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.


Research, Publications, and Activities

Featured Research
  • Dogru T., Hanks L., Ozdemir O., Kizildag M., Ampountolas A., Demirer I. (2020) Does Airbnb have a homogenous impact? Examining Airbnb’s effect on hotels with different organizational structures. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 86, 102451
  • Ampountolas A. (2018) Forecasting hotel demand uncertainty using time series Bayesian VAR models. Tourism Economics. 25 (5), 734-756
  • Gazzola P., Grechi D., Ossola P., Pavione E. (2019) Certified Benefit Corporations as a new way to make sustainable business: The Italian example. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. 26 (6), 1435-1445
  • Gazzola P., Pavione E., Grechi D., Ossola P. (2018) Cycle tourism as a driver for the sustainable development of little-known or remote territories: the experience of the Apennine regions of Northern Italy. Sustainability 10 (6), 1863
  • Genin D., (July 6, 2021) Why Confused Students Learn Better: Confessions of an Evil Teacher. Education, Harvard Business Publishing. Available from: https://hbsp.harvard.edu/inspiring-minds/why-confused-students-learn-better  [Accessed 14th July 2021]
  • Gillard E. (2021) Procedural corruption strategies in public service. Academy of Management Proceedings. Forthcoming.
  • Gillard E., Chen M.H., Lv W.Q. (2018) Procedural corruption in the North American hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 72, 154-167


Deans & Program Managers

Tanja Florenthal

Tanja Florenthal

Dean, Le Bouveret & Brig

Ms. Tanja Florenthal joined César Ritz Colleges Switzerland in 2010, as a faculty member and went on to become the Head of Curriculum. She was appointed Dean at Le Bouveret in 2012 and Brig in 2019. She graduated from Cornell University with a BSc, and holds an MBA and an MA in Education. She has extensive international experience in the hospitality industry and education. She has worked in hotel and hospitality management schools in the United States, Thailand, India, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel, and is a member of the Cornell Hotel Association.

Max Cesar Ritz

R. Max Behesht

Dean, Lucerne

Mr. R. Max Behesht is a multilingual Hospitality, Customer Experience, and Leadership professional. His international career started within service, to leading language schools in Malta and England to nearly a decade in finance and commercial roles with the science company DuPont. In 2015 he authored The Servicizer™ Mindset, a concept offered via his training business in the city of Geneva prior to joining us. His MSc Studies at University of Gothenburg, majoring in finance and management, include studies at the EBS in Germany, and Kobe University, Japan.

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.

Evelina Gillars CR

Evelina Gillard, PhD

Head of Research, Brig

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


Jorge Arnanz, PhD

Undergraduate Program Manager, 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.

Giuseppina Menconi

Giuseppina Menconi, PhD

Program Leader for the Hospitality & Research Faculty, Lucerne

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 gave a TEDx talk in Lucerne in 2015.


Alessandro Cavelzani

Alessandro Cavelzani, PhD


Dr. Alessandro Cavelzani trained under Professor Beatrice Beebe at Columbia University Medical School in New York where he obtained his PhD. He is a member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and has been a licensed psychotherapist for 15 years. He shares his knowledge with students at César Ritz Colleges as a lecturer in Leading Human Capital and Emotional Intelligence.

Apostolos Ampountolas.

Apostolos Ampountolas, PhD


After a successful, 20-year international career in travel, tourism, and hospitality, Dr. Apostolos Ampountolas worked as Undergraduate Programs Director at Boston University. Having worked as a lecturer at César Ritz College Switzerland first in 2017, he joins us again in 2021. With a PhD in Marketing, a PGCertHE, and a PGCert in Commercial Law, he brings years of teaching, research, and field experience to our students.

Eleonora Cattaneo

Eleonora Cattaneo, PhD


Dr. Eleonora Cattaneo holds a BA from Bristol University, an MBA from SDA Bocconi, and a PhD from the Università di Pavia. Her research interests are in Luxury Branding, Luxury Experiences and Brand Relaunches. Before joining César Ritz Colleges, she directed the MA program in Luxury Brand Management at Regent's University in London, and prior to that, she taught at SDA Bocconi. She has been visiting professor at EM Lyon, the Helsinki School of Economics, LIUC Università di Castellanza, and Università della Svizzera Italiana. 

