Cesar Ritz staff

Lecturers & Staff

Get to know your faculty

With a strategic mix of professional and academic qualifications, our diverse and global faculty aims to contribute to the development of solutions for the industry sectors it serves through applied research activities. Led by faculty expertise, students are also exposed to the research process through diverse curricular and co-curricular activities that demonstrates their investigative and analytic abilities developed during their student journey.

Academic administration

Dominic Szambowski

Dominic Szambowski, PhD

Dean César Ritz Colleges Switzerland & Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland, Caux, Leysin

Dr. Dominic Szambowski has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Sydney and has held Senior Leadership roles at higher education institutes around the globe. Previously, he was CEO and President of the International College of Management, Sydney, Vice Chancellor of BERJAYA University College of Hospitality, and President and CEO of INTI International College in Subang Jaya, Malaysia. Most recently, he was Dean at Swiss Hotel Management School for over three years, leading the school to 2nd in the world according to global QS Rankings. Dr. Szambowski was appointed Dean of Cesar Ritz Colleges and Culinary Arts Academy, Switzerland, in 2024.

Sylvana Navarro Assistant Dean

Sylvana Navarro

Assistant Dean, Le Bouveret

Ms. Sylvana Navarro holds an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University. With her background in banquets and events, food & beverage, as well as human resources, she has over 15 years of industry experience. She has worked at the Evian Resort and with renowned hotel chains such as Four Seasons, Starwood, Hilton, and Movenpick.


Jorge Arnanz, PhD

Assistant Dean, Brig

Dr. Jorge Arnanz began his career working for international hotels and travel companies, before starting his own business as a restaurant owner. Since 2015, he has been teaching Hospitality, Tourism, and Management at undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds two BA degrees in Tourism and Education respectively, an MA and a PhD in Tourism Management.

Evelina Gillard PhD

Evelina Gillard, PhD

Head of Research faculty

Dr. Evelina Gillard has worked at the Kempinski Headquarters, in a real-estate investment firm, as well as in banking, automobile, and luxury services. She holds a PhD in Human Resource Management and a Master in International Business Administration from the University of Geneva. Dr. Evelina teaches Business Start up, Hospitality Leadership, Organizational Behavior, and Human Resource Management.

Gelu Pui Program Manager CRCS

Gelu Pui

Program Leader

Mr Gelu Pui holds a Bachelor of International Business, with distinction from César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, and a Master Certificate in Hospitality Management, Marketing, and Revenue Management from Cornell University. He also holds a Swiss Higher Diploma in Hotel and Tourism Management and a Certificate in Hotel Operations. He was a Euro CHRIE EHL Conference representative and a Chairman at the Europe UNWTO TedQual Conference in Valais. After 14 years of professional hospitality experience, primarily holding various management positions at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, he returned to his alma mater as a lecturer and academic coordinator in 2021 and now holds the position of Program Leader at César Ritz Colleges Switzerland.


Alessandro Cavelzani PhD

Alessandro Cavelzani, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Alessandro Cavelzani has been a practicing psychotherapist for the past 15 years and is member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis. He got his PsyD. Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Relational Psychoanalysis at the Italian Institute of Relational Psychoanalysis SIPRE in Milan, Italy and his PhD. in Psychology of Communication at IULM University in Milan, Italy. As an active researcher, Alessandro continues to publish papers focusing on leadership.

Apostolos Ampountolas.

Apostolos Ampountolas, PhD

Associate Professor

After a successful, 20-year international career in travel, tourism, and hospitality, Dr. Apostolos Ampountolas worked as Undergraduate Programs Director at Boston University. With a PhD in Management, a PGCertHE, and a PGCert in Commercial Law, he brings years of teaching, research, and field experience to our students.

Olga Larina - SHMS

Olga Larina, PhD


Dr. Olga Larina has over 10 years of teaching experience. She holds a PhD in World Economy and International Economic Relations from the Kyiv National Economic University, writing her thesis on the international competitiveness of regions, with a focus on the development of intellectual capital. With a strong background in economics, she teaches Strategic Hotel Management, Economics, and Public Policy.


