Communities of Interest

WFF has established six Communities of Interest (COI) to serve as resources and educational communities for all of our members who mentor or lead employees who are affiliated with these vibrant communities of talent. 

Each COI has an established group on LinkedIn and we encourage you to join us in learning and sharing your experiences and insights – from your individual or organization’s perspective.

You will have the opportunity to register for one of the following breakout sessions from 8:30 am - 10:15 am during the registration process.

For those of you who are joining us at our Annual Leadership Development Conference this March in Orlando we have informational and inspirational programming specific to each of these Communities of Interest on Wednesday morning, March 26th.

Our Communities of Interest encourage and support individuals to bring their “whole self to work” to achieve their full potential and contribute to organizational goals.  We hope you’ll join us in one or more of these vibrant communities on LinkedIn and at our conference. 

General Session: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm 


Managing the Responsibilities of Caregiving AND Work
Speaker: Jennifer FitzPatrick
Competency: Caregivers

Caring for an older loved one—who may have health concerns, safety issues or other challenges—isn’t easy.  Add in a full-time job, and perhaps raising children… you may feel you aren’t doing anything as well as you’d like!

Jennifer FitzPatrick has spent her career helping families and professionals understand best practices on how to be an effective and healthy caregiver. 

In this highly interactive session, you’ll learn tips and strategies including:

We’ll examine celebrity caregivers and caregiver characters in films and television, to find lessons we can apply to our own caregiving experience.

This down-to-earth discussion will guide you to identify the best options for ensuring quality care for your older loved ones while maintaining your effectiveness at work.


Successful, Savvy and Strategic: YOU!
Speaker: Charmaine McClarie
Competency:  Women of Color

Need to be strong in the workplace but not too strong?  Assertive, but not aggressive?  The same qualities that may be considered plusses if you're a white male can be considered drawbacks if you're a woman of color.  How do we deal with that?

Executive coach Charmaine McClarie leads a candid conversation about these mixed messages, and the perceived and real challenges facing us as women of color.

In this fun, interactive, and insight-packed session, you’ll explore:

You’ll gain increased self-awareness as you consider the differences in how you see yourself, how others may see you and how you want to be seen.  Charmaine McClarie has gleaned insider insights in her one-on-one discussions with CEOs, and shares proven and practical tips that help you to be recognized as the leader you are!


GLBTA Resilience Intelligence (RQ): The Art of Keeping it Together
Speaker: Gregg Brown
Competency: GLBTA

There’s no end to the challenges that happen at work.  The impact of these challenges can sidetrack you and keep you from performing at your best.

How is it that some people seem to handle challenges seemingly effortlessly? Were they born that way? Do the rest of us just have to suffer along as best we can?  Happily, research has shown that resilience—the ability to bounce back from uncertainty, change, pressure and other stressors—can be learned.

If there’s one coping mechanism every GLBTA needs to master, it’s resilience during challenging times. 

Gregg Brown leads this powerful, thought-provoking workshop, in which you’ll learn:

In this fun and interactive session, you’ll gain insights and techniques you’ll immediately put to use, at work and at home!


The Working Mom's Answer to Getting Kids to Listen—Without Nagging, Yelling, or Punishing!
Speaker: Amy McCready
Competency: Working Mothers

As a working mom, your time with your children is a precious commodity.  You don't want to spend that time scolding or stressing.  In this powerfully positive session, parenting expert Amy McCready shares easy to implement strategies and tools that help ensure the quality time you spend with your kids is happier, healthier, and yell-free! 

In this hands-on, interactive session you'll learn...

You’ll gain powerful content, incredible secrets for connection, and simple solutions for taking much of the stress out of parenting—from toddlers to teens.


Millennial Boot Camp: Communicating Across Generational Divides
Speaker: Hannah Ubl
Competency: Young Professionals

By 2020, 50% of the American workforce will be composed of Millennials. To succeed, Millennials need to understand what makes the other generations tick.  Views of the workplace, and the roles of gender, are being reexamined as Traditionalists, Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials each bring their own set of attitudes, values and styles to work.

