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Brunch begins at 11:00 am | Panel kicks off at 12:00 pm 

Valet Parking is available 

Hyatt Regency | Crystal Ballroom

151 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601




Join our panel of African American Women Leaders in the food and hospitality industry as they share their stories and experiences!”

We’ll celebrate their achievements and discuss ways more women can have a seat at the table in the food and hospitality industry.

  • Chrishon Lampley, Founder, LCS Entertainment, Love Cork Screw wines
  • Jackie Jackson, Owner, Kilwins Chicago & Fatburger-Buffalo Express
  • Bridgette Flagg, Head Cook & Owner, Soule Chicago
  • Yasmin Curtis, Founder, Two Fish Crab Shack CO.
  • Lauran Smith, Founder, Chicago Black Restaurant Week
  • Vanetta Roy, Owner, Surfs Up Chicago



Chrishon Lampley

Founder, LCS Entertainment, Love Cork Screw wines

Read bio


Jackie Jackson

Owner, Kilwins Chicago & Fatburger-Buffalo Express

Read bio


Bridgette Flagg

Head Cook and Owner, Soule Chicago

Read bio




Seats are limited...Join the list to receive an alert when tickets go on sale.

BWe NEXT PowHER Business Grant Opportunity

We would like to make a meaningful impact on your small business with the BWe NEXT PowHer Business Grant, $2500 cash grant, and coaching sessions, whether you have been in the food industry for decades or just getting started.

If you believe you have a business or food product that could benefit from this grant, apply now for your chance to win the “BWe NEXT PowHer Business Grant” at the “Bagels & Bosses Brunch and Business Panel” on April 22, 2023, in Chicago, IL.

Pitch your brilliant restaurant concept that feeds the community or your top-notch food products that no one on this earth should live without in a 90-second video.

We want to help African American women business owners reach one of their 2023 goals by providing financial assistance and resources to utilize in their restaurants and/or assisting companies in the distribution of their food and beverage products.

The BWe NEXT PowHer Business Grant deadline is Wednesday, April,12, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST.



Chrishon Lampley

Founder, LCS Entertainment, LLC, Love Cork Screw wines

Love Cork Screw, INC. is a brand that embodies the paradox of creating something new while paying homage to classic elements. Chrishon Lampley, the founder of Love Cork Screw, has leveraged her 20 years of industry experience to create a unique brand that has captured the hearts of consumers across the nation.

Since its launch in 2013, Love Cork Screw has expanded its portfolio to include five wine-scented candles, which can be found at, and has gained rapid expansion, now boasting over 1,800 locations, including Midway Airport, Target, Jewel-Osco, Walmart, World Market, Mariano’s, Binny’s, Whole Foods, Miejers, Total Wines, and more. The success of Love Cork Screw can be attributed to Lampley’s ability to navigate the complexities of the marketplace while staying true to her vision. Her mentorship efforts, dedication to community engagement, and commitment to creating opportunities for underrepresented communities are just a few of the many ways she has proven to be a leader and trailblazer in the industry. Love Cork Screw’s success has not gone unnoticed, with several amazing collaborations, including a partnership with the Peacock Network, and features in numerous publications such as Forbes Magazine, Essence, People Magazine, and Wine Enthusiast, to name a few. Lampley’s journey and the success of Love Cork Screw serve as a reminder of the importance of staying true to one’s vision while remaining adaptable in an ever-evolving marketplace. The brand’s continued growth and recognition are a testament to Lampley’s unwavering commitment to her craft and the community she serves.

Jackie Jackson

Owner, Kilwins Chicago & Fatburger Buffalo Wings

As a 15+ year owner and operator of Kilwins Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream with several iconic locations including Hyde Park, Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier, Geneva, Andersonville, River North and Evanston, Jackie Jackson has become a Chicago-area legend serving up chocolates and ice cream treats to guests from all walks of life. A former Chicago Public School educator, she is passionate about serving our youth and loves to see their faces light up when they come to one of the stores and enjoy the “Kilwins Experience.”

