Forward-Thinking Women Show What It Takes to Be a Leader at Chicago Bacardi Spirit Forward Women Empowerment Event

Apr 11, 2019 10:30 AM ET

The second annual Bacardi Spirit Forward Women Empowerment Series started out strong in Chicago earlier this month. A diverse crowd of attendees—from all walks of the hospitality trade and bar community— were treated to inspiring stories, engaging workshops, networking opportunities and in-depth discussions. Spirit Forward was created by the Bacardi Women in Leadership initiative, in partnership with PUNCH, to champion the outstanding individuals that make up the hospitality community, and to elevate them to their highest potential.

Leaders dug into issues of diversity and representation within Chicago, sparking insightful conversation on timely topics such as representation, innovation, and disrupting the status quo, all through the lens of "originality," and from a diverse group of voices both inside and outside the hospitality community.

Keynote speaker Missy Robbins, Esquire’s Chef of the Year 2018, shared intimate details of her journey and evolution to improve both personally and professionally. PUNCH’s Editor in Chief, Talia Baiocchi, spoke about the arc of her career, why it took her until her 40s to truly find her voice (and why she had to take two years away from cooking to do it) and what it means to build a hospitality business that is a positive, career-building place for employees. The lineup of speakers included Alison Roman, cookbook author of the beloved “Dining In”; Ashtin Berry, Educator and Activist of Radical Xchange, and other females who’ve established their own personal path to success.

The Spirit Forward series travels to Los Angeles on April 23 and New York City on April 30. Partial proceeds from tickets sales benefit Dress for Success. Purchase tickets online:

Learn more about the Bacardi Spirit Forward Women Empowerment Series.