Full Name
Ikimi Dubose-Woodson
Job Title
CoFounder, Executive Director
The Roots Fund
Speaker Bio
“Find what you love and let it kill you.” is the famous quote wrapped around a global knife tattooed on Ikimi’s back.

Destined to be a lawyer to help her Brooklyn community, Ikimi ended up in culinary school by accident. Securing her first job at the World Trade Center Marriott as a silver polisher was a humbling and knowledgeable experience. Ikimi attended Johnson & Wales University, and after graduation utilized her time traveling the world studying culture through food. Upon her return to the states, she was the youngest and first woman to complete the Marriott & Ritz Carlton Management Training Program. Her career led her to lead culinary and management teams at sports organizations, restaurant groups, and prestigious educational institutions. After leading the culinary team on Capitol Hill, through the largest sustainable food initiative, Ikimi rediscovered her passion to mentor the next generation. In August 2017, in conjunction with Lifeworks Restaurant Group, she designed, and opened LEO MKT, a food hall in Washington, DC, focusing on cuisines around the world.

Ikimi co-founded The Roots Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to creating inclusive opportunities for communities of color throughout the wine industry in 2020. She currently runs the organization as Executive Director and has overseen the more than 155 scholars they have supported, their massive fundraising effort, the high school job training program and their extensive support network the organization has created.

Known for her ability to create managers, lead large teams, encourage growth of women, and minorities in the business, she hasn’t stopped yet. Chef, restaurateur, writer, nonprofit executive, and inspiration. “When there is no room for me at the table, I usually stand on the table.”
Ikimi Dubose-Woodson