History

Just like you, we’ve been on a journey. What started three decades ago as a conversation about whether sufficient opportunities existed for women in the Food Industry has become a powerful movement accelerating women’s progress and leading the way to gender equity.
"What remains since our founding is the genuine desire of women for an equal playing field in an industry they love and to have an impactful career based on their desire, capabilities and results. WFF pushes and supports our industry to become the employer of choice for talented women and men."
Edna Morris
Founding Member, Past Chair

WFF History

1989

A roundtable discussion convened during the 1988 National Restaurant Association Show to gather insights on the state of women in the Food Industry inspired the formation of the Women’s Council in 1989 which evolved in 1990 into Women’s Foodservice Forum. Fourteen forward-thinking women became the founders of WFF and dedicated their personal time to create an organization that would help develop women leaders and ensure career advancement among executive women in the industry.

1991

WFF holds its first national conference “Open Minds – Open Doors” for 50 participants in San Francisco.

1992
WFF forms its first Board of Directors.  Fourteen women and five men come aboard, providing critical early endorsement of the organization.
1998

WFF hosts the first Executive Women’s Summit, giving senior-level members the opportunity to network and benefit from a customized curriculum.

2005

WFF formalizes its boldest goals ever with the publication of Roadmap to Results.

2009

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, WFF publishes Women at the Table, and establishes its archives to collect and inventory significant materials of the legacy of the organization.

2014
As part of its 25th Anniversary celebration, WFF hosts Poet Maya Angelou as a keynote conference speaker.
2015
WFF introduces its one-day, in-market Leadership Development Workshops (LDWs) with top speakers to focus on key areas of career development and serve the needs of more women.
2016
McKinsey & Company determine it will take at least 100 years to reach gender parity in the C-Suite across industries at the current pace of change.
2017
WFF convenes 32 pioneering food companies to participate for the first time in the Women in the Workplace Study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org. The Study provides detailed data on women’s progress within the food industry.
2019
In celebrating its 30th Anniversary, WFF highlights Industry Companies committed to leading the way to gender equity and Change Makers early in their careers who exemplify inclusive leadership.
2020
Under the leadership of a new CEO & President, Therese Gearhart, and with a robust team in place, WFF expands services to members and Partners. As part of her bold vision for the organization, in 2020 WFF will launch new online Partner and Member Portals to provide daily inspiration and solutions for companies striving advance women leaders and members building their careers in the Food Industry.

Past Chairs

Edna Morris
1989-1992
Julia Stewart
1992-1996
Carla Cooper
1996-1999
Barbara Timm-Brock
1999-2001
Patricia Anton
2001-2003
Diana Wynne
2003-2005
Alice Wheelwright
2005-2006
Paula Marshall
2006-2007
Jane Sumner
2007-2008
Linda Pharr
2008-2009
Mary O'Broin
2009-2010
Maureen Hurley
2010-2011
Carin Stutz
2011-2012
Lorna Donatone
2012-2013
Laurie Burns
2013-2014
Susan Gambardella
2014
Kat Cole
2015
Wendy Davidson
2016
Marie Perry
2017
Susan Adzick
2018
Denny Post
2019