Open Letter dated April 16th, 2018
The Solomon Family, Gary Solomon, Jr. and Neal Bodenheimer, the Board of Directors for the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, and Caroline Nabors Rosen, Executive Director, have written the following open letter on behalf of the Foundation:
First and foremost, thank you all for your patience as we gain our footing. We have hit the ground running and while reorganization is a slow process, we are excited to share what we have been able to achieve thus far. Each of us at Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) understands that everyone is curious and eager to learn what changes will come with new leadership. The opportunity Tales presents is simultaneously overwhelming, challenging, and most of all, spectacular. We are all anxious for what is to come.
In the two months since we acquired Tales, we have been working earnestly to develop the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, while simultaneously using six of those weeks to plan and execute Tales on Tour in Edinburgh to allow us to engage with the international spirits community in a meaningful way. Every day we are making important decisions about the future of the Foundation, and we hope that this letter is the first small step towards a culture of transparency.
This letter is being written on the heels of a great event in Edinburgh. We walked into TOTCF with Tales on Tour consisting of four events and seminars. We listened to the community in Edinburgh, the UK and domestically; and the event blossomed into over 60 experiences spread across the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. The three-day event highlighted the Edinburgh and international spirits community; with seminars, guest shifts, demonstrations and lots of celebration of the people who make up our community. It’s this spirited and collaborative approach we will bring to New Orleans.
Much of our time since February 15th, 2018 has been spent talking to our community. We felt it was important to take time to consult with as many friends and industry professionals as we could to ask for thoughts on what needs to change and where Tales needs to go to remain relevant, motivating and effective. Throughout these conversations we each strived to hear your feedback and hopes for the future of Tales. Now our job is to take this tremendous amount of consulting and turn it into meaningful change. We understand that the expectations for the future are high and during this time of transition, we believe that it is critical that our actions are thoughtful, obtainable and meaningful.
What are we able to reveal now?
We are proud to tell you that the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will be dedicated to educating, advancing and supporting our industry and New Orleans, the city that TOTCF calls home. As a non-profit, we will aim to stimulate and promote the thought leaders of our trade. We are committed to supporting others who share this vision and those who are willing to do the work to move our industry forward.
We find it necessary to say that our work will be done inclusively and transparently. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation strives to be a thought leader, not an authority. We aspire to educate, advance and support our industry not in isolation, but with the help of our community.
So, what does it all mean? How will this commitment manifest itself? Most notably, a new industry grants application process launched today. The grants committee, whose inaugural members will be announced shortly, is being formed to approve applicants and guide where TOTCF’s fiscal support will be focused, who it reaches and how your donations are spent. We are thrilled to award $250,000 in our inaugural year and invite you to the State of the Trade at Tales of the Cocktail in July, where we will award our grant recipients.
The Foundation is also in the process of launching nearly two dozen new initiatives for this year. You will hear a lot from TOTCF about fostering diversity and inclusiveness, addressing sexual misconduct, discussing addiction and substance abuse, and supporting sustainability. These are leading issues in our industry, and we are developing platforms for them to be diligently addressed as well as offering significant resources across these areas. It is important to us that you know that we are passionate about working with you to generate best practices in these areas.
We are the first to admit that there is a lot of work to be done in the next couple of months before the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will host you in New Orleans. Each of us at the Foundation is excited for the changes to come and are working tirelessly to ensure we can deliver. Again, please do not hesitate to contact us -- we welcome your questions, comments, and feedback.
Thank you all for your time and we look forward to sharing more soon.
Caroline Rosen, Executive Director
Gary Solomon, Jr., Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors
Neal Bodenheimer, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors
BY PHONE: 504.948.0511