About

“CHOW has created a community where I come to find support, learn from others and find strength during difficult moments in life. The people I have met and stories I have heard will have a lasting impression on my life. Thank you for allowing this community to continue to grow and thrive.” -LS

A Few Words About Us

CHOW was founded by Denver pie maker, John Hinman and food writer, Alexandra Palmerton. CHOW (Culinary Hospitality Outreach and Wellness) in 2018. John was interviewed by Alexandra for an article about mental health stresses in the hospitality industry. The article received a resounding response. The article received many shared stories. As a result of this response, John saw a need to create a safe group space where people could share their stories of pain, recovery, and improved mental health.

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John Hinman and other Denver Chefs comment on mental health in hospitality.

Our Mission

CHOW’s mission is to support wellness within the hospitality industry and to improve the lives of our community through shared stories, skills, and resources.

Barista Serving Coffee
Bartender with costume

Taking Care Of The People Who Care For Us

Anyone who’s dined in a restaurant has experienced hospitality. From servers and bartenders to dishwashers and chefs, each person working in a restaurant gives their all to make guests feel welcome, cared for and nourished.

Our mission is to return the favor. To care for the people who take such good care of us. To provide a place for restaurant staff to feel supported, heard and appreciated. To facilitate gatherings where we can build meaningful connections with folks who “get it.” To lift each other up so we don’t lose anyone else to suicide, addiction or struggles surrounding mental health.

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The CHOW Team

We know hospitality. Get to know us a little better

John Hinman, Founder of CHOW

John Hinman

Founder

Pie changed my life. True story.

That might sound like a bit much, but these pies, like my life, are anything but ordinary. The truth is, crafting pie and sharing pie has provided me with grace to do the next right thing, and meet the next right person. It’s a journey that’s opened doors in my life I never imagined possible.

In that journey, I’ve learned that pie truly brings out the best in us, at all times of our lives. They invoke a smile, which can change our hearts and our minds. They bring back memories and stories. Like precious time spent with family & friends, destinations we long to get back to or sometimes they may just make us hum a tune. At the end of the day, it’s not about the pie, it’s about the stories the pie creates. We’re on a mission to help you serve up those stories, one pie at a time.

Erin Boyle - Executive Director for CHOW

Erin Boyle

Executive Director

I am Erin Boyle, CEO of CHOW. Beyond my professional role, I’m a friend, sister, partner, daughter, dog lover, potter, avid reader, crafter, walker, and chef. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, I’ve worked in San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, and Denver. After nearly two decades in the industry, I transitioned to teaching, which I found fulfilling.

I’ve faced my own battles with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD. Seeking help in 2013, I found a therapist who helped me name and manage my challenges. After witnessing struggles with mental health and substance use among my staff, family, and friends in hospitality, in 2019, I committed to improving access to mental health resources for all. As CHOW’s CEO, I focus on outreach, education, and destigmatizing conversations about health in the restaurant industry.

Jasmin Parks-Paadopoulos

Jasmin Parks-Papadopoulos

Chief Growth Officer

I am Jasmin Vitolo Parks-Papadopoulos, former toxic Chef, currently Certified Life Coach. For years I struggled with High Functioning Anxiety, and it wasn’t until I delved deep into my behavioral patterns and life choices, that I could see how my most harmful traits and habits were nestled into the profession I had chosen. A product of the Great Resignation, I came to CHOW in 2020 for support in detaching myself from an industry that I had hidden my discomfort in for so long. I needed to find new ways forward and surround myself with people, like myself, who were struggling to establish their identity and support their mental health.

Now as a part of the CHOW team, I am passionate about building an interactive community that extends everyone the accepting and warm welcome I received when joining CHOW. My goal is to increase visibility for our organization and spread the word about our message.

Jessica Dean

Jessica Dean

Treasurer

I’m Jess and I come from a diverse background in the foodservice industry. I’ve done a little bit of everything from resorts, to cooking schools, to wine bars, working in the back of the house. I went to Johnson and Wales’ culinary program to learn how to run an operation. My ultimate dream was to run my own business being a private chef, doing dinner parties and teaching people how to cook in their own kitchens. Not only did I struggle with how to handle my mental health, taking time for myself, how to move up in the ranks while in the industry, and with making enough money to start a business, but I watched family and friends struggle and even lose their battles as well.

Before covid started, I switched industries to personal finance to help people in a different way, when I came across CHOW. I felt I was able to give more back to the people that I’ve worked alongside who were just like me, now that I had been through some healing and growth. And now I can impart the wisdom I’ve learned in my new industry with the people who need it the most by overseeing the organization’s financial opportunities and teaching industry folks how to take control of their finances.

Amber Tannenbaum

Amber Tannenbaum

Board President

I’m Amber Tannenbaum, a Denver-based chef and health coach, with a certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I started my career in human resources in the hospitality industry, working for companies like Walt Disney World and Aramark, before shifting into events to focus on employee appreciation and corporate events. After 15 years in the events industry I got burned out, and in late 2021 I chose to take care of my health (and follow my passions) into the wellness space.

In addition to being a health coach, I am also a Level III Reiki practitioner. And I have plans to study herbalism and somatic wilderness therapy, and dive deeper into how physical health affects mental health and the connection between what we eat and how we feel.

