Diversity in leadership builds an inclusive environment that strengthens businesses and builds communities. Join ICNC’s Devin de Lima with a panel of Chicago’s influential, LGBTQ+ food and beverage leaders to learn how they have cultivated a safe space for customers and employees, leverage their communal influence appropriately, and create awareness.
About the moderator:
Devin de Lima is the Marketing Communications Manager at ICNC. With a degree in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago, Devin has extensive experience with nonprofit and community-based marketing, outreach, and event management. He has received PR XChange Awards for his work in public libraries and led marketing boards across Illinois’s nonprofit marketing industries. He specializes in business development coaching, marketing strategy development, graphic design, and digital brand creation.
Taylor and Maya Mason are the founders and owners of Taylor’s Tacos Chicago. Launched in 2018, what started as a fun way to bring friends together has blossomed into a pop-up catering company that specializes in authentic street style tacos with a whole lot of soul! They moved into their own private commercial kitchen where they have grown their business tremendously. Taylor and Maya have curated and conducted over 1100 catering events to date. They married in July 2020 and have opened their event space called T A Y LO R E D in March 2022.
Rayan Ibasco is part-owner and general manager of Chicago Sugar Daddy Patisserie. Having grown up around baking with his parents in the Phillipines, Rayan and his partner James Cox opened their store in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood in 2021. With a culinary arts education, the aim of the bakery is to give back to local LGBTQ+ and immigrant community members, completing its first partnership with nonprofit group Free Mom Hugs.
LaSaia Wade is an open Afro-Puerto Rican indigenous Trans Woman, founder of TNTJ Tennessee Trans Journey Project, and member of Chicago Trans Gender-Nonconforming Collective and the Trans Liberation Collective, and CEO of Brave Space Alliance. Recently, she was honored at the Chicago LGBTQA Black History Recognitions ceremony and is the first Trans woman in Illinois history to be celebrated in Women’s History month for the work she’s doing, not limited to community organizing. Her role in organizing ranges between and beyond as a central organizer for the Trans Liberation Protest Chicago, the largest march for trans rights in Midwestern history.