Future of Mixology, Live Cocktail Demo and Networking

Behind the Bar: An Industry Conversation with Mixologists

Among the most impacted by COVID are hospitality workers and in many cases the last to return to full employment. This in turn, limits the social connections so important to our lives.

JOIN US AS WE EXPLORE what it's like to be behind the bar. From emerging trends to the role mixologists can play when we return to the on-premise, come learn why mixology is more than just pouring drinks-and while you're here, learn how to make some amazing low and no-alcohol cocktails!

Discussion Topics

  • What is mixology?
  • The elevation of cocktails
  • Diversity behind the bar
  • Sexual assault training
  • Cultural trends: no-alcohol and low-alcohol
  • Drinking trends during Covid
  • Impacts on drinking culture post-Covid
  • Cocktails at home
  • Social drinking and pressures

Panel Questions

  • Drinking trends during Covid
  • Impacts on drinking culture post-Covid
  • Cocktails at home
  • Social drinking and pressures

Live Demonstration

  • Recipes and Technique for making drinks


Danielle Robinson                                   moderator

Director of Alcohol Policy and Reputation Management


Danielle Robinson is Head of Corporate Responsibility for Diageo, North America, overseeing charitable donation, philanthropic efforts, employee donations and multicultural programming.


michael toscano

Brand Ambassador

Woodford Reserve

A graduate from Ball State University in 2005, Michael spent his early career in the corporate world before transitioning into The Hospitality Industry in 2013. He's gone from barback to traveling the globe with world renowned bar, "Dante", to becoming the “Brand Ambassador” for Woodford Reserve advocating on behalf of the worlds #1 premium bourbon.


Carl summa

North American Beverage Director


Carl is currently the national beverage director for Flik hospitality Group where he leads North American bar operations for Diageo, the largest global liquor company and industry leader. Carl shares the common thread of desired passion to elevate the craft with the purpose of education and raising the standards. You can catch Carl traveling quite often to further his education and acquiring inspiration and trends along the way.

Lorelei bandrovschi

Founder & CEO

Listen Bar

Founder of booze-free bar Listen Bar, Bandrovschi started the concept on a dare after she took a month off alcohol and loved it. An instant hit, even Snoop Dogg requested a drink named after him. Today, Listen Bar hosts virtual cocktail classes, an AF online shop and their own nightlife incubator. They'll soon release their first research report.


What is the Future of Live Music and Festivals?

Music is the heartbeat of sociability. Music surrounds us always. Songs can define milestone moments in our lives. When COVID started, music halls shuttered throughout the world. A world without music is unimaginable. But restarting the music industry is more than just flipping a light switch.

Connect with pioneers who will share insights on how to reignite the music economy and support business sectors. Music cities not only incubate talent but dedicate the resources it takes to create a vibrant music ecosystem.

Many traditional music venues are at the brink of closing if not already closed. Pop-ups, churches, schools, libraries, parks and homes were becoming the growth area of temporary space for music and entertainment pre-COVID.

Demographic and lifestyle trends are also shaping how people access music.  Will downtown  continue to be where venues operate or will there be a new configuration of performance space?

Discussion Topics

  • What were the trends in deconstructing venues pre-COVID?
  • What were the driving forces for change?
  • What impact has COVID had on opportunities for sound and lighting engineers? Event planners? Musicians and performers?
  • How has COVID-19 reoriented the future of traditional venues versus public and alternative venues?
  • Are there regulatory, policy or community resistance to this new format for music and performance?
  • How can a city begin the process of building a new music economy?



Executive Director of the Center for Music Innovation


Michael Bracy




Adam Fowler

Director of Research

Beacon Economics


shain shapiro

Founder and CEO



GIGI JOHNSON                                             moderator

Executive Director of the Center for Music Innovation

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Dr. Gigi Louisa Johnson teaches classes in the Music Industry Program. UCLA has been part of her home for 20 years, where she has taught undergraduates, MBAs, and executives about digital disruption in creative industries. Gigi was the Founding Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Music Innovation for five years.  She previously had run centers and taught courses and executive programs on digital disruption and creative systems change at UCLA Anderson for 14 years.

michael Bracy


Music Policy Forum



shain shapiro

Founder & CEO

Sound Diplomacy

Shain Shapiro, PhD is the Founder and President of Sound Diplomacy.  Sound Diplomacy is the leading global advisor on growing music economies in cities and places.  Through Sound Diplomacy, he has consulted in over 60 cities and countries, including developing the Cuban official music strategy for the United Nations and developing music strategies across the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Framework. 

