Chief strategy and brand officer
Maisie oversees Bon Appétit’s culinary development and purchasing efforts; she also leads Bon Appétit’s marketing and communications initiatives. Additionally, Maisie is also cofounder and president of the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, whose mission is to educate people about how their food choices affect the global environment and local economies.
In 1999, Maisie helped develop Bon Appétit’s Farm to Fork program, a groundbreaking companywide initiative to buy locally. Since the program’s inception, Bon Appétit chefs around the country have spent tens of millions of dollars on food grown by small farms within 150 miles of their kitchens, creating positive changes in countless local food economies.
Maisie has led the teams that launched a number of Bon Appétit’s equally progressive sustainable initiatives. In 2003, Maisie created Bon Appétit’s Circle of Responsibility program to educate chefs and café guests on how their food choices impact their environment, community and personal well being. Maisie also initiated Bon Appétit’s progressive Eat Local Challenge in 2005, in which Bon Appétit challenged its chefs to serve meals for a full day consisting entirely of locally sourced food. The Eat Local Challenge is now an annual event that chefs and café guests alike look forward to every year.
Maisie also conceptualized Low Carbon Diet Day, in which all Bon Appétit cafés are transformed into “low carbon learning venues” for the day. The first Low Carbon Diet Day in 2008 marked the beginning of Bon Appétit’s customer education campaign around the climate impact of food choice, and the launch of the Low Carbon Diet Calculator, an interactive Web-based tool where consumers can assess their own “foodprints.” In late 2015 Maisie oversaw the company’s shift from a diet to the ongoing Low Carbon Lifestyle, as well as the launch of the Food Standards Dashboard, an internal software tool to increase transparency and accountability for all our initiatives.
In addition to developing sustainable initiatives for cafés nationwide, Maisie also takes a leadership role in setting food procurement policies for Bon Appétit as a whole. She worked alongside the Environmental Defense Fund in 2002 to issue a far-reaching company policy on the use of antibiotics in farm animals: Bon Appétit now buys only turkey and chicken raised without the routine use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in their feed and water and serves only natural beef burgers. Also, after learning about inhumane battery-cage operations in 2005, Maisie drove the policy changes behind Bon Appétit’s decision to buy only Certified Humane and cage-free shell eggs (video).
For the past several years, Maisie has been focused on overseeing the company’s efforts to fight food waste and on the issue of farmworkers’ rights. After a trip to Immokalee Florida in 2009 to meet with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and to see firsthand the difficult working conditions of tomato pickers in that region, Maisie and CEO Fedele Bauccio collaborated with the CIW to usher in a sweeping Code of Conduct for how our Florida tomato suppliers treat their workers. Maisie realized the need to explore what Bon Appétit’s role could be in facilitating fair labor practices throughout their entire supply chain, and so created the Bon Appétit Fellows program. Maisie manages the Fellows’ work in the area of labor: they have met with farmers around the country to assess overall sustainability, including their labor practices in agricultural operations that supply Bon Appétit kitchens. Under Maisie’s oversight, the Fellows worked with United Farm Workers (with help from Oxfam America) to compile the Inventory of Farmworker Rights and Protections in the United States, a comprehensive report about current laws and practices. Maisie was also instrumental in bringing to life TEDxFruitvale, a special conference focused on farmworkers, which she co-organized and hosted on October 14, 2011.
From 2010 to 2013 Maisie served on the board of Food Alliance, North America’s most comprehensive third-party certification for the production, processing, and distribution of sustainable food. She is currently the cochair of the steering committee of the Equitable Food Initiative, a new, integrated labor standards project led by United Farm Workers, Pesticide Action Network, and the Consumer Federation of America. She is a member of the inaugural advisory board for the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. She was named a Silicon Valley Woman of Influence in 2012. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Maisie previously worked on behalf of a number of national food brands and ran a hospitality training company.
Maisie contributes opinion pieces to national outlets regularly and is a frequent speaker and interviewee. Some samples:
- Profile: “The Food Movement’s Unsung Hero,” South Bay Accent
- Source: “California’s Drought Changes Habits in the Kitchen,” New York Times
- Huffington Post (full list of posts)
- “The Case Against Listening to Customers,” GreenBiz.com
- “Advice to New Grads – Aim for the Belly of the Beast,” San Francisco Chronicle
- VIDEO: “How the Humane Sausage Is Made,” TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat