The food industry in northeast Florida and surrounding ten counties is continuing to explode with talent, creativity and passion - in careers that revolve in and around food, beverage and hospitality. The knowledge, hard work, respect and fellowship that we share leads us to believe that more women in the industry could benefit from and contribute to the Womens Food Alliance.
The Womens Food Alliance (WFA) cultivates and advances networking, education, and collaboration for women in the culinary and hospitality industry in the Northeast Florida region.
The WFA provides members with educational events and business-related seminars. Through networking opportunities and ongoing food and beverage workshops, field trips and dinners, we pledge to provide member-generated programs that benefit the community and membership.
The Womens Food Alliance offers educational, enlightening and fun monthly events in various venues throughout the northeast Florida region. Meetings and events are primarily held on Monday or Tuesday evenings that vary with the theme, location and season.
These are excellent opportunities to: Connect with a diverse group of great women on the move!
- Dinners and Luncheons that feature our members' venues
- Food and Spirit Tastings
- Culinary Focus Groups
- Introduction of New Food Products
- Gatherings that highlight the Monthly Venue
- Featured Hospitality Industry Speakers
Applicants must work full-time (min. 25 hours) in the food, beverage or hospitality industry and related fields. Membership dues are $60 a year. Each planned program/event is priced according to the program and venue: ranging from $15/pp - $45/pp. Attendance is Optional for any month's planned event.
PROGRAMS & EVENTS:
WFA plans eight to ten programs & events a year with a pre-event hour of networking and business exchange. We expand our events based on member invitations to their businesses!
- Being a part of our valued association of food professionals and networking to advance your career or taking it in new directions
- Receiving a timely e-Letter of Industry NEWS that encourages members to share their company's News and Promotional Information
- Learning from fellow members and sharing your unique expertise
- Having an opportunity to receive Media Attention for your organization
- Industry-related door prizes at each event
- Visiting unique venues open to WFA members
- Exploring different cuisines through educational events
- Receiving invitations to tastings and new culinary product introductions
- Meeting noted culinary experts & celebrities through events & dine-arounds
- Attending hands-on chef presentations
Published to facilitate communication among members, the WFA E-Newsletter announces news of individual's projects, business, media and current events. We keep our membership in touch with the pulse of our organization, current job postings, events in the food community and each other.
WOMENS FOOD ALLIANCE 2018-2019 Advisory Board:
The Womens Food Alliance is honored to have these talented, successful and hard-working members guide our organization through 2018!
Leigh Cort, President and Founder
Front: Faye Lance, Becky Lowry, Nancy Guarnieri, Kathleen Hurley, Monica Stouder
Back: Barbara Golden, Cindy Stavely, Lauren Titus, Nancy Slatsky, Leigh Cort
WFA ADVISORY BOARD:
Faye Lance ~ Owner ~ Sugar Snob Chocolates & Artisan Gourmet Studio
Rebekah Blakely Lowry ~ Casa Marina Hotel ~ Director of Sales
Nancy Guarnieri – Chef ~ historic St. Francis Inn BnB
Kathleen Hurley ~ B & B Owner (ret)
Monica Stouder – Monica Lea Imagery ~ Lifestyle/Hospitality Journalist
Barbara Golden ~ Communications Manager ~ St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau
Cindy Stavely ~ Exec. Director ~ St. Augustine Pirate/Treasure Museum ~ Colonial Quarter
Lauren Titus ~ Editor/Edible Northeast Florida Magazine
Nancy Slatsky ~ Swiss Chalet Fine Foods ~ Culinary Sales
Leigh Cort ~ President of Womens Food Alliance ~ Hospitality Publicist ~ Moveable Feast Radio Segment NPR
Womens Food Alliance MISSION:
The Womens Food Alliance (WFA) cultivates and advances networking, education, and collaboration for women in the culinary and hospitality industry in the Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia region.
