On the heels of a major first year success, FAB Workshop announced its 2018 speaker lineup and new programming elements. Set in Charleston on June 10–12, the two-and-a-half day format creates a unique environment for women in hospitality to gather, share resources, and find solutions to progress their career.

FAB participants run the gamut of hospitality, hailing from both front and back of house restaurant roles, to technology, hotels, public relations, law, and event planning. Topics and discussion slated in the 2018 schedule include tactical, nuts and bolts topics (i.e.: workplace law, PR strategy, HR practice, and business diversification) alongside hot button issues (i.e.: sexual harassment and workplace culture, accepting and facing failure, and reflections from speakers on how they would advise their younger selves in business).

Nearly 40 panelists will participate in the 2018 workshop, including 14 returning speakers. New speakers are chef-owners, publicists, wine directors, masters of logistics, among many other key – and often behind the scenes—industry roles. A full list of panelists is below; an asterisk denotes second-year speakers.

FAB offers two workshop “tracks”, creating a nearly tailor-made experience for attendees. Its “101 Track” is for women with current working hospitality experience, wishing to advance their careers to become entrepreneurs, owners, or partners. The “202 Track” is a master class for women in ownership or executive leadership roles aiming to strengthen or expand existing business ventures.

Attendees can expect new programming elements to enhance their experience:

Pitch It!—Apply to share your business idea, work with a professional marketer for coaching, and privately “Pitch It” to a panel of industry pros during FAB. Applications open in January and space is limited; business plans are kept confidential.

Business Planning Workshop—A hands-on planning, writing, and feedback session with business owners, set for Sunday, June 10, prior to FAB’s official kick-off and keynote address. Event is by registration only, for a small fee.

Roundtable Discussion—An invite-only luncheon for industry pros to discuss “what’s next”, with a State of the Industry recap for attendees to follow.

FAB stretches beyond a standard networking and workshop opportunity, creating a level of honesty, intimacy, and camaraderie during its sessions and downtime. Long-lasting relationships and ongoing mentorship was common among 2017 attendees and speakers.

Founder Randi Weinstein explains, “The reaction to FAB was beyond my wildest dreams. It has inspired a movement and we continue to encourage women to make this investment of time and resources in themselves, and in their career. The knowledge gained at FAB can be applied to their work immediately upon return and shared with colleagues or clients. To my knowledge – FAB is the only forum that provides this level of hands-on knowledge, and direct access to some of the country’s most progressive and innovative women in the field.”

Hope Troup, FAB Communications Lead and also a fine dining server, with dreams to open her own restaurant with her chef-husband adds, “We listened intently to feedback from 2017 speakers and participants, and derived our programming from that knowledge. This is meant to be real, actionable curriculum. Our speakers are here to say, ‘This is what I’ve learned. These were my mistakes. These were my successes.’ And they acknowledge how much more there is to learn. We saw so many raw, real, “a-ha” moments, and are excited to see this unfold in its second year.”

Tickets go on sale on January 15th with scholarship applications soon to follow. Only 230 workshop seats are available. Women looking to experience FAB prior to June can attend Pop-Ups in a handful of cities throughout the country; speakers, topics, and dates to be announced. Stay tuned to Facebook, Instagram, or sign up for FAB email updates via the website.

2018 Speakers

  • Anna Castellani, Founder/Owner, Foragers Market, DeKalb Market Hall
  • Asha Gomez, Chef
  • Barbara Lynch, Chef/Owner, Barbara Lynch Gruppo*
  • Carolyn Richmond, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP*
  • Christa Quarles, Chief Executive Officer, OpenTable
  • Dana Cowin, Journalist*
  • Elise Kornack, Chef
  • Elizabeth Meltz, Director of Environmental Health, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group*
  • Hayley Feldman, Co-Owner, Chez Tex
  • Jen Ferrebee, Founder / Co-Owner, Verde
  • Jen Boulware, Senior Director of Engineering, Snagajob
  • Jen Pelka, Principal/Founder, Magnum PR. Owner, The Riddler
  • Jenny Badman, Creative Director, Blue Ion*
  • Jocelyn Delk Adams, Founder, Grandbaby Cakes
  • Julia Turshen, Author
  • Kat Kinsman, Author, Senior Food & Drinks Editor, Extra Crispy*
  • Katie Button, Chef, Heirloom Hospitality Group
  • Kelly Fields, Chef/Partner, Willa Jean
  • Kiki Aranita, Co-Owner, Poi Dog
  • Laura Wagstaff, Special Events Director, The NoMad Hotel, Make it Nice Hospitality Group
  • Leslie Ferrier, VP of Human Resources, Momofuku*
  • Margaret Furniss, Co-Founder and Co-Owner, Caviar & Bananas
  • Martha Hoover, Founder, Patachou, Inc.
  • Maureen Cushing, VP of Technology & Processes, USHG*
  • Meredith Vachon, President/Founder, Bread & Butter PR
  • Molly Cherry, Attorney, Nexsen Pruet, LLC*
  • Nancy Cushman, Founder/Creator, Cushman Concepts*
  • Nicole Biscardi, Director of Operations, AllDay Industry
  • Nina Compton, Chef/Owner, Compere Lapin
  • Pam Lewy, Communications Director, Mario Batali, LLC*
  • Patricia Duffy, Curator of Foodmaker Campaigns, Women You Should Fund
  • Peggy Rubenzer, Sr. VP of People Resources, Shake Shack Enterprises
  • Sam Appel, Hospitality Consultant*
  • Sarah Gavigan, Executive Chef/Owner, Little Octopus
  • Sarah Robbins, Chief Hospitality Officer, 21C Museum Hotels*
  • Sarah Rosenberg, Founder/CEO, Wicked Good Media
  • Shelley Lindgren, Wine Director/Partner, A16 and SPQR
  • Susan Spikes, Executive VP of Operations, Hill Country Hospitality*
  • Trudi Wagner, Owner, goat.sheep.cow
Events, Industry News