Accelerate with us
With decades of combined experience in executive education and service business management, we are proud to be a team of diverse and knowledgeable educators and consultants. The experience, capability, and passion of our team is the foundation for our success in bringing values to your team.
Christopher Muller, Ph.D.
Christopher Muller is acclaimed as a leading academic expert in the field of hospitality where he has focused his research on multi-unit organizations, business development and growth, and the training of multi-unit managers and leaders. Dr. Muller has assisted a broad range of professionals as a strategic consultant and provider of executive education across the service and caring industries, including foodservice, lodging, supermarkets, and Veterans Administration clinical staff.
Professor Muller has lectured on management topics to a variety of individuals in organizations throughout the world, including presentations to groups from Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Russia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Macao, Korea, Australia, India, Mexico, Central and South America. Muller is one of the three co-founders of the annual European Foodservice Summit. As an entrepreneur and business owner, Chris has owned and operated restaurants and service businesses.
Currently, Muller is a Courtesy Professor at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, specializing in executive education. He is the former Dean and Professor of the Practice of Hospitality at the Boston University School of Hospitality. Dr. Muller has also held academic positions at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management and at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Dean Muller received both his doctorate and masters degrees from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
He is the author of the popular book, The Leader of Managers: Leading in the Multi-Unit, Multi-Site and Multi-Concept World, and more than 50 published articles in academic journals and trade magazines. He is often quoted in the media.
Brian P. Connors, M.S., CHE, CSW
Brian Connors works directly with industry and academia, creating innovative solutions for operational training, concept development, and educational resources. As the Director of the Bacardi Center of Excellence at Florida International University, Brian has created the first-of-its-kind Bacardi Spirits Management Major, and developed and launched the virtual learning platform called BacardiTeach, and contributor to Future Proof. Hosts the popular industry-focusedBacardiTalks series and 2 Barstools & a Knife Podcast. He also oversees the Bacardi Innovations Fund which launched Cecilia the world's first interactive robot bartender that received national media attention on NBC’s Today Show, FOX & Friends, and international media coverage. He is also the lead faculty of the Beverage Management programs at the top-ranked Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management including the new wine studies and beverage entrepreneurship, brewing arts, and spirits management programs.
Throughout his career, Brian has consulted to nearly every segment of the industry including independent and multi-unit restaurant groups, hotels, resorts, entertainment venues, private city, and country clubs, retailers of natural and organic goods, hospitality REITs, and the mega yacht industry. He is regularly invited to speak nationally on topics such as innovative education, food & beverage trends, strategic marketing, and hospitality leadership. Brian has developed nationally recognized, award-winning wine and beverage programs, and has appeared on the Travel Channel’s “Trip of a Lifetime” as well as national television and print media features.
Alec Dalton, CCXP, CHIA
Passion for exceptional guest experiences fuels Alec Dalton’s leadership in hospitality and customer experience management. From hotels to headquarters, his background ranges from operating five luxury properties to holding various corporate positions with industry pioneers like Marriott International, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. He is a best-selling author and frequently-sought speaker on customer experience, quality strategy, and hospitality management.
In 2022, the International Hospitality Institute ranked Alec among the “Global Top 15 Hospitality Trainers”, the “Global Top 20 Hospitality Executives to Watch”, and “The 100 Most Powerful People in USA Hospitality”. In 2021, the Customer Experience Professionals Association recognized Dalton with the inaugural Emerging Leader in CX Award to acknowledge his rising contributions to the customer experience discipline. Two years prior, Hotel Management Magazine named him to the “30 Under 30” list for rising hospitality leaders.
Alec is also the Managing Partner of the Hospitality Leadership Academy, offering professional development programs and management consulting focused on service excellence. His teams help boutique businesses and brand names alike develop five-star service, whether they be in hospitality or healthcare, restaurants or retail. He also serves on the boards of the Customer Institute and HorizonCX, and he judges several global CX awards programs.
Alec co-authored the international best-selling books Customer Experience and Customer Experience 2, collaborative guides to the strategy of experience marketing and operations. Along with Drs. Peter Szende and Michelle Yoo, he is also the co-editor of the textbook Operations Management in the Hospitality Industry. Alec’s scholarly research has been published in the Journal of Foodservice Business Research and in Hospitality Management Learning Modules by Pearson.
Brian Halloran, Chef
Brian Halloran is a French trained American Chef, whose career has spanned all aspects of culinary arts. Halloran was classically apprenticed at the 3 Star Michelin restaurant, Moulin de Mougins, in France under legendary Chef Roger Verge. He expanded his skills at the helm of some of New England’s most famous restaurants, crafting award-winning menus based on local produce and indigenous seafoods. His commitment to advancing and cultivating craftsmanship in others is exemplified by the many students and professionals who have gone on to become global influencers in the hospitality industry.
