Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

Our Newest Members 2018

Each spring, our members identify professional women in the New York City area who meet our membership qualifications and are interested in becoming Dames. Each prospective member is nominated by two members of the New York Chapter who are in good standing. The Membership Committee then interviews each candidate and presents its recommendations for new members to the Board for its approval. The number of accepted candidates varies from year to year.

Meet Our 2018 Inductees

The 2018 Class of New York Dames: Nirmala Narine, Sabrina Sexton, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Keri Levens, Colleen Jezersek, Megan Neisser, Terry Frishman, Julie Hartigan, Stefanie Sacks, Culinary Nutritionist, Jo-Ann Makovitzky, Patricia Clough, Lori Jean Levy, and Gail Schoenberg.


Patricia Clough is Director of Strategic Communications for Gregory White PR. Patricia specializes in wines and spirits. Sponsors: Francine Cohen, Veronica Campbell.

Tanya Bastianich Manuali manages Lidia Bastianich’s business including producing her PBS show, writing her cookbooks, and working in several of her restaurants. Sponsors: Lidia Bastianich, Carol Brock.

Terry Frishman is the owner of Culinest, a marketing and business consultancy specializing in the food industry. In addition, she is an educator on food entrepreneurship. Sponsors: Joan Coukos, Deborah Mintcheff.

Julie Hartigan is a recipe developer, tester, and media spokesperson. Sponsors: Deborah Mintcheff, Carol Prager.

Colleen Jezersek founded and owns Coaction PR, a public relations agency specializing in the food and housewares industries. Sponsors: Regina Ragone and Rachel Litner.

Keri Levens serves as the Wine Director at Chefs Club. A former LDNY scholarship recipient, she is a certified sommelier and is in the process of producing her own wine. Sponsors: Linda Lawry, May Matta-Aliah.

Lori Jean Levy owns and operates My Global Table a company that sources and imports food. Formerly, she worked at Fairway Market as Director of Trade & Product Development and worked as a customs attorney. Sponsors: Alexandra Leaf, Rozanne Gold.

Nirmala Narine is president and CEO of spice company, Nirmala’s Kitchen, and operates Nirmala’s Farmstead, a working farm, school, and event space. She has her own television show, Nirmala’s Work, spearheads a humanitarian foundation called Nirmala Global Village and acts as a marketing consultant to major corporations. Sponsors: Melanie Young, Elizabeth Karmel.

Jo-Ann Makovitzky is chef/owner of Marco Polo Caterers and Tocqueville and 15 East restaurants. Sponsors: Nora Favelukes, Melanie Young.

Megan Neisser is the General Manager of Whole Foods Market in Darien, and has worked at Whole Foods since 2005. She began her career as a chef at Abigail Kirsch Culinary Productions. Sponsors: Alison Awerbuch, Abigail Kirsch.

Stefanie Sacks is Author of What the Fork Are You Eating, and a culinary nutritionist who offers food education experiences. She also does nutritional consulting, teaching, and speaking. Sponsors: Ellie Krieger, Regina Ragone.

Gail Schoenberg is proprietor of Gail Schoenberg PR which represents chefs, restaurants, and food and beverage brands. Sponsors: Kathleen Squires, Jennifer Baum.

Sabrina Sexton serves as the Program Director, Culinary Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education where she has worked since 1999. Prior to that she was a professional chef. Sponsors: Kathryn Gordon, Renee Marton.

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