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About John Isbell

As a former Vice President of Operations & Training for the Improv Comedy Clubs, a 25-unit chain of full-service comedy clubs with full bar and scratch cooking menus, John Isbell knows how funny business can be.  He was responsible for reviving the culture and history of the brand by installing culture-based training programs and operational systems.  By standardizing both front and back of the house operational procedures and training programs, he helped increase top line sales for the brand . He also learned how much of an asset a sense of humor and great communication skills can be when building toward something bigger than yourself. 


John has held leadership positions in both Training & Operations in other organizations such as Logan’s Roadhouse, O’Charley’s and IHOP.  John also spent eight years in the United States Air Force/Air Force Reserves where his last position held was Unit Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge (Unit N.C.O.I.C.) of Training and Development for the 452nd Air Reserve Mobility Wing.


John is a past President of the Council of Hotel And Restaurant Trainers (CHART), an over 500 member organization of hotel and restaurant training professionals, and currently still acts on an advisory committee.  John has been featured in many trade magazines such as Nation’s Restaurant News and Food and Wine, while also making numerous presentations at trade shows and conferences across the U.S., including 4-time speaker at the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. 


John has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Workcenter Education & Development and holds an Associate Degree from the Community College of the Air Force in Educational & Instructional Technology.  He is a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) with the Educational Institute and, in 2009, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Foodservice (HDF) by the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers Association (NAFEM) for his contributions to the Hospitality Industry. 


John currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife & 2 children. 


John’s presentation style has been called “hilarious!”, “…like he’s having a conversation with just me…” and “…engaging and thoughtful…” 


Join John as he shows you why talking about leadership and team building can be energizing, sometimes life-changing, and downright fun.

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