In Conversation: Hannah Withers, Bea Apple, Jeannette Balleza Collins, Darwin Beyer

One Year Later: How Hospitality Is and Isn’t Surviving the Age of Covid

A roundtable discussion and Q & A with NWA’s hospitality professionals. Tune in to see how COVID has impacted our hospitality community directly and how you can help support it.

"How do we go about healing from your perspective with respect to the hospitality industry? You’ve all shown us that you can use your small business platforms for good, leading by example and taking care of our neighbors. What can we do better as Northwest Arkansans with our social, civic, and financial capital to serve the hospitality industry that serves us so well?" - Jeanette Balleza Collins

About our guests:

Jeannette Balleza Collins (moderator) is entrepreneurial development director at Northwest Arkansas Council, leads the StartupNWA program, and loves founders of all kinds. 
Hannah Withers (Maxine’s and Leverett Lounge) is a co-owner of Leverett Lounge, a co-founder of Little Bread Company, and a caretaker of historic Maxine’s Taproom in Fayetteville. She sometimes dips her toes in events and her hands in community work. 
Bea Apple (Hillfolk) is co-founder of Hillfolk, a textile + studio and shop in Bentonville and co-founder of the original Pressroom in downtown Bentonville. When she’s not doing Hillfolk things, she loves wrangling her three kids and doing advocacy work in the DEI/bike space.
Chef Darwin Beyer (Meiji) was taught early in life by his Japanese mother to appreciate the beautiful simplicity of ingredients in putting together a simple family meal.  After returning from a brief stay in Yokosuka, Japan in his late twenties, Darwin began his sushi career under the tutelage of Thomas Tai, owner of Siki Japanese Restaurant in Kansas City, MO. Thomas insisted all of his apprentices mastered traditional sushi techniques from mastering dexterous knife skills to washing rice properly. 
In 2010, Chef Darwin opened 42 seat Meiji Japanese Cuisine in a quiet plaza on the east side of Fayetteville. He brought with him a purpose to provide premium fish and quality ingredients for his guests. Meiji quickly garnered a stellar reputation for serving high quality, fresh sushi in Northwest Arkansas and continues to receive accolades for the Best Sushi and Japanese restaurant. 2 expansions and 11 years later Meiji continues to evolve to serve our guests and is proud to be part of this vibrant community.