2022 Top Women in Restaurant Technology Winners

Sponsored by Tillster, the Top Women in Restaurant Technology awards were presented at MURTEC in Las Vegas on March 9.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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Top Women sponsored by Tillster

Checkers and Rally’s, UNO Restaurants, Inspire Brands and GoGoGuest are among the companies employing this year’s honorees for outstanding achievement in restaurant technology.

Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine is pleased to announce the winners of its 2022 Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards. The 2022 awards program is sponsored by Tillster, the global leader in powering online ordering and delivery solutions for restaurant brands. 

“We are incredibly honored to once again be a part of this year’s Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards program,” says Hope Neiman, Chief Marketing Officer at Tillster. “What these women have accomplished, and what their future in the technology sector holds, is a testament to their dedication in furthering our industry through both innovation and leadership. These awards remind us how important it is to acknowledge and celebrate workplace diversity.  Women provide a variety of perspectives that enrich our industry as a whole.  We look forward to celebrating the many successes of these leaders and future nominees.”

Now in its sixth year, the Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards program seeks to honor outstanding women from both restaurants and technology suppliers for reimagining restaurant processes and operations while demonstrating excellence in leadership, inventiveness and skill.

“The Top Women in Restaurant Technology awards program celebrates the achievements of women across a diversity of career levels and roles in our industry,” says Robert Firpo-Cappiello, editor-in-chief of Hospitality Technology magazine.  “We acknowledge the contributions of groundbreaking leaders, innovative thinkers, and rising stars—all of whom are helping to transform our industry on a daily basis. Most importantly, we hope this program will inspire the next generation to demolish the glass ceiling once and for all.”

Winners were recognized in the following categories:

Rising Star: 
Presented to women from any level of an organization with less than five years' experience in the industry, who have demonstrated leadership and are already making a mark in foodservice technology at an early stage in their careers.

Presented to women who are forward thinkers and who have executed on tools and strategy to transform the foodservice technology space in a positive manner by creating or deploying emerging technologies that reimagine how things are done while paving the way for future technologies.

Lifetime Achievement: 
This award is presented in recognition of a lifetime (no less than 15 years) of service and accomplishments in the foodservice technology industry. We seek to honor women who have had an impact on the foodservice technology industry as well as their colleagues and industry peers through enthusiasm, mentorship and commitment, while also showing how technologies can provide new ways of doing things.


The winners of the 2022 Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards are:

Lifetime Achievement

Regina Jerome, Senior Vice President of Information Technology,UNO Restaurants(Norwood, Massachusetts). Jerome is the Mastermind Behind Uno's Tech Transformation.

Mary Melvin, Director Restaurant Technology, Checkers and Rally’s (St. Louis, Missouri) Melvin is The Trail Blazer Leading AI in the Drive-Thru at Checkers and Rally’s

Lisa Acero, Senior Manager Deployment - Restaurant Systems & Support, Inspire Brands (Boston). Innovator Oversaw Rollout of New POS/BOH System at 7000+ Dunkin’ Locations.

Jennifer Giusti, Director, HR Technology, Darden Restaurants (Orlando, Florida).Giusti is the Innovator Improves the User Experience with HR Technology

Kelly McCardle, IT Director, bartaco (Arlington, Virginia). Innovator Helped bartaco Stand Up On-Demand Service Model

Theresa Schaefer, EVP, Product & Design, Olo (Seattle, Washington). Product Manager Behind Olo Rails, Dispatch Recognized as Top Innovator

Rising Star

Laura Beach, Sales Account Executive, AMAZON Web Services - AWS (Columbus, Ohio).
Rising Star Helps Restaurants Achieve Objectives

Jen Lesniak, Senior Director of Consumer Products, SpotOn (Chicago). Love of Local Restaurants Leads Rising Star to Tap Technology to Solve Challenges

Courtney Maxedon, VP of Interactive Marketing, Kahala  Brands, (Phoenix, Arizona). Mission Possible: Rising Star Uses Data to Understand 'Unknown' Guests

Jessica Valenzuela, CEO and Co-Founder, GoGoGuest  (San Francisco). Rising Star Helps Restaurants Unlock the Power of Personalization

Top Women in Restaurant Technology Award winners were chosen by Hospitality Technology magazine and members of its Research Advisory Board. The winners were announced and honored during an awards program on March 9 at the 27th annual MURTEC (Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference), which was held March 7-9, at The Paris in Las Vegas.

About Hospitality Technology 

Hospitality Technology (HT) is the only publication dedicated to covering the role of information technology in improving business performance for both hotel and restaurant operators. The Hospitality Technology editorial portfolio includes: a print publication that publishes four times annually and reaches more than 16,000 hospitality industry executives, three networking and educational events (MURTEC, HT-NEXT and MURTEC Executive Summit), a comprehensive website, e-newsletters, web seminars, and several exclusive annual reports and studies. Hospitality Technology is the parent brand of the Restaurant Technology Network (, a membership community of restaurants and suppliers working together to solve industry challenges by shaping standards and sharing best practices. Visit Hospitality Technology online at Hospitality Technology is published by EnsembleIQ, headquartered in Chicago. 

About Tillster

Tillster is the global leader in powering digital ordering, delivery, couponing and loyalty solutions, across web, app, kiosk and call center platforms. The company empowers restaurant brands looking to increase revenue, achieve operational efficiencies, and better engage guests. Enabling nearly 50 million digital orders per year, it offers the added dimension of integrated marketing and data mining, including proprietary AI and machine-learning tool. With teams in North America, Latin America, EMEA and APAC, Tillster serves more than 100 global and regional brands, including Burger King, Baskin-Robbins, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Godfather’s Pizza, Jollibee and Pollo Campero. For more information, please visit

2022 Top Women in Rest Tech at MURTEC
The 2022 winners on stage at MURTEC.

Past Winners!

About the Author

Anna Wolfe
Anna Wolfe is Hospitality Technology’s senior editor.  She has more than 15 years of experience as a B2B journalist writing about restaurants, retail and specialty food. Read More