Tales of the Cocktail Foundation announces its Philanthropy & Development Committee

Posted on: Apr. 04, 2022 | | By: Gia Vecchio

The former “Grants Committee” has expanded to include relief, policy and advocacy, mental health and wellness, and non-profit partnerships as the newly minted “Philanthropy & Development Committee,” and is helmed by leading, global industry talent

NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 4, 2022) — Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is pleased to announce the newly minted “Philanthropy & Development Committee,” formerly the “Grants Committee,” as the chief advisory board to the organization’s philanthropic portfolio. Born from the spirits industry’s overwhelming need for support following years of relentless hardship, the Philanthropy & Development Committee has expanded to include direct relief and grant-giving opportunities, policy and advocacy work, expanded mental health and wellness capabilities, increased Beyond the Bar activations, nonprofit partnerships, and more. 

Comprised of key stakeholders who advise on this full suite of beneficent efforts — the Philanthropy and Development Committee works alongside TOTCF to promote the 501(c)3 nonprofit’s mission to Educate, Advance, and Support the hospitality community. 

“I’m really excited about this new era of the committee,” said Philanthropy & Development Committee Co-Chair Kellie Thorn. “While grant-giving will still be a focus, we will now have the opportunity to diversify the way that we serve the drinks community as well as continue to provide thoughtful insight to the Foundation about our industry” 

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Philanthropy & Development Committee and Initiatives 

The Philanthropy & Development Committee consults and advises on the Foundation’s philanthropic efforts, addresses critical challenges impacting the spirits community, and nurtures nascent and emerging projects that provide resources for the global cocktail industry. 

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation integrates philanthropy into every facet of its programming, and the Philanthropy & Development Committee will serve as the driving force behind the Foundation’s portfolio of giving initiatives, which include but are not limited to: 

  • Beyond the Bar Activations
    • Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is proud to continue providing its signature mental health and wellness programming, Beyond the Bar, which focuses on the holistic bartender and addresses critical issues within the industry from substance use and abuse to sexual harassment, race, equity and inclusion. Beyond the Bar programming serves to highlight and explore the diverse topics that make a well-rounded drinks industry professional and digs into complex and sometimes difficult topics in order to challenge the industry to be more equitable, while supporting the community through present day obstacles and challenges. Wellness workshops and service projects are active throughout the year and at the annual Tales of the Cocktail conference. These programs are available to all members of the community and are not exclusive to those who are directly involved with the TOTCF community. 
  • Day of Service Activities
    • Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is dedicated to serving its communities. TOTC attendees are invited to participate in a day of service activity alongside the TOTCF team and committees, including activities such as beach clean ups, home rebuilding, and meal preparation and delivery. This year, the TOTCF team will join the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) in rebuilding homes in New Orleans that were impacted by Hurricane Ida. Attendees may sign up and join TOTCF and SBP in a Day of Service on July 24, 2022. More details will follow about how interested attendees can get involved. 
  • Grant-Giving and Direct Relief
    • Tales of the Cocktail Foundation aims to financially support nascent or existing programs, non-profit organizations, and individuals developing a scope of work or expanding on a specific project that will impact the global hospitality community and have the possibility of continuing on to make an impact beyond the Foundation’s grant award. 2022-2023 grant-giving and direct relief programs will be announced on a rolling basis, and past grand-giving and direct relief recipients may be viewed via the TOTCF website, here. 
  • Non-Profit Partnerships
    • Tales of the Cocktail Foundation partners with a variety of hospitality-focused nonprofit organizations aimed at improving the mental and physical health of workers in the hospitality industry. Partnerships feature webinar series, in-person events, service projects, and grant work. Recent TOTCF non-profit partners include career development organization Turning Tables and disaster relief organization Saint Bernard Project. 

Through the Philanthropy & Development Committee, TOTCF engages established and emerging experts, innovators, business owners, brand representatives, and influencers across the national and international spirits industries to advise on the Foundation’s annual philanthropic efforts. The Philanthropy & Development Committee is proudly comprised of the following industry leaders: 

2022 Philanthropy & Development Committee Members Co-Chairs: 

  • Eric Bennett, Owner of Continental Drift and Drift Kitchen; Birmingham, Alabama 
  • Kellie Thorn, Beverage Consultant & Spirits Educator; Atlanta, Georgia 


  • Tiffanie Barriere, The Drinking Coach; Atlanta, Georgia 
  • Chris Cabrera, National LGBTQ+ Portfolio Ambassador- Bacardi; New York, New York 
  • Claudia Cabrera, Kaito bar manager and Fratelli Branca Ambassador; Mexico City, Mexico
  • Samuel Jimenez, General Manager of Casa del Toro; Hayward, California 
  • Nandini Khaund, Spirit Guide + Consultant; Chicago, Illinois 
  • Yisell Muxo, Director of Brand Advocacy Don Q Rum; San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Lisa Nguyen, Director of Service Operations for CureCo; New Orleans, Louisiana 
  • Chris Patino, Owner Raised by Wolves, Founder Simple Serve, Organizer Bartenders Weekend; San Diego, California
  • Vivian Pei, Food & Beverage Specialist; Singapore, Singapore
  • Kelsey Ramage, Director, Trash Collective Inc; Toronto, Canada 
  • Morgan Schick, Principal, There There Co.; Portland, Oregon

“This new iteration of the Philanthropy & Development Committee allows members to advise the Foundation on all of the many ways in which we can give back to the industry, not only in terms of grant-giving, but programming throughout the year, from Tales and beyond,” said Philanthropy & Development Committee Co-Chair Eric Bennett. “The diverse backgrounds of the committee members also allow for a more comprehensive and holistic look at what it means to support the beverage industry, locally in New Orleans and around the world. I’m excited to be a part of this new iteration of this committee within the Foundation, and I look forward to addressing the challenges this new phase will inevitably bring forward.”

Ongoing updates from the Philanthropy & Development Committee will be announced in real time, including select programming available to the TOTCF cocktail community at this year’s TOTC in New Orleans in July. Those who are interested in learning more are invited to follow along via the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook


About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation:

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a non-profit organization that Educates, Advances, and Supports the global hospitality industry and creates lasting impact in our host communities. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform that tackles critical issues facing the industry. This year, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation hosts its 20-year anniversary Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) conference, which is returning for an in-person celebration in New Orleans from July 25-29, 2022, and will celebrate the theme of “Progress.”

Media Inquiries: 

Foxglove Communications

Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043

Hunter Smith, [email protected], 803.397.8878 

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