“By networking with the members of the WFA, I am continuously learning about the diverse ways women are helping to drive the robust hospitality industry in NE Florida. I am eager to help promote and support these women-led initiatives, both as a member of WFA and in my role as editor of Edible Northeast Florida. Additionally, the WFA has an opportunity to demonstrate to young women that the hospitality and foodservice industries are critical components of our overall economy and culture, and business ownership is an attainable goal in these fields.” Lauren Titus, Editor/Edible Northeast Florida Magazine
“The Womens Food Alliance is one of the most dynamic organizations I've been involved in as a tourism and hospitality professional. The high level educational programs and networking opportunities are invaluable! It would be a privilege to be able to serve on the Advisory Board and be involved with the continued success and growth of the WFA.” Cindy Stavely, Executive Director ~ St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum ~ Colonial Quarter
“Food and entertaining has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being a member of WFA has been an important part of my growth within the recent years. The networking and conversations with the ladies has provided me so much reassurance to take the next step in my business. With all the support and guidance I’ve received it will be an honor to be on the Advisory Committee. I look forward to showing my appreciation of what I have gained from this organization through my work efforts and commitments.” ~Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord; not for human masters...Colossians 3:23. Faye Lance ~ Owner, Sugar Snob Chocolates & Artisan Gourmet Studio
“I’m excited to be on the Advisory Board of the Womens Food Alliance. As a member since its inception, the monthly events that showcase the extensive scope of the organization’s membership are amazing…and the women are truly dynamic. I look forward to bringing some of my hospitality connections and knowledge to the future growth of WFA”. Barbara Golden ~ Communications Manager ~ St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau
“WFA is very inspirational and genuine. I always feel re-energized after attending an event and truly feel that all members are there to help both professionally and personally. It is a wonderful group of uplifting women! I’m blessed to be on the Advisory Board.” Rebekah Blakely Lowry, CMP ~ Director of Sales ~ Casa Marina Hotel
“I have been honored to be on the Advisory Board and have truly enjoyed being involved in planning and executing events for this wonderful group of women. Being on the board for about 2 years now has kept me very involved and given me the drive to inform other women in the industry to join and enjoy the benefits of networking and supporting one another. Leigh is a wonderful matriarch and her wisdom and insight is inspiring.” Nancy Slatsky ~ Culinary Sales ~ Swiss Chalet Fine Foods
“Being on the WFA Advisory Committee is an amazing journey! I love the camaraderie of fellow women in our respective careers and I cherish the close, personal relationships spurred by our group's interactions. Networking within the WFA has given additional exposure to my company’s services as many opportunities work in conjunction with other WFA member's businesses as well. A truly spectacular organization with incredibly interesting and talented women!” Monica Stouder ~ President/Owner Monica Lea Imagery
“It was quite an honor for me to be given this opportunity to meet and share ideas with such amazing women! Womens Food Alliance continues to grow and flourish, and each monthly event provides members with a chance to showcase their talents and have a unique experience together.” Nancy Guarnieri ~ Cook ~ St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine
“Women’s Food Alliance is a very inspirational and growing organization. I have met many wonderful women throughout the area in our business community. I find the members to be remarkable, and I marvel at their hard work and integrity while developing their individual businesses. Although now retired from the Bed and Breakfast Industry, I welcome networking and support that WFA affords each member. It’s an honor to be part of the Advisory Committee and I look forward to future development of this talented group of exciting women." Kathleen Hurley ~ Owner of Casa de Suenos, St. Augustine ~ retired
Andrea Jones, owner of The Tasting Tours, St. Augustine - attended the Womens Food Alliance April event at Raintree Restaurant. During dinner, WFA member Monica Stouder presented a food photography mini workshop for attendees to learn a few amazing 'hints' about how to snap award-winning food photos.
The winner, chosen by Monica, was Andrea Jones with the following image: Crab Appetizer with micro greens. The prize is a featured story in Buzz Magazine, written by Monica. Congratulations Andrea...your cell phone photo is gorgeous!