As both the working Executive Chef for the Statler Hotel and as an educator, Chef Halloran taught operations classes for over a decade at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. He used this unique position in supporting his mission to improve working conditions across the restaurant kitchens. Dedicated to developing stronger culinary management protocols and professionalism, he has increased industry awareness of the importance of proper wages, training and schedules while enhancing profit goals.
Chef Brian’s path led to Manufacturing Research and Product Development for well-known global brands in seafoods, fully cooked proteins and dairy products. His deep knowledge on how to create and launch ideas into market-ready form is exemplified by the array of commercial products that line retail shelves and Top 100 menus.
Duncan Dickson, Ed.D.
Dr. Dickson had an impressive almost twenty-year career with Walt Disney World, Co. (WDW), with global experiences and accomplishments in both operations and human resources. He was the co-creator of the highly successful Walt Disney World College Program that enhanced staffing across the resort property and the developer of the International recruiting programs that assured authenticity in all the World Showcase pavilions at EPCOT Center. Beyond his leadership of the Casting efforts at WDW, Duncan also did sourcing and staffing for Tokyo Disneyland (1983) and was a part of the opening team of Euro Disney (now Disneyland Paris). Duncan also lobbied the US Congress for the passage of the Q visa that enabled Disney to employee all the international workers.
In 1997, Dr. Dickson joined University of Central Florida (UCF) and later earned his Doctorate in Leadership here. During his time at UCF, Duncan focused on teaching Human Resource Management, Communications, Guest Service Management, and Theme Park Management. Dr. Dickson has published over 25 articles ranging from Guest Service Management, Leadership, Queuing Theory, and Theme Park Management.
Throughout his career, Duncan has been heavily involved in Executive Education and Continuing Education both locally and internationally. He has been involved in projects in Russia, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Curacao, and France. While teaching for a semester at the University of Aruba, Duncan and his Colleague Dr. Robin DiPietro created programs for AHATA and the Aruba Restaurant Association.
Thomas Kline, M.S.
Thomas Kline is the founder of Thomas Kline Consulting, LLC and has served hospitality industry clients in this capacity since 2018. He was part of a high-profile team that came together to further the work of Philippus Miller Associates in 2019, serving as interim Managing Director. Prior to his consulting work, Mr. Kline directed Cornell's hospitality-industry professional educational programs for twenty-two years. The Cornell Hotel School's executive education programs were widely recognized as the premier business education programs for the industry's managers and executives. In this role, Mr. Kline helped develop the leaders of the hospitality industry and worked to enhance organizational capability. Mr. Kline is an expert in identifying and developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for success.
Mr. Kline has worked with hospitality companies, government agencies, industry associations, and academic institutions on five continents. He developed multi-year programs, certificate programs, and highly specialize corporate development programs for key executives. Mr. Kline was a key player in Cornell University's initiative into technology enabled executive education beginning in 1997 and resulting in the founding of eCornell.
Prior to his time at Cornell University, Mr. Kline worked for more than twenty years in the building design and construction history. As an architect, he designed buildings, including hotels and restaurants, in the eastern United States and served as a guest lecturer and critic in architecture and design courses at Cornell. He also serves on the Academic Advisory Board for HIT Scotland.
Trang Khuat, M.S.
Trang Khuat is a recent graduate from Drexel University with a Master’s degree in Business Analytics. She has a strong passion for data science and an advocacy for a data-driven culture. Through many of her data projects, from building a recommendation model to creating a survey to assess a disease risk with machine learning algorithms, Trang has demonstrated how businesses can leverage data to make data-driven decisions and solve business problems in this digitalization era.
In addition to her analytic background, Trang also has various marketing and operational experiences in hospitality and event industry through her undergraduate education at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management and her internships with IHG, Philadelphia Flower Show, Inspirato, and Silver Airways. As the Business Operations Consultant of Accelerating Leaders, Trang is leading the rebranding project of the company and making impacts on every front, from strategic research to experience design.
Tribute to our dear friend,
Mary Connors was a trail blazer, entrepreneur, academic, practitioner, executive coach and management consultant. She started her entrepreneurial consulting company, Connors Davis and Company, while raising four children.
Ms. Connors was recognized globally as an expert in leadership and organizational systems. She had designed, developed, and delivered practical solutions to solve challenges faced by individuals and companies in diverse areas such as health care, aviation, event management, technology, pharma, education, federal agencies, not for profit organizations, and family businesses.
She was a faculty member at National University of Ireland at Galway, Lehigh University and Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.