Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

Our President's Latest Letter

November 2017

Dear Dames:

With Thanksgiving marking the onset of the holiday period, I wish to thank all members of Les Dames d'Escoffier's New York chapter for your commitment to our organization, and for giving it the vibrancy and passion to move forward together successfully in future.

To those of you who volunteer endless hours to the work we do, your efforts make an enormous difference in elevating LDNY and helping us achieve great things. And for those who attend programs and events, and who donate gifts to our important scholarship activities, please know that your generosity is what constitutes the purpose of LDNY. It is helping to change lives.

The LDNY Business Meeting attended by many of you was held November 14th within the Fales Library & Special Collections of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at New York University. Most of you know this is home to the LDNY archives and it was very special for us to be gathering here.

A wonderful Reception was organized by Dame Beth Allen and her prodigious committee that included Dames Jan Hazard, Susann Westmoreland, Sharon Franke, Ronnie Campbell, Joan Bloom, and new members Jo-Ann Makovitzky and Megan Neisser (who also provided delicious provisions from Whole Foods). Our appreciation, as well, goes to Dame Ursula Massoud, proprietor of Paumanok Vineyard, for providing exceptional wines, and of course to Marvin Taylor, head of Fales Library.

The content of the Business Meeting revealed the tremendous member output leading to the chapter's successful results in the past year, evident in the reports presented by 2017 Committee Chairs and Board Directors.

LDNY's Three Priorities

The three key priorities identified by me and your Board of Directors have been #1 Engagement, #2 Education, and #3 Purpose.

Engagement has been amplified as LDNY has pushed forward with the importance of Thought Leadership to reinforce the LDNY brand.

Education has been prioritized through events taking aim at educating, as well as entraining our members.

Purpose is crucial to our mission as we begin the next 40 years in our chapter's history and work to redefine what we stand for, and what we want to become. I'd like to share with you some of those achievements, as they light the way for the coming year.

Treasurer’s Report:Treasurer’s Report:

Treasurer Cathy Fazzolari reported a profit of $45,713.00 (as of November 2017) -- $40,000 more than the previous year.

Scholarship Committee (Co-chairs Aileen Robbins and May Matta-Aliah):

After a careful evaluation and vetting process, 23 scholarship recipients were selected to receive awards totaling $82,000. For the first time, in 2017 a generous grant of $40,000 was received from Whole Foods, to be allocated during 2017-2018.

Call-to-Action: There are currently two seats to fill on the 2018 Committee. Awarding scholarships is the very core of our mission—education and philanthropy—and a key activity of the NY Chapter. Please contact Dame Aileen Robbins at arobbins@dunnrobbinsgroup.com

Archives Committee (Chair Joan Coukos):

With much inspiration drawn from the creation of last year’s 40th Anniversary Video - and the need to further edit and update this historical footage - 2018 is expected to be an exciting and busy year for Archival projects.

Call-to-Action: Dame Joan Coukos, Archives Chair, seeks two member volunteers. Contact Joan at: joan@chocolatmoderne.com

Communications (PR/Social Media/Web) Committee (Co-chairs Ronnie Campbell and Rachel Litner):

Reaching out to the media with guest industry articles by LDNY members is the primary objective of the Public Relations Committee as a means to strengthen LDNY's reputation within the industry and among consumers.

Call-to-Action: Please share your ideas and inquire about joining the Communications Committee at: lesdamesny@gmail.com

Our social platforms are key LDNY communication/promotion tools and primarily meant to keep you informed and support your activities as well. Please share your accolades and news at ldnysocial@gmail.com

Green Tables Committee (Chair Nancy Jessup):

This year’s GT Committee developed two free webinars focusing on sustainability practices and issues, with more programs to be offered in 2018.

Call-to-Action: You will be receiving a brief survey that will be helpful in pinpointing what would be of best service to you. For more information, contact chair Dame Nancy Jessup at: nancyjessup@earthlink.net

Membership Committee (Chair Rita Jammet):

Chair Rita Jammet announced that this year’s class of 13 new members was a bountiful one. A new selection system helped identify interests, in order to place new members onto appropriate committees.

