Founders and co-owners Ford and Ciola called upon their robust restaurant industry experience to create The League. Ciola began with the local favorite Tony C’s Coal Fired Pizza in Hill Country Galleria, and is a third-generation restaurateur. Already Ford works for such prominent restaurant companies as Rudy’s Bar-B-Q.
Their passion and flair for high-quality food and customer service have driven their success, and at The League these qualities culminate in a sublime dining experience.
Tony Ciola is a third-generation restaurateur who prides himself on creating experiences his guests will remember with affection. Since he opened Tony C’s Coal-Fired Pizza at the age of 24, Ciola’s trademark has been serving familiar foods from scratch and made to superior quality in timeless interiors. The Co-Founder of TC4 & Co. Hospitality has played an active role in creating several restaurant concepts, from Tony C’s to The League Kitchen & Tavern.
Ciola is also a VPN-trained pizzaiolo and a Level 1 sommelier who hand selects unique and familiar wines for the restaurants, and he takes great pride in providing classy yet unpretentious dining experiences to Austin’s greater surrounding areas. Ciola has worked in restaurants since his teen years, serving in every position from dishwasher to manager. Together with his TC4 Co-Founder, Creed Ford IV, he operates thirteen restaurants in the Austin area.
Giving back to the community is also incredibly important to Ciola. He’s worked with SAFE Austin for 10 years, donating both food and time, and TC4 has donated to countless local organizations, including Austin Pets Alive! Center for Child Protection, Dell Children’s Hospital and Mack, Jack, and McConaughey. He enjoys raising funds for children’s groups in particular.
When he’s not overseeing his growing business, Ciola prioritizes spending time with his wife, daughter, and white lab, who’s appropriately named Slugger.
“I was raised in a Chili’s booth” is how Creed describes his early encounters in the hospitality business. Both Creed’s parents were enrooted in the restaurant business since the mid 1970’s and we’re both responsible for growing some of the most iconic brands in the industry including Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, Johnny Carino’s and Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q to name a few. Creed started working in the industry when he was 14 doing preparations in the kitchen of his mom’s local restaurant and managing a food court at a concert venue.
Creed graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors and Masters in Accounting, and received his C.P.A. certification shortly after graduation. With a brief stint in public accounting with PWC, Creed began working in the family business with his father at Johnny Carino’s as a Financial Analyst when they had 33 locations. Creed left Johnny Carino’s as Corporate Controller when they were at the peak location count of 180 locations throughout the world.
An entrepreneur at heart, Creed and his wife, Cassie, founded a residential real estate and also was able to focus more time on his interactive development company, Pictoric Media, later named Beyond4. He also began assisting his mother’s restaurant company, Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q, in the realms of information technology and marketing.
In 2008, Creed and Tony Ciola met and began working on the ‘Tony C’s Coal Fired’ brand. Instantly they new they would have a long business relationship in creating fun, exciting yet approachable brands and guest experiences. Their second collaboration was The League Kitchen & Tavern, where Creed and Tony began their equity partnership, Tc4 & Co.
Fast forward to the present, Creed and Tony operates 13 locations throughout the greater Austin area under the brands: Tony C’s Coal Fired Pizza, Tony C’s Pizza and Beer Garden, The League Kitchen & Tavern and Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes.
In his spare time, Creed loves traveling with his wife and his two sons. He is an avid golfer and outdoorsman, and also enjoys snow sports and playing guitar.
Kevin Yeager is the Brand Director for Tony C’s Coal Fired Pizza and Tony C’s Beer Garden, leading teams to reach the highest standards of food & service quality. With over 20 years of Restaurant Operations & Hospitality experience, Kevin has built teams and developed talent in nearly 100 restaurants across multiple brands and markets.