Paola Ossola - Cesar Ritz Colleges

Paola Ossola, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Paola Ossola, Associate Professor at César Ritz Colleges, holds a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Pavia. She teaches Hospitality and Tourism Marketing and Management classes with a focus on Business Sustainability. Through her research she aims to connect the long-term care of elderly people (with and without dementia) with the world of leisure, recreation, and tourism. Currently, she is also doing research into RVs tourism and entrepreneurship focusing on travel and tourism startups.

She is the CEO of La Happy Care Srl SB, a startup devoted to the improvement of the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers. She is also one of the founders and a volunteer of Alzheimer Fest APS, and Progetto Rughe ODV.

Andreea Antonescu PhD

Andreea Antonescu, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Andreea Antonescu has over 15 years of academic experience as researcher and lecturer in Romania, France, Switzerland, and China. She holds a PhD in Tourism Studies from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and two master's degrees from the University of Grenoble (France). Her studies and research have been supported by public institutions and her work has been published in French and English in prestigious international journals and magazines. Outside of academia, she has worked in international settings such as the International Labour Office (UN, Geneva), and in the area of tourism and hospitality in consulting, luxury hotels and restaurants, and travel agencies.

Giuseppina Menconi

Giuseppina Menconi, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Giuseppina Menconi holds a PhD in Computational Chemistry from the University of Durham and a master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Piemonte Orientale. She worked in investment banking in London for several years before joining Cesar Ritz Colleges. She obtained a PGCert in Higher Education from the University of Derby and is a TEDx speaker.

Mr Haitao Zhang Lecturer César Ritz Colleges Switzerland

Haitao Zhang, PhD


Dr. Haitao Zhang has over 10 years of teaching and industrial experience. He was an Assistant Professor at Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China, and was an Operating Manager of a Swiss-based company. He holds his degree of Ph.D and Master of Science in finance, accounting, and international business management from University of Surrey, U.K. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, Australia. Dr. Zhang continues to research and publish academic studies focusing on corporate finance, accounting practices, and investment strategies.


Anastasiia Rubio

Senior Teaching Faculty

Ms. Anastasiia Burakovskikh holds a master's degree in Wine Business from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Bourgogne, and bachelor's degrees from St. Petersburg State University in Economics and Finance and from Pierre Mendès France University. With her expertise in wine training and marketing, she teaches Wine and Food Pairing, Beverage & Mixology, Wine & Beverage Management, and Food Trends.

Aurelie Bourcart

Aurélie Bourcart


Ms. Aurélie Bourcart holds a PGD in Higher Education from the University of Derby and a Federal Certificate in Tourism. She specializes in Events Management and Languages. She worked as a Cabin Crew Member for Swiss Airlines before moving into sales for an Italian cruising company. Continuing to develop her skills in Virtual Event Management, she is certified as Professional by the Virtual Events Institute.

Beverley Gould

Beverley Gould


Originally from Birmingham, England, Ms. Beverly Gould has been living in Switzerland for 13 years. After more than 28 years in the IT and Banking industry, she changed careers to deliver lectures in Business Writing and Information Systems at César Ritz Colleges, Le Bouveret. She also teaches in private language schools in the Valais and Vaud regions of Switzerland.

Delphine Blin

Delphine Genin


Ms. Delphine Genin joined César Ritz Colleges in 2019 as a lecturer in Business Plan, Marketing, and Ethics, before taking the position of Learning Consultant Specialist. As a business consultant and graduate of ESCP Management School, she has a deep understanding of entrepreneurship. Thanks to her expertise in neurosciences and metacognition, she brings creativity and innovation to her classes.


Erik Pravica


With 17 years of experience covering all operational roles within hospitality, Mr. Erik Pravica has a passion for the industry. Ranging from Singapore to Thailand to Switzerland, his extensive experience has given him an acute understanding of the importance of a positive attitude on the road to success. This notion has become central to each of his classes.

Loren Granger-CRCS

Loren Granger


After studying at the New England Culinary Institute in the USA, Ms. Loren Granger became a chef. Her career shifted from the kitchen into hygiene and sanitation, then on to Logistics and Sales with Food & Beverage companies. She has been with César Ritz Colleges since 2014 where she teaches culinary theory classes. She holds a PGD in Education from the University of Derby.

