Machine Shed Urbandale - Heart Of America Group


Nancy Shepard

Chief Operating Executive

Start Date: 9/10/2017
Personal Highlights

I love spending time with family and friends. My husband Tony also works for Heart of America as the COE of the West Des Moines Holiday Inn & Suites and Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. We have three daughters, Alex is studying engineering at Iowa State, Gaby a junior in high school and Sam is in 7th grade. In my free time I enjoy watching my girls play softball, taking vacations near the ocean and cheering on the Cyclones.

Julie Eckhardt

Front Of House Executive

Start Date: 5/15/2002

Cat Wood

Front Of House Executive

Start Date: 1/8/2000

Tony Topolinski

Front Of House Executive

Start Date: 5/30/2017
Personal Highlights

I am a huge sports fan and love the outdoors and cooking for friends and family, especially grilling out. I spend my summers with my wife and three kids going for walks, playing volleyball and basketball with friends and family. I also really enjoy playing catch with my two boys and my daughter when she decides to join us.

Jessica Gabel

Front Of House Executive

Start Date: 3/16/2014

John Weiler

Back Of House Executive

Start Date: 12/5/2018
Personal Highlights

When not at work you will find me with my family riding and racing bikes. We also love to entertain family and friends. We also are involved in many volunteer activities that support our communities less fortunate individuals.

Dan Means

Back Of House Executive

Start Date: 10/6/1994

Nick Hatton

Back Of House Executive

Ryan Wesley

Back Of House Executive

Start Date: 2/10/2021
Personal Highlights

When I am not at work I aim to travel looking for new food experiences. I spend a lot of free time at home cooking and playing with food I have never made before.

Joe Demello

Maintenance Executive

Start Date: 11/21/2016
Personal Highlights

I’m a home-body for the most part, and enjoy binge-watching old T.V. series’ and movies. I also play guitar in my spare time. After my long absence from Iowa, I intend to spend as much time with family as possible, when not at work.

Ken Crise


Start Date: 4/16/2012
Personal Highlights

I enjoy spending time with my five children and eight grandchildren. I like riding horses, working on vintage cars, working in my wood shop, hunting, boating, and going to country music concerts.

About Heart Of America

Starting with one, 100-seat restaurant in 1978, Heart of America Group has grown to include a portfolio of award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments. Noteworthy brands developed and operated by Heart of America Group include the Machine Shed Restaurant, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The Republic on Grand, Hotel Renovo, Wildwood Lodge, Thunder Bay Grille, and The J Bar. We pride ourselves in building long-lasting properties that bring value to the consumer and to the communities in which we build.


Operations Support Center - Moline
1501 River Drive
Moline, Illinois 61265
P: 309.797.9300
F: 309.797.8700

Operations Support Center - Des Moines
515 E Locust Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309