Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez is an entrepreneur, social innovator, and advocate for the rights of women and immigrants. Throughout her career in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, Rodriguez has pioneered and been part of important new ways to address economic inequity: developing a best-in-class business incubator; creating workforce development programs; and launching an innovative public school in a Brooklyn.
As Founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen, Jessamyn has developed powerful partnerships to build the iconic bakery and brand. These efforts have also transformed a nearly vacant public market in East Harlem into thriving corridor for food manufacturing. Hot Bread Kitchen has become a nationally recognized brand whose products are sold across the country to partners such as Whole Foods and JetBlue.
Under Jessamyn’s leadership, Hot Bread Kitchen has trained over 200 women bakers from 42 countries, created more than 75 permanent jobs, and incubated 172 growing food businesses.
Jessamyn and her work have been recognized with many distinguished awards, such as a Neighborhood Achievement Award from Mayor Bloomberg, a Global Citizen Award from the Clinton Foundation, and Crain’s New York 40 Under 40. She sits on advisory boards for the James Beard Foundation, WENYC (Mayor DeBlasio’s initiative to support female entrepreneurs) and the Community Advisory Board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Jessamyn is also the award-winning author of The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, in fourth reprint with Clarkson Potter.
Jessamyn has worked in Canada, United States, Costa Rica, and Mexico and holds an MPA from Columbia University. She lives in Queens with her husband and two young children.