Vice President of Operations & Nico Osteria Partner
A Chicago native, Kimberly Galban was introduced to hospitality at a very young age. Some of her earliest memories were around the dinner table with her French grandmother and Filipino grandfather for “Sunday Suppers.” While enjoying cuisine from each of their backgrounds, Galban would listen to her grandfather’s stories from working as a restaurant host. He described it as “the best job I ever had. I got paid to do something I truly loved, taking care of guests.”
In 1998, Galban enrolled at the University of Illinois at Chicago to obtain her bachelor’s degree. Looking to balance her studies and finances, and with her grandfather’s voice in her head, she took a job in the food industry.
Galban first joined the restaurant group in 1999 as a hostess for Blackbird. She quickly fell in love with the hospitality industry, and after graduating from the university she focused on restaurants full time. Her food expertise and superior guest service was evident, and Galban was promoted to Blackbird’s manager in 2002.
In 2004, after helping open acclaimed avec restaurant, Galban recognized an opportunity for growth with the Park Hyatt Chicago, and became the assistant manager at the esteemed NoMI Restaurant. In her five years with Hyatt, Galban filled several roles—from Banquet Director to Group Room Sales to Director of Private Events— each position afforded her the opportunity to refine her innate sense of hospitality and genuine enthusiasm for service.
Galban rejoined the restaurant group in 2008 as The Publican’s General Manager, which opened in October of that year. Serving as the face of The Publican for its first three years of operation, Galban continued to cultivate a level of service that surpassed guest expectations. In June of 2011, with the creation of One Off Hospitality Group, Galban signed on as Director of Operations and shortly after was promoted to Vice President of Operations.
In addition to her duties as Vice President of Operations, Galban is a managing partner for Nico Osteria, bringing her hospitality experience back into a hotel setting.