Caroline Nabors Rosen, Executive Director, has written the following open letter on behalf of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation:
In April, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) expressed a commitment to keeping you informed as our new leadership team begins the long journey towards building the Foundation under our new vision and dedication to social impact. With 42 days until the start of Tales of the Cocktail New Orleans, we wanted to share details on our progress to date and announce new initiatives for this year’s conference.
Recently, TOTCF has received numerous inquiries from colleagues, peers, and friends regarding whether former leadership is still invested or involved in this year’s Tales of the Cocktail or the larger organization. We thought it was important to plainly and transparently address these concerns with the broader community here. When the Solomon Family and Neal Bodenheimer purchased the trademarks for Tales of the Cocktail, Ann and Paul Tuennerman completely divested from the trademarks and all business associated with Tales of the Cocktail. Additionally, there was a complete overhaul of the Board of Directors for the non-profit called New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society. The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation was officially formalized under new leadership, with a mission to educate, advance, and support our industry, on February 15, 2018.
One of our first orders of business was to establish a Grants Advisory Committee, charged with helping distribute the $250,000 in funding TOTCF has committed to giving back to the industry this year. The 13 member Grants Advisory committee
have been working together to review an overwhelming 144 Letters of Intent. These original submissions came from established 501c3 organizations as well as individuals with a desire to make a difference in the hospitality community. 52 of these participants have been invited to submit full grant proposals outlining their plans for programs dedicated to diversity, addiction, healthcare, sustainability and education.
The full grant proposals are due to TOTCF and the grants committee by June 8th and final recipients will be announced on July 17th, during Tales of the Cocktail. It has been inspiring, especially as we elevate our work as a Foundation, to realize the breadth of good work that already exists and needs supported as well as the inspiring and necessary ideas and concerns at the forefront of the minds and hearts of the industry. I am honored that TOTCF can begin to work together to address them and excited to be a part of this legacy.
Regarding programming updated, tickets are now live for Tales of the Cocktail 2018. The Tales team has been working hard to forge new partnerships with organizations that will enrich the experience for the entire community. TOTCF is very honored to announce a partnership with Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR), a Louisiana non-profit dedicated to providing support, education and advocacy to empower all individuals and families affected by sexual trauma since 1975. The hospitality industry and cocktail industry is not alone in addressing this pervasive issue, and we look forward to problem solving together. The Foundation is committed to providing impactful support and resources, and STAR is working with us to do just that. This will include a professional presence for direct support services and resources at the Hotel Monteleone, a 24 hour hotline (855.435.STAR/7817) to report sexual violence and provide immediate support, and a seminar on the best practices and responsibility of businesses and companies when it comes to sexual violence and harassment, that will be open to all 2018 attendees.
In an effort to make Tales of the Cocktail Foundation more sustainable, we are thrilled to announce we are going “strawless,” for 2018, meaning we won’t be using single-use plastic straws. According to a May 23, 2018 New York Times article, “500 million plastic straws are discarded each day in the U.S. and up to 12 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year.” In an effort to reduce that footprint, the Foundation has asked its partners to join us in making Tales a completely strawless event this year.
Seven years ago, Tales of the Cocktail® partnered with Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) to start The Dame Hall of Fame®, which recognizes exceptional women in the spirits industry whose hard work and dedication to the craft changes the way we drink. Once again, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and LUPEC will recognize the work of exceptional women in the industry by inducting them as the newest members of the Dame Hall of Fame®. Keep an eye on our blog today for more information on this year’s nomination and voting process.
This is our Foundation’s first year at the helm of this great event that turns 16 this July. We know there will be areas for growth and improvement. Together, we are confident that your feedback and our hardworking team, we can make this year, and each subsequent one to follow, one that holds significance and value for our colleagues, peers, and the industry as a whole. Please continue to send your questions, concerns and feedback our way to firstname.lastname@example.org.