Women to Watch: Rising Star Finalists

The Rising Star category is for women 30 and under

Kelsie Cole

Assistant Brewer | Front Street Brewery

As craft beer’s popularity grows, Kelsie Cole is in the thick of the brewing trend.

She is assistant brewer at downtown’s Front Street Brewery, which has a slate of award-winning beers. Though not many women are in the production end of the business, Cole is tapping into brewing as a career.

She first started working at Front Street Brewery as a freshman at UNCW and moved up to assistant brewer to learn. She enrolled in the American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering Program and is a member of the Pink Boots Society, a national group of female brewers.


Jenna Curry

Partner | Little Wing Marketing

Jenna Curry is a partner and director of marketing for Little Wing Marketing, a full-service Internet marketing agency.

Several years ago, she also founded and still leads the Port City Young Professionals networking group targeting area professionals under forty, introducing them to nonprofit and business opportunities. The gatherings now pull about eighty to a hundred people each event and raises funds for causes such as the Wilmington Firefighters Memorial.

Curry is a speaker, trainer, and coach for Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations, or QENO. She is a member of Cape Fear CREW, plays in multiple fundraising golf tournaments, and sits on the UNCW Alumni Association board.


Jessica Seate

Food Animal Veterinarian | Murphy Brown

Jessica Seate has worked in the swine industry in North Carolina for three years since graduating from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Her responsibilities include health and disease surveillance/management for more than 50,000 sows and all the pigs from her assigned sow farms through to market.

She has been instrumental in developing a response plan to PED, a virus that can make pigs severely sick though does not transmit to humans and recently popped up in the U.S. The response plan has been utilized by every swine producer in North Carolina.

Seate says she saw the food safety field as a way to fulfill the veterinarian’s oath of protecting the health and wellbeing of animals while also protecting the public.


Fanny Slater

CEO | Fanfare Catering

It’s been a whirlwind year for Fanny Slater, CEO of Fanfare Catering and soon-to-be published cookbook author.

She is currently testing recipes and working on the cookbook after winning The Rachael Ray Show’s Great American Cookbook Competition earlier this year.

When the cookbook comes out, Slater will be featured in Rachel Ray’s magazine and make a return appearance on the show.

Slater, who pulls from childhood memories and dishes to update nostalgic classics and turn them into sophisticated fare, utilizes YouTube, social media, and her food blog to help build her brand.


Lauryn Zepeda

Positive Reinforcement Equine Trainer | Clicks of Confidence

Equine trainer Lauryn Zepeda developed the Clicks of Confidence training program, which relies on positive reinforcement and a clicker as a communication tool.

On top of the many awards she has received, Zepeda was selected for an invitation-only competition for trainers to spend eight months transforming horses from the United States Equine Rescue League into show horses.

She conducts clinics for riders to learn gentler methods of training their horses through positive reinforcement, and she also performs demonstrations.

Zepeda recently filmed an episode with Carolina Hoofbeats TV that is set to air in November and has been training Friesian horses featured in National Geographic Channel’s Jack of All Trades show.

For more about the awards and other category finalists, click here.