2018 JBF Leadership Awards 

"If we really believe in food, we must do something about it, for our voices should be raised above the rest.” — James Beard in a letter to Helen Evans Brown dated May 5, 1958.
Dinner and Ceremony 
May 5, 2018

Co-hosted by Hyatt

Master of Ceremonies Alpana Singh

Menu Created by Martin Pfefferkorn

For questions and further information, please contact event producers, Bowen & Company, at 914-231-6180 or jamesbeard@bowenandco.com.

Leadership Awards Honoree Panel: The Power of the Plate
May 6, 2018
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

From ingredient apps to blockchain-enabled produce trackers, technology is disrupting the traditional food system and making transparency its new bedrock. Consumers increasingly want to know more concerning the origin, quality, sustainability, and traceability of their food, so they can take informed decisions. They also increasingly want to understand the conditions of workers who help produce the food, so they can vote with their forks and wallets. Committed to working at the intersection of food and justice, culinary leaders are rising above the plate and working towards food system change. 

Panelists include 2018 Leadership Award Honorees: Dara Cooper, Cofounder, National Black Food & Justice Coalition; Ferd Hoefner, Senior Strategic Advisor, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Doug Rauch, Founder and President, Daily Table; Shirley Sherrod, Executive Director, Southwest Georgia Project; Ramon Torres, President, Familias Unidas por La Justicia. 

Moderated by Mitchell Davis, Executive Vice President, James Beard Foundation. 

Tickets available here.

Announcing the 2018 Leadership Award Recipients!

Dara Cooper
Co-Founder, National Black Food & Justice Alliance
For dedicating her life to racial equity and justice in the food system and increasing capacity and visibility of Black-led narratives and work.

Ferd Hoefner
Senior Strategic Advisor, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
For being actively engaged in federal farm and food advocacy for over 40 years and tirelessly making sure the voices of family farmers and the sustainable agriculture movement are heard on Capitol Hill.

Doug Rauch
President/Founder, Daily Table
For his innovative work in fighting food insecurity through Daily Table and corporate leadership as the former president of Trader Joe’s Company.

Shirley Sherrod
Executive Director, Southwest Georgia Project
For defending farmers and farmer equity as well as building farmer coops in the south.       

Ramon Torres
President, Familias Unidas por la Justicia
For leadership and organizing efforts in the formation of an independent indigenous farm worker labor union that won an historic collective bargaining agreement for farmworkers dramatically improving the lives of thousands of farmworkers and their families in Washington State.

The Leadership Awards are part of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs, which works to establish a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership. The 2018 JBF Leadership Awards are co-hosted by Hyatt, with founding support from the GRACE Communications Foundation, and additional support from the Blended Burger ProjectTM and the Mushroom Council (list as of 3/28/18).

To learn more about the JBF Impact Programs and our committment to establishing a more sustainable food system, sign up for the JBF Impact newsletter


The JBF Leadership Awards spotlight the important and complex realms of sustainability, food access, and public health. We hope to raise awareness of these timely issues by celebrating the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.

The Leadership Awards recognize specific outstanding initiatives as well as bodies of work and lifetime achievement. Excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact within a community or the nation were among the criteria used to select this year’s winners. Honorees are chosen by a cohort of past Leadership Award recipients.

Watch this video to learn more about the JBF Leadership Awards. See the James Beard Foundation's past Leadership Award recipients.





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