Baltimore Cocktail Week: Badass Business Babes


The theme was “badass” and the speakers lived up to the billing.

Five women who have successfully started their own businesses within the restaurant industry spoke about their work during a panel, “Badass Business Babes” on July 31 at Waverly Brewing Company. The event was held as part of the fourth annual Baltimore Cocktail Week.

Panelists were: Paige Baskauskas, mid-Atlantic account manager with Opici Wines; Lane Harlan, founder of W.C. Harlan and Clavel; Emily Lerman, co-founder of Mera Kitchen Collective; Judy Neff, founder and brewer of Checkerspot Brewing Company; and Carrie Podles, partner with Alexander’s Tavern, Huck’s American Craft, Papi’s Taco and Wicked Sisters.

Panelists discussed how they got started, what it’s like to be a woman in the industry and what inspires their work. The conversation was lively, honest and peppered with laughter.

Event organizer and cocktail week founder Ginny Lawhorn chose the participants to showcase the great variety of talent there is within the industry, she says. Baltimore STYLE sponsored the event and managing editor Jessica Gregg moderated the panel.

Baltimore Cocktail Week continues through Saturday. For more information on special events, check out

Photos by David Stuck.

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