Cooking up opportunity
By Angie Caple '14, '15
Published Thursday, April 16, 2015
Joanna James ‘09 found her niche specialty and has incorporated her many strengths to pave the way for her success. Originally from just outside of Boston, James graduated from Emerson College with a degree in journalism, with a specialization in writing literature and publishing. She immersed herself in freelance work –working with a local Greek-American newspaper. James was selected to work the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, as a representative for the newspaper. After returning from Athens, she worked for a daily paper outside of Boston and took on a new set of challenges. Because of her hard work and dedication, she was awarded the New England Press Award for Environmental Reporting in 2005.
The industry began to change from paper based printing to web based forums, however, James still kept up with the trends. Moving to South Florida gave Joanna the opportunity to transition into broadcast communications. She earned a master’s degree in international communication with a specialization in production. She then broadened her talents into trending fields. While pursuing her degree, James was able to launch and patent her own piece of exercise equipment. It was apparent that whichever direction James took, success always found her.
Currently, James is directing and co-producing a film that involves female representation in the culinary world. From the experiences with her mother, who turned adversity into triumph with the restaurant she’s owned for over 25 years; James wishes to explore the idea further. Her goal is not only to inspire women currently fighting to get into the field but also for the upcoming generations. This documentary will star successful female chefs from the United States to Greece, highlighting their stories and what it took to become an executive chef. Only 15% of executive chefs are women, and this is a statistic that James is pushing to change.
James has always stayed with the current trends and ideals as they continue to shift, and this is the representation that is taking place here today. Through this exploration, James is seeking what can be done to create more opportunities for women in this particular field. She has finally recognized her passion, and she wishes to leave an impact with the women of the next generation through this documentary. Lynn University is proud to call Joanna James an aluma and looks
forward to the impacts this film will have on women across the country.