Even at an early age, Joseph Linnehan loved being in the kitchen. Reflecting on his childhood years in the Hampton area, he credits his mother and grandmother with his initial inspiration.
“Ever since a young age, I’ve had a passion for culinary arts – it started as cooking with my family and later transformed into me wanting to go to culinary school. I started going to Stonewall Kitchen in York [Maine] and then trained with chefs at their culinary school before starting vocational school for culinary arts.”
Joseph held various back-of-house positions throughout his teenage years, such as line cook and dishwasher, at restaurants along the New Hampshire seacoast. While those experiences provided him with increased exposure to his career of choice, they also provided him with something of equal importance: money for college.
“College was on the horizon, so I had to start saving money. That’s why I was working in high school. I decided that I didn’t want to spend the money on [private schools outside of New Hampshire] because they were so expensive, and I didn’t really know if that would be exactly what I wanted to do at the time.”
Joseph ultimately chose to attend Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) in Laconia due to the culinary arts program, affordable tuition and a housing plan that provided a residential experience akin to traditional four-year universities. His hands-on learning experiences were complemented by outings with the school’s hospitality club. While he maintained his passion for cooking, it was during this time that Joseph began to see a new host of opportunities in the culinary world that extended far beyond the kitchens with which he was most familiar. Meanwhile, Joseph’s academic advisors and mentors worked with him to identify specific courses and topics to further enhance his professional skills and knowledge and prepare him for management roles.
Following his years at LRCC, Joseph transferred his credits to Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Hospitality Business. After his graduation from SNHU in 2018, Joseph went on to work for Ocean Properties, one of the largest privately-held hospitality development groups in the United States, as the Food & Beverage Manager of the group’s esteemed Bar Harbor Resorts in Bar Harbor, Maine before transferring to other high-end hotels in southern Florida and Lake Placid, NY.
Now, Joseph has returned to his home on the New Hampshire seacoast as the Director of Operations for Tinios Pro Hospitality Group, where he oversees management of the six restaurants in the group’s portfolio. In November of 2021, the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association (NHLRA) recognized Joseph’s hard work with the Rising Star award for his successful leadership. When asking Joseph about these accomplishments, his humility shines through.
“I’m proud of the people I work with, the relationships that I’ve built and how I was able to do this for myself, so I feel like that’s the biggest thing: I put myself through school and now I’m making an impact. A huge part of a hospitality career is giving a part of yourself to the people you work with and letting them know that no matter what, you’re there for them and you’re going to get through it together; it’s not “I” – you’re a team.”