Danny Meyer is a New York City restaurateur and the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group. After studying cooking as a culinary stagiaire in both Italy and Bordeaux, he opened his first restaurant Union Square Cafe at just 27 years old. The restaurant is still running strong after 30 years in business.
A true businesswoman and humanitarian, Kat Cole is now the President and COO of Cinnabon, Inc. She got her start in the restaurant industry at Hooters where she became an Executive Vice President at just 26 years old. Cole oversaw the growth of Hooters from approximately 100 locations and $300 million in revenue to 500 locations in 33 countries and $1 billion in revenue.
Jonathan Grahm, named one of Forbes “30 Under 30”, is known for his over 100+ varieties of gourmet chocolates found in Compartes Chocolatier. Grahm, who started making chocolate at 19, transformed Compartes Chocolatier into one of the most notable and celebrated artisanal chocolate destinations in the nation blending chocolate, art, style, design, fashion and food.
Liza de Guia
When she’s not eating, drinking, or blogging about food, Natanya is the Director of Social Media at Whole Foods Market. She is also a founding member and past President of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, a non-profit organization established to promote blogger philanthropy and education in the food industry.
As the co-founder of both Eater and Resy, Ben knows a thing or two about mixing food, tech and digital media. He’s worked with companies like the Food Network, Kitchensurfing, and Cover. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of Hot Bread Kitchen and is on the James Beard Awards restaurant voting committee.
Richard McCarthy is the Executive Director of Slow Food USA, having previously served as Executive Director of Market Umbrella, a non-profit organization for farmers markets, community building and sustainable economic development. Through his work, Richard embodies the phrase “think globally; act locally.”
Cheryl Bachelder is a passionate restaurant industry executive serving as the CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. She is known for her crisp strategic thinking, franchisee-focused approach, superior financial performance and the development of outstanding leaders and teams. She shares her knowledge in Dare To Serve.
Hill is an international leadership development expert, business owner, best-selling author and globally renowned thought leader. She currently serves as the President and CEO of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, a leadership development organization that for over 25 years has helped women advance in the foodservice industry.
After years of working with non-profits, Rodriguez married her passion for social justice with her talent for baking. In 2008, she launched Hot Bread Kitchen, an incubator that helps immigrant women and men to successfully transition to a career in the food industry. The incubator generates more than $3 million in revenue from customers such as Whole Foods, Dean & DeLuca and the Plaza Food Hall and even rents space to 45 startups.
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