Among the nine-person team who brought us Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook is Charlee Williamson. A 15-year veteran of Ralph Brennan's Restaurant Group, she is the Executive Vice-President. In the cookbook's acknowledgments, Ralph Brennan credits her (as well as Executive Chef Haley Bittermann) as spear-heading the project amidst the chaos of life in post-Katrina New Orleans (which included the loss of her home during the storm) as well as earning an MBA from Tulane University.
Her profile at the Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook website is a tale of a young woman slowly working her way up in the restaurant industry including stints at TCBY Yogurt and the Embassy Suites' Plaza Grill in Austin, Texas. She joined the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group in 1993 as the marketing manager at Bacco and Mr. B's Bistro. She defined the position, a new one in the company at the time, showcasing her multiple skills in the process.
Her profile at the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group lists her extensive duties:
As Executive Vice President, Charlee is responsible for company strategic planning and development, comprehensive annual marketing planning, full service, in-house advertising services, ongoing guest feedback, recognition and satisfaction programs, market growth strategies, continuous improvement initiatives and consumer, community and media relations.An alumna of the University of Texas at Austin, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising and has recently completed her MBA at Tulane University. A life-long resident of New Orleans, she is active on the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association's Marketing Executives Group, the Junior League of New Orleans and the Preservation Resource Center.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she was immediately active in getting the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group's dining establishments open for business despite losing her home. In an article published September 30, 2005, in New Orleans CityBusiness, she announced that the Red Fish Grill had received the first state-approved, post-Katrina health permit and hinted at a grass-roots marketing campaign to advertise the reopening of the restaurant.
SOURCE: "President and Mrs. Bush Dine at Bacco" 10/10/05
SOURCE: "The Team: Charlee Williamson" 2008
SOURCE: "Our Team: Charlee Williamson"
SOURCE: "New Orleans' Red Fish Grill issued first health permit after Katrina" 09/30/05
Photo by Kerri McCaffety. Copyright by The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.