WU_Inspiring Women: Flourishing in Food_October 20, 2022

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Women United October 20, 2022 Breakfast Speaker Series
"Inspirational Women: Flourishing in Food" 

"A woman's place is in the kitchen," is a saying with no place in the 21st century. Unless, of course, it's meant metaphorically to reference a woman's place as an owner, operator, and head chef. Our Speaker Series Breakfast will feature three inspirational "women in the kitchen" who will share who or what inspired their love of cooking and business ownership, how they got started, how their careers progressed, what obstacles they faced, what challenges they may have had to overcome in a male-dominated industry, what they most love to cook, and more - including some tips and tricks for home cooks! You'll also enjoy a sweet treat kindly provided by Chef Kitty, owner of Pink Bandana Bakery! Register now to join us for a fascinating culinary conversation!

Click here or scroll down for a look at our three fabulous panelists, and click here or scroll down for a look at our moderator. 

Date:  Thursday, October 20, 2022
Time: 7:30 am - 9 am
Location: The American-Croatian Lodge located at 34900 Lakeshore Blvd. in Eastlake

Fee (Warm Breakfast Included):

  • $20 Women United Members & Emerging Leaders
  • $35 Guests

Questions: Email tlewis@uwlc.org or call 440.639.1131

Advance Registration Required by 4 pm on October 17, 2022. 

Or, Register by Phone with credit card by Calling 440-639-1131

Donations in Support of Lake County Women & Girls Welcome

For each Women United Speaker Series, a local non-profit program or initiative is "adopted" with the hope that guests will consider making a donation in support of this. For this Speaker Series, Women United is adopting one of its own initiatives to raise funds for Lake County women and girls in need. It is our hope you will contribute by donating a restaurant (or sweets shop) gift card in any denomination from $10 - $25+ by bringing this to the Speaker Series event. The gift cards will be used to raise funds as part of  our Winterfest Raffle. Or, should you wish to make a monetary contribution instead of bringing a gift card, you may do so online at uwlc.org/give. Just be sure to use the "Notes" field at the bottom to enter WU Raffle Gift Donation. Thank you for your kind consideration!

Speakers & Moderator

Kathleen Robinson, "Chef Kitty," Owner,  Pink Bandana Bakery in Mentor

Prior to beginning her career as a pastry chef, Kathleen Robinson spent over 20 years as a professional development officer for numerous organizations including The Cleveland Clinic, CWRU, the YMCA and the Salvation Army. She served in senior positions and helped raise millions of dollars for numerous projects and buildings for organizations and non-profits whose missions she believed in.  At 50 years old, Kathleen found herself at a crossroads in her life and career. In the throes of burnout, she decided to change the course of her career and become a pastry chef, where two amazing influences contributed to this path. Kathleen attended The International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute (iCasi) and after graduation began her career at a local bakery. During this time she applied for and was chosen to be on the Food Network show entitled "Bakers vs Fakers." While it was not her goal to win, the exposure proved invaluable to the steps she then took to open her own bakery. On November 24, 2017, Kathleen opened Pink Bandana Bakery and became known as Chef Kitty. Chef Kitty and her bakery survived the pandemic, and now working their way through a tough recession as she continues to develop her craft. Chef Kitty has been married to her husband for 20 years and has 19-year-old daughter who is a sophomore at CSU studying film.

Meghan Wickline, Owner, Fiona’s Coffee Bar & Bakery and Mickey’s Ice Cream & Hot Dogs, Both Located in Downtown Willoughby 

Entrepreneurship and business ownership run in Meghan's family and is something she has known her entire life. Meghan is the oldest of five siblings, and her family owns a well-known funeral home in Willoughby. She and her siblings have been involved in running the family business throughout their lives. Meghan attended Immaculate Conception in grade school, Gilmour Academy in high school and then went on to attend the University of Cincinnati. She is the mother of four kids which she considers her greatest accomplishment in life. She also has three grandchildren. Meghan's children all grew up and attended schools in Willoughby so the ties that bind her here are strong. During her time working at Willoughby South High School, Meghan realized she was craving something more, so she went back to school, working at Yours Truly to finance her tuition toward obtaining a Medical Assistant degree. While she went on to work for University Hospitals, her time at Yours Truly gave her a taste of the restaurant business that she liked. Since each of her siblings are also business owners, when the opportunity arose for her to make the jump, Meghan and her husband took the plunge and opened Fiona's Coffee Bar & Bakery in Downtown Willoughby. Five years later, they opened a second business this past Winter, Mickey's Ice Cream & Hot Dogs, which is also located in Downtown Willoughby.

Kate Csepegi,“Chef Kate,” Student Services Director, Private Event Coordinator and Instructor, International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute (iCasi) and Loretta Paganini School of Cooking in Chesterland

Chef Kate started cooking as an outlet for the stresses of corporate life. After years of practice in her own kitchen, Chef Kate decided to attend culinary school in 2010 where she thrived and became a standout student. In just two short years she completed her culinary education right here in Chesterland, Ohio at iCasi. Chef Kate believes that cooking should be relaxing and fun; and brings that feeling to all of her classes! Chef Kate is also an avid gardener and loves to cook with local, seasonal ingredients.


Meet our Moderator: Michele Johnson, CFP®, Lighthouse Advisers and Women United Member
Michelle Johnson is a registered representative with and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA & SIPC

Financial Planner by day, foodie by night. With over 14 years of  industry experience in top banks and investment firms, Michele understands the importance of setting financial goals – including where to eat. She specializes in retirement and estate planning, investment advice, tax strategies and bringing overall support in managing clients’ financial needs. A Lake County resident, when Michele isn’t supporting local businesses and trying all the tasty treats, she spends much of her time volunteering in the community. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for both the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce and Forbes House and has been a Women United Member since 2015, serving as chair from 2019 to 2021. Her other community involvement includes Leadership Lake County and participating in the “24 in 24 Challenge” to support A Special Wish Cleveland and volunteering with the Western Reserve Jr Service League. Michele enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and lives with her son in Willoughby.