Call-to-Action: Members are asked to reach out to our newest members to invite them to attend LDNY events and activities so that we may all become better acquainted. You can find a listing of new members HERE.

Mentoring Committee (Co-chairs Suzen O'Rourke and Alison Awerbuch):

LDNY’s "A Day in the Life Mentoring Program" that matched scholarship recipients with suitable Dames received 11 scholarship applicants. Four "Days" already have taken place, with the balance scheduled by end of 2017. These connections will lead to ongoing, long-term relationships between scholarship recipient mentees and Dame mentors.

Programs Committee (Dame Donna Boland):

During the past year, seven outstanding programs were organized, each offering a unique educational component. All programs provided an impressive profit gain.

Dame Janeen Sarlin, the new Programs chair, has provided a teaser of what’s to come, sharing exciting new initiatives that will take place in 2018, ranging from impromptu "Dutch Treat Meets" to "Speed Networking Nights."

Call-to-Action: Watch for a "Save The Dates" calendar, and look for details on two January 2018 programs: A "New Year, New Career Panel Discussion" at ICC on January 17th, and a "Dim Sum/Chinatown Walking Tour" on January 27th.

Induction Committee (Co-chairs Sharon Franke and Joan Coukos):

A highly successful and profitable Induction Reception and Dinner was held to welcome LDNY's 13 newest members, the well-qualified Class of 2018.

Nominating Committee (Chair Linda Lawry):

Immediate Past President Linda Lawry reported a smooth, efficient process in the committee's vetting and creation of the 2018 Board slate, in addition to the appointment of 2018 Nominating Committee members and 2018 Conference Delegates.

The Next Big Bite (Co-chairs Bonnie Tandy Leblang and Francine Cohen):

It was reported that the third annual "The Next Big Bite" event held at ICE was sold-out with 150 attendees. The event generated $10,075 in income, plus $25,500 in generous donations from sponsors.

Special gratitude is extended to all committee chairs and committee members for an outstanding job this past year.

2018 Election Results

More than 86 LDNY members voted for the coming year's slate, representing 55 percent of the eligible membership. All candidates won more than 96 percent of the votes. Therefore, the results of the 2018 proposed slate includes the election of:

  • Treasurer: Dame Jennifer O'Flanagan
  • Delegates at Large: Dames Suzen O'Rourke and Janeen Sarlin
  • Nominating Committee: Dames Rita Jammet and Michele Scicolone
  • 2018 LDEI Conference Delegates: Dames May Matta-Aliah, Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Aileen Robbins, Surbhi Sahni and Susan Westmoreland

2018 Board of Directors

The Directors of the 2018 Board include:

  • President: Dame Joan Brower
  • Vice President: Dame Sharon Franke
  • Secretary: Dame Ronnie Campbell
  • Treasurer: Dame Jennifer O'Flanagan
  • Parliamentarian: Dame Deborah Mintcheff
  • Directors at Large: Dames Beth Allen, Alison Awerbuch, Karen Goodlad, May Matta-Aliah, Suzen O'Rourke, Janeen Sarlin, Liz Schaible, Barbara Sibley

On a final note, we extend our warmest congratulations to LDNY member Dame Lidia Bastianich on her recognition as LDEI's 2017 Grande Dame, presented at the LDEI Conference in Newport Beach. Thank you, Lidia, for your remarkable contributions to our industry.

I look forward to seeing each of you at this year's festive Holiday Party scheduled December 4th at the exciting Jenn-Air Showroom. Capably organized by Co-chairs Eleanor Sigona and Michele Scicolone and their hard-working Committee, it is sure to be a knock-out event. Hurry before reservations close!


With warm regards,
Dame Joan Brower

Joan Brower

President, LDNY
E-mail: Brower180@aol.com

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