I am passionate about self-care and living a healthy lifestyle. I am also passionate about hospitality and employee advocacy. I joined CHOW to support a community and industry that has given so much to me, to promote wellness within the industry, and to advocate for hospitality employees. My goal is to be a friend and ally in lifting this community up to a happier and healthier place.

Rande Gaier

Rande Gaier

Administrative Assistant

I am Rande Gaier, CHOW’s Administrative Assistant. I have worked in the food and beverage service industry for 12 years (and counting), proudly crafting and serving coffee throughout Denver. I find it deeply gratifying to now be a part of an organization that connects my peers to well-needed mental health care resources and well-deserved community support.

While working through COVID, it was apparent to me that something had always been missing – real, tangible support for a community of people whose life work is to serve others. Working for CHOW allows me to bridge the gap between my industry experience and my deep desire for industry wellness. I look forward to integrating my experience of navigating team relations and dialing in systems with CHOW’s crew and programming.

When I am not writing emails or making lattes, I can be found playing in the mountains or dancing at shows. También, estoy mejorando mi español y me gustaría practicar. ¡Charlemos!

Rich Montoya

Rich Montoya

Board Member

I’m a Colorado native with over 2 decades working in the service industry. While working in this industry I have met many challenges. CHOW has established an awesome organization that identifies many of the challenges we have all struggled with in the industry. I have battled an alcohol addiction, now I am in active and sustained recovery. My accomplishments include, BS/MA in human services, and a MA in special education. I currently work in the behavioral health field while advocating for those who battle addiction in our community.

I have competed in the Boulder Ironman Triathlon and the Colfax Marathon. I enjoy spending time with my family, dogs and the sober community.

Christin Marvin

Christin Marvin

Board Member

I’m Christin, a compassionate and driven professional who has made it her mission to serve others. I am a mental fitness coach and consultant for the hospitality industry. With over two decades of experience working with top leaders in the hospitality industry, I love partnering with others to foster growth, develop exceptional leaders, and promote a positive company culture through open communication and empowerment. I am a thought leader, who is committed to
pushing individuals out of their comfort zones and helping them reach new levels of achievement and fulfillment.

Over the past year, I have embarked on a personal quest to enhance my mental well-being, overcoming challenges related to sobriety and anxiety. Now, my desire is to extend a helping hand to others, guiding them along a similar path of self-improvement. The mission of CHOW resonates deeply with me, and I eagerly anticipate contributing to the flourishing of the hospitality industry. It is my aim to empower those remarkable individuals who have dedicated their lives to service.

Kris Hall

Kris Hall

Board Member

Kris is a hospitality professional of over 14 years, the CEO & Founder of The Burnt Chef Project and family man. 

Kris’ passion for the hospitality industry remains deep rooted having watched his mother work long Friday and Saturday shifts in pubs as a young child, to later working Front of House in Bournemouth on the South Coast of England. 

He later spent 8 years supplying fine dining ingredients to the Chef community across the South of England from single site Michelin restaurants to caterers and hotels.  

He joins the Board at CHOW to ensure that the hospitality industry continues to work towards being a profession of choice and focus on the health and well being of service professionals is taken as seriously as the awards and accolades that we chase.

Jordan Pearson

Jordyn Pearson

Program Director

I am Jordyn Pearson and I am the Program Director and Fort Collins ExPOS. I have been in the service industry for 12 years now and worked in a variety of places ranging from fine dining to breweries! I have always been passionate about helping others and CHOW allows me to help folks that are in the industry get connected to resources and create a safe and welcoming community.

Sharon Daniel

Sharon Daniel, MSOT CRS

ExPOS (Peer Support) Supervisor

After 35 years as a restaurant owner/manager, pastry chef and bartender, I returned to school to become certified as a recovery peer support specialist. I joined CHOW to support my own mental health and recovery and found an organization dedicated to changing the industry that I called
home for so long. To me, CHOW represents all the aspects of what is needed to lead us into a new generation of our industry, where all aspects of health are supported & respected. I am proud to help spread that
message through CHOW.

Tia Christopher - CHOW Philanthropy

Tia Christopher

Philanthropy/Development Team Member

I am Tia Christopher, Philanthropy Team Member. Over the last 20 years I have worked in the two fields I am most passionate about: the food industry and nonprofits. When not throwing a dinner party or being an FOH manager, I focus on nonprofit strategic operations and fund development. As a proud US Veteran, mental health is incredibly important to me. Combining my love of the food industry with an opportunity to support my peers and CHOW’s mission is truly impactful.

Madeline Mackey

Madeline Mackey

Fundraising/Outreach Team Member

I am Madeline Mackey, a Fundraising Outreach Team Member at CHOW. I worked in the service industry for 7 years, from country clubs to pizza spots, before I ventured into nonprofit work two years ago. I became passionate about harm reduction in 2020 when the pandemic struck those already most underserved the hardest. CHOW allows me to continue learning and growing in the field of harm reduction in a way that is centered on people from the service industry- my people!

CHOW Services

Download this CHOW Summary of Services for a comprehensive view of how CHOW can support you. Contact us with any questions!

Our Impact

We support hospitality people! Below is a small sample of what we are doing to positively affect mental health in our industry.

Sponsors

By Supporting CHOW you support the hospitality industry. Our folks are the bartenders and chefs and hoteliers that purchase for their businesses. Show your support and our members will see that you value their health and wellbeing.

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Chefs talking in a kitchen

Visit Our YouTube Channel!

We regularly post videos of our meetings, team bios and anything we think might bring value to our current and future family.