Ever since our establishment, the International Caterers Association has advocated for a culture that values diversity and inclusivity. Diversity is an essential element in various aspects of our lives—one that we greatly value in the catering industry. Our culinary ideas and unique designs would be dull if not for the distinct backgrounds, upbringings, cultures, and personalities that shape who we are. That's why we created the Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship to recognize some of the promising talents in our industry, so we can truly celebrate diversity and inclusion. Today, we're delighted to honor this year's scholarship recipients!
About the ICA Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships
The ICA Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships are available to catering companies that have been ICA members for at least a year and have at least 50% of their upper management composed of individuals from underrepresented groups in the catering industry.
These groups include, but are not limited to:
- African American
- Asian/Pacific Islander
- American Indian
- People with disabilities
- Woman-owned businesses
Each winning member company is awarded a complimentary pass to attend the Catersource + The Special Event conference for that calendar year, which is currently valued at $795. The company can then select the attendee from their organization.
Congratulations to the 2023 winning representatives and companies
We’d love to give a big congratulations to the following representatives and companies selected for the 2023 ICA Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships:
Photo courtesy International Caterers Associaton
Each and every one of these talented representatives from their respective companies has demonstrated a strong work ethic for all they have achieved thus far. We were beyond grateful to have them in attendance at the 2023 Catersource + The Special Event conference in Orlando!
- Luis Ortiz, Service Director, Marcia Selden Catering
- Jeff Ware, Chief Operating Officer, Catering by Michaels
- Colton Weyant-Staver, Director of Floral & Design, The JDK Group
- Geraldo Perez, General Manager, Casa Cubana Catering
- Shirley Gutierrez, Sous Chef, Get Plated Catering
- Nishan Garabedian, Executive Chef, LUX Catering & Events
- Alycen Doi, Event Production Manager, Catering by Design
- Patrick Moriarty, Director of Operations, Dish Food & Events LLC
- Caio Fabiano, Events and Logistics Manager, Farm to Feast Catering
- Phuoc Vo, Executive Chef, CBK Catering & Events
Join the ICA today & celebrate diversity at Catersource + The Special Event in 2024
We are excited to be cultivating a community of like-minded individuals who value diversity and the beauty it brings to our world. Our excitement is compounded by the valuable experience each year’s recipients gain from the conference, which they may not have been able to have if it weren’t for these important scholarships.
What our 2023 recipients are saying…
“Being able to represent LUX Events and their values of inclusiveness and win the Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship was a great honor, and I feel extremely humbled to even be considered a recipient with other great candidates.
This was my first time attending Catersource, and I was constantly in awe of the creativity, work ethic, and hospitality everyone who attended exemplified. Being able to learn from industry leaders from all aspects of a catering operation was a great experience and really helped me appreciate how much work everyone in our own company puts into executing extraordinary events.”
Nishan Garabedian, Executive Chef, LUX Catering & Events
“There wasn't just one thing or person at Catersource that inspired me, but what has and continues to inspire me with Catersource and those attending is the camaraderie, the openness to share ‘trade secrets,’ and the compassion of all to be an educational resource for each other. That in itself is powerful and something that cannot be matched.”
Colton Weyant-Staver, Director of Floral & Design, The JDK Group
“Being able to attend the Catersource conference was such an honor. I also think being awarded this scholarship made not just me, but our entire company, feel special for having someone on the team that was able to represent this category. Being able to hear big-time influencers that I may or may not stalk on social media was such a memorable experience. It was not only a fantastic learning opportunity, but it was a great time to network with caterers from all over the country and have team bonding between our team members who were able to attend this conference. I think we all came back to work feeling refreshed and reenergized with new ideas!”
Alycen Doi, Event Production Manager, Catering by Design
So, what are you waiting for? Join the ICA today to become a part of this inclusive community making strides for diversity in our world and our industry. Maybe we’ll see your company name on the list of Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships received next year? Visit internationalcaterers.org to learn more about membership and scholarship opportunities that will open in the fall.