March 28, 2008
Contact: Joshua Hollis
Labensky named Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year at
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Chef Sarah Labensky, founding
director of the Culinary Arts Institute at
Mississippi University for Women, received the first
ever Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year award,
sponsored by MUW’s Women’s Center for
Entrepreneurship, at a banquet Thursday evening.
Several criteria had to be met to be considered for
the honor: the nominee must be the owner/manager of
a public or private company; said company must be at
least two years old; there must be sustained success
in the company; and the nominee must contribute
innovative ideas to the company.
Other criteria included: the nominee must exhibit
success in finance, marketing, operations, and
community involvement; she must exhibit leadership
skills in the community as well as at work; she must
have a strong dedication and commitment to employees
and the community; and she must show qualities of a
strong team player.
Lucy Betcher, director of the Women’s Center for
Entrepreneurship, said, “[Labensky] exemplifies all
the positive qualities that fosters successful
business ownership and her dedication to the
populace at large strengthens the economic community
to help make Columbus and surrounding areas a
vibrant place to live and work.”
Labensky, who owns The Front Door/Back Door
Restaurants and the Green Olive restaurant, taught
cooking and management courses at MUW, and
administered the school’s four-year baccalaureate
degree program in Culinary Arts. Prior to joining
the faculty at MUW, she served as a Professor of
Culinary Arts at Scottsdale (Arizona) Community
Labensky co-authored the best-selling culinary
textbook “On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary
Fundamentals.” She has co-authored several other
culinary books as well, including “On Baking,” “The
Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cooking Techniques and
Science,” and “Webster’s New World Dictionary of
Culinary Arts,” among others. She is also a past
president of the 4,000-member International
Association of Culinary Professionals.
“There could be no more positive role model to young
entrepreneurial women,” said Betcher.
Yolanda Cook, assistant director of the Women’s
Center for Entrepreneurship, said they hope to
continue giving out the award.
This Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship is funded
by a grant from the U.S. Small Business
Adminstration (SBA). SBA’s funding should not be
construed as an endorsement of any products,
opinions or services. All SBA-funded projects are
extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
For more information, contact the Women’s Center by
phone at 662-241-6277 or by e-mail at email@example.com.