Finding a way to channel her passion for bringing joy to others in the form of a business, was when she understood her life’s purpose. Having walked into her first Kilwins, all 5 senses were aroused and immediately generated thoughts of her late mother. Seeing people happy, and to keep the spirit of her late mother, Jesse Pearl Moore alive is the reason she chose to own a Kilwins franchise. Jackson is an avid learner and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others especially youth. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University, and achieved a Masters degree from Loyola University.

She is extremely proud of her achievement of becoming certified as a John Maxwell Leadership graduate, which confirms her to professionally perform training, coaching, and motivational speaking in the area of leadership. She plans to use these skills as an instrument to develop employees working for her, and as a way to connect with youth and others aspiring to become entrepreneurs. As a graduate of the Warren Buffet 10,000 Small Business Program and the PIPE Program, Jackson has transitioned from a single Kilwins location to now seven (7) locations. During the Covid pandemic, Jackson chose to pivot and applied for the NOF grant by the City of Chicago and was awarded a $1.3 million for the renovation of the old Seaway National Bank on 87th and Cottage Grove to transform it into a Fatburger restaurant.

The Fatburger restaurant is slated to open in Fall of 2023. Their first store opened in Orland Park in March 2023. As a result of this venture, Jackson was invited to expand the Fatburger concept in the Midwest. She nected with her friend, Toi Salter, along with 3 NBA players (and Chicago natives) Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, and Tim Hardaway who make up ADTJ Development, which will have the master franchise license agreement to develop Fatburger restaurants throughout the entire State of Illinois.

 Jackson has been able to work with some of the most highly respected organizations in the City of Chicago including Coca-Cola, the University of Chicago, Aerial Investments, JLL, Hyatt, and Marriott. All have been major supporters with corporate accounts which provides revenue that allows her seasonal business to make it through their slow seasons.

While Jackson has engaged in numerous activities over the years, some of her notable business endeavors include: ▪ Ambassador for Oprah Winfrey ▪ Former Member – SSA #61 Commissioner ▪ Panel discussions – various organizations ▪ Participation in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Jobs Programs ▪ Participation in AON’s Scholars Program – Summer Internships ▪ Participation in Chicago Public School Culinary ProStart Program ▪ Graduate of the BPeace (Business for Peace) program Jackie Jackson, 2023 ▪ Completed the PIPE (Progress, Insight & Performance Education) Program And because of her passion for making people happy, she has also participated in many of the most popular festivals/events in Chicago over the years including: ▪ Lollapalooza ▪ Taste of Chicago ▪ Illinois Restaurant Association Chef’s Table ▪ Hyde Park Block Party & Festival ▪ Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Dinner Crawl ▪ Black Creativity Gala Jackson in extremely proud of her accomplishments and the lives she has been able to inspire. She enthusiastically embraces the next chapter in her life and is confident that her best is yet to come

Bridgette Flagg

Head Cook & Owner, Soule Chicago

Head Cook and Owner, Bridgette Flagg is a Chicago-based native hailing from a humble background of compassionate cooks and southern hospitality connoisseurs all of which were dedicated to making sure that each plate that reached the table, reached the soul. As a little girl, Flagg discovered her passion for cooking through vibrant in-kitchen experiences curated by her grandmother, Beatrice “Bea” Tolliver. Tolliver migrated from “The Delta”, also known as Greenwood, Mississippi. Once in Chicago, her home became the neighborhood hub for huge feasts and great fun-filled company. With an open-door policy, Tolliver became known as “Bea”, and overtime became Head Cook for Chicago Public Schools.

Flagg attended Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

As years passed, Flagg decided to “step it up” in the kitchen for her mom, while discovering she had the exact same gift. She was able to create the same tastes that both her grandmother and mother created for decades. Soon after her mother’s departure, cooking became her connection; a therapeutic process that led Flagg to organizing huge dinner parties. Of course, these “parties” were conducted with the same open-door policy that Bea had.

In a short time, Flagg became known in the community for her cooking, just like Bea: an amazing cook with an immeasurable soul. While catering for small events, Soulè Chicago was conceptualized. Through the support of friends and family, Flagg was encouraged to open her first restaurant. In 2017, Flagg did just that…

The mission? Cook food with the same amount soul as Bea and Momma did..

Yasmin Curtis

Founder, Two Fish Crab Shack Co.

