CORE welcomes new members to its board of directors


Children of restaurant workers (CORE)©, the national non-profit organization that supports food service employees with children, today announced the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors. New board members include Frank Sickelsmith, VP International of Inspire Brands, Desiree Springer, VP of National Onsite Accounts at Titos Handmade Vodka, Rachael Kelly, Director of Human Resources at Smokey Bones and Stacey Kane , president of BroadTalk Marketing, an independent marketing executive. who was a CORE consultant for two years.

HEART will benefit from the new members’ wealth of industry knowledge and experience,” said Colleen Brennan, Vice President, National Accounts Rodney Strong Wines and Chair of the Board of Directors of HEART. “They join CORE at an exciting time as we continue to educate and fund food service employees who have legally dependent children and are facing an eligible situation. The addition of these directors complements the skills and experience of our Board of Directors, and we are confident that they will provide valuable insights as we continue to execute our strategy, drive development and meet the needs of some of the industry’s 15 million employees.

Frank, Lisa, Rachael and Stacey will work with the other 11 board members and CORE Executive Director Sheila Bennett to inspire the entire food and beverage industry to support HEART and increase visibility with families who have been affected by a health crisis, injury, death or natural disaster.

For the past five years, CORE has helped families of restaurant workers in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico. They have helped families affected by Nashville, Mayfield tornadoes, KY tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, and families facing a health crisis. CORE helps cover living expenses, medical bills, childcare costs, therapies and more while navigating a qualifying situation. CORE provided financial assistance to families who lost everything when their house caught fire or allowed a single mother to be with her child during major surgery, treatment and recovery.

“During my time serving the food and beverage industry, I have met many employees and families with heartbreaking stories of how they faced adversity,” said Sheila Bennett, Executive Director from CORE. “They inspire our team to work even harder and now I hope HEART be the first resource that comes to mind when employees with children are affected by a health crisis or natural disaster and need support and financial assistance.

About Frank Sikelsmith

Frank Sickelsmith is the Director of Development for International for Inspire Brands. Inspire Brands is a multi-brand restaurant company whose current portfolio includes 32,000 Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco and SONIC Drive-In locations worldwide. Prior to his current role, Frank worked within the Autogrill Group as Global Vice President and Group Director of Brand Development and Strategic Partnerships and previously held senior roles at HMS Host and Brinker International.

About Desiree Springer

Desiree has over 20 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry. She is currently Vice President of National On-Site Accounts for Tito’ Handmade Vodka. His diverse industry background allows him to see the site from a holistic perspective. With her experience as an operator, distributor and supplier, her passion, drive and commitment to excellence have propelled her towards excellence at every turn. Her creative approach to growing sales, designing innovative programs and inspiring her team to dream in color to achieve their goals sets her apart. She has led her team in winning multiple VIBE awards for excellence in on-premises accounts.

About Rachel Kelly

Rachael Kelly has over 20 years of human resources experience helping foodservice companies create engaged and productive cultures. Most recently, Rachael served as Director of People and Culture for Smokey Bones, owned by Sun Capital. Kelly was recently named Woman of the Year by the National Diversity Council, as well as other accolades including being named Most Influential Restaurant Industry Executive by Nation’s Restaurant News and Top 50 Human Resources Professional by Oncon Icon Awards.

About Stacey Kane

Stacey Kane has over 25 years of experience working with multi-unit restaurant chains as a marketing executive and marketing consultant. She has worked with brands such as California Tortilla, ThinkFoodGroup, Subway and East Coast Wings + Grill. Known for her incredible creativity and obsession with data, she has been named to Fast Casual Magazine’s Top 25 Movers and Shakers list four times and to Nation’s Restaurant News Power List – Readers Pick twice. Currently, Kane is director of split marketing for several fast-casual brands, including cult favorites Mamoun’s Falafel and Garden Catering. She stepped in as a consultant to help guide CORE’s marketing efforts in April 2020.

About Sheila Bennett

Sheila Bennett, a native of Nashville, TN, is the Executive Director of CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees as Executive Director, serving restaurant worker families in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico. With over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Bennett has worked for the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry and created Dine Out for No Kid Hungry, worked in all aspects for the restaurant industry and for loyalty e-marketing companies. In 2021, she was named to the Nation’s Restaurant News POWER LIST – Reader’s Choice Award and received the Phila Award, Category: Patti Myint Award from the Nashville Scene in partnership with the Nashville Farmers’ Market and the Metro Human Relations Commission.

About Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE)

CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees, a national 501(c)3 is dedicated to serving restaurant service employees with children when the working parent or child is faced with a medical diagnosis, illness, injury, death or is affected by a natural disaster. Founded by restaurant industry veterans to help childcare workers bridge the financial gap when the parent or child faces a health crisis or natural disaster. Since 2013, the organization has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit that has helped nearly 1,600 families in all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. For grant qualification, to apply, or to recommend a family for a grant, please visit To learn more about CORE and how you can help foodservice workers with children through a donation, please visit


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