Meet Our Staff

Meet the Hospitality Instructors 

Jacob Bandstra

Jacob has worked in the Hospitality Industry since his Junior year in high school. He has experience in family-owned and corporate restaurants, boutique hotels, and large-scale catering.

His industry credentials include: 

  • Certified Chef de Cuisine - American Culinary Federation
  • ServSafe Instructor and Proctor - National Restaurant Association
  • ServSafe Manager Certification and Allergen Awareness Certification - National Restaurant Association
  • Certified Meat Cutter Program - Michigan State University
  • Bachelor's Degree in General Management - Michigan State University
  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts - Le Cordon Bleu North America
  • Master's Degree in Career and Tech Education - Ferris State University

Denise Pohl 

Hello! My name is Denise Pohl. I am a Hospitality Instructor for first-year students. I have been with KCTC since 2010. I have worked in the industry since I was 16 years old, from country clubs to corporate kitchens to running my own catering company. I enjoy Golf, Pilates, and hanging out with my 2 Doodles. My husband, John, and I love to travel and we have 3 adult sons. My favorite thing about KCTC is working with the students! With such a fun and diverse group, every day is different and it is always interesting! Education: M.A. Career & Technical Education, Western Michigan University B.A. Telecommunications, Michigan State University A.A.A.S. Culinary Arts, Grand Rapids Community College.

Don Henderson

Hello. I have been working in the Commercial Hospitality Industry for 26 years and have been working as a Vocational Educator for 15 years. My professional interests are in Culinary Community Ice Carving, Chocolate Work and Sculpted Wedding Cakes.

I love to watch students get excited as they start to get it, then develop vocational skills and mature into young adults with a specific set of skills. Watching my whole class cry during onion-cutting day isn't too bad either!

Michael Dewicki

Chef Michael grew up in Metro Detroit with a very large extended family. He spent a great deal of time in the kitchen with his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Food was a central part of many of his childhood memories.

Chef Michael attended the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education where he earned the prestigious Golden Toque scholarship. He was also a member of the GRCC Ice Carving team. After culinary school, Chef Michael earned his Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Grand Valley State University, and his CTE at Ferris State University.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is more well-rounded in the culinary industry than Chef Michael. Some of his roles include working as a private chef, owning/operating his own Personal Chef business, healthcare food service, front and back of the house management at several different West Michigan restaurants, bartender, cheesemonger, Director of Culinary Operations at the Downtown Market, and currently hospitality instructor at KCTC.

In his free time, Chef Michael enjoys spending as much time as possible outside. His hobbies include hiking, biking, fishing, woodworking, turf management and aquascaping. 

Mary Hunter

Chef Mary Hunter is a former graduate of the Hospitality and Culinary Arts program at Kent Career Technical Center (2000-2002) and is passionate about this program and the students of this industry. She has been working in food service since she was 14 years old, and has held Pastry Chef and Executive Chef positions at local country clubs and large-scale restaurants.

Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, foraging for wild edible foods, and continued education to improve her knowledge of the culinary and food-as-medicine industry.

Industry Credentials:

  • ServSafe Manager Certification
  • ServSafe Allergen Certification
  • Michigan Certified Wild Mushroom Identification Expert


  • KCTC Culinary Arts Certificate (2002)
  • A.A.S. in Culinary Arts, Secchia Institute of Culinary Arts (2021)
  • Currently pursuing a B.A.S. in Nutritional Sciences, Purdue University

Career Technical Education Specialists

Robin Briggs

Hello! My name is Robin Briggs. I am a Hospitality Career Technical Education Specialist for first-year students. I have been with KCTC since 2016.  I was employed at Lowell Area Schools in their food service department for 22 years as well as coaching High School Track and Field and Middle School Cross Country. I have worked in the industry since the age of 13 in many capacities, from restaurants, catering to country clubs.





Steve Austin

I have been an active member of the culinary community for over 30 years.  Born and raised in Michigan, I have spent five years in Virginia along with extensive travel around the Mediterranean Sea.  I have worked at KCTC for seven years, specializing in ordering and inventory and now I am a Hospitality Career Technical Education Specialist.  I also have experience as an executive chef, working in corporate fine dining, catering, short order cooking and front of the house service. My hobbies include travel, singing, choral directing and spending time with my family.

Industry Credentials include:

  • Associate degree in Culinary Arts from Grand Rapids Community College
  • Certified ServSafe Manager from the National Restaurant Association
  • Certified in ServSafe Allergen Awareness from the National Restaurant Association

Kitchen Assistants

Mary Kibby

Mary Kibby Catering Attendant

Ann Berg

Sylvia Saucedo-Devries