Derek started his hospitality career in 1987, making use of a “Career Experience” program in the senior year of high school, whereby one could work in a field of choice for the last several months of your senior year before graduation.  Working at a local Holiday Inn gave some of the most basic introductions into the fundamentals of hospitality.  Almost simultaneously, Derek’s parents purchased a 12-room Bed & Breakfast in Western New York state leaving well established, long term careers in other fields.  Derek attended a bar tending school, and started his first bar tending job in tourist-laden Chautauqua County New York, while living at home at the Inn for 2 years, assisting in all areas of operation. After two years at Fredonia State College in New York, he transferred to Mercyhurst College, where he met Wendy in the first days in the fall of 1989.

The first Winter season, Derek was given the opportunity for an internship at Peak n Peek Ski Resort, opening a brand new ski lodge for the winter, managing  an entire staff and getting considerable real-life work experience.  The following summer, he worked in the kitchen at the local Yacht club in Erie, and returned to Peak n Peek to tend bar for the second winter season.

Hired right from the graduating class at Mercyhurst, Derek moved to Pittsburgh to manage a new Applebee’s Franchise.  Under Derek’s leadership, the store won “Store of the Quarter” several times, and he assisted in opening a 3rd location across town, before moving on to work at a Hyatt in Orlando, managing a full service, 3-meal restaurant in a 4-Diamond Hotel.

Once moving to Colorado, Derek & Wendy teamed up once again, assisting the operation of a small, 7-room Bed & Breakfast in Boulder Colorado as live-in managers.  When the opportunity arose, they moved to a sister property down the street, taking over full management and live-in management responsibilities at the Coburn Hotel.  Soon after, Wendy & Derek were hired as a team to open a brand new hotel in Golden Colorado that had yet to be built.  After taking a year “off” (working various hotel positions at a Sheraton Hotel in Steamboat Springs), they started work in a construction trailer on-site for the final months before opening a 62 room, full service hotel in downtown Golden.

Derek Started Guest Check Inc in 2002, during the final year working at the hotel.  He successfully got the fledgling new business off the ground with no outside funding….a truly grassroots effort.  Today, Guest Check has now worked in over 40 states, as well as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, conducting onsite inspections (aka Mystery Shops) exclusively in the hospitality industry.


  • Assisted all aspects of operations at the William Seward Inn, a family run Bed & Breakfast in Westfield, NY
  • BA HRIM, Mercyhurst College 1991.
  • Assistant Restaurant Manager, Applebee’s, Pittsburgh PA
  • Assistant Restaurant Manager, Hyatt Grand Cypress, Orlando FL
  • Live in manager, The Magpie Inn, Boulder CO
  • Live in Manager, The Coburn Hotel, Boulder CO
  • Front Desk, Concierge, Catering – Sheraton Hotel Steamboat Springs CO
  • General Manager, The Golden Hotel, Golden CO
  • Guest Check Inc., Entrepreneur, 2002-present (