Published on January 30, 2018

Reserve Joins Conversations with Women Who Lead: Food Edition

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On Monday, January 29th, 2018, the DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives (MOWPI) hosted an event entitled, Conversations with Women Who Lead: Food Edition. This fourth installment in the conversation series took place in the historic Ronald Reagan Building Amphitheater in Washington, DC.

 Washington, DC native, Carla Hall, of ABC’s The Chew and Bravo Top Chef Alum, kicked off the evening with some inspiring opening remarks, encouraging young people to strive for happiness above all when seeking professional fulfillment.

Laura Hayes, Food Editor of the Washington City Paper, moderated the panel discussion that followed which included Sonya Ali, Co-Owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, Angie Fetherston, CEO of Drink Company, and Reserve’s very own, Courtney Allen, Head of Education and Support at Reserve.

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The panelists shared their personal histories leading up to how they came to chose a career in the food industry. Each woman had their own journey and set of challenges but ultimately all shared a love of food and hospitality. They were also united by their interest in mentoring and guiding other women as they are looking to find their place and succeed within the industry.

Conversation was wide ranging from female empowerment to little known careers in the industry. Safety in the workplace and fighting sexism across the industry were the most pressing concerns of the night. Panelists also spoke of a restaurant’s daily struggle with razor thin margins and how hard work and determination are indispensable when thinking about a career in the industry.  

Courtney shared how her relationship with Reserve had changed since joining the company in September of 2017. She went from being a restaurant operator partnering with Reserve to now managing a highly responsive support system to ensure all restaurant operators are successful on a daily basis.

"The one message that became clear is that women have a voice and we’re going to keep using it to be a force of positive change and make the industry inclusive and welcoming to all," said Courtney.

The evening ended with a buzz of energy and excitement as a mix of young and seasoned professionals mingled and made connections while continuing to share their stories and inspire future endeavors!

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