Chefs Table Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that offers culinary scholarships to in need veterans and young adults.
The vision of Chefs Table Foundation is to support two candidates with a culinary education. A strategic plan has been developed in order to place a fundamental structure to the organization’s mission. The current focus is to create a strong awareness of the Foundation’s mission and solicit financial support from the general public, event-fundraising activities, corporate donations and philanthropic grants.
A pioneering strategy that relates to developing strong relationships with supporters of Chefs Table Foundation is an on-going process. The founders and volunteer staff are unified with passion to follow the mission statement “service above self.”
The Founders and the Board of Directors of the Chefs Table Foundation have agreed to offer a culinary school education.
Michael Fitzgerald – MIT Endicott House
Mike brings a management career in the hospitality industry encompassing over 38 years. During that period, he has managed hotels, resorts and conference centers starting in New York, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts. His responsibilities have covered operations management, developing and implementing marketing strategies, directing sales processes, supervising capital projects, overseeing facility renovations and delivering quality services. Over his professional career, Mike has focused on maximizing revenue streams, controlling costs and effectively managing project budgets. His objective is to continuously improve through benchmarks to achieve a profitable bottom line for ownership. Mike is currently the General Manager of the MIT Endicott House Conference Center. The Endicott House has been solely owned and operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the past 62 years. Mr. Fitzgerald has successfully led the property’s revenue and capital growth for the past 20 of them. The MIT Endicott House is situated on 25 acres of Frederick Law Olmstead designed grounds (Landscape Architect of New York’s Central Park and Boston’s Emerald Necklace garden systems). Mike has spearheaded the sustainability initiatives on property, including over 60% renewable energy sources, composting system that reduces waste by 85%, electrolyzed water cleaning systems and even their own greenhouse on property, providing direct farm-to-table offerings. The green initiatives at the Endicott House are so notable, that they have been honored with the International Association of Conference Centers Green Star award. Through his close work within MIT, Mike has seen technology make a significant impact to the industry and believes this will continue at dramatic levels moving into the future. Key areas are analyzing productivity, processes, operating costs and building systems. Sustainability is an area that holds great potential for the future. Incorporating technology will prove to be a driving force in advancing, expanding and making sustainability affordable.
Paula Bergquist has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 25 years. As a former Director of Sales for several hotels and resorts in New England, she brings together a successful leadership track record, business savvy, compassion, and determined candor. She has worked with professionals at all levels as a sales and marketing executive with Conference Center Consulting Group specializing in consulting work in revenue improvement through sales training and marketing.
Paula is well known by her ability to identify and develop talent in the hospitality sales field in an effort to reorganize sales departments. Throughout her career, she has helped clients and subordinates recognize their unique talent and position themselves as successful professionals and team players. She has an enthusiastic attitude and has developed many innovative marketing initiatives which have resulted in achieving goals and financial success. A graduate from Bay Path College, Paula has held membership in the International Association of Conference Centers and several hospitality organizations in Boston and the northeast.
Fred Zagami is the owner/operator of the Salem Food Mart in Dedham, MA
Janice Williams background includes both corporate and nonprofit positions in marketing, community outreach and program management. Her most recent position was Membership and Development Manager at Boston Neighborhood Network Television. Other positions she has held include: Executive Director of Roslindale Village Main Street and Manager of Agewell West Roxbury at Ethos. Janice sits on the Community Board of the Blue Hills Bank. Williams, along with her husband Glenn have been very active in community volunteerism. They established and manage the Roslindale Arts Alliance and have produced a live weekly cable television program called “It’s All About Arts” promoting local artists for 20 years. They were the originators in 2004 of the first Roslindale Open Studios, now in its 13th year. Williams is an exhibiting artist working in mixed media.
Chefs Table Foundation was created in 2013 by co-founders Carol O’Connor and Joe Murphy as a Boston-based non-profit. The goal was initially to produce a high-quality instructional TV cooking show on public access television, dedicating its energy to encouraging the home cook to reinstate the family meal.
Joe Murphy is the co-Founder of the Chefs Table Foundation. Joe attended Boston College, the Metropolitan College of Culinary Arts of Boston University, and the French Culinary Institute in Soho, Manhattan, New York. His career path positioned him to develop strong skills in sales management, product development, creative process and critical thinking. Joe’s work experience has placed him in a position to bring a diversified bundle of knowledge to the Chefs Table Foundation. He has owned several start up businesses as well as succeeding in key corporate management positions. The skill sets he developed during his work life involved creating logos for branded products, sales management, marketing plans and budget development. Joe is the co-host and trained chef of The Chefs’ Table Series TV Show. He assists the chefs during the “how-to” cooking segment of the show. His culinary knowledge and passion inspired him to partner with Carol O’Connor in this instructional, social and engaging show.
Carol A. O’Connor is the co-Founder of the Chefs Table Foundation. Carol earned her Bachelor’s degree in History and her Masters in Education, both from Boston College. Carol co-hosts the instructional and social cooking TV show The Chefs’ Table Series® which is currently aired in over 80 towns/cities in Massachusetts. In the last couple of years, Carol planned and managed a number of fundraisers: Taste of Legacy Place Under the Stars for The Italian Home for Children in 2012, Taste Dedham in 2011 to the present for The Dedham Rotary Club. She planned the following fundraisers for the Foundation: Midsummer Night’s Fashion & Culinary in July 2015 and July 2016; Oktober Fall Festival in October 2014 and 2015; Fashionista & Foodie Fair in April 2016. Country Hoedown Fest in September 2016. Carol also founded COPilates, a core optimal personal training company. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Pilates & Barre Instructor – teaching fitness classes in the greater Boston area, and training people. Carol enjoys food, fashion and fitness.