Meet the Legacy Winners

The 2020 Legacy Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the six wonderful, accomplished women — all up-and-comers in the hospitality industry — who have been selected as the 2020 LDEI Legacy Awards winners. Despite the current uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these women provide a beacon of hope that our industry will not only survive, but thrive. 


Crystal Zhao, Bloomington, MN
Austin Food Chain Award

Crystal Zhao is the lead business analyst and process improvement manager for The Fish Guys, a seafood and meat supplier in Minnesota.  Before working in the supply chain, she previously held jobs in wine and hospitality, and is headed to business school in the fall.  She grew up in South Carolina but currently resides in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Outside of her passion for food, her other interests include strategy board games and terrible Netflix shows.


Katherine Rapin, Philadelphia, PA 

Chicago Journalism Award   

Katherine Rapin is a journalist and the managing editor of the Philadelphia Citizen. She also runs the newly-formed Pennsylvania Grain Coalition and, in collaboration with Lost Bread Co., publishes a ‘zine about grain. While reporting, she’s found herself making empanadas with the matriarch behind a long-running Philly block party, shoveling compost alongside a frantic farmer, and being hand-fed dumplings by a former assistant to the Dalai Lama. You can read these and other stories at  


Destiny Burns, Cleveland, OH 

Wente Family Estates Wine & Hospitality Award  

Destiny is a Cleveland girl – born and bred. After high school, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Russian Linguist to see the world. 20 years later, she retired as a Cryptologic Officer and began a second career as a defense industry executive. Upon turning 50, newly divorced after a 26-year marriage and with one adult daughter fully launched, she moved back to Cleveland to open a “craft-brewery-style” urban winery in a 1920’s-era auto repair garage in her neighborhood. Her dream of “Good Wine Made Fun that Celebrates Cleveland and Creates Community” is now a reality!  


Christa Cotton, New Orleans, LA 

Mexico Fine Spirits Award 

A native of Leesburg, Georgia, Christa Cotton graduated from Harbert College of Business at Auburn University before moving to New Orleans in 2010. After climbing the ropes at a local ad agency specializing in hospitality and tourism, Christa founded New Orleans Beverage Group in 2017. The company holds the trademark to El Guapo, a line of cocktail mixers, bitters and syrups that are manufactured in-house and distributed internationally. In her current role as CEO, Christa draws on her experience with myriad food & beverage brands, including her family’s distillery in Georgia. New Orleans Beverage Group is a WBENC-certified Woman-Owned Business and Top 100 Finalist in the 2020 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest.  


Amethyst Ganaway, Albuquerque, NM 

New Orleans Culinary Award  

Amethyst is a North Charleston, SC native with a passion for food that extends beyond the kitchen. Her focus is on gaining and spreading knowledge of the culinary arts and history, particularly the foodways of The Southern United States. Amethyst has been in the food industry for over ten years and has a wide array of experience from managing restaurants to dabbling in food writing. She was recently awarded an internship with America’s Test Kitchen and is working on a paper for the Oxford Food Symposium. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her dogs and family, reading, gardening, and playing video games. She hopes to attend graduate school and eventually open her own restaurant in her hometown.  


Tara Chapman, Austin, TX 

Winner of the Sacramento Agriculture Award 

Tara Chapman is the founder/owner of Two Hives Honey, a full-service honey and beekeeping business in Austin, TX. Originally from rural west Texas, Tara graduated from Duke University in 2003, and was offered a job with the Central Intelligence Agency. She spent the next 10 years working for the federal government, serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan. Once back home in Austin, Tara took her first beekeeping class with her friend, Gina, now a member of the Two Hives team. Inspired by — and in love with — the bees, Tara quit her government job to work for a beekeeper in East Texas rearing queen bees. What started as a “solopreneur” running hive tours has evolved into a socially conscious business that aims to educate the community, support other local businesses, and of course, offer you the best damn honey Texas bees can make. 



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