Early Sunday morning, a wildfire (codenamed Glass) started burning near St. Helena. The California leadership team and senior leaders in Hyde Park including President Ryan monitored conditions throughout the day and prepared for a possible evacuation of campus. Late Sunday night, we evacuated 119 students from the residence halls. Most students were able to connect with family or friends for overnight accommodations; 18 students were provided lodging arranged by the CIA through the county. The California team was in continuous contact with CIA leadership throughout, and due to their efforts, the evacuation went smoothly with all students safe and accounted for. Students remained calm and in good spirits despite the situation. They have been real troopers.

While the fire came too close for comfort, Greystone and our residence halls on campus and on Pratt Avenue were untouched.

Currently the Greystone campus is without power as damage is assessed and fires continue to be active in the area. All members of the campus community have been asked to work remotely. We are using The CIA at Copia as a base camp for our operations, and many students will be spending time there today. We will continue to update students, faculty, and staff, by e-mail as needed. Parents, please urge your student to share these notifications, so you have the latest information.

Thomas Bensel, CIA Managing Director, Educational Administration

Faculty Bio: Thomas Bensel

Educational Administration
Managing Director—California Campus

Professional Experience:
Director of Retail, Bay Bread/La Boulange, San Francisco, CA. General Manager/Director of Operations, Bon Appétit Management Company at Google, Mountain View, CA. Project Director/Partner, Verve Hospitality Group, Berkeley, CA. Vice President of Operations, Vine Dining Enterprises, Corte Madera, CA. Vice President of Operations, Regional Vice President, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Beverly Hills, CA. Director of Operations, Andre-Boudin Bakeries, Inc. San Francisco. Project Consultant, Penguin Productions LLC, San Diego, CA. Area Director, Boston West LLC, San Diego. Owner/Operator, Montanas American Grill, San Diego. Manager/Limited Partner, Savannah Grill, Corte Madera, CA and Newport Beach, CA. Food and Beverage Director, Hornblower Dining Yachts, Inc., San Diego. Executive Chef/Sous Chef, Hilton Inn and Conference Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Member:
Trustee, Agricultural Institute of Marin, San Rafael, CA. Slow Food USA, San Francisco Chapter. Marin Agricultural Land Trust. Advisor, Growing Great Marin/Edible Schoolyard Program.

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The Culinary Institute of America
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