CLOSED On the Frontlines During the Pandemic: How Crisis Sparked Innovation and What’s Next
Hosted by the Samantha and Darren Bechtel Family Foundation
Wednesday, October 19 | 6:30–8:30 pm Pacific
Izzy's, transportation from the Fairmont
At the height of the pandemic, new grantmaking that supported frontline workers took off, and how work was done or services provided shifted. What are the lessons we learned over the past two years and how will those lessons inform where we go next? San Francisco philanthropist and restaurant owner Samantha Bechtel will host conference attendees at her family’s iconic Izzy’s restaurant sharing how her business made critical pivots during the pandemic, including delivering meals to ER and ICU staff at local hospitals and developing one of the Bay Area’s first award-winning parklets.
Samantha works closely with Hourglass winemaker Jeff Smith whose ability to meet adversity with innovation has been a guiding principle of his business for over two decades. Following his father’s lost battle to cancer, Jeff cut short his music career in San Francisco and returned home to Napa Valley. Taking a small, insect-ravaged, four-acre family vineyard in St. Helena, Jeff salvaged the land by replanting it to Cabernet, and launched Hourglass Vineyards. After rising to prominence as one of Napa's esteemed Cabernets, Hourglass faced formidable challenges during COVID-19 and the 2021 Glass Fire, but is now bigger and more successful after rebuilding.
Philanthropy advisor Berit Ashla who launched the Brooklyn for Life Fund with actor Jeffery Wright that provided meals to Brooklyn-based hospital workers, will facilitate a conversation focused on how we take the hard won lessons of the pandemic and examine opportunities where hospitality and philanthropy join forces and improve our communities.
We will be eating al fresco in the parklet replete with beautiful plants and many heaters. We encourage guests to dress warmly and bring layers.