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Women’s Foodservice Forum Honors Achievement in Foodservice

The Women’s Foodservice Forum is preparing for its 2015 Leadership and Development Conference, where it will recognize several women for their performance in the industry. This year, the Fritzi Pikes Woods Trailblazer Award, SOAR Award, Volunteer of the Year Award and Outstanding Board Service Award will be presented the week of March 8 in Orlando, where more than 3,000 attendees will gather for best-in-class content, leadership competencies and strategic industry connections.

“We would like to congratulate our 2015 award winners for their outstanding commitment and dedication to advancing women leaders in the foodservice industry,” said Hattie Hill, president and CEO of WFF. “It is an honor to recognize their passion and tremendous contributions to investing in the success of their organizations and the foodservice industry by supporting the development of women leaders.”


WFF 2015 honorees:

Lorna Donatone

Lorna Donatone, chief operating officer and president of 
Sodexo Education, will receive the premier Fritzi Pikes Woods
Trailblazer Award in recognition of her support of gender diversity,
creating new pathways for women in her company and the industry
at large. The award is sponsored by General Mills.

Lisa MacNeil Lisa MacNeil, general manager at United Restaurant
Supplies (a wholly owned subsidiary of Gordon Food Service),
is the recipient of the WFF Volunteer Award in recognition of
her outstanding contributions and leadership efforts in pursuing
the goals and overall success of WFF. The award is sponsored
by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Marie Perry Marie Perry, interim CFO, controller and treasurer of Brinker
International, will receive the Outstanding Board Service
Award in recognition of the major impact she has made as
a board member. The award is sponsored by Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.


Also, two scholarships will be awarded to further develop the business and leadership skill of those individuals through sponsorship of their attendance at the WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference, and participation in the WFF Executive Leadership Program in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management. This year’s scholarship winners are:

Heather Stage

Heather Stage, director of vending sales and
operations at Coca-Cola Refreshments, won the
Phyllis S. Sewell Scholars Award in honor of Phyllis
Shapiro Sewell, a former Sysco board member and
champion of women’s rights in the workplace.

Marilyn Jones Marilyn Jones, director of process improvement
for the Ben E. Keith Company, won the Chris Lowe
Scholars Award in honor of Chris Lowe, retired president,
National Foodservice & On-Premise, Coca-Cola
Refreshments who was a remarkable champion for
women’s leadership and development.


In addition, WFF is honored to present the first three Fritzi Pikes Woods Aspire Higher Fund Scholarships. The scholarships will provide leadership development opportunities, financial assistance and mentoring to high-potential women in the foodservice industry who would not otherwise be exposed to the type of experiences and networking that WFF offers.  

This year’s award recipients are:

Carmen Cortez Carmen Cortez, owner of
Carmen’s Delicious Catering
Andrea Guzman Andrea Guzman, regional sales manager
for Verde Valle Foods
Hanna Koski Hanna Koski, director of the
“WE Over Me Farm” at Paul Quinn College


Kraft Foods will be the recipient of the Standard-Setter for Opportunity, Advancement and Recognition (SOAR) Award, in recognition of the company’s corporate initiatives that have resulted in a strong track record of attracting, developing, retaining and promoting women to the highest levels of the organization. Yum! Brands sponsors the award.

“WFF is focused on a single mission of helping foodservice-related companies and professionals maximize their success in retaining and elevating women leaders,” said Kat Cole, WFF’s 2015 board chairwoman and brand president for Focus Brands. “This focus strengthens the business and leadership capabilities of diverse talent. We are also proud to support individuals in obtaining best-in-class content, leadership competencies and connections that add tremendous value to their organizations.”


* Photos courtesy of WFF

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