White House Briefing Yields Progress, Action Items for Developing Women Business Leaders

White House Briefing Yields Progress, Action Items for Developing Women Business Leaders
Kathleen Wood and Fritzi Woods, president & CEO of the WFF, at the White House.

Suzy’s Swirl Co-Owner and fellow delegates from Women’s Foodservice Forum find common ground with Obama Administration

More than 30 women executives from the foodservice industry left a February 20th White House briefing with a commitment from senior Obama Administration officials to work together toward the common goal of cultivating and advancing women business leaders.

The delegation representing the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) spent more than two hours in dialogue on several of the organization’s most important issues, all centered on its mission of advancing women leaders.

Kathleen Wood, leading restaurant industry consultant and co-owner of Chicago-based Suzy’s Swirl, said she was energized by the meeting and felt confident that the Administration officials shared their goals and were committed to supporting policies that would advance women business leaders.

“This was a terrific opportunity for our industry leaders and White House officials to discuss positive ways to advance women and small businesses.  We also identified ways to continue to work closely over the next four years on a number of key administration priorities that we collective believe will advance our cause,” said Wood, following the meeting.  “They listened intently as more than 30 of us explained the work we are doing every day to advance women leaders.  The meeting was an amazing first step and we will continue to look forward to finding areas where a little help from Washington can go a long way.”

The WFF group met with several high-ranking Administration officials, including Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair, White House Council on Women and Girls; Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, Executive Director, White House Council on Women and Girls; Sam Kass, Assistant White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives; and Felicia Escobar, Senior Policy Director for Immigration.

The delegation was led by WFF Board Chair Lorna Donatone and President & CEO Fritzi Woods, and included representatives from The Coca-Cola Company, Darden Restaurants, KFC Corporation, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and YUM! Brands, among others.

White House Briefing Yields Progress, Action Items for Developing Women Business Leaders
Kathleen Wood (far left) and the Women's Foodservice Forum delegation at the White House.

Suzy’s Swirl is a Chicago-based frozen dessert restaurant dedicated to offering the highest-quality frozen yogurt, sorbetto and gelato with craveable, bold flavors. Sisters and co-owners Kathleen Wood and Sue Tierno and Sue’s daughter Jen Tierno have a vision of creating a small business model that will reignite the American Dream. The restaurant’s number one priority is to provide exceptional customer service and to exceed customers’ expectations with every spoonful of frozen goodness.  For more information, visit suzysswirl.com.

Ladd Biro
Champion Management