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ISS Guckenheimer’s Rising Stars

Four members of the ISS Guckenheimer team were selected as Rising Stars by the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management.

Each year, The Society for Hospitality & Foodservice Management (SHFM) selects a group of individuals for their Rising Star program, which recognizes the critical role young professionals play in improving foodservice and hospitality through networking, education, and innovation. Each Rising Star gets a complimentary SHFM membership, along with the opportunity to attend SHFM’s National Conference.

This year, four ISS Guckenheimer employees were chosen for this prestigious program for their excellent work and their dedication to cultivating a productive and engaging workplace environment. Here’s what they had to say:

Lauren Beckwith – Program Manager, Food Experiences

Lauren says she was originally encouraged to apply for the program by her colleagues based on her interests and workplace skills, which led her to explore SHFM further and discover exciting new opportunities to grow her career. Now on her third year as a Rising Star, she says her time spent in the program has been transformative for her career. 

After meeting with others in the Rising Star program and participating in SHFM for the past few years, it’s inspiring to see all the different and unique opportunities for professional development,” Lauren says. “The program helps you get out of your typical working environmentit’s been a privilege to participate and be someone who can welcome the newest class of Rising Stars.”

She says her participation in the Rising Star program was a launching point to larger involvement with SHFM, where she now sits on several committees. This year, she is chairing SHFM’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Council, which is an opportunity Lauren is especially passionate about.

Even though my day-to-day work isn’t exclusively related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s something I care deeply about,” she says. “Being able to actually lead a diversity council—I never thought I’d have that kind of opportunity, but SHFM saw that this is a passion I have and gave me this chance. This is really big for me. And down the road, if there are opportunities for me to move toward that line of work more meaningfully, I now have some incredible experience I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

Shannon Carroll Washington – Senior Marketing, Communications & Engagement Manager

After speaking at SHFM’s Critical Issues Conference last year, Shannon says she connected with several people who shared her passion and ambition, which helped inspire her to apply for the Rising Star program and meet more likeminded individuals.


It’s exciting to meet other young professionals and hear about their ambitions,” she says. A lot are in the same boatwe’re establishing connections, growing our careers, and really focusing on what we want to do in the future. It’s a chance to network with others who may be at a similar place, going through similar things.”

Shannon says she loves not only getting to talk about food all day, but also tell the story of how our teams use food to bring people together. She says she enjoys raising awareness of the intention and hard work front-of-house and culinary workers put in to keep the workplace productive, engaged, and well-fed.

With her selection for the Rising Star program, she says that she also feels a responsibility to encourage others to pursue their goals and chase big dreams

I feel honored, but I want to encourage more people who look like me—Black women in particular—to go for it and let your voice be heard,” Shannon says. “We’re doing awesome things, so put in that application, represent and represent well. Let your work be seen and shout it from the rooftops.” 

Anthony Salazar – Food Service Manager

Formerly a chef at one of Colorado’s top restaurants, Anthony says his role as Food Service Manager allows him to explore his passion for excellent food while also expanding his abilities and spending more time with his family.

Foodservice operations is not always the most glamorous of jobs,” Anthony says. “I started out as a dishwasher, and it was hard work. But the stories of perseverance and career mobility in both corporate dining and in restaurants are legendary and a testament to what people can do. I love to inspire and elevate people, and I want to encourage others to diversify their skills and try things.”

He says he’s passionate about food because of its ability to create unforgettable memories for people. Anthony credits the restaurant industry for giving him a sense of purpose, and says he appreciates the opportunity to be part of a community with so many talented individuals. He says he hopes the Rising Star program will help him continue to push himself and develop new professional skills.

In food or in hospitality, we’re trying to create a sense of feeling and a sense of place, so people remember how you made them feel as much as they remember what you did for them,” Anthony says. I’m excited to meet new people, hear their stories, and learn more from some of the best out there.”

Xiomara BattleExecutive Chef

Xiomara says she’s always been dedicated to bettering herself, and the Rising Star program is an exciting opportunity for her to learn and grow from other talented people. The former owner of a food trailer and coffee shop in Puerto Rico, Xiomara moved to Colorado in 2014 and attended culinary school, spending years working her way through the foodservice industry. She started with ISS Guckenheimer as a cook in 2017 and landed her current role as an executive chef in 2020. Xiomara is also a previous winner of both the U.S. and global ISS Guckenheimer culinary competitions.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to learn from other people who have the same sort of mindset,” she says. “I’m passionate about serving other people and their growth, as well. You can impact people by being an example and supporting them. I think you can do great things if you believe in yourself and work hard for it.”

Xiomara says she plans to continue striving to be a better chef and make new connections with others who share both her drive and her passion for incredible food. She says she’s excited to be part of an organization that supports her development and looks forward to the challenges ahead.

The work I do is really rewarding and I learn new things all the time,” Xiomara says.


There’s a real support system here and people who are willing to help you achieve new things. I’m looking forward to getting to know people who are like-minded and working toward the same direction.”

A Team of Food Experts

We deliver our food services through ISS Guckenheimer, giving clients access to incredible an exceptional culinary experience that aligns with their culture and facility type. Read more about ISS Guckenheimer to learn how we bring people together with food to energize and strengthen the workplace community.

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