On July 11, 2016, the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) selected its 2016 class of Dames. Tracy was one of 12 women from the greater Atlanta community who was chosen to be part of the “international society of women dedicated to creating a culture in the community that fosters excellence and promotes the achievement of women in culinary professions through educational and charitable activities.”
Tracy was selected to be a Dame for her work and dedication to educating the meetings and events industry on safe and healthy food and beverage programs that accurately address dietary restrictions and for her work supporting the local food movement.
“She has become the go-to person on this topic (dietary needs), conducting creative breakout workshops and plenary sessions for some of the hospitality industry’s most celebrated conferences and conventions, where she seeks to engage and educate catering chefs, planners and sales professionals alike,” says Dame Shelly Pedersen, CPCE.
In her nomination letter for Tracy, Dame Laurie Moore of Moore Farms & Friends, stated “While her business is focused on working in the meetings and events industry with an emphasis on food allergies, she always makes time in her schedule to support local farms, chefs and members of our local food system. She is an inspiring speaker, creative thinker and a passionate person who gets things done.”
Tracy believes that, as a member of the hospitality business, it is her duty to help others create and enjoy environments that bring people together to share, connect and benefit from good food. Through her new LDEI membership, she is excited to bring her enthusiasm, experience and compassion to help LDEI continue leading the way to excellence in the global food, beverage and hospitality industries.
In response to the news of her selection, Tracy quoted Dame Julia Child who said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” By being inducted into LDEI, as well as being awarded other accolades across the industry, Tracy believes she has not only honored Julia Child’s important advice, but validated her lifelong work in a profession she truly loves.
Founded in New York in 1976 by Carol Brock, a food reporter for the New York Daily News, LDEI is a membership-by-invitation, philanthropic organization that has provided education, networking opportunities and scholarship support to women in culinary professions. At the time of its inception, there were few opportunities for women in the culinary arts and there were no prominent women chefs or sommeliers. Brock saw a need to create an organization of professional leading women in the industry who would serve as role models and mentors to others. Since the beginning, the international organization has grown to more than 2,300 members in 36 chapters worldwide. For more information about the Les Dames d’Escoffier International organization, visit www.ldei.org
Tracy Stuckrath, founder and chief connecting officer of Thrive! Meetings & Events helps organizations reduce risk, maximize budgets and improve customer experience through safe, delicious and healthy food and beverage events. As an international speaker, consultant, trainer and event planner, she is passionate about inclusive F&B events that satisfy all attendees’ needs.
Based in Atlanta, Tracy serves on the Slow Food Atlanta board of directors and is chair of the FARE Walk for Food Allergy Atlanta.
In 2016, Tracy was named a Meetings Industry Changemaker. In 2015, she was named one of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry and in 2014 Meetings Today named her a Meetings Trendsetter. She has won Allie Awards for Best Corporate/Association Event and Best Public Fair or Festival.