Team

STEVEN C. WALLACE

Founder/President

Wallace oversees the strategic direction of Omanhene and divides his time between the US and Ghana. Previously, he worked in broadcasting in the newsroom of WMAL-AM 63, a network-owned radio station in Washington, DC and then as a lawyer with the tax boutique firm of Silverstein & Mullens in Washington, DC. He later served as the vice-president of Midstates Sportswear. He served on the board of directors of AFS-USA, Inc. and on the board of trustees of AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.  Steven is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He holds a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) from Brown University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School. Mr. Wallace lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and three children.

 

KOJO AFEDZI HAYFORD

Managing Director, Omanhene Ghana, Ltd.

Hayford oversees the strategic direction of Omanhene operations in Ghana and serves on the senior management team of the parent company. He has been with Omanhene almost since inception.  He served as Managing Director of Alugan, a manufacturer of architectural aluminum products and is a serial entrepreneur having founded Tara Systems, Ltd., an IT networking firm and e-Services Ghana, Ltd., a technology/services firm that designs and operates call centers and back-office operations for the telecommunications and financial services industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Sacramento. Mr. Hayford lives in Accra.

 

FRANÇOIS KWAKU-DONGO

Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Services

Chef François oversees the culinary operations of Omanhene with primary responsibility for new product development, restaurant development and formulating strategic partnerships within the hospitality and broadcasting/multi-media industries. Born in Côte d’Ivoire, Kwaku-Dongo grew up working on his grandmother’s cocoa farm. He came to the US in his twenties to work at the United Nations and began cleaning restaurants at night to make extra money. He quickly worked his way up the restaurant hierarchy.

Wolfgang Puck chose François to take responsibility for all prep work on Puck’s “Good Morning, America” appearances; Kwaku-Dongo then moved to Los Angeles to work as a line cook for Puck at Spago West Hollywood. In 1991, Kwaku-Dongo became Executive Chef at Spago. In 1992, François was voted one of the best upcoming young chefs in Los Angeles. Food critic Ruth Reichl of the Los Angeles Times credits François with introducing artisan pasta to California Cuisine.

Puck elevated Kwaku-Dongo to Partner and chose him to serve as Executive Chef of Spago in Chicago. From his Chicago base, Chef François significantly expanded Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events — the private catering division of the Wolfgang Puck enterprise providing catering services for events such as The Academy Awards, cultural institutions such as The Museum of Contemporary Art and corporate clients such as investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Chef François is a 2008 James Beard Award Nominee and was featured in a recent Forbes magazine article as one of ten up-and-coming celebrity chefs. He was invited to be a guest challenger on the hit TV show Iron Chef America. Chef François has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, Wine Spectator and was profiled in Gourmet Magazine.

 

JONATHAN M. WALLACE

Vice President

Jon is a co-founder of the company and a member of the senior management team. His current focus is on strategic development and overseeing the company’s technology acquisition and utilization.

Jon began his career serving as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill, but quickly transitioned from developing policy, to working with emerging technology to help track the voting, and fundraising activities of members of Congress. He was instrumental in creating the technology infrastructure that supported the Lexis-Nexis congressional tracking data, as well as many international news sources for what was, back before the internet, the world’s largest online database.

Jon moved back to his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1995, where he worked on all manner of technology implementation initiatives for complex organizations.  Among these, was working with UWM (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) on developing a small business incubation center prototype, and managing large-scale content management website implementations for several large hospital systems.  Back in the day, Jon consistently worked on leading edge technology implementations for firms such as Prodigy, Sears, the Los Angeles Times, Lexis-Nexis, Universal Studios, BMO Harris Bank, and IBM. But nowadays, he prefers to play with WordPress, and volunteers his time helping social advocacy initiatives and local non-profits get their website and basic business and legal structures implemented.  He is also the founding Vice President of The 82 Project Foundation.

Jon graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Political Science, History, and Law Liberty & Justice.  He enjoys interviewing current WUSTL applicants as an alumni volunteer.  He has two adult daughters, and resides in Milwaukee, WI with his wife, Ruth, and rescue dog, Dodger.

 

Susie Taylor

Director of Sales and Business Development

Susie oversees sales, business development and customer experience for Omanhene. Previously, she worked for a ready to drink beverage company where you would regularly find her out in the trade with distributor partners or training and nurturing her company’s sales team to execute in the field.

She originally hails from the east coast but has lived and worked all over the world and loves to travel.  She holds a BA Magna Cum Laude from Wellesley College and a Green MBA from Dominican University.

When she is not spending time educating our customers, working the trade with our partners or demo-ing for baristas and consumers, you can find her snowshoeing, hiking, swimming, lounging, BBQ-ing and doing as much as possible outdoors with her kids, husband and dog. Her favorite time to drink hot cocoa is after playing in fresh Wisco snow with her 4 year old.