Yasmin Curtis is a Southside Chicago native who has been a part of the local business community for over a decade. Her spirit for community development and entrepreneurship guided Yasmin to launch Two Fish Crab Shack Co. in 2016 to offer locals a vibrant and fun dining destination for fresh seafood paired with her unique and irresistible sauces.

Today, her flourishing restaurant is a fixture in Bronzeville’s burgeoning commercial district on 47th Street and a dining destination for Chicagoland foodies known for its fresh ingredients and flavored seafood including seafood boils, fried catfish, gumbo, and a selection of wildly popular sauces.

When restaurants across the country were experiencing an economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yasmin pivoted and transformed her most popular products into consumer-packaged goods that could be sold by grocers and enjoyed by consumers at home. The Two Fish Seafood Boil bags are now offered at Mariano’s and Jewel locations across Chicagoland, thousands of grocery stores nationwide, and online at

Lauran Smith

Founder, Chicago Black Restaurant Week

Lauran Smith is the Founder and Designer of Chicago BLACK Restaurant Week, now proceeding into its ninth year. Her entrepreneurial journey began in March 2012 by creating a digital media company. Smith is known as a Digital Marketing Specialist, a published author, contributing editor, and a content creator.

Smith served as the Director of Media Content & Engagement for 501c3 “Friends In The City Foundation” (Chicago, IL). TV appearances on WGN-TV, Windy City Live, Fox News Chicago, ABC7’s “Chicago Proud.” Radio interviews on WVON, WBEZ, Urban Broadcast Media, The Sip Chicago, V103, and 106.3 FM. Newspaper features include: Rolling Out Magazine, Block Club Chicago, The Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, National Public Radio, The Chicago Sun-Times, Travel Noire, WBBM News Radio, Huffington Post, and the Chicago Defender – all in connection with her works with Chicago BLACK Restaurant Week. A featured Panelist during Chicago’s Social Media Week. Smith has published work for Jet Magazine and The Chicago Defender.  She is a recipient of the distinguished “Women Of Excellence” award.

Smith is a native of Memphis, TN., the oldest of three children, and the only Daughter of Rev. Dr. and the late Mrs. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr. She is the mother of one “puppy daughter” named Bella, and (in her spare time) loves to speak to youth, sip on Starbucks, and she loves listening to music, preferably the “oldies

Vanetta Roy

Owner, Surf’s Up Chicago

Meet Vanetta Roy, the owner of Surf’s Up Chicago, located in the South Shore community of Chicago, Illinois. Roy is a mother, educator, and restaurant owner from the West Suburbs who operates as not only the owner of Surf’s Up Chicago but also serves as a Special Education Teacher in the Chicago Public School system for 20+ years.

Surf’s Up is a family business created and started by Vanetta’s brother, Eric, on August 1, 2014.  Vanetta opened the South Shore location and took the vision to new heights. Fast forward to 2023, Surf’s Up currently holds seven locations across the Chicagoland area, in which two remain Corporate Locations and five Franchises. Surf’s Up franchise locations across the Chicagoland area include Maywood, Aurora, Lockport, Mt Prospect, and Morgan Park.  

Roy is pursuing another dream of opening her new concept of a full-service brunch restaurant in Atlanta called, Eat My Biscuits. This new venture will be in East Point, Georgia just 6 minutes from Tyler Perry’s Studio and 8 minutes from the world’s busiest Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Roy’s vision is to eventually have a brand of biscuits, jams, and other marinades based on her Eat My Biscuits restaurant concept. 

Dear BWe family,

There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude for the support and encouragement shown by so many throughout this HUGE undertaking that we affectionately call “BWe NEXT Atlanta!”

Thank you to our sponsors (especially Chase Bank, our 2022 Title Sponsor), those small business exhibitors, musical artists, speakers & panelists, my phenomenal team and every single attendee for breathing life into our celebration of the Black woman in all three cities! Because of you, her legacy indeed continues!

I stole a few moments here and there to check out the vendors, pop in on panel discussions and catch some entertainment on the main stage. All I could say was, “WOW! WE DID THAT!”

There’s no doubt that my sister is smiling down on our earnest efforts that manifested into excellent execution. Ruby, we did it!

Again, please accept my heartfelt thanks….and Happy New Year!

Submitted with love,

Creator and Executive Producer
Black Women’s Expo