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as you may have read or heard around town, we promoted two amazing general managers, aeron lancero at sunda & ben newby at the underground, to partners!  Not only is it a huge deal in that these new roles carry huge responsibilities, opens doors for others in the organization, brings new life, strengths & perspectives to the partnership, but it also really adds a whole realm of possibilities in future contributions from our team to the city of chicago, with the addition of such new, diverse & accomplished backgrounds.  which made me think, how interesting is it that not only did this occur around the same time (although for completely different accomplishments & capabilities), but that both were born, raised & educated in completely different countries on the other side of the world!  Made me smile because its not only a great representation of the diversity among our own company of 500+, but definitely an example of the melting pot of contributions that our great city of chicago benefits from more than another city than I can think of… and for that I am excited for what is to come!  So I guess it’s not just congrats for aeron & ben.. but it’s congrats for all of us!  For a look into what I mean, see their two brief bios, get their contact info to congratulate them, and more….

Aeron lancero

raised in guam, educated in the Philippine islands at La Salle Greenhills an exclusive all boys Catholic School, then off to college at De La Salle University where I majored in business management. married for 17yrs blessed w/4 children Aerianne, Alicia, Paul and Matthew. Moved back to Guam where started career in the hospitality industry. Worked in restaurants and hotels where first cooked and had to opportunity to work the room, which loved even more. worked at hotels like the Hyatt, Pacific Star Hotel and The Pacific Island Club which were all prestige’s 4 star hotels that catered mostly to tourists… then worked with the reputable Theodavies Group where became a member of the board and partner with the group who owned the franchise rights all over the Pacific and parts of China and Hong Kong. During that time had the opportunity to work with groups as well that owned Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood where also had the opportunity to assist and lead opening these concepts in the Mariana Islands, China, Japan, Philippines and Hong Kong.

Due to lifestyle, quality of life being married with children, and ego to see if he could succeed, Aeron ventured to move to the big and all opportunity mainland U.S.A. There were only 2 cities to choose from based on his ambition of progressing his experience in our industry. New York and Chicago. There is a saying if you want a great place to eat these were the cities in his part of the world that was mentioned more than any other. he landed in where he worked for Maggiano’s for almost 8 years where he assisted in opening restaurants, developing and cultivating talent and has been recognized with an array of accomplishments (highest volume and most profitable restaurant, Restaurant of the year in Minnesota and at Schaumburg by local publications)… leaving it all behind to become the opening gm Sunda where he has lead the team to an array of success.

Ben newby

Born, raised, studied, and worked with more than 11 years of experience in nightclubs, bars and event production in the United Kingdom and Europe, Benjamin Newby moved to the United States to focus on hospitality and mixology, two talents that made him the perfect fit as general manager of The Underground, Chicago’s premiere, upscale, cutting-edge nightclub.  Ensuring that  Chicago’s brightest and most talented denizens (including a rotating who’s who of celebrities, international DJs and other bold-faced names) received star treatment on a nightly basis, Newby helped propel the nightclub to being recognized as “Best in the U.S.” by Nightclub and Bar Magazine. His passion for customer service, nightlife, operations and marketing, combined with an ability to connect personally with diverse groups through unique promotional initiatives, opened the door for him to become a the new Operating Partner at Underground. Plus his love of mixology and cocktails propelled him into being featured in numerous outlets like Nightclub and Bar Magazine, winning numerous mixology contests like the Chicago heat for the Bombay Sapphire/GQ Magazine Most Inspired Mixologist (competing in the Vegas final at the end of August 2010) and also won Effen Vodka’s Art of Design Competition 2010 winning him a place on the Effen Mixology Panel, one of only twelve mixologists in the country.

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