Lynda Pasamore-

Lynda Pasmore


Ms. Lynda Pasmore's career in food product development and communications involved working for the British government and manufacturers of food and white goods. Moving into training and education enabled her to work in various international markets, before focusing on formal education. She holds a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, a Certificate in Human Nutrition, from the University of Lausanne, and a PGCE, awarded by the University of Hertfordshire. 


Marie-Louise Jordaan


After finishing a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, Ms. Marie-Louise Jordaan began a career in Computer Science. After moving to Switzerland in 2003, she continued her international studies in Business Management and Economics through the Open University while teaching at two prestigious international schools. She holds a BA in Psychology, as well as HED and BEd degrees.


Neil German


Mr. Neil German holds a Bachelor in Psychology, a Teaching Certificate in Education, a Master in Counselling Psychology, and a Psychoanalytic Diploma from the Jung Institute in Zurich. With over 35 years of education in the field of psychology, he has been lecturing at Webster University in Geneva since 2000 and at Cesar Ritz Colleges in Le Bouveret since 2004.

Sarah Goncalves

Sarah Gonçalves

Senior Teaching Faculty

Ms. Sarah Gonçalves began lecturing in 2004, before being offered a position with a social department service, in which she was responsible for internal audits, team coaching, and follow-up training. In 2011, she moved to Switzerland, working as an International Program Assistant and as a lecturer. She has been teaching Language and Communication at César Ritz Colleges since 2014.

Sofia Rodrigues

Sofia Rodrigues


Ms. Sofia Rodrigues has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Instituto Superior de Novas Profissões and is a PhD student at Sheffield Hallam University. She has worked in Sales and Marketing, Human Resources, Event Planning, and for various airlines. She is the Founder and CEO of HBL, an auditing company specialized in training and career development in the service industry.


Tania Thompson


Ms. Tania Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Pretoria and a PGCE in Education from the Kingston University. With her expertise in sciences and mathematics and over 12 years of teaching experience, she teaches Sustainable Science for Hospitality, Business Mathematics for Hospitality, Quantitative Analysis for Hospitality Business, and Health & Nutrition.


Virginia Meza


Beginning her career in the field of the Philosophy of Sciences, Ms. Virginia Meza went on to study French Language and Literature, and finally Psychology at the University of Lausanne. Throughout the years, she has taught different subjects surrounding Hospitality and Culinary Arts, has coordinated student groups, and was in charge of the student theatre club.

Yuriy Barabantsev-CRCS

Yuriy Barabantsev


Mr. Yuriy Barabantsev obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minor in Economics, holds an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, and a PGCert in Higher Education from the University of Derby. His career in education began in 2001, focusing on delivering courses related to Finance and Statistics in the U.S, France, and now in Switzerland.

Marco Pellegrini

Marco Pellegrini


Mr. Marco Pellegrini has extensive international experience working in food & beverage operations and management, from leading hotel brands and Michelin-stared restaurants, to family-run establishments. He holds a degree in Entrepreneurship in Hotel Management.

Mr Domenico Andrea Catanoso Lecturer César Ritz Colleges Switzerland

Domenico Andrea Cantanoso

Lecturer & Career Coach

Born in Torino, Italy, Mr. Domenico Andrea Catanoso lived in many countries since he was 6 years old. He worked for 25 years in the Airline Catering Industry where he held several leadership positions in operations and commercial. Mr. Catanoso changed career in 2020, following his passion, and became a business and management lecturer. He holds a Bachelor degree in International Business, a Master degree in Negotiation of International Projects and a Master in Education from the Framingham State University from Massachusetts. He is a Ph.D. student in Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Andrea Pedace Lecturer

Andrea Pedace


Born in Italy, Mr. Andrea Pedace holds a Master Degree in Law from the University of Bologna with a special focus in International Law and International Criminal Procedure. He undertook several specialization courses in ISPI, Milan, the leading think tank in Italy for international relations studies. Before joining César Ritz Colleges he worked 5 years in the field of education

Judith Barenfaller

Judith Bärenfaller - Zurwerra


Mrs Judith Bärenfaller – Zurwerra is a qualified teacher and culture manager. She obtained her teaching certificate from the state of Valais, and completed her further studies at the Universities of Bern and Basel: Certification of Advanced Studies in Change and Innovation in Cultural Management. She runs her own dance school and she has been teaching German as a foreign language for many years.

