your savant

joclosePassion: Travel, making connections for and with people, entertaining

Signature: A bit of color in the hair… currently pink

Charitable philosophy: We all have time talent or treasure to share. I do what I can when I can and work with both sustainable food organizations as well as with children.

Words to live by: Food is our common ground, a universal experience. – James Beard

For owner and event savant Jo Self, Bon Vivant Savant is the perfect fit for years of personal and professional experience. Jo sharpened her event planning skills at Yum! Brands, Inc., the multinational corporation that owns such brands as KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Jo was in charge of employee programs at the headquarters, organizing anything from cultural exploration events to recognition programs. Her outstanding work at Yum! won her national awards from her professional organization, Employee Services Managers Association and she served on ESM’s national Board of Directors during 2007 and 2008.

In addition to work, Jo’s personal passion for travel has lent big-city and international flair to her planning style. A Louisville native, Jo lived in Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, Charlotte and Dallas as well as Milan, Italy; Lima, Peru; Montevideo, Uruguay and Guayaquil, Ecuador, before returning home, which deepened her appreciation for other cultures. Holding a BA in Spanish, she had intended to obtain a Master’s in Latin American Studies at the University of Louisville to learn more about the language and Latin culture. On second thought, she thought it better to live fully than vicariously, so instead she took a break from work and headed to South America for five months in 2007.

That adventurous spirit gives Jo a keen eye on the most interesting happenings in Louisville and beyond, so it’s only natural that she will soon expand Bon Vivant Savant to the Lexington and Cincinnati areas as well.

Jo began Bon Vivant Savant as a way to further engage with her community and fill a need. While professional networking groups abound, and social networking becomes more popular every day on the Internet, she saw a gap that could be filled with opportunities for face-to-face fun. The group wouldn’t focus on career opportunities, but rather on taking every opportunity to enjoy life fully. Unlike online networks, the emphasis would not be on amassing a list of virtual connections, but on relationships built on shared appreciation for real-life fun.

And although Jo’s experience and connections to the restaurant community mean she enjoys dinner and wine tastings, she also wants to offer more to her members. Jo is genuinely excited when she talks about other opportunities, such as white water rafting, an outdoor movie series, horseback riding and travel.

An independent spirit in many ways, Jo says she sees BVS not only as a chance to “celebrate singledom,” but also for couples to come together and meet other couples. All are welcome and have a place within the BVS community. With her experience at crafting social settings, she intends those outings to be a relaxed way for people to meet, without the pressures of a dating service or challenges of meeting out and making the connections on your own. Jo and her team ensure that they will personally introduce everyone to others of like minds and interests.

The new venture is ultimately an extension of Jo’s personality. It’s fitting that she would use her experience as a social coordinator, and her insider knowledge of restaurants and entertainment to help others take advantage of the world she sees, one bursting with opportunity. Easy in conversation and always open to new people and new experiences, Jo hopes Bon Vivant Savant will be a way to share those traits with members of her community and help them meet others ready to do the same.


6 Responses to “your savant”

  1. I saw your listing on Craigslist looking for chef. I’ve just moved back from NOLA and love your site and would love to become involved Thanks tim

  2. Gloria East said

    It was great meeting you last night at the ACP meeting. I look forward to joining and participating in the events you plan. Bon Appetit.

  3. Pulsar said

    It was great meeting you last night at the ACP meeting. I look forward to joining and participating in the events you plan. Bon Appetit.;. All the best!!


    We really enjoyed talking to you at the Italian diner last Sunday! Your website is fantastic! We look forward to participate in the coming events. We hope to see you soon!!

    Este concepto es fabuloso! Felicidades Jo!!!

  5. Kellie Stanis said

    I am impressed with all this useful information. Was WAY more than I expected. I just cannot keep up with your posts. So much information to read about.

  6. Rebounder said

    Very interesting post thank you for writing it I just added your blog to my bookmarks and will be back 🙂 By the way this is a little off topic but I really like your blogs layout.

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