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


With experience in education and research, as well as in social entrepreneurship, Dr. Paola Ossola holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior Studies in Tourism from the University of Pavia, a master's degree in Managerial Economics, and a bachelor's degree in International Management. She currently teaches International Tourism Management, Hospitality Marketing, and Service Operations Management.


Anastasiia Burakovskikh


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.

Christine Lambrigger

Christine Lambrigger


Ms. Christine Lambrigger graduated from Institute St. Ursula in Brig with a Paedagogische Matura degree. Following her studies, Ms. Lambrigger accumulated teaching experience by working in a number of different schools. In January 2005, she joined Cesar Ritz Colleges as a Language Instructor, teaching German from Beginner to Advanced levels. 

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.


Jérémie Laurent

Lecturer, Le Bouveret

Mr. Jérémie Laurent moved to Dubai in 2001 to work with Jumeirah International. His career in the UAE covered numerous positions. He served as Director of Food & Beverage for both the Address Montgomerie Golf Resort and Spa and the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Resort Operation Manager for the Nikki Beach Resort and Spa, and as Executive Assistant Manager at the Ritz-Carlton in Abu Dhabi.

Lilla Fulop-WSET

Lilla Fülop


With a decade of industry experience behind her, Ms. Lilla Fülop is a Wine & Beverage Management lecturer at César Ritz Colleges and a Certified WSET Educator. She holds a licentiate degree in Journalism & Communication. She is a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

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

Lecturer, Le Bouveret

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.


Sandra Zhu-Bandelier


Ms. Sandra Bandelier holds a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management from Bournemouth University and is a Certified Hospitality Education Instructor. She has a been lecturer at César Ritz Colleges for over 16 years, teaching Hotel Business Management. She was Senior Executive at Starwood and Hilton, leading Marketing and Sales, Finance, and Operations teams across Asia, North America, and Europe.

Sarah Goncalves

Sarah Gonçalves


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.

Internship Coaches


Alyaa Fathi


Ms. Alyaa Fathi has been working for over seven years in the hospitality & event management sectors in the Gulf region & Europe. She holds an MBA from the American University in Switzerland and is certified in Train the Trainer, Event Management & Wedding Planning. Her professional experience has covered fields such as international enrolment and student recruitment in higher education, and Catering & Sales for five-star properties such as the Four Seasons in Milan, Marriot Hotel in Doha, and launched soft & grand opening Fairmont Hotel in UAE.

Lynn Wijngaard

Lynn Megan Wijngaard

Internship & Career Coach

Ms. Lynn Wijngaard's academic background lies in the fields of sociology, psychology, and travel and tourism. After graduating from HIM, her career took off, leading to operational roles in the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa and working as a Junior Project Assistant at Swiss Education Group. As of 2021, she's been working in Lucerne as a Career Coach and Academic Assistant.


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.

Ruth CR-

Ruth Knöepfel

Internship & Career Coach

Ms. Ruth Knöpfel began her career in Food & Beverage Management in the hotel industry in Canada, before moving on to teach Food & Beverage at a college in Canada. Her teaching career brought her to Switzerland in 1992. She's been working with Swiss Education Group ever since, taking on roles in teaching, operation management and career services over the last 30 years.

Sara Caetano

Sara Nunes Caetano

Internship & Career Coach

Following her work as a receptionist in Portugal, Ms. Sara Caetano moved into training and education. Since 2019, she has been teaching Personal Development, Introduction to Tourism Industry, and Career Management. She holds a B.Sc. in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and a PGD in Management of Touristic Destinations. She is in the process of completing a master's degree in Education.

César Ritz. Netx step in your career

Your future awaits

Take the next step toward a career in hospitality and entrepreneurship