Dr. Kayhan Tajeddini

Dr Kayhan Tajeddini

Associate Professor

Dr. Kayhan Tajeddini is a specialist in strategic management and international business. His research focuses on hospitality management, entrepreneurship, and service innovation. He has lived and worked in different countries, giving him a global mindset, first-hand knowledge of intercultural understanding, and cross-cultural training.


Claire Hung Lecturer Cesar Ritz Colleges

Claire Hung


Ms. Claire Hung holds a Swiss Diploma in Hotel Management and Operations from César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, as well as certificates in WSET Level 2, Barista Skills from The Specialty Coffee Association (CH), FE & Skills from Derby University, and Hospitality Supervisor from American Hotel & Lodging Association. Ms. Hung has over a decade of management experience in international luxury and business hotel chains, having held positions in Front House and VIP departments. She also spent a year in the fine art industry. She joined the faculty at César Ritz Colleges in 2012, where she is a lecturer of practical and theoretical classes in Fine Dining Operations and Leadership, Restaurant Service and Management, and related F&B Master Workshops. She derives great satisfaction from guiding, coaching, and sharing her experiences with students.

Internship Coaches

Ulrika Björklund

Ulrika Björklund

Executive Director of Industry Affairs & Career Services

Ms Bjorklund holds a master’s degree in Education from the University of Derby. She served as Academic Director of Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM) from 2013 to 2023, having successfully authored key developments for the overall development and positioning of this brand globally.  Ms Bjorklund has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, managing hotels and resorts in Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean.


Marie Tirvengadum

Head of Career Services

Ms. Marie Tirvengadum holds a Bachelor in Language Studies from the University of Essex and a Postgraduate Certificate in International Business from the University of North London. Throughout her studies she worked in the restaurant sector and eventually managed a restaurant chain. She also worked in banking in the UK and after moving to Switzerland she joined Kestrel SA - a wealth management company. She joined the Career Services Department at IHTTI, School of Hotel Management and has ten years of experience in career coaching.


Paulo Pereira

Internship & career coach

Mr. Paulo Pereira holds a Bachelor in Literature, Culture, and Languages (Portuguese and German) as well as two PGcerts in Teaching. His professional experience extends over the fields of Education and Customer Service for Portuguese Airlines. He also spent 5 years working as a multi-operational employee at the Royal Caribbean International.

Ms Giulia Arcioli Internship coach César Ritz Colleges Switzerland

Giulia Arcioli

Internship & Career Coach, Brig

Ms. Giulia Arcioli graduated in Business Administration & Management from University Carlo Cattaneo LIUC, Milan, Italy and studied International Business at the University of Applied Sciences Arcada, Helsinki, Finland. Ms Arcioli has extensive international experience in finance and business development having worked for American, German, Luxembourgian, and Italian companies in both SME’s and Corporations (Oracle, BASF).  She has gained wide-ranging knowledge in several industries: chemical, pharmaceuticals, luxury design, events management, coaching & professional education, financial services, IT services, consulting, and production

Irina Perepechina

Irina Perepechina

Internship and Career coach

Ms. Irina Perepechina holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Hospitality Management, with a specialization in Luxury Brand Management. Her professional background encompasses experience in various roles, such as the F&B department at the Warwick Hotel Geneva and assistant positions in construction companies in both London and Moscow. Subsequently, she transitioned into roles within the Finance and Internship Departments at the Hospitality Institute in Switzerland. Ms. Perepechina is fluent in Russian, French, and English.

Internship and career coach

Marta Burlone


With a diploma in Tourism and a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Heritage from the University of Turin, Marta has worked in high-end hotels as Receptionist in Italy and Switzerland. By spending time abroad as a student and as an employee she was able to hone her knowledge of English, German and French and has firsthand experience of the world of internships.

César Ritz. Next step in your career

Your future awaits

Take the next step toward a career in hospitality and entrepreneurship