In this fun and interactive session, you’ll learn characteristics of the more experienced employees in your workplace and the least experienced—and how to work with them to achieve the results you want.

Millennial Hannah Ubl, expert on generations in the workforce, helps us gain a deeper understanding of one another so we’re more effective at work.

You’ll learn from a Millennial:

By learning to harness the power of diversity, you’ll gain the tools you need to build and sustain a thriving work environment.


Get Ahead By Going Abroad: A Guide to Fast-Track Career Success
Speaker: Stacie Berdan
Competency: International Mobility

International experience is crucial to succeed in today’s interconnected, global world. International experience sets you apart and signals to companies that you have the all-important global mindset: an ability to work successfully across cultures, whether in the U.S. or abroad. For women especially, going overseas can fast-track your career, broaden your professional capabilities, increase your pay and expand your personal horizons.

International assignments are difficult to land and can be quite competitive. Learning to think globally about your role, your division and your company makes a significant difference to your success at home and abroad.

Stacie Berdan’s groundbreaking work has identified the traits that enable women to tap into their feminine traits to succeed cross-culturally and catapult their careers with international experience.

During this interactive session you will learn how to:

You’ll learn successful strategies and top tips you’ll start using today!

News Updates

Dynamic Roster of Foodservice Industry CEOs and World Renowned Speakers To Keynote the 2015 Women’s Foodservice Forum Annual Leadership Development Conference
Dallas, TX ( February 4, 2015) – The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) announced today that industry icons Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith, Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent and McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson will keynote the 2015 WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference to be held on March 8-11, 2015 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. The lineup of renowned thought leaders will also include best-selling author Daniel Pink and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.

This year’s theme is “Changing the Face of Leadership” and marks the culmination of a year-long celebration of WFF’s 25 year anniversary.  “It’s amazing that WFF emerged out of the vision of 14 women who came together to discuss the state of women in foodservice 25 years ago and has blossomed into meeting the needs of our industry’s companies and thousands of individuals on an annual basis,” said Hattie Hill, WFF president and chief executive officer. “We expect nearly 3,000 women and men ranging from emerging leaders to mid-level, senior and C-suite executives in the foodservice industry from across the United States and Canada to attend this year’s conference.”

The three-day event delivers best-in-class content, builds meaningful and strategic industry connections and develops core leadership competencies. In addition to dynamic keynote addresses, there will be numerous educational sessions on topics ranging from strategic thinking to increasing employee engagement to the art of leadership storytelling.

“I’m pleased to be part of an organization that is focused on helping diverse talent not only understand what is possible in our industry, but also build the competencies needed to create strong careers, great businesses and a pipeline of ready talent,” said Kat Cole, WFF’s 2015 board chair and president of Cinnabon, Inc. “As WFF embarks on the next 25 years, we will continue to help foodservice-related companies and professionals maximize their success in elevating and retaining women leaders and strengthening the business and leadership capabilities of diverse talent. As part of one of the largest industries in the country employing more than 13.5 million people, we have an opportunity and an obligation to build diverse talent, drive top performance and be an industry of choice for generations to come—WFF will be a catalyst in that effort.”

“We are pleased that Brinker International, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Sysco Corporation are among the top supporters of the 2015 WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference and are committed to our mission of advancing women leaders in our industry,” stated Hill.

Registration Opens for WFF 2015 Annual Leadership Development Conference
Dallas (October 15, 2014) – Registration is now open for the WFF (Women’s Foodservice Forum) 2015 Annual Leadership Development Conference. This year’s conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, FL. March 8 – 11, 2015.

Sold out last year with record-breaking attendance (3000+), this year’s event is sure to be as memorable. Make plans today for your team to attend and receive premier leadership development paired with the only industry networking opportunity of its kind. The 2015 WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference will focus on elevating the foodservice industry, advancing organizations and developing leaders. Attendees will be inspired by key note speakers and go home with actionable insight learned in first-class breakout sessions to share with their teams and implement in their own careers.

To ensure that you don’t miss out, register today!