Hattie R. Donner

General Manager

In the summer of 2010, I started working at The Riverhouse as the Assistant Banquet Manager.

Coming from the Saybrook Point Inn’s restaurant I was eager to learn a new side of the industry. I studied at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida where I specialized in Hotel, Resort & Restaurant Management with a minor in Marketing. I also attended Mount Ida College in Boston Massachusetts for a degree in Business Management. With my education and experience working with the Director of Operations, I gained knowledge of event setup, floor design, staffing and execution.

My favorite part of the wedding industry was watching the ballroom come alive. From a bare room with just tables and chairs to all the glitz and glam of each event. I get excited over linens, flower arrangements, glistening votive candles and attention to detail. Watching the bride’s face light up at her first look to the room is the best feeling. I was happy to be a part of this, knowing that we did everything to make each event special.

In the last several years at The Riverhouse I have worked as the Assistant Banquet Manager, Wedding Sales Manager and in 2017 was promoted to the General Manager. Every department has given me a different experience that has enabled my knowledge for event planning.

Kelley Risatti

Wedding Sales Manager

I started working at The Riverhouse as a server when I was 17 years old and have been falling in love with the industry ever since.  Prior to being in the Sales Office, I had the pleasure of embracing many positions in the company such as Bridal Attendant, Banquet Captain, and Banquet Manager. I was fortunate to work directly with couples on their wedding day to make it everything they had hoped for.  In these rolls, I learned a great deal about leadership, service and etiquette.  I loved working the ballroom, but my ultimate goal was always to work in the sales office. I attended bridal shows and volunteered my time in the office to further my knowledge about the sales aspect of the job. Eventually, I was offered my dream job of working in wedding sales.

In the office I am able to meet with couples to go over all of their wedding’s details prior to their reception and am in constant contact with couples as they planned their big day. It has opened my eyes to all of the work that goes into a wedding prior to the execution, and I thoroughly enjoy watching the couple’s vision come together!  All of my past knowledge from my different positions here at the Riverhouse undeniably helps me assist our couples to plan the best day ever!  I love everything about the Riverhouse, and I know you will too!!

Julie Zuder

Julie Zuder

Banquet Manager

Julie graduated in 1997 with her degree in Elementary Education and began her teaching career in Glastonbury, CT. While in High School, Julie worked in her aunt’s restaurant and it was there that she discovered her love for the Hospitality Industry! Taking on more responsibility of the day to day, Julie realized that this truly was the career for her!

The restaurant was sold in May of 1999 and Julie stayed with the new owners and met her husband who was the Owner/ Executive Chef. Several years passed and both Julie and her husband needed to make the next career step which was to own their own restaurant. They purchased a restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine. They owned and operated the restaurant for 5 years, they sold the restaurant and moved back to CT.

Julie started working at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in August of 2017 as a banquet server and loved it! In December 2018, she took the position for Store Manager of Perfectly Prepared Gourmet to Go & Pond View Café. The position for Banquet Manager opened in the Spring of 2019 and Julie accepted it!

Ben Quinones

Ben Quinones

Executive Chef

My name is Ben Quinones, and I am the Executive Chef here at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. I graduated from the Lincoln Culinary Institute in 2008 and began my internship here at The Riverhouse soon after.

I began my culinary career at Café Routier in Westbrook, where I learned all the basics about food. After about a year, I accepted a position at The Lawn Club of New Haven where I realized that cooking for weddings and events was what I really wanted to do. While working at The Lawn Club I also started attending Lincoln Culinary. It was at this time I began my Riverhouse internship and decided to pursue a career with this team full time.

My first position with The Riverhouse was in garde manger. I then moved to appetizers, and eventually, started working side by side with the Executive Chef. Within 18 months, we started the off-site catering division which I held primary responsibility for the culinary aspect of it. I have catered events at the Branford House, Wadsworth Mansion, Middlesex Yacht Club, and Wesleyan University.

I was promoted to Executive Chef and have executed hundreds of corporate and social events along with weddings.