David Zadikoff was captivated by the hospitality industry at an early age when he lived in a hotel for a few years. Born and raised in South Africa, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Witwatersrand, and later received his post-graduate degree from the University of Haifa. While in school in Israel, David worked his first job within the hospitality industry at the Dan Hotel. After immigrating to the U.S, David held multiple positions at various hotels, including Hilton and Hyatt hotels in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and Tampa. David was promoted to the position of VP of Food & Beverage at Hyatt Global in 1987. In 1992, he and Jonathan Albert created Cornerstone Restaurant Group, where the duo partnered with Michael Jordan to oversee all Michael Jordan-brand restaurants, including Michael Jordan’s Steak House (Chicago, Connecticut), MJ23 Sports Bar and Grill, and SolToro (Connecticut), and the soon-to-open Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Oakbrook. Additionally, they manage ENO Wine Room (Chicago, San Francisco, D.C). In 2012, Cornerstone partnered with legendary chef Bill Kim to open bellyQ, a refined Asian BBQ restaurant, in Chicago’s trendy West Loop. They are also expanding Urbanbelly, a fast-casual Asian restaurant. Outside of work, David enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, cycling, and listening to music.
Growing up with family members spread internationally, Josh was fortunate enough to travel extensively and experience a variety of diverse cultures, always putting particular focus on their hospitality and food practices. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Josh decided to join the family business with his father, David Zadikoff, who founded Cornerstone Restaurant Group nearly 30 years ago. Josh’s career began as Assistant Manager at SolToro Tequila Grill and subsequently, he worked his way up through a variety of different roles – including Food & Beverage Manager at Hyatt Regency Chicago, and Assistant General Manager at Michael Jordan’s Steak House in Chicago – before entering his current role as CRG’s President in 2018.
Chief Operating Officer
Industry leader Danny McGowan joined Cornerstone in 2017 as Vice President of Operations. Prior to joining Cornerstone Restaurant Group, McGowan served as a partner for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises for more than 30 years, before founding his own consulting firm in 2015. His extensive background includes advising on notable brands such as Big Bowl, as well as creating retail product lines, expanding concepts across platforms and growing profits. Aiming to drive continued growth and development within Cornerstone, McGowan helps to oversee the group’s entire portfolio, including belly restaurants (Ramen Bar, urbanbelly), the multiple Michael Jordan concepts around the country, and Table at Crate. As Cornerstone Restaurant Group continues to grow, McGowan, serving as our Chief Operating Officer, will be instrumental in guiding expansion, concept development, licensing, and growth.
Chief Financial Officer
Matt Goldstick is a principal and Chief Financial Officer at CRG. Matt has over 10 years of experience in accounting and finance. Early in his career, Matt served as the Controller for CRG. Where he helped lead CRG’s joint venture with Bill Kim’s Urbanbelly and Belly Shack concepts, as well as other key CRG partnerships, including Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago. After a stint at Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services group where he led financial due diligence engagements on both the buy and sell sides for various private equity firms and corporations, Matt re-joined CRG in 2018 as CFO. Matt holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a M.S. in Accountancy from the University of Virginia. Matt is also a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois.
Chef Bill Kim
Award-winning Chef Bill Kim is the culinary force behind Cornerstone’s Urbanbelly restaurant brand in Chicago and The Table at Crate in Oak Brook, Illinois, a collaboration with Crate and Barrel, the global retailer’s first full-service restaurant. Born in Seoul and raised in Chicago, Bill graduated from Kendall College and immersed himself early in his career alongside such renowned chefs as Charlie Trotter, David Bouley, and Jean Banchet. He set off the wave of fine-dining chefs branching into creative casual fare with the 2008 opening of Urbanbelly, where his soulful, border-blurring approach to cooking was on full display. In 2018, Bill released his first cookbook, “Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces,” which earned a finalist nomination for a prestigious James Beard Award. Recently, Bill and the CRG team have launched several new brands including Chef Bill Kim’s Ramen Shop and CBK Pizza & Parm. In 2022, the first Urbanbelly opened in New York City.
Vice President of People & Culture
Emily began her career in restaurant management with Hillstone Restaurant Group moving into Talent Acquisition/Development and HR after realizing her passion for people strategy and culture building. There she built upon her operations expertise with over a decade in full cycle recruitment and selection, restaurant openings, company-wide analytics, and a breadth of other Human Resource functions. Emily then served as the interim VP of People, Operations at Sakara Life and continued to contract and consult with companies to help build out their People departments and functions before joining Cornerstone Restaurant Group as their VP of People and Culture in 2023.
Emily strives to bring integrity, servant leadership, and a solutions mindset to everything she does. She earned her B.S. from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration, and holds a Certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Emily resides in Chicago, IL with her husband and 3 kids.
Vice President of Operations
Brandon Robinson began his career in ballet after earning a scholarship to the School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City. After graduation, he joined the renowned ballet company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), where he toured internationally. Brandon then went on to teach with Dancing through Barriers, DTH’s education and community outreach program, and in 2006 joined the Virginia School of the Arts faculty in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Robinson discovered his passion for food through his travels, ultimately deciding to transition his career and attend culinary school. Robinson’s foundation in professional ballet would provide the building blocks of training, technique, discipline, and execution that would be foundational to his success in the hospitality industry. After graduating from the acclaimed French Culinary Institute in New York City and honing his skills as a Chef, Brandon continued to excel through the ranks. He held General Manager roles at Jack Binion’s Steak House (Caesar’s Entertainment), David Burke Bloomingdale’s, and David Burke Prime Steak House, where he oversaw record sales, the expansion of the restaurant, and the opening of their sister restaurant Caputo Trattoria.
In September 2018, Brandon joined Cornerstone Restaurant Group as Director of Operations, leading three concepts in the Mohegan Sun Casino: Michael Jordan’s Steak House, MJ23 Sports Bar & Grill, and Sol Toro. After five years of laudable success at Mohegan Sun, Brandon was promoted to Vice President of Operations of Cornerstone’s restaurant operations globally.
Robinson resides in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife and two children.