He wound up in New York in 1947. Resourced and resilient, Ivan Brent toiled for a while in the garment trade and as an electric welder; neither, of course held any credentials for the hospitality industry. He was steered into the profession by a lifetime friend, Jerry Howarth, a trustee and veteran member of our Association.
In gradual stages, Brent advanced from a waiter and bartender, then moved to the Barbizon-Plaza’s storeroom department. He left that hotel as an assistant catering manager after Paul Kovi, now co-proprietor of the Four Seasons, gave him an opportunity to work as banquet manager at the Sherry Netherland Hotel. From there, he switched to the Hotel Warwick, Manhattan then accepted a post with the Sheraton Hotel in Boston Mass. He returned to New York in 1975, with his transfer to the St. Regis-Sheraton, where he functions as Director of Catering.
Long an involved, committed and dedicated member of the Food and Beverage Managers Association of America, Ivan Brent served as its president in 1965. On two counts, now, he remains enshrined in the Association’s history. He was also, but only for brief periods, a member of the Food Service Executives Association, H.S.M.A and Banquets Managers Guild.
Ivan Brent’s affection for his profession was obviously sensed and shared by his only daughter, Sandy. Her childhood consideration to be a lawyer was dismissed in following her dad’s footsteps. She has joined the hospitality industry ranks. Sandy is employed by Sheraton Corporation in Texas. Evidently inspired by her Father, her target is to become a general manager in a hotel in which he is engaged. Why? As Ivan Brent puts it, “she wants to serve as my commanding officer before I retire!” May her wish be fulfilled, “That would delight me.” said Brent senior.
Ivan reviews his career with consummate humbleness: “No man can experience better good fortune than to be favored by such friends as I have had among the members of the Food and Beverage Managers Association of America and to be identified with the hospitality industry. In our business, you deal always with people who wish to be pleased. The challenge is to satisfy them. You do. No other profession can provide you with more pleasure.”