The James Beard Foundation today announced the 20 fellows participating in the 2019 Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program, taking place October 27 to November 1 at Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero, CA. Now in its third year, the WEL program is part of the Foundation’s broader Women’s Leadership Programs, with founding support from Audi, and aims to support woman-identifying food industry entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and chefs in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses.
“This year’s WEL fellows represent the rich diversity of our industry and are an inspiring group of future leaders,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “These women are ready to scale their businesses and expand their impact in their communities and beyond. We’re excited to be providing them with the toolkit, resources, and network to help them deliver their vision and ambition for growth.”
The 2019 class of Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership fellows are:
Ann Ahmed, Lat14 Asian Eatery, Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine, Golden Valley, MN
Mary Aregoni, Saigon Sisters, Chicago
Caitlin Carney, Marjie’s Grill, New Orleans
Gina Chersevani, Buffalo&Bergen, Suburbia, Washington, D.C.
Penny Chutima, Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas
Vicky Colas, Pro Kitchen Hub, Sunrise, FL
Christina Corvino, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, Kansas City, MO
Sonya Cote, Eden East, Hillside Farmacy, Austin
Sarah Ecolano, Copper River Fish Market, Cordova, AK
Rohani Foulkes, Folk Detroit, Farmer’s Hand, Detroit
Sarah Gavigan, Otaku Ramen, Nashville
Jocelyn Guest, J&E Small Goods, NYC
Katy Kindred, Hello, Sailor, Kindred, Davidson, NC
Tiffany MacIsaac, Buttercream Bakeshop, Washington, D.C.
Tim McDiarmid, Tim the Girl, The Good Kind, San Antonio
Caroline Morrison, The Fiction Kitchen, Raleigh, NC
Nikki Nickerson, Cowgirl Enterprises Restaurant & Retail Group, Rosemary Beach, FL
Evelyn Padin, Hardgrove Restaurant, Jersey City, NJ
Teresa Razo, Cambalache & Villa Roma Restaurants, Orange County, CA
Trish Rothgeb, Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, San Francisco
“As the founding sponsor of the James Beard Foundation Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program, Audi is proud to return and support these talented fellows,” said Loren Angelo, vice president of marketing, Audi of America. “This year’s WEL fellows represent the future of the culinary industry, and we’re excited to see what this incredible group will achieve in and out of the kitchen.”
Developed with Babson College, the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program is targeted to women chefs/owners of at least one restaurant or food business. The WEL curriculum addresses advanced business and finance concerns. Events, meetings, and webinars are held throughout the year in order to grow the network of women leaders across the country.
WEL is part of the Foundation’s comprehensive suite of programs to support the growth of women leaders in the food industry including the Women’s Culinary Leadership and Owning It programs. Owning It, launched in 2018, champions aspiring entrepreneurs and trains them in the best practices related to visioning, business planning, and fundraising. The James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Programs are made possible with the founding support of Audi, as well as Rohini Dey, Ph.D; EDENS; and Grubhub.
For more information on the Women’s Leadership Programs, please visit: jamesbeard.org/women-leadership-programs.