Adam fowler

Director of Research

Beacon Economics

Adam J. Fowler is Director of Research at Beacon Economics, LLC. Mr. Fowler leads the firm’s Sustainable Growth and Development practice area and its Housing, Land Use, and Real Estate Advisory. His projects focus on economic and workforce development strategies and the creative economy and its workforce.


Breaking Down Barriers

Nightlife districts are the ultimate crossroads where race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexual identity intersect.

This panel will explore the systems and dynamics that make some people feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in social spaces. Panelists will present both empirical research and practical ways to improve DEI in nightlife.

Dress codes, fake guest lists and differential pricing are just some of the exclusionary practices used to restrict access to nightlife. Find out how mainstream standards of beauty (e.g. body shape, hairstyles) play into women’s ability to access social spaces. Further, why gay bars may not always be a safe space for queer men of color. Field research has uncovered hard truths about nightlife.


GREG DESHIELDS, CDE, CHE                        moderator

Executive Director

PHL Diversity

Qualified Tourism/Hospitality and Academic Professional Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) proficient developing and implementing plans, strategies and initiatives specifically designed to raise destinations image for diverse multicultural travel. Experienced Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), with demonstrated cultural competence.


Sarah toutant

Ph.D. Candidate

University of Southern California

USC Ph.D. candidate and Research Associate, USC Race & Equity Center, Toutant’s research investigates the racialized and gendered ways Los Angeles nightclub culture bars access to Black women based on their race, gender, body and hairstyles.


Reuben A. Buford May, PH.D.

Professor of Sociology

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

May, a Florian Znaniecki Professorial Scholar, authored the book, Urban Nightlife: Entertaining Race, Class, and Culture in Public Space. May’s current research focuses on racial discrimination in public accommodations in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, particularly in urban nightclubs.

Justice CĀLO Reign

President of the Board of Directors

Invest Attention

Reign is a behavioral scientist, certified coach, and MBA in Sustainable Systems. He is the co-founder and President of the Board of Directors for Invest Attention, a 501c3 nonprofit on a mission to create safer, more diverse and inclusive sociable cities.


Challenges and Opportunities to Save LGBTQ+ Spaces

Even before the pandemic, LGBTQ+ nightlife venues were disappearing nationwide. Between 2007 and 2019, LGBTQ+ bar listings fell by 37%. Yet lesbian bars and those serving people of color had the highest rates of closure, according to a study published by Greggor Mattson.

The pandemic has accelerated these trends.

Why was queer nightlife at risk of nationwide closures to begin with? Gentrification, social acceptance and dating apps are some of the most common reasons attributed to the decline in queer nightlife spaces. But many still say that safe, dedicated places for members of the LGBTQ+ community to socialize is needed now more than ever. Find out what the future holds for queer nightlife.

Discussion Topics

  • Debunking the most popular myths for why queer bars are disappearing
  • Role of nightlife for the LGBTQ+ community
  • How do socializing needs and preferences differ for the diverse segments of the LGBTQ+ community?
  • How can LGBTQ+ nightlife spaces be more inclusive of trans, non-binary and queer communities of color?
  • Queer venues do it differently: door staff, consent, respect and patron safety
  • How has LGBT+ nightlife pivoted during the pandemic?


JOCELYN KANE                                             MODERATOR

Senior Policy Advisor

Responsible Hospitality Institute

Jocelyn Kane began as RHI's Senior Policy Advisor following her 15 years with the San Fransisco Entertainment Commission, including as executive director. She consults on RHI''s assessment process and has been a regular presenter and facilitator at RHI events.  Her experience includes transportation planning, event planning and current work on cannabis policy.

Jo mcdaniel

General Manager

A League of Her Own  Washington, DC

Profiled in Curve Magazine for managing one of the 16 last remaining lesbian bars in the U.S., McDaniel, saw a need within D.C.’s queer female community for their own safe space. A veteran bartender, McDaniel has worked at Apex, Phase One of Dupont Circle, Freddie’s Beach Bar, and Cobalt since the early 2000s.

