Team & Board

Meet The Crew


Chief Executive Officer

Hal Real

Hal Real is the Founder and President of World Cafe Live and co-founder of LiveConnections (now merged with World Cafe Live.) Hal is a co-founder and board member of NIVA (the National Independent Venue Association) and a co-founder and board president of NIVF (the National Independent Venue Foundation). He also serves on the boards of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (immediate past chair) and the Freire (Charter Schools) Foundation, and chairs the Honorary Board of People’s Light (Malvern, PA). In the past he chaired the Boards of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the People’s Light and Philadelphia’s Fringe Arts boards, as well as the Chairman’s Council of the Philadelphia Zoo and the Philadelphia Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Board. Hal plays piano, loves dogs, and is a graduate of Kenyon College and Temple University School of Law.

Chief Operating Officer 

Kerri Park

Motivated by a lifetime of seeking out live music experiences and a deep love for all things Philadelphia, Kerri was drawn to World Cafe Live from the very beginning and was hired as part of the Food & Beverage department in October 2004. Maintaining a presence in multiple departments lead to her role as General Manager in 2018, where she is driven by the impact a venue has on the community. Kerri helped navigate the merger of 501c3 LiveConnections with World Cafe Live in 2019 and now as Chief Operating Officer continues to work on overseeing all departments with a focus on pushing the bounds of what a nonprofit music venue can and should be. Additionally Kerri is a LEADERSHIP Philadelphia Fellow, a member of the Advisory Board for the Director of Nighttime Economy, on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Music Alliance, and the current chapter President for NIVA’s Northeast Corridor.

Director of Food & Beverage

Rob Cottman

Chef Rob’s road to professional kitchens was driven by an entrepreneurial spirit when a unique opportunity presented itself to operate his own restaurant. After selling his first establishment, he decided to return to the basics and climb the ranks in established kitchens. Absorbing every ounce of knowledge around him, he accepted a position at World Cafe Live’s former location in his hometown of Wilmington, DE and spent years covering all aspects of the business from large scale a la carte service to formal catered dinners to specialty pairing menus. Now as the Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Rob is responsible for the dining experience of over 100,000 guests a year, overseeing service in two spaces daily and over 200 catered events annually while playing an integral role in the next stages of the organization’s development.

Director of Operations

Mallorie McRea

Mallorie grew up in the Philadelphia area and has been with World Cafe Live since September 2021. She joined WCL as the Ticketing & Guest Services Manager and is now Director of Operations as of June 2023. She cut her teeth in Nashville by working in venue box offices, as a talent buyer, and a booking agent routing tours before moving back to the area in 2021 during the pandemic. It was a full circle moment to score a dream position at World Cafe Live, where she had previously loved catching live music and even met some of her heroes (like Brandi Carlile).

Director of Events

Kate Milicia

Kate grew up in Bath, England. She co-founded an Educational Events company in London, that eventually relocated across the pond in 2014. Kate spent her first year in the States absorbing what the American Event Industry had to offer. She completed Hospitality Management at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York to then join Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study as the Catering and Events Assistant Manager. Captivated by the energy and spirit of the city, she finally made the move to Philadelphia and accepted a position at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as Events Coordinator. Gradually immersing herself more and more in the community, and with her heartfelt passion for tailoring special events, it was only a matter of time before Kate joined the family at World Cafe Live as Director of Events.

Director of Communications

Tori Powers

Tori began her journey with World Cafe Live as a marketing intern in 2013, unless you count the many concerts she attended as a longtime fan of the venue. During her studies at neighboring Drexel University in the Music Industry program, she wrote concert and album reviews for a local music blog, assisted on several releases with Mad Dragon Records, and worked as a publicist for local artists. Tori graduated from Drexel in 2014 with a degree in Music Industry and Communications. She found her way back to World Cafe Live shortly thereafter and has been with the venue full-time ever since. Now as Director of Communications, Tori manages all marketing, advertising, promotions, publicity, and branding for WCL.

Director of Programming

Helen Smith

Helen has been a talent buyer in the Philadelphia region for over 10 years, previously working for City Winery and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Before she came to Philly, she was a talent buyer at SteelStacks/Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA where she booked somewhere in the ballpark of 500+ artists per year. She got her start in Bethlehem booking jazz bands on weekends at the Bookstore Speakeasy. If she’s not at a show – or booking a show – she’s hanging out with her dog, Dexter.

Production Manager

Jorgan Krug

Jorgan has been a member of the World Cafe Live Production team since 2007. Initially focused on producing demos and albums in recording studios, Jorgan delved into concert production and promotion while living in a DIY artist collective/concert space. Subsequent years of experience touring North America and Europe with several artists have given him a grounded viewpoint of concert logistics. As Production Manager for World Cafe Live, Jorgan leads a crew of skilled lighting and sound technicians while overseeing production for events of all types.


Sandra Riddick » Director of Finance
Jacinda Arellano » Promotions & Booking Coordinator
Julia Barbuto» Accountant
Cortez Dessus » Facilities Manager
Joe Kusy » Graphic Designer
Lola Ojo » Events Coordinator
Hayley Simmons » Guest Services Coordinator
Mike Stiltner » Bar Manager

Interested in joining the WCL team? Visit our employment page here to see current openings and apply.


Hal Real, President & CEO » Founder of World Cafe Live
Lori Landew, Chair » General Counsel, Audible
Paralee Knight, Vice Chair » Vice President, Wells Fargo Philanthropy and Community Impact
Sally Bullard, Treasurer » Financial Executive (retired)
Courtney M. Johnson, Secretary » Chief Administrative Officer, Philadelphia Zoo
Steve Barnes » Chief Financial Officer, Accolade, Inc.
David Bradley » Theater Director, Educator & Arts Consultant
Tony Brown » The Curtis Institute of Music (retired)
Val Chavenson » Account Supervisor, BNO a creative agency
Robert J. Crowder » Founder and Managing Partner, Chapman Farrell Group
Katie E. Everett » President, Katalyst Productions
Tamar Lelkes Oded, Co-Founder » Independent Consultant
Rob Penn » Interactive Product, Comcast
Greg Reh » Principal, Deloitte, LLP
Katie Samson » Director of Education, Art-Reach
Alex Shaw » Musician & Teaching Artist
David Thornburgh » Senior Advisor, Committee of Seventy; Chair, Ballot PA