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Susan lacz
Principal & CEO,
Ridgewells

Susan Lacz, a recognized leader and sought-after speaker in the catering and special events industry, is principal and chief executive officer of Ridgewells. She joined the nearly 90 year-old Washington, DC catering company as a sales representative in 1986 and with her business partners purchased the firm in 1997.  Susan has been instrumental in the growth of the company’s portfolio adding such clients as the United States Golf Association, AT&T, Rolex, Neiman Marcus and American Express. Additionally the company has expanded under her direction to include Haute Catering by Ridgewells, a union company responsible for catering services for the US House of Representatives, the Pentagon, the National Achieves and the National Defense University and Purple Tie by Ridgewells, the special event services division that provides professional service personnel to the corporate and hospitality industries.

Susan has been keynote speaker at several conferences, including the 2010 INSPIRE Conference at Oklahoma State University, the 2007 Catersource Trade Show in Las Vegas and the 2007 WISE Conference at Syracuse University. In October 2008, Susan was a featured speaker at Chatham University’s “Think Big” Conference.

Susan was honored for her leadership by the Washington Business Journal by being named as a Woman Who Means Business. Recognized for her charitable work she was bestowed by Miriam’s Kitchen with the Bowls of Compassion Award and the Greater Washington Board of Trade presented Susan and Ridgewells with its Golden Links Award. She has been a finalist for The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Greater Washington Award and was a recipient of the Brava! Award from SmartCEO Magazine.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Washington Board of Trade (GWBOT), EagleBank, Junior Achievement, Marymount University, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School and Imagination Stage. She is an active member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and the Economic Club of Washington, DC.

Ridgewells honors and awards during her tenure include: Bethesda Magazine’s Best Caterer of Bethesda 2007 - 2012; the International Special Events Society (ISES) Esprit Award for Best Event with a Legacy; ISES Award for Best Caterer; ISES Awards for Best Cuisine, Best-Off Premise Caterer, Best ISES Team, Most Creative Solution, Caterer of the Year by Event Solutions Magazine and the Spotlight Award from Special Events Magazine.