Leigh Cort Publicity
“Leigh, I can't convey how utterly impressive & inspiring it is to see all these determined, hard-working women come together with such positivity and kindness. I'm in awe of the Womens Food Alliance and still reveling in the warm, fuzzy feeling of participating in such a wonderful event. It's an honor to work with you and to have the privilege of standing by your side.”
Blair Bassett, Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
“Leigh, My career and my accomplishments are my foundation. You and Womens Food Alliance and its members remind me of how important that is. Your example as a hard-working, accomplished professional woman buoy me tremendously.”
Wendy White, Owner of Publishing Partners, Inc./The Restaurant Times
“Leigh, I wanted to say THANK YOU for everything you do. You have helped us spread the word about Rummies & Yummies. Anne Roy, Producer of Channel 4 Morning Show, invited me on the morning show as a result of YOU. She went through one of your emails, looking for interesting people / companies and found us. So, I was on the show Tuesday morning. Here is the link
Amy Hales, Master of Mixology, Rummies & Yummies, LLC.
"Women's Food Alliance is a great organization to get together with women who share the entrepreneurial drive, creative spirit and determination to achieve greatness. If you're willing to share ideas, information, have fun, meet new people and see new places ~ this is a great organization"
DeeAnn Hobbs - Executive Chef ~ Renaissance World Golf Village Resort
"The Women's Food Alliance is a fantastic, high energy group of women all with a common interest in culinary & hospitality. Every member has a strong belief in the hospitality field and how we can help each other. Our meetings are a gathering place to engage, relax and unwind. I challenge all women in hospitality to join us and you, too, will be encouraged to better yourself and your business.
DANA STALLINGS, Owner Kilwins and JaxKitchen
"When I had a dream of starting Amelia Toffee, I was lucky to find a gorgeous commercial kitchen owned by Dana Stallings, a member of Womens Food Alliance, who encouraged me to join this great organization. Leigh Cort suggested that I bring samples of our first batch of toffee to an event while meeting other professional women to partner with. It would have taken me years to develop those kinds of relationships but within two hours I had networked with amazing women who have helped me grow my business in lightning speed. I am an avid fan of WFA and what they are achieving in northeast Florida!" Anita Comisky, Creator of Amelia Toffee
Leigh - "I've been a member of Womens Food Alliance for a little over a year. It has been such an amazing experience having the opportunity to represent the St. Francis Inn Bed and Breakfast. I am able to spend time enjoying the company of such talented and successful women, sharing ideas and thoughts over great food, drink, and atmosphere at our monthly events. I look forward to having my "WFA night out!" Always a pleasure! And always exciting to receive that email invitation to the next event. It is a privilege to be surrounded by women who love what they do in this industry. I am also thrilled to see how our membership continues to grow thanks to Leigh!" Nancy Guarnieri - Asst. Culinary Mgr., St. Francis Inn
"How refreshing to join a group of such diverse women who all love food, beverages and our amazing hospitality industry. The best part about WFA that I have found is the diverse professional backgrounds of the women with a common interest. The events are so unique and down right fun! Thanks Leigh for pulling it all together! You ROCK!"
Anne Urban, President - Destination Planning
"I want to take a minute to thank you for the opportunity to host the Womens Food Alliance 1st Anniversary Dinner. I was taken aback by the spirit of your organization. It seems every member truly embraces hospitality and you've done an amazing job in such a short time this year. Thank you again for allowing us to participate; I hope everything was up to par and everyone enjoyed themselves"
Mark Vandeloo - General Manager, Casa Marina Hotel - Jacksonville Beach, Florida
"You're really on the ball with everything! I just looked through the member list, what a great group of leading ladies! I'm proud to be a part of this movement. Thank you for the opportunity and for accepting me with open arms, I'm honored.”
Jessica Tyree ~ Owner of Restaurant Compliance Solutions
FIRST ANNUAL WOMEN'S FOOD EXPO:
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