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Limited tickets available, for a special price of $49

t's time to reconnect, re-engage and become re-INSPIRED from the comfort of your own home!

This year has proven to be unexpected (hello changing gears...and quickly!!), but despite COVID-19, there's still an opportunity for us to come together to engage and inspire our present and future women leaders of hospitality.

We will be gathering together virtually this year to RE-connect, RE-set, & RE-invent what the future for women of hospitality will look like. Tune in for the low cost of $49 for a full-access pass to 4 days and 8 sessions of inspirational and empowering national speakers, dynamic and groundbreaking leaders of hospitality, and badass women who shaped and continue to pave the narrative for the next generation. We can't wait to RE-CONNECT on Zoom this year -- see you there!!! 

CLICK FOR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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2020 Speakers

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SALLIE KRAWCHECK

Sallie Krawcheck is the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, a digital-first, mission-driven investment platform for women. Ellevest, one of the fastest growing digital investment platforms and has been named a #24 on CNBC’s top 50 "Disruptor" list, #14 on LinkedIn’s 50 “Most Sought-After Startups” ( #2 in New York), and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Brilliant Ideas. Before launching Ellevest, Krawcheck built a successful career on Wall Street: She was the CEO of Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, US Trust, Citi Private Bank, Sanford C. Bernstein and CFO for Citigroup. Krawcheck has been called one of the top 10 up and coming entrepreneurs to watch by Entrepreneur Magazine, has landed on Vanity Fair’s “The 2018 New Establishment List” and is considered one of the "Most Influential People in ESG Investing" by Barron's.

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SARAH MCBRIDE

Sarah McBride is an American LGBTQ rights activist and Democratic candidate for a seat in the Delaware Senate. She is currently the National Press Secretary of the Human Rights Campaign. After winning the September 15, 2020 Democratic primary in the safely Democratic 1st Delaware State Senate district, she is "widely expected" to win in the the November 2020 election. If she does, she will become the first transgender state senator in the country as well as the highest-ranking transgender official in the country. McBride is largely credited with the passage of legislation in Delaware banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, insurance, and public accommodations. In July 2016, she was a speaker at the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention in American history.

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JOANNA JAMES

Joanna's directorial debut with A Fine Line, which she has produced and edited, has led to her passion of filmmaking and sharing people's stories. Joanna is the founder and CEO of Zoel Productions, an independent film, television and multimedia production company out of New York. As a creative entrepreneur, Joanna owns a patent having invented an exercise product line that went to market to help those in longterm care, mentally ill and with physical disabilities. Having gone from reporter to filmmaker, entrepreneur to women's rights organizer, now as a wife and mother, Joanna has found her calling. "There is no greater love I have than that for my family, but I refuse to be coerced into sitting on the sidelines instead of having a seat at the table. We need to stop making women choose between doing what they love or who they love"

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CHEF DAYANNY DE LA CRUZ

is a Dominican American executive chef. She was responsible for managing food services during Super Bowl LIV, and was the first woman to hold that position. Her first culinary position was as the executive chef for the DoubleTree Hotel in Skokie, IL. Much of her work was at sporting events and in hotel management, including the Harley-Davidson Museum, the U.S. Open, and the Kentucky Derby. In 2012, she moved to Miami and worked  as an executive sous chef for the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena. In November 2017, De La Cruz was hired as the Executive Chef at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida by Centerplate, the company in charge of food services at the stadium. She is the first Latina to hold this position. 

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ABUNDANCE CHILD

A compelling combination of contemporary entrepreneurial drive and traditional homesteading instincts, she defies prediction. She is the I Am Chief & owner of Drop Squad Kitchen, a Riverfront Wilmington restaurant that has built its reputation on vegan cuisine. But with 15k followers, Drop Squad Kitchen is more than just a place to eat, it’s a community center of sorts. It’s a school. It’s a village square. Prior to her work pioneering lauded vegan recreations of American food, such as her “skin-on” fried “chick-un” and Maryland “crab” soup made with hearts of palm, and plant-based fish entrees, Abundance was a radio show and publicist.

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AUDRA MULKERN

Audra Mulkern is a 2019 James Beard finalist, writer, photographer and international speaker who is changing the way you look at farming and the food on your plate.  She is the founder of “The Female Farmer Project™” – a multi-platform documentary project that chronicles the rise of women working in agriculture around the world.  From in-depth stories, personal essays, photographic portraits, a podcast, and in-development documentary film -- the project gives a powerful voice to the fastest growing demographic in agriculture-- the female farmer.

