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Disney Women of Food & Beverage – Part Five

Karen McClintock

by , Food & Beverage Content Relations Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

National Women’s History Month has flown by and this is the final post in the series highlighting our fabulous Disney Women of Food & Beverage.

Although each of the women profiled are confident and self-assured, it only took two words to jar them out of their comfort zone – photo shoot! But as they gathered together for their photo sessions armed with “fun props,” their apprehension slipped away and conversations were punctuated with laughter.

We had the privilege to work with two wonderful photographers, Matt Stroshane and David Nguyen, who made it a fun experience for everyone. As both Matt and David have daughters, I thought it would be interesting to hear what they have to say about these 22 women we have profiled and what advice they have for their own daughters. I have included “mini” profiles on them also – so you can see the talent behind the photos.

In one of the first posts, I wrote that narrowing down to only 22 cast members to highlight in this series was extremely difficult as the depth of talent at every level is truly impressive … and I meant every word. So, congratulations to the featured Disney Women of Food & Beverage and to the over 22,000 Cast Members in Food & Beverage at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort that create the magic each and every day.

Cheers!

Executive Chef Demetria Foundoukis from Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Demetria Foundoukis

Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 34 years and counting
Year Started with Disney: 1992
Current Role: Executive Chef, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort
Education/Accomplishments: New York Restaurant School; Disney Partners in Excellence, Court of Master Sommeliers – Introductory Sommelier Diploma Level One; Shanghai Disneyland Resort Opening Team

Delicious Details: Loves everything about the beach; her yiayia’s (grandmother’s) spanakopita recipe has been passed down generations; enjoys experimenting with flavors from different cultures to bring them together in a dish; worked in her father’s butcher shop as a teenager; cooked at the White House with Chef Cat Cora for Greek Independence Day Celebration; her mother is her biggest inspiration and larger-than-life fan; described as passionate, persistent, and outgoing.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?
Be strong in your passions for this business. This craft takes many years to learn. Live in the now, absorb everything about food, experience it, and be prepared to work hard. This will produce some amazing, gratifying results.

Proprietor Bridget Sherren from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

Bridget Sherren

Hometown: Collegeville, Pa.
Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 35 years
Year Started with Disney: 1988
Current Role: Proprietor, Food & Beverage and Merchandise at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Walt Disney World Resort
Education/Accomplishments: Montgomery County Community College; State of Pennsylvania Certified Firefighter; Court of Master Sommeliers – Advanced Sommelier Diploma Level Three; Certified LEAN Sic Sigma; Shanghai Disneyland Resort Opening Team

Delicious Details: A German Riesling is a must for any wine list; huge NASCAR fan; raised four boys; known for hospitality, service and managing a world-class beverage program; grandfather and father are her biggest inspirations; passionate about teaching the art of selflessness in service; enjoys boating on the St. Johns River scouting for wildlife; described as guest-centric, cast-focused, and someone with outlandish ideas.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?
Make yourself an expert. Put in the time. You will reap great rewards and doors will open for travel, career, and meeting people from all over the world. You will be richer for it.

Proprietor Bridget Sherren from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World Resort

Gloria Tae

Hometown: Born in Seoul, South Korea but grew up in La Crescenta, Calf.
Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: 27 years
Year Started with Disney: 2001
Current Role: Chef de Cuisine, Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa; Disneyland Resort
Education/Accomplishments: No formal culinary training – fortunate to work under chefs willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

Delicious Details: Passionate about creating magical moments through food and hospitality; a sharp knife is her favorite kitchen gadget; known for her creativity and mentoring; Sriracha and kimchee are always in her fridge; culinary style is “seasonal wine country”; a bit of a nerd; could not give up caffeine; described as inspiring, hard-working, and reliable.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?
Learn the difference between being compassionate and intolerant. Learn when to have a soft touch and when to stand your ground.

Content Development Manager Marianne Hunnel from Park Event Operations at Walt Disney World Resort

Marianne Hunnel

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Years in the Food & Beverage Industry: Over 40 years
Year Started with Disney: 1989
Current Role: Content Development Manager, Park Event Operations, Walt Disney World Resort (develops programming for all Epcot Festivals)
Education/Accomplishments: Culinary Program, Joliet Junior College; Business Degree, University of Phoenix; Court of Master Sommeliers – Introductory Sommelier Diploma Level One; Cicerone® Program Certified Beer Server Level One; Spirits Diploma program; Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation; ACF Culinarian Award Central Florida Chapter

Delicious Details: Loves boating with her husband and Sandy Sue, their doggie daughter; culinary indulgence is charcuterie and Champagne; attended dress design school in Chicago; loves to bake; her family, friends, and colleagues inspire her; highlight was working with Julia Child at the 1997 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival; described as creative, passionate, and a teacher.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?
Believe in yourself, and be true to yourself. People will come and go in your life and provide you with lots of feedback – good and not so pleasant. At the end of the day you have to live with the decisions that you make so make sure that whatever you do, personally and professionally, comes from the heart. If you are not waking up each day looking forward to the day and what it will bring and how you can make a difference you may want to reconsider how you are spending the precious time that you have.

