US-based Ashtin Berry is the Roku Industry Icon 2020. For this award, the 540-strong voting Academy is asked to give the name of one person who has done more for the progress of the bar industry than any other individual. Berry is a hospitality activist and educator, dedicated to creating safe and equitable workspaces in the bar and restaurant sectors. She is a celebrated bartender, a WSET Level Three sommelier and founder of Resistance Served, an annual food and beverage symposium focused on celebrating and examining Black and African American contributions to hospitality. She is renowned for her commitment to enacting positive progress in the hospitality industry at all levels and is employed by large, forward-thinking companies to help design their own roadmap to equity.
In her formative years, Berry received a degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. Her experiences working in hospitality around this time ignited her passion to make all facets of the hospitality industry – from bars to restaurants and hotels – a without-prejudice space. She is also a co-founder of Radical Xchange, an experience-based agency that promotes intersectionality through myriad events. Congratulations to Ashtin Berry, a progressive champion of the bar sector and deserved winner of the Roku Industry Icon Award 2020.