Bold Service.

Causing A Stir empowers and uplifts marginalized members of the hospitality industry by equipping underrepresented individuals with educational tools, insight and access that create viable pathways for career advancement.

We invest in under-resourced communities, such as Chicago’s South Side, by providing equitable educational systems and industry-focused opportunities that support upward mobility and community revitalization.

Learn more about our programs here.


Recognizing a need for radical inclusion, equal representation and accessibility to educational opportunities within the bar community, the founders of the Chicago-based Causing A Stir organization talk about their vision to nurture better working environments in hospitality. Panelists: Alexis Brown (Causing a Stir; Chicago) and Ariel Neal (Causing a Stir; Chicago) Moderated by: Colin Asare-Appiah (Bacardi; New York) Presented by: Chandon Video by: Le JIT Productions


Our Team

Causing A Stir is a collaborative effort made possible by the hard work and dedication of many.


Board of Directors

ariel neal headshot-01.png

ariel e. neal // co-founder

South Side Chicago native Ariel Neal leads today’s cocktail culture one pour at a time. Neal designs small and large-scale corporate and social events through her beverage events company, Leira Knows Cocktails and Events. Neal is pushing the beverage industry forward with mindful conversations around inclusion as the co-founder of Causing a Stir. With a mantra rooted in hospitality, “Connecting people with cocktails,” it is Neal’s mission to make wine and spirits education accessible and approachable for all. 

alexis headshot-01-01.png

Alexis brown // co-founder

Alexis Brown hails from Chicago’s South Side and travels the globe creating memorable cocktail experiences for clients worldwide. With an eye for design and a background in events management, Brown is well-versed in event planning and execution. “Life is to be lived, and I love helping people do just that, through imagination and creating memories that illuminate the wonder of life, says Brown.” As the co-founder of Causing A Stir, Brown leads with her passion for the hospitality industry by educating individuals on bar history while also shining a light on the disenfranchised and underrepresented members of the hospitality industry.



In 2016 a group of diverse women met for lunch to discuss the landscape of the hospitality industry. With talk turned into action, Causing A Stir was born. These women are the 12 originators, or as we call them, Oneof12.


Our Partners

We are grateful for the support of our partner organizations. We commend each of them for recognizing the importance of inclusion and diversity in the hospitality industry.