Honey Mahogany


The Stud San Francisco, CA

Activist, politician, drag performer, and singer. She came to national attention on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. She co-founded San Francisco’s Transgender District in 2017 and co-owned San Francisco's iconic bar and performance space (the longest operating queer bar in SF), The Stud. Mahogany is an elected member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee.

Greggor Mattson

Associate Professor of Sociology

Oberlin College and Conservatory

Oberlin, OH

Mattson serves on the Committee for the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program. He teaches courses on cities, sexuality, law, and nightlife. Read an article outlining his research findings (to be published in his forthcoming book), “Shuttered by the coronavirus, many gay bars – already struggling – are now on life support.”



In the late 1980’s, companies were desperate for strong talent and leadership that sparked creativity, engagement and innovation to remain competitive in a global economy.

During that same time, strong and widespread voices were being raised about the lack of women in hospitality leadership, their particular challenges in accessing capital and subtle forms of discrimination, whether intentional or not.

The Summit will feature a panel discussion among women leaders who have leaned in to successful careers.

We saw breakthroughs in the last 40 years with women rising as celebrity chefs, business owners and senior leaders in restaurants and other hospitality businesses. Yet the year 2020 has the potential to derail the progress and achievements of women in hospitality. The pandemic exacerbated the challenges women face as frontline workers and their career advancement. Women business owners, and especially women of color, have faced difficulty accessing relief funds or tapping into capital to get through this period. Coupled with the loss of support systems like childcare and the switch to remote learning, women at all levels of hospitality are in a bind. Thousands have dropped out of the workforce.

The Summit will feature a panel discussion among women leaders who have leaned in to successful careers. They have broken through barriers and are part of re-imagining the future of how people socialize and the role women will play.

Discussion Topics

  • What lessons can we learn from the past to make sustainable positive change, whether that be in education, associations, municipalities or corporations?
  • How can we balance business viability with the need for dramatically business practices and benefits sought by today’s workforce?
  • What systems exist or are needed to advocate for opportunities and resources for women in hospitality in a post-pandemic society?
  • How can alliances be formed to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion in ownership, management and staffing of social spaces?
  • What are the generational differences among women in paving a path to success in hospitality?
  • What needs to be changed in the culture of hospitality to empower women on the frontlines and retain talent?



Edna Morris                                               MODERATOR

Founding Chair

Women’s Foodservice Forum

A veteran of the food and beverage industry, Morris has over 40 years of leadership experience with some of the most well-known restaurant organizations, including: President of Red Lobster and the James Beard Foundation; previously Board of Director for Culinary Institute of America. She currently serves as Senior Advisor PJ Solomon, serves on the board of Tractor Supply and owns two restaurants in South Carolina.

Roz Mallet

Past Chair of the Board

National Restaurant Association

Roz Mallet is a seasoned leader with extensive and diverse experience in enterprise strategy, transition planning, systems implementation, human capital development and franchise operations. Roz has utilized her board roles throughout her career to influence business strategies and role model the advantages of diversity and inclusion. Roz is the Founder, CEO and President of PhaseNext Hospitality.

Elizabeth blau

Founder and CEO

Blau and Associates

James Beard Award nominee, Elizabeth Blau, is the founder and CEO of restaurant development company Blau + Associates, a firm dedicated to creating world-class hospitality experiences, and is widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into the world-class culinary destination it is today. A judge on CNBC’s Restaurant Startup, she also operates several restaurants with her husband, chef Kim Canteenwalla.


Managing Partner


Rachel Layton is the managing partner of I Love Juice Bar, a 30+ unit franchise based in Nashville, TN. Layton’s primary responsibilities include making major corporate decisions and managing the overall operations and resources of the company. Layton initiated a brand refresh to reflect the brand’s millennial customer base. Layton was recognizes as a Nashville Emerging Leader in the Hospitality and Tourism Category.

carleen e. king, mba


Carmi LLC

Born on the Northside of Pittsburgh, Carleen E. King is the owner of the award-winning Carmi Soul Food Restaurant, Carmi Express, and MiCar Industries. A philanthropist and entrepreneur, Carleen has appeared on numerous cooking segments, has received numerous honors for her youth mentorship, has been featured on a national NFL Breast Cancer prevention campaign and is often found donating her time, talents, and resources to multiple community organizations.




RHI is a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 with a mission to assist
businesses and communities to plan safe and vibrant places to socialize.

©2018 Responsible Hospitality Institute