Stories / Impact

Meet the Next Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Cohorts

JBF Editors

September 12, 2022


Photo: Leah Roth

Today, we are proud to announce the 2022 fall and 2023 winter cohorts of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program. A flagship initiative for the James Beard Foundation, the WEL program aims to support women food industry entrepreneurs and restaurant owners in order to grow their careers and scale their businesses. In conjunction with Cornell University, this year’s program will include sessions on negotiating, design thinking, business and financial models, funding your businesses, and more. In addition to live virtual sessions led by Cornell faculty from across the university, James Beard staff, and other subject matter expert facilitators, WEL students will also be able to further their learn by selecting an elective from Cornell’s External Education program.

Following completion of the program, the participants will join a growing community of WEL alumnae, with regular opportunities to connect with each other and the Foundation.

Our 2022-2023 WEL fellows are:

Fall Fellows
  • Jaja Chen, Cha Community and Jaja Chen, LCSW, PLLC, Waco, TX
  • Marian Cheng, Mimi Cheng's, NYC  
  • Olivia Esquivel, Southern Pressed Juicery, Greenville, SC
  • Linda Ford, Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy, FarmBar, and il seme, Depew, OK
  • Dora Hererra, Yuca’s Hut and Yuca’s Pasadena, Los Angeles
  • Kasama (June) Intrachat, OTUS Thai Kitchen & Coffee, West Hollywood, CA  
  • Liz Kincaid, Tarrant's Cafe, Tarrant's West, Max's on Broad, and Bar Solita, Richmond, VA
  • Tina Long, The Butcher’s Daughter, De Buena Planta, and Only The Wild Ones, NYC and Los Angeles
  • Meagan Nash, Handle and HSL, Park City, UT
  • Sophina Uong, Mister Mao, New Orleans
  • June Rodil, Montrose Cheese & Wine, Rosie Cannonball, MARCH, and The Marigold Club, Houston  
  • Marilyn Schlossbach, Langosta Lounge, Pop's Garage, Asbury Park Yacht Club, Saltwater Market, The Whitechapel Projects, The Cocoa Boat, Oshin Oil, and Two River Mushroom, Asbury Park. NJ
  • Barbara Sibley, La Palapa Cocina Mexicana, La Palapa Taco Bar Gotham West Market, and La Palapa Taco Bar Urbanspace Vanderbilt, NYC  
  • Sugar Sungkamee, Jitlada, Los Angeles
  • Tonya Thomas, H3irloom Food Group and Nostalgia Baking Company, Baltimore  
  • Rosa Thurnher, El Ponce, Tiendita, La Palapa, and Sirena Tierra, Atlanta
  • Suzanne Vizethann, Buttermilk Kitchen LLC, Atlanta
  • Sarah Wasson, Mulvaney's B&L, Sacramento, CA
  • Andia Xouris, Andia’s Ice Cream, Morrisville, NC
  • Kristina Zhao, Sichuan House and DASHI Sichuan Kitchen + Bar, San Antonio, TX
Winter Fellows  
  • Supunika (Sabrina) Chutima, Lotus of Siam and Lotus of Siam Flamingo, Las Vegas
  • Ali Cohane, Persephone, Picnic, and Coelette, Jackson, WY
  • Sarah Combs, Mountain Laurel Catering & Events, Grateful Endeavors, and Moon Peak Productions, Harrisburg, PA
  • Kate Fournier, Thompson House Eatery, Jackson, NH
  • Christine Ha, Xin Chao LLC, The Blind Goat LP, and Anchovy Group Corporation, Houston
  • Gina Hopkins, Hopkins and Company, C. Ellet's Steakhouse, Holeman and Finch Asheville, Holeman and Finch Atlanta, The Buttery ATL, Holeman and Finch Bottle Shop, and H&F Burger, Atlanta
  • Jan Hori, Hawaiian Pie Company, Honolulu
  • Karma Lee, Bobae Coffee & Tea Woodinville and Bobae Coffee & Tea Kirkland, Woodinville, WA
  • Carrie McCabe-Johnston, Nightingale, Mortimer's Bar, Dusty's Bar, Tilt Pinball Bar, and Bonafide Hospitality, Minneapolis
  • Winnette McIntosh Ambrose, The Sweet Lobby and Souk by The Sweet Lobby, Washington, DC
  • Mawa McQueen, Mawa's Kitchen, McQueen Hospitality Group, The Crepe Shack, and Mawa's GrainFreeNola, Aspen, CO
  • Bonnie Morales, Kachka, Kachka Lavka, and Kachka Spirits, Portland, OR
  • Judy Ni, baology and Roux, Philadelphia
  • Mahina Reppun, Not Waving But Drowning Restaurant Group LLC dba, and Morning Glass Coffee, Honolulu
  • Lela Singh, Teaism Dupont Circle, Teaism Lafayette Park, Teaism Penn Quarter, and Teaism Tea Shop in Penn Quarter, Washington, DC
  • Kristin Smith, The Wrigley and Faulkner Bent, Corbin, KY
  • Kali Solack, Cafe Regina, San Juan, PR
  • Lisa Tran, Tan Cafe & Delicatessen and Tan Tan Foods, Beaverton, OR
  • Brittney Valles, Gogo's Tacos, Guerrilla Cafecito, Guerrilla Tacos, and Tiago Coffee, Los Angeles
  • Kayia Yalcin, Fishnet, Baltimore

Read the full press release.

Learn more about the WEL Program here or sign up for our Industry Newsletter for updates and future applications.