The James Beard Foundation Elects New Board Chair
~ Frederic M. Seegal, veteran of numerous nonprofit boards, succeeds Emily Luchetti ~
Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), announced today that Frederic M. Seegal, a Senior Advisor at Peter J. Solomon Company, has been elected as Chair of the nonprofit’s Board of Trustees. Seegal, who has been on the JBF board for a decade including the last five years as Vice Chair, will assume the role from Emily Luchetti, effective immediately.
Luchetti, a two-time James Beard Award–winning pastry chef and Chief Pastry Officer for Big Night Restaurant Group, was elected as Chair of the JBF board in 2012. She will transition to Chair Emeritus. The following existing and new board of trustee appointments are Michael Phillips, President, Jamestown Properties, Board Vice Chair; Nancy Lukitsh, Retired Partner and Senior Vice President, Wellington Management Company LLP, Board Vice Chair; and Treasurer; and Erica Gruen, Principal, Quantum Media, Board Secretary.
“In my time serving on the board under Susan and Emily’s leadership, the Foundation has done an extraordinary job of becoming both a global brand and an indispensable organization for chefs and other culinary leaders on food policy–related issues,” said Seegal. “My goal is to leverage our position as the most prestigious culinary arts nonprofit in the world and to continue expanding the progress we have made in all areas of thought leadership.”
In addition to the James Beard Foundation, Seegal has worked with a number of not-for-profit organizations, including as Chairman of the Parrish Art Museum; and Trustee of the New York City Center, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Neuberger Museum. He was also President of the American Ballet Theater. Among his many senior roles in investment banking, Seegal was President of Wasserstein Perella from 1994 to 2001.
“I’m delighted to be handing over leadership of the board to Fred. His past service as Vice Chair has uniquely prepared him for this new role,” added Luchetti. “It has been an honor leading this vibrant and dedicated governance team in continuing to expand the diversity of our scholarship programs, launching the Women’s Culinary Leadership programs, and helping shape the JBF Impact Programs.”
As Chair, Seegal will preside over all meetings of the board and have general charge and supervision of the affairs of the James Beard Foundation.
About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for students of culinary arts and food policy, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog, or subscribe to the free digital newsletter Beard Bites. Follow @beardfoundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Watch the James Beard House Kitchen Cam, James Beard Awards, and more on the Foundation’s Livestream channel. Find more JBF-related video on the Foundation’s YouTube channels.