business News
Couple’s Choice 2015, Wedding Wire

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