On December 11, 2019, I opened my first New York City restaurant, The Banty Rooster, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. The road to opening had been long: I sold my first successful restaurant, Work & Class, in Denver in October 2016 and moved to New York City six months later. I knew virtually no one in the city, but I was determined to take what I'd learned and pursue my biggest dream.
My mission as a founder has always been to add to the bottom line of people's businesses because at my company we know that's the only way for them to grow and scale as a business. I set out with a mission. I wanted to build something for the communities that are so often left out of mainstream "success" — immigrants, women, and other minorities.
CEO Christine Specht shares her experience running a multi-unit restaurant franchise during a time when countless businesses are failing to stay afloat.
Andreia Gibau is the reigning Miss New York USA 2020 and works as a public speaker, writer, and philanthropist. Gibau considers philanthropy being the core of who she is due to being an immigrant from Cape Verde and being born into poverty. Gibau immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 and faced many challenges living in an inner city and not speaking English.
Through her initiative “More Than Enough," she serves as an advocate for inner city and underprivileged youth by instilling confidence and empowering them to live to their full potential despite their circumstances.
Andreia is a graduate of St. John's University with a degree in public relations. She was named Phoenix magazine's 30 under 30 for philanthropy and speaks 4 languages which has been a great asset since she's an avid traveler. Gibau is a former Miss Teen United States 2015 and Miss Earth USA 2017 where she placed in the top 16 at Miss Earth in the Philippines.
As the Head of Diversity and Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Marketing at Unilever, Mita's efforts to build an inclusive culture are being celebrated. Under her leadership, Unilever was named the #1 Company for Working Mothers by Working Mother Media in 2018. She also co-created the first of its kind Cultural Immersions series to increase the cultural competency of marketers training over 4,000 marketers to date.