Staff

  1. Susan Ungaro
    President
  2. Susan Ungaro is president of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country's preeminent culinary organization dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and honoring America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. Since becoming president in 2006, Ungaro has increased awareness of the nonprofit through a host of initiatives. Her many accomplishments include increasing national and global awareness of the Foundation, as well as its culinary scholarship program, membership, and thought-leadership initiatives. Ungaro has increased the number of educational programs at the historic James Beard House in Greenwich Village; brought the annual James Beard Foundation Awards Gala to prestigious Lincoln Center and to Chicago; and launched the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America national epicurean tour. 

     

    Her additional accomplishments include spearheading the annual JBF Food Conference to foster dialogue and action to improve our nation’s food system, and launching the JBF Leadership Awards, which recognize visionaries in business, government, and education sectors responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.

     

    Ungaro has also collaborated with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol to develop the “Diplomatic Culinary Partnership,” an initiative to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts, and has expanded the reach of and brand recognition of the James Beard Foundation through the organization’s website, social media channels, and the publication of two original cookbooks, The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs (Chronicle, 2011), and James Beard’s All-American Eats: Recipes and Stories from Our Best-Loved Local Restaurants (Rizzoli, 2016). 

     

    Among her numerous honors, Ungaro was named one of the The Daily Meal’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food from 2011-2014. She has also been recognized with Irish America magazine’s Top Business 100 Award; Muriel Fox Communications Award from the NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the Hope Award from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Ungaro serves on the Culinary Council of Food Bank for New York City, the National Advisory Board of C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program), and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Safe and Healthy New York Foods.

     

    Ungaro’s frequent television appearances include Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef America, and Dinner Impossible, Bravo’s Top Chef, NBC’s TODAY Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s Early Show, CNN, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

      

  3. Mitchell Davis
    Executive Vice President
  4. Mitchell Davis is the executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation, a cookbook author, a food journalist, and a scholar with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from New York University. With the Beard Foundation for 20 years, Davis has created and overseen many of the organization’s important initiatives, including the JBF Greens for “foodies under 40”; the non-profit’s popular five-week pop-up restaurant JBF LTD in Chelsea Market (2011); the annual JBF Food Conference, a national dialogue of thought leaders on sustainability and public health in the food system; and the JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change. In 2013 Davis assembled and led the team that was selected by the U.S. Department of State to create the USA Pavilion at the World Expo Milano 2015, the theme of which is American Food 2.0.

     

    In addition to his work at the Foundation, Davis frequently writes about and reviews restaurants. He holds a chair on the academy of the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking program. He has written four cookbooks, including The Mensch Chef and Kitchen Sense (both Clarkson Potter), co-authored the ground-breaking electronic book My Provence (Alta Editions) with famed French chef Laurent Gras, which won two 2013 awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, including “Judges Choice,” and is a regular contributor to The Art of Eating. Davis’s television appearances include History Channel’s 101 Fast Foods that Changed the World, Food Network’s Food(ography), Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and Best in Smoke. Davis is host of Taste Matters, a weekly radio show (Wednesdays at 11 a.m.) on the Heritage Radio Network. In 2013 The Forward selected Davis as one of the 50 most influential Jews under 50 in America.

Marilyn Platzer

Chief Financial and Operating Officer

 

Kris Moon

Vice President

 

Nancy Kull

Executive Assistant to the President

 

Izabela Wojcik

Director of House Programming and Greenhouse Gallery Coordinator

 

Elizabeth Laseter

Assistant to the Director of House Programming

 

Diane Harris Brown

Director of Educational and Community Programming

 

Claudia Karach

Director of House Events and Membership

 

Michelle Santoro

Manager of Strategic Partnerships

 

Victoria Jordan Rodriguez

Director of House Operations and House Events

 

Sandra Matias

Accounting Manager

 

Patricia Loyola

Financial Reporting & Compliance Manager

 

Kimberly Bradley Osorio

Information Systems Manager

 

Colleen Vincent

Manager, House Marketing & Reservations

 

Elise Sullivan

Reservations Coordinator

 

Marie Mondesir

Receptionist

 

Clay Triplette

House Steward

 

Jose Lucio

Maître D’Hôtel

 

Behrim Mekuli

Service Captain

 

Albert Reyes

Night Kitchen Manager

 

Sanil Compere

Day Kitchen Manager

 

Media

Alison Tozzi Liu

Editorial Director

 

Scott Meola

Art Director

 

Anna Mowry

Special Projects Manager

 

Elena North-Kelly

Senior Editor

 

Maggie Borden

Assistant Editor

 

Hilary Deutsch

Editorial Assistant

 

Ashley Kosiak

Program Coordinator

 

 

Special Events

Yvon Ros

Director of Sponsorship and Special Events

 

Julie Marshall

Director of Events and Marketing

 

Jeff Black

Celebrity Chef Tour Event Director

 

Jen Roberts

Awards and Database Manager

 

Siobhan Flaherty Haber

Director of JBF Greens Program

 

Shelley Menaged

Manager of Special Projects and Student Program

 

Sarah Drew

Events Assistant