Open Call: We’re Looking For the Heroes of 2020

Extraordinary hospitality professionals who have pivoted beyond their job descriptions in COVID times.

local heros
Grace Han/Thrillist
Grace Han/Thrillist

2020 has been a year of unprecedented difficulty and transformation for the world, with the hospitality community being especially hard hit. The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the entire food ecosystem from farmers and purveyors who suddenly lacked businesses to supply, to restaurants and bars being forced to lay off staff and close doors, to food banks with double the mouths to feed and less resources to do so. In addition to this, a historic social justice movement grew, fighting back against police brutality, the inequality that pervades American society and hinders the Black community, and the systems that uphold white supremacy.
But in the face of adversity, unsuspecting heroes emerged. This was a moment unlike any other for industry folks to take matters into their own hands. Thrillist Heroes of 2020 is a year-end look back at the people who, despite their own personal setbacks during 2020, pivoted their lives to step up, go above and beyond, and make change for their great communities.

These are the stories of folks you might not know, and others you do who have made surprising changes of course in the face of crisis. In doing so they displayed kindness, courage and inspiration within their local communities. This is about shape-shifting, allyship, and courage. It’s about not staying in your lane, moving beyond your own immediate path to do so, and so much more. From everyday chefs and bartenders to delivery people and everyone in between. 

Today we’re turning to you for nominations. Please send us your suggestions by October 8 to Nominees must be active within the food/drink/farm/purveyor/non-profit space and have done something extraordinary in 2020 specifically.

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