Women Leaders in
Food, Fine Beverage & Hospitality

Meet Our Board of Directors

The programs, funds, activities and initiatives of the New York Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier are managed by our Board of Directors. It is comprised of chapter leaders who are elected by the membership each fall.


Sharon Franke - President

Job Title: Kitchenware Expert, Consultant, Journalist

Professional Skills: Writing, editing, testing kitchen equipment, recipte development, food styling, public speaking

Member Since: 2013

Current Board Position: President

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Vice President, Director at Large, Induction Dinner Co-chair, SummerDine Co-chair

Proudest Accomplishment: Raising an accomplished daughter.

Favorite Place to Visit: Westport, CT... that's where my grandkids live.

Favorite Food: Scrambled eggs

Fun Fact: "I cook on a 67-year old Magic Chef range with an oven that has to be lit with a match!"

Ronnie Campbell - Vice President

Job Title: Specialty Food & Beverage Marketing Consultant

Professional Skills: Public Relations and Specialty Food Communications Specialist

Member Since: 2010

Current Board Position: Vice President

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Secretary, Director at Large, Communications/Public Relations Committee Co-chair

Proudest Accomplishment: Raising our beautiful daughter and becoming a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier NY.

Favorite Place to Visit: Anywhere in New York, Cape Cod and Italy.

Favorite Food: Italian; especially polenta and risotto when done just right.

Fun Fact: My life’s path was totally unplanned but meant to be.

Jennifer O'Flanagan - Treasurer

Job Title: Founder, FeastPR
Professional Skills: Public Relations, Marketing, Social Media, Event Planning
Member Since: 2015
Current Board Position: Treasurer
Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Board of Directors,Scholarship Committee
Proudest Accomplishment: Running my own business
Favorite Place to Visit: Greece
Favorite Food: Gougeres and Grilled Octopus  
Fun Fact: C.S. Lewis was a family member (by marriage).

Bonnie Tandy Leblang - Secretary

Job Title: CEO Blogger at Bite of the Best

Professional Skills: Entrepreneur, Cookbook Author, Syndicated Columnist, Professional Speaker, Culinary Agent, Magazine Columnist, Media Relations Specialist

Member Since: 2011 

Current Board Position: Secretary, Parliamentarian

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Director at Large, The Next Big Bite (twice!)

Proudest Accomplishment: Raising two accomplished sons as a single parent.

Favorite Place to Visit: Paris and Dana Point (CA), as I have grandchildren in each!

Favorite Food: I shouldn’t admit it — but French fries!

Fun Fact: I was once a gymnast…

Alison Awerbuch - Director at Large

Job Title: Partner and Chef, Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships
Professional Skills: Event Planning, Catering, Food Styling, Chef

Member Since: 2000

Current Board Position: Director at Large

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Co-President LDNY, Director at Large, Co-chair The Next Big Bite, Co-chair Scholarship, Co-chair Mentoring, Co-chair Nominating, Co-chair LDEI Legacy Awards 

Proudest Accomplishment: Professionally becoming a partner at Abigail Kirsch Catering. Personally, being the aunt, great aunt and sister to the most wonderful people I know!

Favorite Place to Visit: Any urban city in the world with great food, great wine, great culture and most importantly great shopping.

Favorite Food: Pickles & Oysters…or…Pickled Oysters!

Fun Fact: I love wrapping presents (almost as much as I love giving presents).

Patricia Clough - Director at Large

Job Title: Strategic External Communications & Partnerships pro, specializing in fine beverages, travel and healthy lifestyle products 

Professional Skills:  Trade & Media Communications Programs, Event Concept & Management, Partnership & Alliance Development

Member Since2017

Current Board Position: Director at Large

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Co-Chair Annual LDNY Induction Event, The Next Big Bite Sponsorship Committee, LDNY Communications Committee

Proudest Accomplishment: My clients are getting abundant, positive press coverage; solo driving in Chablis, France

Favorite Place to Visit: Fontaine Biache beach, Sicily, for ocean, sun and brioche-and-gelato "ice cream sandwich" 

Favorite Food: Thai yellow curry with fresh crab meat, sauteed peppers 

Fun Fact: My initial introduction to NYC was via a college grant to study modern dance at Jose Limon Dance.

