Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

Meet Our Board of Directors

The programs, funds, activities and initiatives of the New York Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier are managed by our Board of Directors. It is comprised of chapter leaders who are elected by the membership each fall.


Joan Brower - President

Job Title: Principal, The Dilenschneider Group
Professional Skills: Communicator and Marketer of food, fine wine and hospitality; a public relations professional, who believes in an integrated approach that brings culture to life through tourism and culinary experiences.
Member Since: 2013
Current Board Position: President
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Secretary, Public Relations Committee Cochair
Proudest Accomplishment: Two grown sons, who are not only outstanding professionals (veterinary surgeon; biotech executive), but also caring individuals and committed amateur cooks.
Favorite Place to Visit: Everywhere and anywhere in my hometown -- New York City
Favorite Food: Duck in any form
Fun Fact: My cousin was the late Dr. Phoebus Levene, an American biochemist who discovered the components of DNA. Perhaps my love of food, wine and hospitality has its genesis in DNA mapping!

Sharon Franke - Vice President

 Job Title: Director, Kitchen Appliances and Technology of Good Housekeeping Institute

Professional Skills:Magazine writing, editing, testing kitchen equipment, recipe development, food styling, public speaking
Member Since: 2013
Current Board Position: Vice President
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Director at Large, Programs Committee Cochair, Communications Committee Cochair
Proudest Accomplishment: Raising an accomplished daughter
Favorite Place to Visit: Westport, CT... that's where my grandkids live
Favorite Food: Scrambled Eggs
Fun Fact: "I cook on a 67-year old Magic Chef range with an oven that has to be lit with a match!"

Ronnie Campbell - Secretary

 Job Title: President, The Burrell Group, Ltd

Professional Skills: Public Relations and Communications Specialist
Member Since: 2010
Current Board Position: Secretary
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Director at Large, Communications and Website Committee Chair
Proudest Accomplishment: Raising our beautiful daughter, and becoming a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier NY.
Favorite Place to Visit: Anywhere in New York and Cape Cod and Italy.
Favorite Food: All Italian, but especially polenta and risotto when done just right
Fun Fact: My life’s path was totally unplanned but meant to be!

Jennifer O'Flanagan - Treasurer

 Job Title: Founder, FeastPR

Professional Skills: Public Relations, Marketing, Social Media, Event Planning
Member Since: 2015
Current Board Position: Treasurer
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Scholarship Committee
Proudest Accomplishment: Running my own business
Favorite Place to Visit: Greece
Favorite Food: Gougeres and Grilled Octopus
Fun Fact: C.S. Lewis was a family member (by marriage)

Beth Allen - Director at Large

 Job Title: President, Beth Allen Associates, Inc.

Professional Skills: Cookbook Author, Recipe Developer and Producer of 23 illustrated cookbooks
Member Since: 2002
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: President, Vice President, Secretary, Nominating Committee Chair, Membership Committee Chair, Website Co-chair; LDEI President, Immediate Past President, First Vice President, Chapter Board Liaison
Proudest Accomplishment: Married John Allen (with the same last name as mine) over twenty-five years ago and still happily married.
Favorite Place to Visit: Paris, where I attended cooking school, returned for my honeymoon and celebrated several holidays.
Favorite Food: Brandied Baked Ham with Mom’s Baking Powder Biscuits
Fun Fact: Personally baked over 100 cheesecakes-to-die-for while creating the Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook

Alison Awerbuch - Director at Large

 Job Title: Partner and Chef, Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships

Professional Skills: Event Planning, Catering, Food Styling, Chef
Member Since: 2000
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Co-President LDNY, Director at Large, Co-chair The Next Big Bite, Co-chair Scholarship, Co-chair Mentoring, Co-chair Nominating, Co-chair LDEI Legacy Awards
Proudest Accomplishment: Professionally becoming a partner at Abigail Kirsch Catering. Personally being the aunt, great aunt and sister to the most wonderful people I know!
Favorite Place to Visit: Any urban city in the world with great food, great wine, great culture and most importantly great shopping!
Favorite Food: Pickles & Oysters…or…Pickled Oysters!
Fun Fact: I love wrapping presents (almost as much as I love giving presents)

Karen Goodlad - Director at Large

 Job Title: Assistant Professor

Professional Skills: Education
Member Since: 2010
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Delegate to LDEI 2015 and 2016, Scholarship Co-chair 2012-2015 and Member at Large 2011-2012
Proudest Accomplishment: Is still in the works: raising my children.
Favorite Place to Visit: Just one? Impossible. I will find a path to meander, hopefully with hills, and I will explore it with pleasure.
Favorite Food: Chocolate and anything I grow in my garden but not necessarily together.
Fun Fact: My maiden and married names merge to be Goodvino, perfect for a wine professional!

