James GoldmanManaging Director & Principal Shareholder
James Goldman is a restaurant industry veteran of thirty years. He has been involved with both private and publicly owned restaurant operations throughout North America and the Caribbean. Goldman has developed more than 55 restaurant, bar, and entertainment venues in the United States with a concentration in NYC and Chicago.
The themes of concepts developed by Goldman range from the Tex Mex influenced Zona Rona chain with locations in NYC, Chicago, and London to the Southern BBQ chain Brother Jimmy’s with multiple locations. More than 250,000 guests continue to visit Brother Jimmy’s BBQ monthly.
While Goldman has opened restaurants with concepts as diverse as Latin –Asian to Cuban Chinese, and loves them like a parent loves a child, it is his continuing passion for American southern cuisine that has dominated him like a first born son dominates a parent. Goldman graduated from North Carolina’s Duke University in 1983 with a degree in history. It was his experiences while at Duke and living in North Carolina that ingrained the culture of the American South and Road Side culture in general in Goldman and made a disciple of this cuisine and culture.
It’s what made a NYC born kid into a scholar of Southern culture and living. In fact Southern Living Magazine once branded Goldman the villain of the byways of Louisiana in that he had purchased so many road signs that “the byways of rural Louisiana have been stripped of their profound heritage by a carpetbagger named James Goldman who has taken these precious heirlooms’ for more than a decade to his restaurants up North.”
Other related “Americana / Road Food ” restaurant concepts developed by Goldman and his team include The Gulf Coast restaurant in Chicago, Panama City of NYC, Jacquesimos of New Orleans in NYC, and Lucky Mojos also of NYC.
1999 brought numerous changes to Goldman’s life and his company National Themes as Goldman married Jodi Solomon and turned over operational control of his restaurants to his Management team led by Josh Lebowitz so he could spend time with his new wife. Goldman and wife left NYC for the warm weather of the Caribbean in 2000, settling on the tropical Island of St. Maarten.
Jodi SolomonManaging Partner
Born in New York, Jodi was raised on Long Island – which she denies! – and has lived predominantly in New York City for the past 30 years.
Jodi’s varied background includes too many years to count at JPMorgan Chase, where she held a number of titles in several lines of business. She met her true love (Marketing) in the Retail Bank (then Chemical Bank), where she was a marketer, product manager and product developer for the Bank’s Small Business Banking, Private Banking, and Treasury Services divisions.
Having married into the restaurant and entertainment business in the late 1990s, Jodi has worked in hospitality on and off since then, and has held numerous roles including hostess, server, bookkeeper, Chief Uniform Officer, Sister Jodi (to Jimmy’s Brother Jimmy), Finance Director, Director of Marketing, Master Roll Taster and Chief Flyer Distributer.
Jodi lived for a brief time on the Island of St Martin, where she and Jimmy opened a number of restaurants, including the original Little Bamboo. In her nonexistent spare time, Jodi is Head of Business Development for M Barry & Co, a boutique advertising agency specializing in Financial Services.
Jodi loves biking, running, hiking and skiing. She loves exotic adventure and food travel, and has tried delicacies ranging from salted beetles to witchety grub and everything in between. She loves connecting people, building communities, and yes, planning events (but won’t admit it in public).
Jodi is a dedicated volunteer who gives freely of her time to charitable organizations and for causes she believes in. She served as three-term founding Parent Council Officer for the Success Academy of the Upper West Side (while also serving as Class Parent, running the Communications committee and launching the school’s After-School program; sleep is over-rated, is it not?). She co-started Little in the City, a Mommy and Me group, is co-founder of the Forever Molly and Gregory Memorial Fund, and is on the board of the KL Foundation.
Jodi is the Treasurer for Play It Forward, a new start-up not-for-profit organization benefitting musicians and the charities they support. In addition, she serves on the Events and Community Service committees at her son’s current school.
Jodi lives with her son Dylan, who is 9 going on Restaurant Owner. She raised and continues to pine for her two Hungarian Pulis (Bailey and Thomson), who lived long and happy lives, and she speaks of them to anyone willing to listen. Jodi holds a BS in Business Administration from SUNY Albany and an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.