John Cini, a longtime foodservice consultant and founder of the firm Cini Little, passed away on July 4. He is survived by his wife, three children and their families.
Cini began his career at Stouffer’s Restaurant and Prexy’s in New York City, working as a foodservice operator. In 1963, he was recruited by Marriott Corporation to direct its Food Facilities Design Division in Maryland. Five years later he struck out on his own to start his own consulting firm and was joined by fellow Cornell alumni. That firm is now known as Cini Little International Inc. Cini retired from the day to day business in June 2002, after leading his firm for 34 years as chairman and CEO. John remained active on the board until 2016.
“As his daughter, I had the privilege of seeing how much my dad loved his profession and the foodservice industry in general. He had an innate curiosity and ability to reason through difficult problems that led him to be so successful during his career,” said Diane Dowling, Cini Little’s chief financial officer and CEO.
Cini’s industry involvement extended beyond his own firm. He was a founding member of the Foodservice Consultants Society International and was honored as a member of the FCSI Council of Fellows in 1986. “John believed in preparing young people for careers in the foodservice industry and supported the growth and education of the foodservice consulting profession through this Society,” said Dick Eisbarth, vice president of strategic relations for Cini Little.
He also served on a variety of board and advisory committees including University of Delaware’s Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management School’s Advisory Council and was an active member of the Cornell Hotel Society.
Visitation will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 9 at the Pumphrey Funeral Home, 300 W Montgomery Ave, Rockville, Md. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 9200 Kentsdale Dr, Potomac, Md. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, Md. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.