Who We Are

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Dan Simons

Founder

Dan is a highly regarded industry expert, sought after not only for his wealth of experience, but also for his passion for hospitality and building relationships. Dan has the proven ability to lead and manage teams within a number of high-volume restaurant concepts, while also focusing on developing operational and organizational systems that deliver profitability.

Described by mentor and business partner Michael Vucurevich as a “tenacious communicator,” Dan is appreciated by his team for his dynamic, caring leadership style, and solution-oriented approach to challenges.

After 18 years of full-scale operational management and leadership experience, Dan co-founded Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group (VSAG) in 2004 with Michael Vucurevich and has built a talented team of experienced F&B professionals who excel at and enjoy helping clients achieve the goals they’ve set for their businesses. Building on the ongoing domestic success VSAG has achieved, Dan directs VSAG’s global strategies with projects in Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and Panama, to name a few.

In 2008, Dan and Mike V spearheaded the development of  Founding Farmers for VSAG client North Dakota Farmers Union. Under their direction, Founding Farmers has flourished as one of the greenest restaurants in the U.S. and the first LEED Gold Certified upscale, full-service restaurant in the country.

Within its first two years, Founding Farmers became OpenTable’s most booked restaurant in the U.S. and has since appeared in hundreds of media mentions in publications around the globe. A true visionary, Dan has successfully grown the brand to include additional restaurants and the formation of Farmers Restaurant Group .

Dan earned a degree in international business from The George Washington University, and in 2010 he founded GWU’s Scholarship for Sustainable Hospitality, an annual gift funded by Founding Farmers, Farmers Restaurant Group, and VSAG. In 2012, Dan was the recipient of the first annual The George Washington University’s School of Business’ prestigious Business Gives Back Distinguished Alumni Award for his commitment to sustainability and socially responsible practices.

Dedicated to the development of industry leadership and talent, Dan is a frequent panelist and speaker at hospitality and educational events. He has participated in the FranklinCovey Leadership Symposium, presented at National Restaurant Association shows, and at GWU’s School of Business, where he is able to impart his business practices and lessons learned to students as they prepare to embark on their own careers. Dan is also a member of the EVEN Hotels Wellness Advisory Board.

Dan was born and raised in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. He and his wife live just outside of Washington, D.C. with their three sons and share an affinity for world travel and exploring hospitality concepts wherever they go.

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