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CARRIE LEISHMAN

Carrie Leishman is the President & CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) and its philanthropic arm--The Delaware Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (DRAEF). 2020 marked Carrie's 20th year as President & CEO of the DRA, the state trade association dedicated to promoting, educating and advocating for Delaware’s foodservice industry. After spending 10 years with the Maryland Restaurant Association, she became the President of the Delaware Restaurant Association. She is credited with building and strengthening the DRA-- taking a handful of members and a miniscule yearly budget and turning it into one of the most influential business organizations in the state. Carrie is often described as a passionate and fearless advocate for the industry, and has been featured in Delaware Today Magazine where she was recognized as an influential Woman in Business as well as The Delaware Business Times “25 People to Watch” and most recently named a “Local Food Hero” in Edible Delmarva Magazine.

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ROBIN SELDEN

Robin Selden is the Managing Partner & Executive Chef of Marcia Selden Catering and Naked Fig Catering, where she oversees the culinary and marketing operations for her family’s multimillion-dollar company. The first catering company ever inducted into the CT Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame. Along with her brother, Jeffrey, the “Dynamic Sibling Duo” were named two of the “100 Most Inspiring People” in the Wedding industry by The Knot. In October of 2019, Robin was honored to be named to the BizBash1000 celebrating the top 1,000 event professionals in the United States.

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DEBORAH BRENNER

As a Social Entrepreneur and the Founder & CEO of Women on the VIne, Deborah Brenner expounds beyond the entrepreneurial focus of growing a business and measures performance on the positive impact the business makes on society. She has manifested her vision with Women of the Vine & Spirits, and inspired people to support a movement in the alcohol beverage industry. She has presented a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose, working with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. 

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NICOLE MARQUIS

Nicole Marquis, founder and CEO of HipCityVeg, was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. After years of preparation, she opened the first HipCityVeg location in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. She has since expanded the business to eight locations, beginning with the opening of the first Washington, D.C., store in Chinatown in June 2016. A second restaurant opened in Dupont Circle in 2019, and a third will come to D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood this spring. The restaurants offer plant-based American classics with some innovative twists, making delicious plant-based food convenient and affordable.

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MARTHA HOOVER

Martha Hoover owns some of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since 1989, Patachou restaurants used premium ingredients, cooked from scratch, and partnered with local vendors and farmers long before “farm-to-table” became the norm. In 2013, Hoover created The Patachou Foundation to feed healthy meals to food insecure children in Indianapolis.In 2020, Hoover was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur in the national category by the James Beard Foundation for the sixth time; Food and Wine named her “One of The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink”,  Eater named her “Empire Builder of the Year”, and Vogue Magazine profiled her and the company for their sustainability practices. Patachou Inc. was named among “19 Great Restaurants in the US to Work For” by Food and Wine Magazine.

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KATEY EVANS

As a Delaware native seen on ABC's Shark Tank this year, Katey is not only the wife of farmer Kevin; she’s the one who brainstorms many of The Frozen Farmer flavors and product concepts. When she’s not dreaming of ice cream, Katey is putting her degree in public relations to use for the family business. Heading up sales and marketing for The Frozen Farmer, Katey’s involvement includes handling the social media accounts, landing new wholesale customers, securing food truck opportunities, and organizing the events on the farm including outdoor movie nights, farm festivals and birthday parties.

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NORA GARDNER

Nora serves as managing partner of McKinsey’s Washington, DC, office, specializing in organizational change and talent management. She supports clients across the public, private, and social sectors, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, scientific agencies, and defense.

Nora combines technical expertise with a passion for people, as a client leader and sought-after mentor within McKinsey. With a PhD in biochemistry from Duke University and a BS in biochemistry from North Carolina State University, she brings a unique blend of scientific rigor and organizational expertise. Nora is deeply committed to community engagement and founded the office’s social-impact group, which connects consultants to pro bono work and other service projects at local not for profits. Nora was named “Working Mother of the Year” by Working Mother magazine in 2015.

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CARLEE MYERS

As the founder of The Stress Less Company, Carlee Myers is an expert at helping professionals who feel overworked, overwhelmed or on the verge of burnout relieve stress so they can find more joy at work, home and beyond. Carlee has helped hundreds of professionals across the country take action to reduce stress through coaching. She believes there is no-one-size-fits-all when it comes to stress management. Her work has most recently been featured through media outlets such as Good Day Philadelphia, FOX 29, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Mag and Whoolly Magazine.

