October 7, 2020

2020 40 Women to Watch in Hospitality Honorees Announced

October 7, 2020
2020 40 Women to Watch in Hospitality Honorees Announced
Iowa Restaurant Association Invites Public to Celebrate on Nov. 16, 2020 with Award Winners
October 5, 2020- Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Restaurant Association today released its 2020 40 “Women to Watch” in Hospitality List. The honorees hail from nearly every segment and function in the industry-from purveyors and entrepreneurs, to chefs and business development professionals. More than 100 nominations were submitted from across the state. All showcased women in Iowa’s hospitality industry who are blazing new trails, leading by example, and impressing their peers, customers and managers daily.
The 2020 List includes: (Photos Available Upon Request)
• Ali Brackett, Assistant General Manager/Director of Catering,
Spectra Food Services & Hospitality at the Iowa Events Center, Des Moines
• Allyson Tilk, Regional Supervisor, @McDonald’s-Racoon Valley Partners Ownership Group, Stuart
• Amy Walsh, Owner/GM, Mickey’s Irish Pub, Waukee
• Ashton Johnson, Director of Hospitality, Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery, Swisher
• Betsy Duffy, Owner, Gezellig Brewing Company, Newton
• Briana Smallwood, Co-Owner, Vivian’s Soul Food, LLC, Cedar Rapids
• Chef Brittany Hannah, Chef/Owner, Bistro 3 Nineteen, Marion
• Cande Coulter, Owner, Simply Mae’s, Story City
• Chelsea Johnsen, Owner, Sisters in Cheese, Madrid
• Courtney Johnson, General Manager, Martini’s Grille, Burlington
• Chef Cyd Koehn, Chef Owner, Cyd’s Catering, Johnston
• Diane Stanley, Hospitality Facilitator, Scott Community College, Davenport
• Heidi Baratta, Owner, Baratta’s Steakhouse, Carroll
• Jenn Mullin, Regional Marketing Manager, Sysco Iowa, Ankeny
• Jenny Oaks, Owner, Sweet Oaks Bake Shoppe, Collins
• Jessica Baldus, Owner, Taste by Unc’s Cheesecakes, Osage
• Jonita Boyer, Winemaker, Tassel Ridge Winery, Leighton
• Julia Punj, Owner & Sommelier, Veraison Wine Bar, Fairfield
• Kathleen Gill, District Manager, Full Court Press, Des Moines
• Kelley Carter, Operations and General Manager, Guild and Ghosted Kitchen, Coralville
• Kelley Crawford, Director of Purchasing, Pizza Ranch Support Center, Orange City
• Kelsey Sutter, Marketing/Programs Director, Iowa Pork Producers, Clive
• Krista Stramel, General Manager, Red Vespa Pizzeria, Solon
• Kristen Meyers, Owner, Party on Des Moines!, Des Moines
• Kristy Walker, President, Walker Homestead Farm & Winery, Inc., Iowa City
• Lenore Zoll, Owner, The Fish Store, Cedar Rapids
• Mariela Maya, Co-owner, Panka Peruvian, Des Moines
• Melissa Cervantes, Owner, Good Restaurant & Lounge & Lost Bear Coffee, Burlington, Iowa
• Michele Buzbee, Owner, Hive Hospitality, Marshalltown
• Millisa Reynolds, Operators Manager, Hospitality at Parks Marina, Okoboji
• Misty Fontanini, Owner, Curbin’ Cuisine, Des Moines
• Molly Frana, Owner & Brewer, Brightside Aleworks, Altoona
• Rebecca Casey, Owner/Operator, MyTown2Go/Delivery.com, Des Moines
• Chef Rhea Vrana, Owner, Fat Sacks QC, Davenport
• Sammy Mila, Culinary Specialist/Food Stylist, Meredith Corporation, Des Moines
• Sarah Chem, Owner, 5 Borough Bagels, Clive
• Sondra Romeo, Director of Human Resources, Lakeside Hotel Casino, Osceola
• Susan Frantz, Owner/Head Brewer, Fenceline Beer Lab, Huxley
• Teresa Court, District Manager, Johnson Brothers of Iowa, Davenport
• Vivette Perry, General Manager, Americana Restaurant, Des Moines
Honorees will be featured in Food and Beverage Iowa Business Quarterly. In addition, a synopsis of each woman’s industry story will be launched on the Iowa Restaurant Association website. The honorees will be recognized in person in on November 16, 2020 at the Iowa Events Center (Community Choice Convention Center) during the Iowa Restaurant Association’s annual Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony.
For more info and to purchase tickets for the Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony visit restaurantiowa.com.
“Although women have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, they are still building meaningful careers in every segment of the restaurant industry. 58% of foodservice supervisors and 49% of foodservice managers are women, far above the averages in nearly every other industry,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “Each and every one of these women not only exemplifies leadership but has exhibited exceptional grace and resilience this year.”
About the Iowa Restaurant Association
The Iowa Restaurant Association provides advocacy, education and promotional support to Iowa’s restaurant and tavern industry. www.restaurantiowa.com

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