Meet Our Staff
Matt is the owner of the Knoxville campus. Matt has a passion for Bartending that started at a young age, bartending as soon as he was old enough. Matt graduated from the Professional Bartending School in Atlanta and spent the next ten years bartending clubs, restaurants and private parties in Georgia. Matt’s expertise in Mixology, hospitality, and consulting has created many opportunities allowing him to develop and hone his passion. His love for the industry shows in his teaching and loves to help prospective bartenders reach their goals.
Rick Vance is our School Director and Lead Instructor, he has been an active member of the Hospitality Industry for over 30 years. Rick also has an extensive background as a professional musician and uses that experience to keep an engaging and upbeat classroom environment. His experience in management, bartending and training covers a range of dynamics. These areas include restaurant, hotel, nightclub, riverboat,sports bar, brewery, convention and catering in both corporate and private establishments. In addition Rick has been a State of Tennessee Certified Alcohol Server Trainer for 15+ years. " I can remember starting out in this industry and the people who helped me elevate my skills, energize my passion and achieve success. There is a wealth of opportunity in this industry and in the spirit of giving back, I have personally trained hundreds of bartenders and servers that have taken their place among the best and I will be honored to guide you on a path towards excellence.”
Denny Phillips is the newest addition the our team, specializing in Beer and Wine as well as instructing our ABC Server Permit classes. A fixture behind East Tennessee bars for 25 years, Denny has seen it all with a vast array of experience ranging from single-store operations to fine dining and corporate management. His experience in staff training and management offers students a keen insight into what students can expect when entering into the workforce and his talent for engaging guests and turning them from visitors into regulars is invaluable in helping students turn a job into a profitable career. Denny has been a State of Tennessee Certified Alcohol Server Trainer for 5+ years and gives students a unique perspective on how to maximize profits while maintaining a safe environment for patrons. “When I entered the hospitality industry, I never imagined how rewarding the field could be. Bartending is more than a paycheck, its been a great way of developing lifelong friendships and relationships while having fun in a fast paced environment. I was fortunate enough to have people take me under their wing and help take me from an unpolished rookie into a knowledgeable professional and instructing at Professional Bartending School affords me the opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation of bar professionals.’