Near Southside, Inc. Near Southside, Inc.

News Articles

Near Southside Entrepreneur Selected by James Beard Foundation

Jun 22, 2018

The James Beard Foundation recently announced the names of the 20 fellows participating in its 2018 Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program, and it includes one of the Near Southside’s own. Kari Seher of MELT Ice Creams will travel to Massachusetts in September for a five-day entrepreneurship and leadership training program targeted to women chefs/owners of a restaurant or food business looking to expand and grow.


The curriculum at WEL will address advanced business and finance concerns related to entrepreneurship and expansion, as well as provide gender-specific training and leadership development. An emphasis on work/life balance and other cultural issues will also be part of the program. In addition to the curriculum, the WEL program administers a group of mentors who agree to provide expertise and career development support to the participants on an ongoing basis once they leave the program.


WEL and the Women in Culinary Leadership Program are rooted in the belief that having more women at the helm of businesses is key to shifting the restaurant culture to a place where all can thrive, according to Clare Reichenbach, chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation.


Kari will participate in the program alongside women chefs and businesses owners from across the country, from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, to Chicago and Agoura Hills, California. Congratulations, Kari!