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Hey there! This is Alex Dunlap, Food & Beverage Communications Coordinator for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Public Relations, and I just had to add one more amazing woman to our Disney Women of Food & Beverage List – Karen McClintock. She’s known as the “Mom” to many of our Food & Beverage Cast Members, and has represented Disney dining with pride, humility, and magic for 26 years. She started her Disney Career with Disney’s Food & Wine Society, the foundation for the current annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. She collaborates on all the popular Disney Cookbooks, orchestrates Disney dining content for print, radio, television and social media, and plays an integral role in the next generation of Disney restaurants. She’s a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration to everyone to everyone who meets her.

Without further ado, here is the final profile of her Disney Women of Food & Beverage series.

Communications Manager Karen McClintock from Public Relations at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Karen McClintock

Hometown: Grew up in Urbandale, Iowa and moved to Boulder, Colo.
Years in Food & Beverage: 26 years
Year Started with Disney: 1992
Current Role: Manager, Communications, Public Relations, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Education/Accomplishments: Undergraduate, University of Colorado; Master of Science in Management, Regis University–Denver

Delicious Details: Was brought into the Disney Family with the help of her two sisters who also worked for the company; a foodie at work AND at home; her favorite pastime is sharing good conversation and laughs with family and friends; on the weekends you may find her shopping for antiques, supporting local Winter Garden Festivals or reading a good murder-mystery with a hot cup of tea; loves a good glass of red wine; adored by her two children; described as professional, fun-loving, passionate, and supportive – all qualities that have helped her become one of the most important key players within the Disney Food & Beverage community.

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the food and beverage industry?
Explore all opportunities. Not all positions will be a perfect fit but you will learn something and grow from all of the different roles, leaders, and partners. Work with integrity. Laugh. Have balance in your life – your family and friends are your foundation. Enjoy the ride.

About the Photographers:

Photographer Matt Stroshane from Yellow Shoes at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Matt Stroshane

Hometown: Ashland, WI
Education: University of Miami
Years as a Photographer: 18 years
Year Started with Disney: 2011
Current Role: Photographer, Yellow Shoes, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Three Words to Describe the Photo Shoot with the Disney Women of Food & Beverage: Inspirational, humbling, and fun

What advice would you give your young daughter regarding her career/life aspirations?
I am so fortunate to have a career where I get to work with and learn from so many talented, enthusiastic, and dedicated women – women I can tell my daughter about as she discovers her own ambitions. My wife and I encourage her to be open to new people, experiences, and possibilities when thinking about her future. And we try to lead by example, showing her that work is more fulfilling when you have a passion for your career.

Food & Beverage Operation Integration Specialist from Disneyland Resort

David Nguyen

Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
Education: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Years as a Photographer: 20 years – 3 years with Disney Food & Beverage
Year Started with Disney: 2007
Current Role: Food & Beverage Operation Integration Specialist, Disneyland Resort
Three Words to Describe the Photo Shoot with the Disney Women of Food & Beverage:

Energetic
Adaptable
Thoughtful

What advice would you give your young daughter regarding her career/life aspirations?
Don’t be afraid to follow your curiosities down those rabbit holes! Never stop asking questions and never stop learning. You have a distinct set of skills and talents, cultivated through education and unique experiences—so invest in yourself, capitalize on your strengths, and build upon your weaknesses. Expand your horizons through trying new things, volunteering, and making bold decisions. Be confident in your decisions, work hard, do it well, and embrace setbacks as learning opportunities to grow yourself. And don’t compare yourself to others, rather, consider how far you’ve come. Set your own goals and celebrate the progress you’ve made and, whenever possible, work smarter, not harder. Wake up every day to doing what you love and have a purpose fueled by passion that will motivate you to strive to be your best self. Truly understand your own personality, needs, and aspirations to create the life you want, and live a life that makes you happy!

Comments

  • I have loved every post of the Disney Women of Food & Beverage! I hope it becomes an annual series! 🙂

  • Thanks for this series. Love the stories of unsung heroes working behind the scenes to make our visits truly magical

  • Chef Gloria Tae has been spoiling us for years at the resort. She’s amazing and I am so happy to see her recognized here!!

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