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A partnership with the LEE Initiative is a natural strategic fit for Libbey to connect inclusion commitments to end users

Libbey is proud to invest in programs like Women Culinary and Spirits that promote inclusion and equity in the restaurant industry.”
— Michael Bauer, Libbey CEO

TOLEDO, OHIO, UNITED STATES, September 5, 2021 / -- As a global tabletop leader for over 200 years, Libbey has long been a supporter of our fellow Makers in foodservice. That’s why we are proud partners of the LEE Initiative’s Women Culinary and Spirits program, which offers mentorship and skill-building opportunities to women in the industry, putting them on a path to leadership roles.

The LEE Initiative is a non-profit launched by Lindsey Ofcacek and Chef Edward Lee to address equity issues in the restaurant industry. Through the 2021 Women Culinary and Spirits program, 16 spirit and culinary mentees participate in a variety of unique opportunities, from a week working on a sustainable farm to bourbon blending at Maker’s Mark distillery, foraging, butchery workshops and more. Participants have been gaining valuable, career-making experience this summer in weeklong paid externships at female-led restaurants and beverage programs.

“This program has given me experiences and confidence that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to achieve,” said mentee Lauren Schoen, sous chef at bar Vetti in Louisville, Kentucky. “Thanks to sponsors like Libbey, the other mentees and myself have had so much amazing programming and access to incredible equipment that have helped us learn and grow together.”

This fall, mentees will collaborate in regional fundraising dinners, starting Sept. 8 at Chef Edward Lee’s Succotash Prime in Washington, D.C. During this one-night-only pop-up, five mentees will contribute a dish or cocktail to the restaurant’s menu. Make a reservation for Sept. 8 on the Succotash Prime website /

October 2, five culinary mentees will create a four-course dinner at Star Hill Provisions. The dinner will be paired with Maker's Mark cocktails curated by a Women Culinary & Spirits Program spirit mentee. Tickets are available on the LEE Initiative website.

A partnership with the LEE Initiative is a natural strategic fit for Libbey to connect our internal inclusion commitments to our end users.

“We know that we all perform and deliver best when we proudly represent the customers and communities we serve,” said Michael Bauer, Libbey CEO. “Libbey is proud to invest in programs like Women Culinary and Spirits that promote inclusion and equity in the restaurant industry.”

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About Libbey
Libbey is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of glass tableware products. We produce glass tableware in five countries and sell to customers in over 100 countries. We design and market, under our Libbey®, Libbey Signature®, Master’s Reserve®, Crisa®, Royal Leerdam®, World® Tableware, Syracuse® China and Crisal Glass® brand names (among others), an extensive line of high-quality glass tableware, ceramic dinnerware and metal flatware for sale primarily in the foodservice, retail and business-to-business channels of distribution. Our sales force presents our tabletop products to the global marketplace in a coordinated fashion. We own and operate glass tableware manufacturing plants in the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, and China. In addition, we import tabletop products from overseas to complement our line of manufactured items. The combination of manufacturing and procurement allows us to compete in the global tabletop market by offering an extensive product line at competitive prices.

About The LEE Initiative
Lindsey Ofcacek and Edward Lee founded The LEE Initiative in 2017 in response to the #MeToo movement. The LEE Initiative creates and implements programs to address issues of diversity and equality in the restaurant industry, always with a focus on increasing opportunities for employment and helping to make the restaurant industry more sustainable. During the COVID-19 outbreak, The LEE Initiative launched The Restaurant Workers Relief Program. This program started in March 2020 out of the catering kitchen of Edward Lee’s restaurant, 610 Magnolia, and expanded to include services offered out of 19 kitchens nationwide. The LEE Initiative also created several additional relief kitchens including McAtee Community Kitchen and Jefferson County Public School Family Meal. In total, The LEE Initiative has distributed over 1.5 million meals throughout the pandemic. For more information visit the website or donation page.
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