Our Team

Headshot of Elissa PhillipsElissa Phillips is the founder and CEO of Mise En Place Restaurant Services, Inc. Accounting and Finance have always been strengths of Elissa’s but hospitality and food have always been her passion. As a child most of the play dates Elissa hosted involved baking or cooking. Having grown up in a home where breakfasts and dinners were always eaten as a family, food has always been important to Elissa.

But in school she excelled in those subjects where numbers were dominant. Elissa received a Bachelor of Business degree and a Masters in Accounting degree from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Upon graduating college, Elissa passed the CPA exam and then went to work for Bear Stearns as an investment banking analyst. At Bear she learned what it meant to work long hours and to work in a client driven industry. During her years in the analyst program Elissa worked on numerous valuations, fairness opinions, equity offerings and exclusive sales of middle-market businesses.

When Elissa decided to go back to school for her MBA she realized that she wanted to put her entrepreneurial spirit to work to enter the industry she was passionate about. During her two years at the Stern School of Business at NYU Elissa worked on her business plan for a natural foods, fast casual restaurant. After graduation she spent a season on Nantucket working at the Boarding House and Pearl restaurants to learn about the day to day operations of a restaurant and after the season ended she returned to her native Los Angeles to begin fund raising and site selection for solar HARVEST. While her restaurant was not the success she had hoped for, the experience of creating a business plan, building and launching a restaurant, operating the restaurant through three meal periods a day seven days a week and eventually closing the restaurant gave Elissa the education she needed to really understand all of the intricacies of the restaurant industry.

In 2007 Elissa started the Southern California office for Vine Solutions. In five years she grew the business to over 60 restaurant locations in Southern California, including some of L.A.’s best known restaurants. In early 2012 Elissa decided to start Mise En Place Restaurant Services to provide different levels of customized accounting services to restaurants while focusing on exceptional customer service.

Elissa has been active in culinary philanthropies in Los Angeles since she returned to L.A. in 2007. She has served on the planning committee for Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation and for three years was the Chair of the Committee. During those three years Elissa helped the committee triple the funds Taste LA was able to contribute to Share Our Strength. Mise En Place has been a Sponsor of Taste LA for the past five years. Elissa also serves on the Advisory Board for C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Programs) an organization that helps lower income students develop culinary skills and eventually earn scholarships to culinary arts programs at universities and trade schools. Mise En Place provides an annual scholarship to C-CAP as well. She is also active in Alumni events for her high school, Brentwood School, and participates from time to time in events for the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and NYU Stern School of Business.

Elissa lives in Santa Monica with her husband, Rick, their children Alexis, Spencer and Holden, and their golden retriever Baxter. Her hobbies include hiking, running, yoga, reading and cooking. She doesn’t miss a week at the Santa Monica’s farmers market with her kids in tow and enjoys making homemade ice cream on the weekends.

Angela Cowley: Director of HR

Angela Cowley has more than seven years experience in the payroll field, including working for several years at a Professional Employer Organization.  She has managed payrolls that range from two to 1,800 employees in industries ranging from restaurants to construction and has handled multi-state, certified and prevailing wage payrolls.  Angela has significant experience in the human resource field; screening, hiring, and training new staff, processing benefit insurance enrollments, constructing employee handbooks and training manuals and cultivating employee development plans.  Angela studied at Utah Valley University and then Brigham Young University.  Angela loves to spend time with her family camping, hiking, or attending sporting events.  Her passion is sewing and she dreams of one day having her own Halloween costume shop.

Gavin Bates: Director of Accounting

Gavin Bates is our Director of Accounting.  He works with our clients in many capacities.  After spending nearly a decade working in Accounting with and for national restaurant groups, Gavin knows how important financial statements are to decision makers.

Gavin is a Certified Public Accountant who is licensed in the state of Maryland. He began his career working with Metro Metro and Associates (now part of Adeptus Partners, LLC). At Metro Metro, Gavin prepared business and individual tax returns and also conducted audits, reviews and compilations. Most recently, Gavin was a Senior Accountant at Matchbox Food Group, Inc. based in Washington, D.C. and the Assistant Controller at Umami Restaurant Group, LLC based in Los Angeles, CA.

Gavin holds a BS in Accounting and a minor in Finance from Saint Vincent College. Outside of the office, Gavin has performed Improv Comedy at the Westside Comedy Theater and also enjoys reading, CrossFit and lacrosse.

Rose Besone: Director of Client Services and Implementation Coordinator

Growing up among the palm trees and farmers markets in sunny West Los Angeles, Rose has been a foodie since birth. At an age where most teenagers were sneaking off to go to parties on Saturday nights, Rose was honing her cooking skills, whipping up seafood risottos and coq au vin for her family and friends. While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in French Literature from U.C. Santa Cruz, Rose spent a year abroad in Paris and fell in love with all things French. She moved back to Paris after college, where she cut her teeth working as a prep chef in Paris restaurants before following her passion to hospitality management, receiving her MBA degree in Hospitality from ESSEC – IMHI (partnered with the Cornell Hotel School in New York). Soon after completing her degree, Rose returned to her hometown, and began working in the restaurant industry. She eventually spent over five years working for famed chef Suzanne Goin managing The Larder at Tavern, before joining Mise en Place and achieving her dream of having weekends off.