Kevin began pursuing a career in Finance and Banking but understood quickly that Hospitality was his true passion after beginning a job at the Hilton hotel. He immediately fell in love with the hospitality industry and enrolled in one of the nation’s top-rated Hotel and Restaurant Management school at the University of North Texas. After the 2001’s disruption to the Hotel Industry and on the verge of graduating and entering a challenged job market, Kevin turned his attention to the Restaurant Industry and began a career working with one of the most influential Restaurateurs in our industry Creed Ford III. Starting at the bottom, Kevin work every position in the restaurant, gaining a true understanding of what it takes to develop a successful team and quickly rose the ranks to Area Director by setting high marks in operational excellence and guest satisfaction with a track record of building teams, sales, and profitability.
Kevin has built a successful career in the hospitality industry by investing in people, understanding that hospitality starts at the top and thus has created a culture where caring about others breads a passion for true hospitality that the guest immediately understands when they walk in our doors.
Native born Houstonian Michael Scott Castell took over the executive chef position at the original Brenner’s Steakhouse back in April of 2008, after closing his own restaurant, Bistro Toulouse. “Getting the Brenner’s job was the perfect situation with perfect timing.”
The Brenner’s job was not Castell’s first time working for Landry’s. Castell had been with Saltgrass when Landry’s acquired the steakhouse chain. Working at one of the test stores for Saltgrass allowed Castell insight to the acquisition that would help out later in his career.
From Brenner’s, Castell helped with the acquisition of Oceanaire before moving on to the acquisition of Claim Jumper which was a complicated on multiple levels, having to stabilize purchasing, item utilization, culture, BOH kitchen systems and profitability.
Having successfully led the acquisition and integration of Claim Jumper, Castell left Landry’s for New York City to use his skill set to help Dos Toros Taqueria prepare for rapid growth by changing all of their systems, recipes and purchasing so that they could rapidly grow, taking them from 13 restaurants to 23 restaurants before merging with Chop’t Salad Company. Castell implemented systems at Dos Toros that managed to reduce kitchen labor thru modernizing the kitchen systems, requiring less skilled labor in each kitchen. This also addressed when all items were performed and on what equipment. Yields on all prepped items also increased from these new systems, attacking the two main cost centers in restaurants, food and labor.
Castell went to college at Florida State University to study Physics and later English. To pay some bills, he started working as a meat cutter, delivering pizzas and cooking, finding out that the latter suited him best. Castell eventually enrolled at the Art Institute of Houston’s Culinary Arts Program having won a scholarship from the James Beard Foundation offered through My Table Magazine, HEB and the St Regis Hotel.
An upstate New York native, Teri began her early food career with a literal understanding of “Farm to Table.” Growing up on a farm, bountiful food and hospitality was not just a family business, but a way of life.
Early on, Teri immersed herself in the hospitality industry. She has worked and trained nearly every position in the restaurant and hotel industry. Her work ethic and exemplary leadership skills have contributed to her ongoing success. Using her ingenuity and innate talent, she has been successful with domestic and international restaurant and hotel openings and turn-arounds, increasing profitability and ensuring guest satisfaction.
Her past experience includes successful leadership of Five Star restaurants and hotels, domestically and internationally for a wide variety of concepts include fine dining, upscale casual and fast casual. She has successfully led training for hotel chains and restaurant companies with 200 or more units. Her culinary experience includes working with Classic French, Indian, Thai, Chinese, American, Italian and Continental cuisine.
She excels at implementing quality control procedures, improving restaurant operations, developing human resources and training programs, employee development and ensuring guest loyalty. Her passion for hospitality shows in everything she does.
Fresh to the hospitality field, Meg’s career has seen success in a wide range of industries.
Meg studied Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin as part of the acclaimed Texas Creative program, graduating to work the ad agency life in NYC. With the experience in the city, Meg moved back to Austin to open her own marketing firm. As founder, she helped launch a non-profit movement that touched every county in Texas, while also executing on hyper-stylized creative workshops across the globe. Transition came when Kendra Scott reached out, asking her to help build the social media team. In the role, she was instrumental in growing the following by 300% and creating the systems by which social strategy supported a 360° marketing approach for the billion-dollar business.
Meg was immediately drawn to the fast-paced, team-focused nature of the restaurant business.
The thread that ties her career together is building community. It is the reason she joined TC4 in its efforts to bring high quality dining experiences to all areas of central Texas.