Our Team

Dale Schwartz

Mr. Schwartz has extensive experience in the formation, financing and expansion of various companies. In 2006, he founded Pinstripes, Inc. and is currently CEO of this unique bowling/bocce/bistro venture. In 2000, he was Co-Founder, Co-CEO of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Inc., a distinctive natural pharmacy retailer. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Schwartz was Chief Executive Officer of Infigen, Inc., a private biotechnology company developing its proprietary nuclear transfer/cloning and genomic technologies. From 1991 to 1996, he was Chief Financial Officer of Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company commercializing its Nobel prize-winning genetic engineering technology. From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Schwartz was a Principal with Odyssey Partners, L.P., a private limited partnership engaged in leveraged buyouts, venture capital and recapitalizations. From 1983 to 1985, he was an Analyst in Morgan Stanley’s Mergers & Acquisitions department, and from 1979 to 1988 he was Founder and President of D & J Sealcoating, Inc., an asphalt sealcoating company. Mr. Schwartz has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Chris Soukup
Chief Operations Officer

Mr. Soukup has over 35 years of restaurant experience, including both front-of-house and back-of-house operations. He received extensive service training at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, and has managed many high-volume restaurant concepts throughout the United States. He started his management career with the Larimer Group, a collection of restaurants in Denver Colorado, and the majority of his career was spent on the West Coast with Hillstone Restaurant Group. Prior to Pinstripes, he was on the opening team for Cheesecake Factory’s concept: Grand Lux Café Chicago, one of the busiest restaurants in America. Mr. Soukup has been very instrumental in the development of Pinstripes and has been working to grow the brand from its inception in 2006. His passion and drive have helped shape some of the most successful restaurants in the industry.

Cesar Gutierrez
Chief Culinary Officer

Chef Gutierrez brings a strong background in Italian American comfort cuisine. He began his career with Maggiano’s, in the Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Group working his way through the ranks and becoming Executive Chef. He then joined Cenitare Restaurant Group as Corporate Chef, opening and operating three concepts in the Westin Hotel in Wheeling: Osteria Di Tramonto, Tramonto Steak & Seafood and RT Lounge. He then became Executive Chef of Volare Ristorante Italiano at Oakbrook Terrace, and was also Executive Chef of Pete Miller’s Seafood-Prime Steak and Davis Street Fishmarket at Schaumburg and Wheeling. Prior to joining Pinstripes, he was Executive Chef for Francesca’s on Chestnut and DiSotto Enoteca Gold Coast.

Lida Ahn
Chief Training Officer

Ms. Ahn has been a passionate teacher and has enjoyed watching others grow throughout her entire career. She began her career in the hospitality industry with the J. Alexander’s company where she advanced to a leadership role as Lead Trainer. She then joined the Cenitare Restaurant Group in Wheeling, IL, a high-concept restaurant group, where she participated in the opening of Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant and the RT Lounge. Ms. Ahn joined Pinstripes as an opening team member and has had a lead role in creating and training staff in all front-of-house systems. Ms. Ahn has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and studied at Trinity International University for her Masters of Arts.

Robert Hense
Chief Development Officer

Mr. Hense has over 25 years of global development experience in the retail, entertainment, office and residential industries. He has worked on projects in every major market in the U.S. and Canada, and in numerous cities in Central and South America, Europe, U.K., the Middle East and Asia. Prior to Pinstripes, Mr. Hense was the Senior Vice President of Development for Starwood Retail Partners, an owner of regional malls throughout the U.S. and a subsidiary of Starwood Capital Group, one of the largest real estate private equity firms in the world. Before Starwood, he was the Senior Director of Real Estate for Apple, where he was responsible for all retail real estate activities in North and South America, Australia and Japan. Mr. Hense held the position of Vice President of Development for Crate and Barrel, overseeing real estate, design/architecture, construction and asset management for the company prior to moving to Apple. He also served as Vice President of Real Estate and Development at Bally Total Fitness, which during his tenure was the largest owner/operator of fitness centers in the world, and prior to that Associate General Counsel and Director of Development for Station Casinos, Inc. Mr. Hense has a Bachelor of Arts and law degrees from the University of Kansas.

Dale Stapleton
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Stapleton has over 30 years of financial executive experience in the consumer retail sector ranging from high growth emerging concepts to best in class retail icons. Throughout his career, Mr. Stapleton has led companies through the process of raising capital both through the private and public markets and he has extensive experience in SEC reporting and compliance. In addition, he has led major corporate transactions including domestic and international acquisitions, divestitures, corporate restructurings and business process and technology transformations. Through 2019, Mr. Stapleton was a member of the executive leadership team at The Neiman Marcus Group serving as Senior Vice President – Finance and Chief Accounting Officer and as Interim Chief Financial Officer in 2018. Prior to joining Neiman Marcus, Mr. Stapleton was the Vice President and Controller of CompUSA, a personal computer and computer superstore , and a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young LLP. Mr. Stapleton is a graduate of Texas Tech University holding both undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting and business administration.

Don Hoffman
Chief Marketing Officer

Mr. Hoffman is an advanced multi-national marketing and communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in the development of brand positioning strategies, 360 – integrated marketing programs (including guidance of digital strategies and customer experience engagement programs), consumer and B2B communication programs for consumer package goods, technology, QSR / retail marketing, service industries, cooperative groups and not-for -profit business organizations. Prior to Pinstripes, Don spent four years as the SVP/Chief Marketing Officer of Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, and 20 years with DDB Worldwide Communications Group – one of the largest multi-national marketing communications companies in the world.