Suzen O’Rourke - Director at Large

 Job Title: Owner Cooking by the Book

Professional Skills: Entrepreneur, cooking teacher, baker
Member Since: 2000
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Co-President with Alison Awerbuch (held various positions in past on Board of Directors), Mentoring Committee, Scholarship Committee and Nominating Committee
Proudest Accomplishment: Cooking by the Book! And my sour dough bread.
Favorite Place to Visit: Paris
Favorite Food: Brooklyn bagels

Janeen A. Sarlin - Director at Large

 Job Title: Owner/president of Cooking with Class, Inc.

Professional Skills: Corporate chef, cookbook author, caterer and weekly food columnist – “The Seasonal Chef” – for Southampton Press (27East.com)
Member Since: 1990
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Two previous terms as Director at Large, currently Program Committee Chair and have chaired in the past Membership, Nominations and was an LDEI delegate
Proudest Accomplishment: Two successful accomplished children.
Favorite Place to Visit: Paris, Provence
Favorite Food: Vegetables and chocolate
Fun Fact: I’m an ordained Steven Minister.

Elizabeth Schaible - Director at Large

 Job Title: Associate Professor/Department Chair Hospitality Management Department, New York City College of Technology CUNY

Professional Skills: Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts Education
Member Since: 2014
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Currently a member of Programs Committee
Proudest Accomplishment: Raising a thoughtful, caring son to adulthood and finishing my career as an educator.
Favorite Place to Visit: Paris, my husband's birthplace and anywhere near the ocean.
Favorite Food: Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!
Fun Fact: I was a private chef to a famous rock and roll magazine editor in the early 1980s.

Barbara Sibley - Director at Large

 Job Title: Chef Owner of La Palapa and La Palapa Taco Bar, Creative Director of Holiday Cocktail Lounge

Professional Skills: Restaurant and Bar Development and Management, Authentic Mexican Cuisine Educator and Food Writer
Member Since: 2013
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Restaurant and Bar Development and Management, Authentic Mexican Cuisine Educator and Food Writer
Proudest Accomplishment: Life in the culinary world is truly an accumulation of many accomplishments. Opening La Palapa Taco Bar this past year was a testament to that! Proud to be Co-Founder and Director of The San Miguel Poetry Week, and Delegate of the New York Chapter of the Conservatorio de La Gastronomía Mexicana.
Favorite Place to Visit: Tepoztlán, Mexico to shop and eat in its wonderful market
Favorite Food: Tamales
Fun Fact: I studied Anthropolgy – which is very useful when explaining Mexican culture and cuisine!

Bonnie Tandy Leblang - Director at Large

 Job Title: CEO Blogger at Bite of the Best

Professional Skills: Entrepreneur, Cookbook Author, Syndicated Columnist, Professional Speaker, Culinary Agent, Magazine Columnist, Media Relations Specialist
Member Since: 2011
Current Board Position: Director at Large
Chaired:The Next Big Bite (twice!)
Proudest Accomplishment: Raising two accomplished sons as a single parent
Favorite Place to Visit: Paris and Park City, UT as I have a grandchild in each city!
Favorite Food: I shouldn’t admit it — but French fries!
Fun Fact: I was once a gymnast…

Deborah Mintcheff - Parliamentarian

 Job Title: President, Food Style, Inc. and Founder, LiveForwardCoaching

Professional Skills: Cookbook Editor and Certified Life Coach
Member Since: 2000
Current Board Position: LDEI Chapter Board Liaison, LDNY Parliamentarian
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: President, Copresident, Treasurer, Director at Large, Membership Committee Cochair, Public Relations Committee Cochair, Induction Cochair, Scholarship Committee Treasurer, Nominating Committee Chair, Website Cochair, Fales Library Initiative Cochair, Parliamentarian
Proudest Accomplishment: Being the best daughter possible
Favorite Place to Visit: Paris, where I can enjoy all the Brie and baguette I want and not gain an ounce!
Favorite Food: Dover Sole Meuniére (on the bone)
Fun Fact: I founded Biscuits 'n' Bones, a dog-biscuit company specializing in treats for dogs with food allergies
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