James Beard Foundation’s Food Conference & Leadership Awards

When the James Beard Foundation announced a new initiative focused on building a safe, healthy, and more sustainable food world, Bowen & Company was tapped to develop a new annual Food Conference and Leadership Awards Dinner, spotlighting visionaries and gathering together thought leaders within this important sector of the food industry.

  • Raised profile and tripled attendance since the program was founded in 2010, drawing increased support from individual donors and funding partners.
  • Two-day event includes a Gala Dinner and a Conference featuring over 50 guest speakers and technical elements such as Livestream and Snapcastr, hosted at Convene Conference Centers.
  • Maximizing the Foundation’s partnership with Good Housekeeping magazine, the Leadership Awards Dinner is produced atop Gold LEED-certified Hearst Tower in NYC.
  • Coordinated unique, theme-inspired menus with guest chefs, including “A Menu in 3 Acts” highlighting agriculture legislation and a health-focused menu in collaboration with a chef and physician.
  • Attention to sustainable details included a local, seasonal menu; eliminating plastic disposables; and utilizing recycled materials in the collateral design.
  • Living centerpieces at the Awards dinner were donated to youth education programs for re-planting and tasting.
  • Coordinated logistics for distinguished honorees, including Sam Kass, Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, Mark Bittman, Alice Waters, Will Allen, Wendell Berry, and leaders from WWF, Rainforest Alliance, Unilever, and Costco.
  • Oversaw minute-by-minute show flows for both events, adding entertainment elements such as honoree tribute videos and live music.

Photography: Copyright Max Breslow Photography, Kent Miller Studios and Ken Goodman Photography