On February 20th, the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) brought more than 30 women executives from the foodservice industry to the White House to forge a strategic alliance between key business leaders and the White House. WFF members in attendance included executives from The Coca-Cola Company, Darden Restaurants, KFC Corporation, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Sodexo, Starbucks, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, and YUM! Brands.
During the meeting, which addressed the advancement of women leaders in the foodservice industry, WFF leaders were briefed on policy issues by key White House Staff. Among those addressing the WFF were 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; Christina (Tina) Tchen, chief of staff to the First Lady and executive director, White House Council on Women and Girls; and Felicia Escobar, senior policy director for immigration.
The WFF representatives had the opportunity to voice their experiences, challenges, and questions 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 and signified the beginning of a powerful dialogue with the White House about issues that affect women in the foodservice industry. White House officials were openly 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,” says Fritzi Woods, WFF President and CEO. “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.”
For more information, visit wff.org.