Our Team

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


Board of Directors

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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. 

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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.