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Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, Founder

Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez is an entrepreneur, social innovator, and advocate for the rights of women and immigrants. Under Jessamyn’s leadership, Hot Bread Kitchen has trained hundreds of women and entrepreneurs for culinary careers, built a vibrant wholesale bakery, and set the stage for national expansion.

Throughout her career in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, Rodriguez has pioneered new ways to address economic inequity, which include developing a best-in-class business incubator and creating a workforce development program serving low-income New Yorkers. After founding Hot Bread Kitchen, Jessamyn served as CEO of the organization from 2007–2018, and currently holds the role of President.

Jessamyn and her work have been recognized through the receipt of many distinguished awards, such as a Neighborhood Achievement Award from Mayor Bloomberg, a Global Citizen Award from the Clinton Foundation, and Crain’s New York 40 Under 40. She sits on advisory boards for the James Beard Foundation, WENYC (Mayor DeBlasio’s initiative to support female entrepreneurs) and the Community Advisory Board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Jessamyn is also the award-winning author of The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, in fourth reprint with Clarkson Potter and Yahoo Food’s Best Cookbook of the Year in 2015.

Jessamyn has worked in Canada, The United States, Costa Rica, and Mexico, and holds an MPA from Columbia University. She lives in Queens with her husband and two young children.