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Organization: Providence
Title: Executive Chef
Nominated by: Jeff Bacon

Providence proudly nominates Executive Chef Vanessa Lanier for this esteemed award. Vanessa has been a driving force behind our success, and her exceptional dedication to our mission deserves recognition. With over eight years of service, her work ethic, passion, technical skill, and loyalty set her apart as a remarkable champion for foodservice job training and social enterprise. 

Vanessa’s journey with Providence began as an alum in 2007, and she worked her way up through our culinary community, ultimately earning the title of Executive Chef at the High Point Country Club. Since joining Providence in 2014, Chef Vanessa has been instrumental in the success of numerous PCT students, mentoring her staff with a firm yet caring hand. She has also served as the lead chef for two Catalyst Kitchens National Summits, providing memorable culinary experiences for attendees from across the country.

Chef Vanessa’s typical day involves overseeing all of our social enterprises. She leads a team comprised entirely of Providence Culinary Training (PCT) graduates, including apprentices and alumni staff. Additionally, Vanessa coordinates the integration of advanced culinary students into her team on Thursdays and Fridays each week. Her contributions to Providence have been nothing short of remarkable. She has overseen the opening and expansion of four social enterprises – Providence Restaurant, the catering expansion, Providence Kitchen, and Generations Cafe. Under her leadership, over 300 students have successfully passed through her kitchens, with 32 apprentices graduating. Her commitment to a living wage for her team has set a high standard in the industry. The Social Return on Investment (SROI) metrics for the students who have benefited from her leadership represent an astonishing $20 million in economic impact to our community.

Vanessa Lanier’s contributions to Providence are immeasurable. Her tireless dedication, passion, and leadership have not only transformed the lives of countless individuals but have also had a profound and lasting impact on our community. We wholeheartedly nominate Chef Vanessa for this award in recognition of her outstanding achievements and unwavering commitment to our mission.