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Jay Treadwell, Co-Founder

Jay Treadwell Jay Treadwell

Jay is Co-Founder of The Optimum Group – he brings over 40 years of knowledge and expertise of the foodservice industry.

After earning a B.S. from Cornell University's highly-regarded School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York, Jay set out to make a lasting difference.

Jay entered the U.S. Navy and successfully turned a money-losing Officer's Club into a profitable operation. Returning from the Navy, Jay joined Pan American World Airways where he held many supervisory and leadership roles. With Jay's expertise, he was director of in-flight service and in charge of developing the cabin systems for the Boeing 747. Part of that system incorporated the first non-smoking section on any commercial aircraft; another part was the implementation of individual table dining on the upper deck of the aircraft.

In 1975, Jay joined the U.S. Senate and became The Director of Foodservice, overseeing 13 restaurants and cafeterias. With his attention to detail and the customer experience, Mr. Treadwell won the coveted International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) Silver Plate Award for "Outstanding Government Operation in the Nation".

Over the course of the following decades, Jay became Vice President for Marketing at Guest Services, Inc., later moving on to Ridgewell’s Caterer as general manager, then becoming an entrepreneur by purchasing and operating the catering company, Movable Feast, with a partner later selling his interest in the firm. Before founding The Optimum Group, he was the Director of Foodservice for the U.S. House of Representatives. Most recently he was president of the Cornell Hotel Society, the worldwide alumni organization of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

He is currently on the Dean's Advisory Board at The School.