On Wednesday, February 20, 2013, the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) brought over 30 women executives from the foodservice industry to the White House to forge a strategic alliance between key business leaders and White House initiatives. The leaders were briefed on policy issues from key White House Staff including Felicia Escobar, senior policy director for immigration; Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama and chair, White House Council on Women and Girls; Sam Kass, assistant White House chef and senior policy advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives; and Tina Tchen, chief of staff to the First Lady, executive director, White House Council on Women and Girls.
During the discussions these women industry leaders had the opportunity to bring their experiences, challenges, and questions to the table about advancing women leaders, menu labeling, immigration, and other key initiatives.
“Today marks a historic milestone for the WFF,” says WFF Chair, Lorna Donatone, COO and president, Sodexo Education. “I have been at the briefing table before but never with this many women. Women leaders in foodservice have a critical role to play and must have a seat at all tables including discussions in the highest level of government that impact women, businesses, communities, and our homes.”
The visit further elevated the mission, purpose, and goals of the WFF: to advance women leaders. The briefing signified the beginning of a powerful dialogue with the White House about issues that affect women in the foodservice industry. White House officials left enthusiastic about how they could leverage the WFF community to impact women leaders around the country.
“This day at the White House was an excellent opportunity for the leaders in foodservice to expand their perspectives on issues impacting our industry. Together our voices were heard loud and clear. We are certain this new alignment with senior government officials will create unlimited possibilities. Access was the winning ingredient for both the White House and our leaders,” says Fritzi Woods, WFF president and CEO.