Members of LDNY are encouraged to actively participate in at least one committee. We encourage members, new and old, to reach out to a committee chair if they are interested in joining that committee.

Committees are either chaired or co-chaired by a LDNY Dame. Below is a description of some of our current permanent committees.

Communications Committee connects the LDNY Chapter values and vision with stakeholders in both public and private sectors and establishes recognition for the Chapter in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries. The committee oversees activities that fulfill the Chapter’s external communications needs of the Chapter as influencer and is also responsible for broadly publicizing LDNY initiatives and programs to effectively raise awareness of the organization’s mission.

Jacy Topps, Co Chair Communications
Diana Pittet, Co Chair Communications

Fundraising Committee is responsible for the concepts, planning and execution of activities to generate funding for the purposes of LDNY relating to scholarships, awards and grants, and other charitable efforts. Ideally such activities also will promote the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of food, wine, and the arts of the table, either to interested sectors of the public or to those potentially or actually involved in careers related to food and wine. Initiates, plans, and executes on-going efforts to derive financial support for the Chapter’s charitable and educational purposes, e.g. from within the membership (such as through the encouragement of contributions, bequests and grants), as well as from soliciting grants and sponsorships from board-approved commercial organizations such as high-quality food, wine, and hospitality businesses.

Vanessa Trost, Co Chair Fundraising Committee
Tara Khattar, Co Chair Fundraising Committee

Green Tables Committee is a chapter-led initiative that was created to deepen the relationship between locally grown food at farms and gardens with school and community-food programs, restaurants and kitchen tables. Chapters that participate in Green Tables offer programs and events that unite communities with fresh, sustainable foods and foodways through cooking classes, demonstrations, tastings, community-gardening projects, farmers’ market programming and more.

Jennifer Kouvant, Co Chair Green Tables
Sunny Gandara, Co Chair Green Tables

Membership Committee is Board appointed, and leads the annual LDNY new membership drive per the Chapter goals for growth and inclusion of a wide array of professions that intersect with the food, wine/spirits/beverage and hospitality industries. Their work includes initial outreach to the membership as well as through LDNY digital channels, managing incoming applications and Dame letters of recommendation, meeting prospective Dames, and presenting their recommendations for a new group of Dames to the Board for approval. The Membership Committee organizes orientation materials for new Dames and an initial informal welcome event and also works with ad hoc Induction Event chair(s) on a special ceremony in honor of the new Dames, to which the entire membership is invited, and to match them with committees as active members. 

Pat Cobe, Co Chair Membership
Adrienne Cheatham, Co Chair Membership

Programs (Events and Education) Committee plans and organizes an annual calendar of diverse educational and social events. Events may include luncheons, dinners, tastings, seminars, and lectures, etc., as well as informal get-togethers, and often include an opportunity to fundraise for LDNY scholarships. In 2022, a special series focusing on added-value developmental programs for Dame entrepreneurs began.

Susan Kostrzewa, Co Chair Programs
Ellen Negrin, Co Chair Programs

Scholarship Committee is one of the most important committees, responsible for administering the programs that fulfill the Chapter’s purpose relating to the provision of scholarship funds, awards, and grants. The candidates should be worthy women desiring to become professionals, and/or to advance their skills in the fields of food, wine and spirits, nutrition, hospitality management, and related disciplines. A Mentoring sub-committee of this committee is responsible for ongoing activities of advice and counsel supporting the professional careers of interested scholarship awardees and selected other professionally-focused women.

Sharon Franke, Co Chair Scholarship
Joyce Appleman, Co Chair Scholarship

Entrepreneur Committee supports LDNY members and the entrepreneurial goals of members and the hospitality community at large. The committee creates programing and content focused on sharing the skills of the seasoned. entrepreneurs in our membership as well as consulting experts in their fields to strengthen and grow wildly successful businesses.

Penny Stankiewicz, Co Chair Entrepreneurship

Digital Assets Committee liaisons between LDNY Board and all Committees providing and supporting the infrastructure behind communications, events, programs, fundraising, sponsorship, scholarship, membership and transitions of LDNY board members. The committee syncs LDNY financial information, and is responsible for maintaining website, member portal, board emails, LDNY dropbox and archived material, and technical aspects of all LDNY activities including monthly event updates, member news postings, fundraising news/popups, and board/member/podcast photo galleries. As such, it includes archival functions proactively gathering, filing, and retrieving as necessary digital items that document and conserve the organization’s contributions to the nation’s culinary traditions as well as to the culinary history of New York City since the mid-twentieth century. 

Kathryn Gordon, Co Chair Digital Assets
Alison Price Becker, Co Chair Digital Assets

Additional Ad Hoc Committees form throughout the year such as those for our premier events, including The Next Big Bite, The Next Big Sip and Summerdine.

Ad Hoc committees operating toward specific goals include: 

  • Annual Induction Event provides leadership in the planning and execution of the formal dinner or other important event that celebrates the induction of new members. This includes researching and engaging a special venue and arranging a unique food and wine event. 
  • Nominating Committee is responsible for selecting a slate of LDNY Officers and Directors at Large as well as other elected positions (LDEI Delegates, Nominating Committee members, etc.) and presenting such slate to the Board for confirmation. It consists of five voting members plus President ex officio; two members elected by members at Annual Meeting and three chosen by BOD at the first meeting of the new Board.
  • Parliamentary acts as a resource to the President, Board and Committees with the goal of facilitating smooth operations of the organization within guidelines from Chapter Bylaws, Standing Rules, LDEI Bylaws and Policies, and Robert’s Rules of Order. The Parliamentarian is appointed by the President.