Chicago Schedule


Registration + Breakfast

Check in, enjoy a light breakfast bar and coffee.


Welcome by Sioban Tuck


Panel 1: Is Anything New Anymore?

In a world where social media offers easy access to ideas and trends, how does one create something truly new? How is the beverage and hospitality industry reimagining what originality really look like? Innovators in wine, cocktails, food and media discuss how they stand out in a constantly evolving landscape.

Panelists: Amanda Smeltz (Wine Director, Matter House), Caitlin Laman (Bartender, Chicago Style co-founder), Carley Gaskin (201 Hospitality, MIB 2018 winner)


Session 1: How I Made It

It’s easy to think that success is a gift that just magically comes to others. In this series, we debunk that notion and invite female entrepreneurs to tell their story and give actionable advice for aspiring business leaders in the trade.


Workshop 1: Building an Original Brand on Social Media

Who doesn’t want to step up their IG game? Join us for a hands-on workshop with PUNCH’s art director and social media expert on how to improve your overall social media IQ. We’ll tackle what you need to know about analytics, staging your shots, audience engagement techniques, the basics of photo editing on your phone and more. The workshop will include a hands-on editing session and plenty of time for Q&A at the end, as well as a cheat sheet for the audience to take away.


Presenters: Lizzie Munro and Allison Hamlin (PUNCH)


Session 2: Signatures

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but every so often a truly original perspective can change the whole game. Join industry thought-leaders as they share their “signature” approach to an issue and how they came up with an innovative solution with a lasting impact.

Presenters: Shelby Allison, Caitlin Laman, Sharon Bronstein (Founders, Chicago Style)




Workshop 2: Financial Gym x Ho$pitality

Financial adulting can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. The Financial Gym—a female-owned “financial fitness” program—offers guests guidance and how-tos on hospitality-specific questions about taxes, saving and planning for the future.

Presenter: Lindsay Perez (Financial Trainer, The Financial Gym)


Panel 2: The Only One In the Room

We consider originality to be a positive asset no matter the context, but that isn’t always the case; sometimes disrupting the status quo comes with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Our panel of women leaders in hospitality speak about how they were inspired to disrupt the status quo and succeeded in carving out space for their own unique POV.

Panelists: Keena McCoy (Bartender, Causing A Stir), Krista Scruggs (Founder/Vigneronne, ZAFA Wines), Reem Assil (Chef/Owner, Dyafa)

Moderator: Ashtin Berry (Educator and Activist, Radical XChange)



Get a snack, grab a coffee and return refreshed.


Rapid Fire

The pressure is on as a panel of our favorite hospitality-world personalities are given a split-second to answer a lightning round of questions—weighing in on everything from their deathbed drink to their dream drinking buddy.


Keynote: Missy Robbins in Conversation with Talia Baiocchi

Missy Robbins is one of America’s most important chefs, the owner of two of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in New York (Lilia / MISI), the 2018 James Beard Award winner for best chef New York, this year’s national nominee for Outstanding Chef and Esquire’s Chef of the Year 2018.

In this candid conversation with PUNCH’s Editor in Chief, Talia Baiocchi, she will speak about the arc of her career, why it took her until her 40s to truly find her voice (and why she had to take two years away from cooking to do it) and what it means to build a hospitality business that is a positive, career-building place for employees.


Spritz Bar

Enjoy spritzes, small bites and a chance to mingle with converse with participants, panelists and presenters.


Day ends