Lori Jean Levy - Director at Large

Job Title: CEO My Global Table, LLC

Professional Skills: Specialty and private label product development, product marketing and distribution, customs and trade law, licensed U.S. customs broker, writer.

Member Since: 2017

Current Board Position: Director at Large

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Co-chairSummerDine ‘18; Chair SummerDine ‘19

Proudest Accomplishment: Creating a suite of private label products, across all categories, for Fairway Market.  Many of these remain cult favorites in NYC. I do smile at them when I shop, still so proud of the adventure behind each! 

Favorite Place to Visit: Spain is heaven for a million reasons, if I must be more specific then Port de Soller, Mallorca  is the spot!

Favorite Food: Olive Oil, for it enhances everything it touches.

Fun Fact: Lori was a speaker at the New York International Olive Oil Competition in 2014, sharing her knowledge of import regulations, FDA, customs, duties, labelling, marking and safety.

Jo-Ann Makovitzky - Director at Large

Job Title: Managing Partner Ct Restaurant, CEO Culinary Aspirations Realized

Professional Skills: Executive chef, Restaurant GM , F&B director, CEO, Catering Director, Restaurant concept developer, 

Member Since: 2017

Current Board Position: Director at Large


Past Board Positions and Committees:  Program committee member


Proudest Accomplishment: Opening and running Tocqueville Restaurant for 18 years. 


Favorite Place to Visit: Nantucket


Favorite Food: Oysters


Fun Fact: Mentioned on page 234 of Chefs Drugs and Rock & Roll. First woman to work in the kitchen at La Caravelle.

Suzen O'Rourke - Director at Large

Job Title: Owner Cooking by the Book

 Professional Skills: Entrepreneur, cooking teacher, baker
Member: 2000

Current Board Position: Director at large


Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Co-President with Alison Awerbuch (held various positions in past on Board of Directors), Mentoring Committee, Scholarship Committee and Nominating Committee


Proudest Accomplishment: Cooking by the Book! And my sour dough bread.


Favorite Place to Visit: Paris


Favorite Food: Brooklyn bagels 

Janeen A. Sarlin - Director at Large

Job Title:   Owner/president of Cooking with Class, Inc.

Professional Skills:  Corporate chef, cookbook author, caterer and weekly food columnist – “The Seasonal Chef” – for Southampton Press (27East.com)
Member Since: 1990
Current Board Position: Director at Large

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: Two previous terms as Director at Large, currently Program Committee Chair and have chaired in the past Membership, Nominations

Proudest Accomplishment: Two successful accomplished children.

Favorite Place to Visit: Paris, Provence
Favorite Food: Vegetables and chocolate
Fun Fact: I’m an ordained Steven Minister.

Elizabeth Schaible - Director at Large

Job Title:  Associate Professor/Department Chair Hospitality Management Department, New York City College of Technology CUNY

Professional Skills: Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts Education

Member Since: 2014

Current Board Position:  Director at Large

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired:  Currently a member of Programs Committee

Proudest Accomplishment:  Raising a thoughtful, caring son to adulthood and finishing my career as an educator.

Favorite Place to Visit:  Paris, my husband's birthplace, and anywhere near the ocean.

Favorite Food:  Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!

Fun Fact:  I was a private chef to a famous rock and roll magazine editor in the early 1980s.

Joan Brower - Immediate Past President

Job Title: Principal, The Dilenschneider Group

Professional Skills: Communicator and Marketer of food, fine wine and hospitality; a public relations professional, who believes in an integrated approach that brings culture to life through tourism and culinary experiences.

Member Since: 2013

Current Board Position: Immediate Past President

Past Board Positions and Committees Chaired: President, Secretary, Public Relations Committee Co-chair

Proudest Accomplishment: Two grown sons, who are not only out- standing professionals (veterinary surgeon; biotech executive), but also caring individuals and committed amateur cooks.

Favorite Place to Visit: Everywhere and anywhere in my hometown -- New York City.

Favorite Food: Duck in any form.

Fun Fact: My cousin was the late Dr. Phoebus Levene, an American biochemist who discovered the components of DNA. Perhaps my love of food, wine and hospitality has its genesis in DNA mapping!

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