Executive Team

Casey Smith | Founder & Executive Director

Casey Smith is a veteran entrepreneur and experienced leader in corporate and non‐profit sectors. She leads the business development, operational activities and professional development for Cooking Up Cultures. Through her work in creating and developing Cooking Up Cultures, she is in part fulfilling her life goal of actively advancing the positive course of humanity. Casey resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and two children where dinnertime discussions often reference the world map fixed above the dinner table

Phillip Mishoe | Art  Director

Phillip Mishoe is a career renaissance man and world traveler. He has over 15 years of teaching experience with students ranging in age from kindergarten to adults in genres spanning cooking classes to music and construction building. Each of his endeavors always includes a combination of education, artistry, and intentional collaboration with community. His expertise in project based learning, construction engineering, food, cultures and language have provided the framework for curriculum design and project management.

Rebekah Grmela | Marketing & Communications Interim Director

Rebekah has years of marketing and communications experience working with startups and long-established companies. Her time at the Austin Convention Visitors Bureau and Impact Hub developed into a strong foundation in tourism and community engagement initiatives. When she’s not engaging with a socially responsible startup or elbow deep in a community event she is busy creating something really cool out of tissue paper and string. She is a fan of crafting. Like really. Her next project is to create her crafting portfolio in all the languages CUC teaches!

Board of Directors

Orlando Kelm, University of Texas

Fernando Saralegui, Papi’s Kitchen

Hannah Christian, New York Life

Devrim Ikizler, Magee & Magee

Katherine Ruiz, The Maker World