Earlene Cruz is the founder of Kitchen Connection, an online social media community which links people from all over the world through live video sessions to either cook together, eat together, or share tips — all while contributing to the alleviation of global hunger through its partnership with Action Against Hunger.
Cruz graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Stillman School of Business with a double major in management and French and a minor in international business, knowledge she put to good use as an international business writer for The Stillman Exchange. While at the Stillman School, she joined the business fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma, and received a David B. and Janellen Gerstein Scholarship as well as a Stillman School Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Scholarship. Cruz, who participated in a “Semester at Sea” during her junior year and also studied French at La Sorbonne in Paris the summer before her senior year, is a world traveler who has visited more than 35 countries and has lived in the United States and France.
As an alumna, Cruz won the 2014 “Most Innovative Pitch” award from the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers E-Business Specialty Program. Kitchen Connection has also been recognized by BreakThru Radio and Yahoo Finance.
With the support of Whole Foods and Action Against Hunger, Kitchen Connection is redeveloping and testing its platform with their partners at World Chefs by introducing food bloggers, farmers, bartenders, cooks, etc. to the online community. The company is inviting them to showcase their passion for food. Chefs using Kitchen Connection can also donate a portion of their funds towards the alleviation of global hunger via Action Against Hunger. This past summer, Cruz also traveled to Expo Milano, the world expo on food, to meet with representatives.
Cruz is at New York University, pursuing a master’s degree in Food Studies and Social Entrepreneurship. She hopes to use the knowledge gained to complement and improve her work at Kitchen Connection as well to someday help run her mother’s restaurant business, adding a philanthropic initiative to the establishment.