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Lawrence McFadden is General Manager/COO of the private, 146-year-old Union Club in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. In this role, he has complete oversight for the club’s strategic planning, marketing channels, operational excellence, membership growth and five-year capital planning. The Union Club’s membership includes 1,500 business leaders.
Prior to joining the Union Club in 2015, McFadden was Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Partner for the At-Sunrice Culinary Academy, a unique for-profit Global Chefs Academy supported and sponsored by the Singapore Government. The brand co-partnered with Mission Hills Resorts in Shenzhen, China and culinary programs in Bangkok, Thailand and Manila, The Philippines, and the Academy was positioned in the luxury education market along with Alain Ducasse Academy, Paul Bocuse, and the Culinary Institute of America in both Singapore and at Greystone in California.
Prior to his role with the Academy, McFadden held the position of Group Director, Food and Beverage for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in Hong Kong. In this role, his duties included complete oversight of the brand’s global development and operation of 84 existing hotels, with another 50 under development. The iconic, Chinese-owned brand stretched its presence through all of China and Southeast Asia, while also emerging in India and Europe, as well as Canada.
McFadden began his career in the culinary profession in 1982, earning an Associates Degree in Applied Science, Culinary Technology from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College in Asheville, N.C. He then entered the Apprenticeship Program at The Greenbrier Hotel and Spa in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., and graduated at the top of the class. He then worked until 1989 as a Sous Chef at The Greenbrier, before moving to Executive Sous Chef and Interim Executive Chef positions at The Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago and to an Executive Sous Chef position at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
McFadden’s first position in the private club industry was as Executive Chef of The River Club in Jacksonville, Fla. He then held Executive Chef positions at The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island (Fla.) and The Ritz Carlton in Naples, Fla. before being named Vice President Culinary/Corporate Chef for The Ritz Carlton Company in Washington, D.C. While in this role, he helped Ritz Carlton execute one of the most aggressive stages of the company’s development, opening multiple hotels between 2003 and 2006 in all corners of the world.
In 2006, McFadden began to branch out into broader hospitality management positions, first as Executive Assistant Manager, Food and Beverage, for The Ritz Carlton Naples, and then as its Hotel Manager. In 2010, he was named Vice President, Food and Beverage for the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, one of the biggest hospitality operations in the world, with seven thousand hotel rooms and over 24 food-and-beverage outlets. A key part of his responsibilities were MGM were partnerships with operators including Joel Robuchon, Michael Mina, Tom Colicchio and Wolfgang Puck. He held this position until moving to Hong Kong in 2011 to join the Shangri-La Hotel Company.
McFadden was one of five chefs to represent the U.S. in 1992 and 1996 at the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany, during which the U.S. won several gold medals.
In 2001, McFadden achieved the top score in his Certified Master Chef examination and became the first CMC for The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company.
In 2003, he was presented with an honorary Doctoral degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University for his outstanding contributions to the culinary industry, and in 2004 he was included among the “Who’s Who of American Culinary Leadership” of the National Restaurant Association of the United States of America.