MELANIE ROSS
LEVIN

Director of the Office of Women’s Advancement & Advocacy (OWAA), a new office for the State of Delaware that focuses on expanding opportunities for women and girls. Since graduating from the University of Delaware in 2003, I have helped pass more than 25 pieces of legislation that benefit women and girls in the First State. Delaware now has the best paid parental leave for state workers in the country and is the only state that includes teachers in that benefit. Delaware was the first state to ban child marriage without exception. Delaware was also one of the first states in the country to ban employers asking applicants about their salary history, which has been shown to help decrease the wage gap between men and women. 

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JASMINE JONES

Jasmine Jones serves as Communications Manager at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. In her role, she develops and implements media relations campaigns and leads special projects to promote the NRAEF through digital and online media.In the fall of 2018, Jasmine led the campaign launch of the NRAEF’s original research with the Center for Generational Kinetics, unveiling the attitudes, perceptions and trends that Gen Z and millennials have towards working in the restaurant industry. Since its launch, the research has been featured in Skift Table, Restaurant Business, Nation’s Restaurant News, EATER and more.

 

Jasmine graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and received her Master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University.

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CARLIE ROBERTS

I was proudly born and raised in Sussex County. After high school - where I was mildly nerdy and slightly chubby - I went off to the University of Colorado at Boulder...which I chose solely off pictures from the internet, never having been there in my life. (Had a great time, by the way.) Fast forward to what alternately feels like 15 seconds and 50 years and here I am. Still nerdy, less chubby, but confident and at ease back home in Sussex County, on a new adventure. I love owning a restaurant but I also love digging in the dirt on our farm. Being a mama to a perfect tiny human definitely tops the list but it's kind of tied with being married to someone who has never once said "we can't do that" and instead leaves notes on the fridge that say "we're gonna crush this". My life is filled with flowers, and food, and animals. With staff that feel like family, a never ending to-do list, and beauty in every nook and cranny. It's messy, and chaotic, and I'm so thankful it's mine.

PAULA KREUZBURG

Paula grew up in the foodservice industry.  Her great grandparents opened Mrs. K’s Toll House in 1927 in DC and moved the restaurant to Silver Spring Maryland where it just celebrated its 90th Anniversary at this location.  Paula worked in the family business for many years before it was sold in 1996.  Mrs. K’s Toll House was one of the early members of the National Restaurant Association and Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM).  She served as the President of RAM. For the past 9 years Paula has served as the Executive Director of the International Caterers Association.  She is currently living her own reality show in Maryland with her husband James, father Richard and 5 cats at her home in Maryland.

JULIE WINKLE
GIULIONI

Julie Winkle Giulioni is the co-author of the Amazon bestseller, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want. She’s been identified by Inc. Magazine as one of the Top 100 Leadership Speakers. She writes monthly columns for Training Industry Magazine and Saba’s Talent Space and regularly contributes her thought leadership to The Economist, SmartBrief, Saba’s TalentSpace, the Conference Board’s Human Capital Exchange and other publications.

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MEG RYAN

Meg’s passion for magazines stems from a young age while growing up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. This passion shows through her early career at various publications as an editor and writer. Before joining Delaware Today in 2019, Meg spent two years at Delmarva Now on Maryland’s Eastern Shore as a reporter covering education and entertainment. A proud Louisiana State University alumna, she was editor-in-chief of Legacy, the LSU student magazine; a contributing writer for LSU Alumni Magazine; and a writer and editor for The Daily Reveille, the LSU student newspaper. Meg also interned for 225 Magazine, which covers the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and The Desert Sun, a newspaper in Palm Springs, California.

"Denny Marie Post was my favorite speaker. She was so inspiring and empowering to myself as a young woman in this industry."

— Anonymous

"Fantastic job on a great conference. I loved the breakout sessions - loved the ladies on the Superwoman Syndrome panel!!"

— Anonymous

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2019 Conference Gallery

Thanks to our 2019 sponsors!

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"I was intrigued by all 3 breakout sessions for the day and wish I could have attended them all! The two that I did attend were amazing!! Great speakers."

— Anonymous

"I have already recommended this event to other women for next year!"

---- Anonymous