Building teams through workshops, exercises, and experiences, the Team Banquet has been used over 200 times around the world to build executive teams, leadership teams, work teams, and strengthen customer/client relations. As part of AdvanceLearningGroup.com, we focus on creating highly memorable and successful team experiences that mirror the situations people face in the workplace.
Since 1998 when the Team Banquet was first created, it has provided outstanding, memorable, and delicious experiences for participants. Created in order to integrate the curriculum of a customer service account manager program, it has been used in numerous ways to strengthen boards, build teams, and enhance customer relationships. Conducted throughout the world, the Team Banquet provides an unforgettable experience that bonds people in ways beyond other team building experiences. Every gourmet Team Banquet is different, and many are so exceptional they compete favorably with professional banquets. It’s also a perfect analogy to a high-paced production or services environment.
"Our team of allstars came together in a most timely manner, displaying the natural talents that together made the event a dynamite experience."
With extensive experience with leading Fortune 500 organizations, top highly-experienced educational institutions, and nonprofit and governmental organizations, we have the knowledge to tailor the Team Banquet experience to your specific needs. The original Team Banquet includes no recipes, the freshest of ingredients and professional quality kitchen tools, a highly-experienced Executive Chef and a team facilitator. Teams come up with the idea of what to make while sharing ingredients and equipment with other subgroups and then get two hours to cook and present your stunning banquet which will be judged on taste and presentation. Teams score extra points based on applying the skills the banquet is designed to bring out.
Howard Prager created the Team Banquet to meet the needs of organizations wanting to put into practice leadership and team skills in a fast-paced environment that they learned in the classroom, and has taught and run the Team Banquet around the globe. His expertise includes working with many organizations to strengthen their leadership development initiatives, build successful certificate programs and has won numerous awards for his work including a Top Ten Leadership Development Programs in North America, Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD) Excellence in Practice (3 awards), Optimas, and European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) Excellence award. Howard’s professional experience comes from leadership roles at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business and Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, industry experience at Exelon, Waste Management and Allstate and consulting experience with nonprofit and governmental organizations including the City of New York Administration for Children’s Services and the Chicago Police Academy and US Customs Service. An ASTD Chapter leader, he also served as Chair of the National Advisors for Chapters and International Board of Directors. He is regularly published in leading journals including Chief Learning Officer and Talent Development Journal and is a speaker at major industry conferences. A training certificate assessor for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Howard earned his MBA from the University of Michigan in Organizational Behavior and BA in Psychology from Northwestern University. He has certifications from Wharton in Gamification, the Hartman Institute and Human Synergistics in 360 assessments, and regularly uses DISC and the Thomas-Kilmann conflict inventory. He is a member of Midwest Speaking Professionals, Northwestern Alumni Association Leadership Development and Education Committee, Chicago and National ATD and ISPI.
Chef Greg Carso’s passion for the culinary arts stems from his Italian heritage and wide range of techniques that he has acquired over his long standing career of 30 years an Executive Chef--his hands are his most valuable tool, used to construct and perfect his culinary visions. Carso attended Chicago’s Washburne Trade School followed by La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris before establishing himself at Levy Restaurant Group, an off-premise catering company. He then tapped into the culinary world of Private Clubs where he was able to freely exercise his creativity and skill. The Metropolitan Club of Chicago, located in the iconic Willis Tower on the 67th floor has allowed him to flourish in his career. Although he is well known for his anything but a tidy kitchen, he continues to experiment and evolve using cutting edge techniques and the finest cuisines. Chef Carso believes the messier the kitchen the better, “One of the things I love most about being a chef is the euphoric feeling I get after a hectic day of trouble-shooting and making things work.” Chef Carso specializes in speaking engagements, cooking demonstrations, and hosting. Chef Carso has participated in various dinner engagements from high profile celebrities, politicians, and athletes. He has been actively involved with James Beard Celebrity Chef dinners, cooking alongside former White House chefs as well as celebrity chefs and connoisseurs from the Food Network. He has been honored as an alumnus from Washburne Trade School and has a passion for volunteering. Chef Carso is involved with an inner city organization “Break Through” that educates underprivileged teens in the City of Chicago how to cook and pursue a career in the culinary field. Chef Carso has been the “professional Executive Chef” for the Team Banquet since 2005.
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