Since our inception, the International Caterers Association has promoted a culture of diversity and inclusion where all are respected, accepted and safe. Diversity is the main factor in so many things we do in this world we live in, and especially our professional catering world. From our culinary concepts to our distinct designs, we’d all be whipping up the same events if it weren’t for the diverse experiences, upbringings, cultures, and personalities that make us who we are. And how boring would that be? So to truly celebrate diversity and inclusion in our world and our industry, we set up a Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship to give to a few of our rising stars. Today, we want to celebrate this year’s honorees!
About the ICA Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships
A catering company is eligible for the ICA Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship if they have been a member of the ICA for over one year and 50% of their upper management qualifies as diverse, from groups underrepresented in our industry:
People with disabilities
Each member company who wins is gifted a complimentary Catersource + The Special Event Conference pass for that calendar year, currently valued at $795. They can then decide who will attend from their company!
Congratulations to Our 2022 ICA Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Winners
Without further ado, congratulations to the companies and selected representatives for 2022!
Each of these talented individuals has worked tirelessly for the success they have achieved thus far in their careers. We were honored to have them in attendance at this year’s Catersource + The Special Event Conference in Anaheim to learn, grow and share with our global catering community!
Cicily Waites, Owner & Creative Director, Uncle Willie’s Pies, LLC
Danny Torres, Operations Manager, Marcia Selden Catering & Events
Clark Kinkade, Director of Hospitality & Guest Experience, Dish Food & Events
Sarah McClure, Director of Marketing, LUX Catering & Events
Joseph Walraven, Event Producer, Blue Elephant Events & Catering
Join the ICA Today & Celebrate Diversity at Catersource + The Special Event Conference in 2023
We are honored to be cultivating a community of like-minded individuals who value what diversity brings to our world. Each of this year’s winners took something valuable away from the conference—a chance they may not have had otherwise without these important scholarships.
What Our 2022 Recipients Are Saying…
“I was thrilled to attend Catersource 2022 on the ICA Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship. It meant a lot to both me and my company! Attending Catersource has been a dream of mine, and it was absolutely incredible! Hearing ideas and perspectives from various industries, markets, and individuals sparked so many movements in my head. I was able to come back to work pumped up and ready to innovate. I can’t wait to start applying what I learned into my workflow and into our company departments.”
-Sarah McClure, Director of Marketing, LUX Catering & Events
"I have wanted to go to Catersource in the past; however, finances and different situations hindered me. I am grateful for the ICA’s investment in my business and personal career. So many light bulb “aha” moments! The personal connections I made with the other ICA scholarship winners and some of the best in the hospitality industry just put the icing on the cake for me."
-Cicily Waites, Owner & Creative Director, Uncle Willie’s Pies, LLC
"By offering this scholarship program, the ICA is grooming the next generation of aspiring industry leaders and fostering a sense of community for individuals from a variety of backgrounds.
As I sat through the first session and another and another, I started to realize that the “something” that I had been missing had finally come to light. I was in a room surrounded by my peers, my people, my tribe. The people who endure the same challenges and celebrate the same successes that I do! While I sat in awe of these industry leaders, I also soon realized that they were not unapproachable and that they, too, craved that same sense of connection, community, and belonging that I had been seeking.
Over just a few days, I built the foundation of what I can confidently say will be life-long mentors, confidants, and friends. I left the conference with a renewed excitement for my career and a renewed hope for my industry. I know that I would have eventually made it to Catersource. Still, ICA’s scholarship program gave me the jumpstart that I needed to position me for an even more successful career in the catering and event industry."
-Joseph Walraven, Event Producer, Blue Elephant Events & Catering
"Thank you so much for your sponsorship and support at the Catersource conference! I thoroughly enjoyed the courses and expect that they'll make all of our management team better leaders, managers, and expand our vision. The opportunity to review my current systems and strategies against all of the empowering information received in the classes has been of immense value, and I am very grateful to everyone who shared their contact information for future follow-up regarding some of our expansion ideas. It's very encouraging to know we have a network of like-minded professionals all rooting for each other's success—and backing that up with real-time support and connections!"
-Niki Scriber, Director of Catering, Group Sales, Thrive Catering
"Thank you to the ICA for the chance to take part in the week and represent Dish Food & Events and the LGBTQIA+ community. Catersource was such an energizing week packed full of inspiration. The classes were amazing and informative with a huge array of topics to choose from. One of the best parts of the week was definitely all the great people I met and incredible connections I was able to make. After some difficult pandemic years, it was so refreshing to be surrounded by people who have the same passion. It was just the pick-me-up I needed in the middle of a busy year with no end in sight. The ICA community was so welcoming, and there was always someone to ask questions to. It was so nice getting to meet those in person that I'd been seeing on Zoom webinars throughout the pandemic! I left feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the busy seasons ahead."
-Clark Kinkade, Director of Hospitality & Guest Experience, Dish Food & Events
"Thank you so much ICA for coming up with this significant scholarship. I had the best time in Anaheim getting to know other people in the industry and have lots to share with my team about this wonderful opportunity. I'm very proud to work for Marcia Selden Catering, a company where diversity and inclusion have made a huge difference in the lives of many members of our team, including myself. I have benefited a great deal from owners who care about their employees every single day. "
-Danny Torres, Operations Manager, Marcia Selden Catering & Events
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 the fourteen Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships received next year? Visit internationalcaterers.org to learn more about membership and scholarship opportunities that will open in the fall.