Area restaurant professionals named ‘Women to Watch’

Brittany Hannah, chef and owner of Cedar Marion’s Bistro 3 Nineteen, was one of seven Corridor women named to the Iowa Restaurant Association’s 2020 “40 Women to Watch in Hospitality” list. CREDIT IOWA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION

Seven Corridor restaurant industry professionals have been named to the Iowa Restaurant Association’s 2020 “40 Women to Watch in Hospitality List” announced last week.

Honorees range from purveyors and entrepreneurs to chefs and business development professionals and were selected from among more than 100 nominations across the state. The IRA said finalists “showcased women in Iowa’s hospitality industry who are blazing new trails, leading by example, and impressing their peers, customers and managers daily.”

Local honorees include:

• Ashton Johnson, director of hospitality, Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery in Swisher

• Briana Smallwood, co-owner, Vivian’s Soul Food, LLC in Cedar Rapids

• Brittany Hannah, chef/owner, Bistro 3 Nineteen in Marion

• Kelley Carter, operations and general manager, Guild and Ghosted Kitchen in Coralville

• Krista Stramel, general manager, Red Vespa Pizzeria in Solon

• Kristy Walker, president, Walker Homestead Farm & Winery in Iowa City

• Lenore Zoll, owner, The Fish Store in Cedar Rapids

Honorees will be featured in Food and Beverage Iowa Business Quarterly. In addition, a synopsis of each woman’s industry story will be launched on the Iowa Restaurant Association website. The honorees will be recognized in person in on Nov. 16 during the Iowa Restaurant Association’s annual Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony.

“Although women have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, they are still building meaningful careers in every segment of the restaurant industry. Fifty-eight percent of foodservice supervisors and 49% of foodservice managers are women, far above the averages in nearly every other industry,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, in a release. “Each and every one of these women not only exemplifies leadership but has exhibited exceptional grace and resilience this year.”

For more info and to purchase tickets for the Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony visit