Staff & Board

Connie Jackson, Interim President

Always fascinated by the way the lure of nutmeg and peppercorns motivated the exploration of the world, Liz Williams was lucky to be born into a family of Sicilian heritage in New Orleans. She grew up eating in two great food traditions. She is a founder of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum and of the National Food & Beverage Foundation. Much of her research and writing centers on the legal and policy issues related to food and foodways. Her book, coauthored with Stephanie Jane Carter, The Encyclopedia of Law and Food, was published by Greenwood Publishing in 2011. In 2013 AltaMira published New Orleans: A Food Biography. Her book Lift Your Spirits: A Celebratory History of Cocktail Culture in New Orleans about the drinking culture of New Orleans was published by LSU Press in the spring of 2016. Unique Eats & Eateries New Orleans was published by Reedy Press in 2019. Her most recent book, 2022, is Nana's Creole Italian Table - a cookbook about the Sicilian community in New Orleans.

Isa Bentz, Creative Director

Camille Staub, Director of Operations

Maureen “Moe” Kerkovich, Director of Operations


Executive Committee:


Butler Burdine, Managing Director, Client Services at PureRED Integrated Marketing in Charlotte, NC

1st Vice Chairman

Vince Hayward, Owner, Camellia Brand in Harahan, LA

Recording Secretary

Sheila Crye, Owner, Young Chefs, Inc. in Silver Spring, MD


Open Position

At Large

Chuck Purvis, Vice President of Sales, A.C. Legg, Inc. in Calera, AL

Board of Directors:

Andy Anderson, Vice President, Sims Foods, Inc. in Dadeville, AL

John Anjier, Lawyer, Liskow & Lewis in New Orleans, LA

Laura Cullen, Senior Vice President, Southern Glazer’s in New Orleans, LA

Dale Degroff, King Cocktail, Connecticut and New York, NY

Psyche Williams-Forson, Chair, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland

Eve Marie Haydel, Bar Director, Dooky Chase’s, New Orleans, LA

Kenneth Johnson, Owner, Barrow’s Catfish

Julia Johnston, Owner, Kitchens for Cooking in Boca Raton, FL

Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Author, Speaker, Publisher of Best of the Bite Blog In New York City, NY

Maria Machita, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Consumer Division, Domino Foods, Inc in Iselin, NJ

Rosemary McIlhenny, Civic Leader in Nashville, TN

Cedd Moses, Founder and Proprietor, Pouring with Heart in Los Angeles, CA


Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Cocktail Writer and Historian; Saloonkeeper, Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, New Orleans, LA

Theodore Breaux, President & Founder, Jade Liqueurs, LLC, Birmingham, AL

Julian Cox, Bartender; Partner, Soigné Group, Los Angeles, CA

Tomas Estes, Co-Creator, Tequila Ocho, London, England, UK

Joshua Goldman, Bartender, Sommelier, Restaurateur; Partner, Soigné Group, Los Angeles, CA

Charles Joly, Co-Founder, Crafthouse Cocktails, Chicago, IL; Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year, 2014

Joe Keeper, Owner, Bar Keeper; Special Curator, The Museum of the American Cocktail, Los Angeles, CA

Cedd Moses, The Proprietor, 213 Spirited Ventures Downtown LA, Los Angeles, CA

Michael Neff, Cocktail, Beverage, and Spirits Consultant, M.J. Neff & Co., Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY

Steven Olson, Owner, aka wine geek; Partner, Beverage Alcohol Resource, New York, NY

Julie Reiner, Bartender, Clover Club, Flatiron Lounge; Owner, Mixtress Consulting, New York, NY

Noah Rothbaum, Author, Writer, and Cocktails & Spirits Expert; Founding Editor,, New York, NY

Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Cocktail Writer and Author; Senior Editor, Chilled Magazine; Editor-in-Chief, SoFAB Magazine, Valencia, CA


David Bernahl, CEO at Coastal Luxury Management in Los Angeles, CA

Brandon Boudet, Chef/Partner, Little Dom's in Los Angeles, CA

Dickie Brennan, Owner: Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Palace Cafe, Bourbon House in New Orleans, LA

Regina Charboneau, Chef and Owner, Twin Oaks Plantation in Natchez, MS

Chena Dederian, Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing Executive, Bank of America in New York, NY         

Rick Ellis, Food Stylist: Rick Ellis Food in New York City, NY

Randy Ensminger, Owner, Primrose Creek in Little Rock, AR

C. Pat Garner, Professor, University of North Carolina, Raleigh-Durham, NC; President (past), Southeast and West Asia Division, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, GA

Jim Gossen, Chairman, Sysco Louisiana Seafood; President & CEO, Louisiana Fine Food Companies, Houston, TX

Philip Greene, Lawyer and Author, Former Board Member of MOTAC, in Washington, DC

Jessica Harris, PhD, Professor, Queens College, NY | Cookbook Author & Food Historian

Linton Hopkins, Executive Chef, Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House Atlanta, GA; James Beard Foundation Award 2012

Rebecca Maisel, Vice President, FIN Branding Group, LLC in Mobile, AL

Rex Nelson, President, Arkansas‘ Independent Colleges & Universities and prominent culture blogger (“Rex Nelson‘s Southern Fried“) in Little Rock, Arkansas

Louis Osteen, Retired Chef, Louis’s at Sanford’s, Pawleys Island, SC; James Beard Foundation Award 2004

Donny Rouse, Rouses Markets, New Orleans, LA

Norman Van Aken, Founder/Chef/Partner: Norman’s in Orlando, FL

Andrew Wallace, Senior Policy Adviser to Senator Tom Udall in Washington, DC

Nora Wetzel, Chef-Owner, Educated Palate, LLC, New Orleans, LA

Ashley Rose Young, Historian, Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.


Nancy Burvant, New Orleans Public Library, E Resources Librarian  

Angelique Carson, Head of Access Services, Catholic University in Washington, DC

Sheila Crye

Richmond "Rick" Ellis

Chris Haines

Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Author, Speaker, Publisher of Best of the Bite Blog In New York City, NY

Peter Patout