Elaina Herber is the president and CEO of Ascend Hospitality Group, a Black-owned, female-run independent restaurant group based in Bellevue. It has a collection of concepts ranging from the fine-dining flagship of Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi in Bellevue to fast-casual with seven locations of Famous Dave’s BBQ. Learn about Elaina Herber…
Hometown: Churchville, MD
First job: Babysitting, but my first legitimate job was as a cashier at Roy Rogers.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: With my kids and friends doing something fun.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My children — no explanation needed.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Self-doubt.
Someone who inspires you and why: I don’t have one, I have a group: my employees. Why? Because they have grit and determination, they are fiercely loyal to our guest and our mission, and they have perseverance and drive to overcome any hardship, as evidenced by how they’ve showed up for each other, guests and our business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Don’t do anything without conviction and passion — both will help you find your purpose.
Favorite quote: “Serve a guest or serve someone who is serving a guest.” –“Famous” Dave Anderson
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I had a 15-year IT career. I’m really a true techy inside.
What makes someone fabulous: How they make someone feel.