At the Head of the Table: Women in Foodservice Leadership
Some of our restaurant industry's most powerful female leaders come together to discuss the current and future state of the service industry, gender dynamics in the food service ecosystem and practical strategies to implement in your everyday work life.
With keen insight based on years of experience, these leaders will walk us through shifting perspectives, identifying and leveraging opportunities for women, the wide-ranging effects of mentorship within the restaurant ecosystem and how to get - and keep - a seat at the table.
Carin Stutz leads regional restaurant management teams overseeing the operational performance of more than 500 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including Burger Works and franchise locations. Carin has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry and has served in operations leadership roles for major casual dining and fast casual brands.
Before joining Red Robin, Carin served as President of McAlister’s Deli. She has also served in operations leadership roles for some of the nation’s leading brands including Chili’s, Applebee’s, Cosi and Wendy’s. Carin serves on the National Restaurant Association's Fast Casual Industry Council Steering Committee and is a volunteer and national judge for the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation ProStart program. She also is a past board chair and member of the board of directors for the Women’s Foodservice Forum, among her many service distinctions in the food service field
Carin earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Mid-America Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University. She lives in Denver with her husband Rodger. They have two grown sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four grandsons.
Her favorite Red Robin burger is the Royal burger.
Diana Barrios Trevino
Diana Barrios Trevino, a San Antonio native, has been actively involved in cuisine and culinary media representing her family’s restaurant. Diana appears monthly on San Antonio Living Show with Shelly Miles. Her national exposure includes a Good Morning America cooking segment with Chef Emeril Lagasse, as well as taping segments for the Food Network shows, Food Nation and Throwdown with Bobby Flay.
In June of 2002, as her cookbook Los Barrios Family Cookbook ~Tex-Mex Recipes from the Heart of San Antonio was launching, Diana and her family were featured on the Weekend Today Show. Diana was surprised by Bobby Flay at her family’s restaurant, La Hacienda de Los Barrios, where he challenged her to a Puffy Taco Throwdown. In June of 2010 Diana was invited to cook at the White House. Diana, along with her brother Louie and sister Teresa, head up Viola’s Huge Heart Foundation honoring mother, Viola.
In 1983, geologist-turned-restaurateur Tracy Vaught opened her first restaurant, Backstreet Cafe, in an old house on the edge of Houston’s River Oaks. It was the turning point of her career and life. She met and married Hugo Ortega, whom she has hired as dishwasher, and together they have opened Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi, and published two cookbooks: “Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico” and “Backstreet Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from Our Neighborhood Cafe”. The Houston native has been recognized for her accomplishments by Houston Business Journal and Wine Enthusiast; is a two-time semi-finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur for the James Beard Foundation Awards; and named Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year by Texas Restaurant Association. Tracy is currently a board member of the Texas Restaurant Association. She is co-operator of Third Coast Restaurant located in Texas Medical Center, and part owner of Prego restaurant in Rice Village and Origen restaurant in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Melissa has been entrenched in government relations, community outreach, public relations and marketing for the last 20 years. Her past employers and current clients include public agencies and private organizations at the local, state and national levels. She has developed a recognized reputation, which she utilizes to assist her clients with making the appropriate connections and increase brand awareness.