My name is Renee Ward, maiden name Giffune, and I am a Paul Smith’s alum (Culinary Arts; magna cum laude; walked in graduation in May 2011). I currently own my own private home cooking business in the Philadelphia area and have been working as a chef since moving there six years ago. I am also married to a fellow alum, James Ward ’11, whose family owns their own tree care and removal business in the Philadelphia area that has been in business for 60 years now.

Not only was attending Paul Smith’s one of the most enriching and exciting experiences of my life, but I have been equipped to succeed in the very demanding and competitive restaurant world. Thanks to my experience at Paul Smith’s College, I have confidence not only as a chef but as a professional business woman. My time at Paul Smith’s gave me an invaluable education, lifelong friendships, as well as a constant concern for the environment and my personal impact on it. I also met my husband there! I am very proud to tell people where I trained as a chef and always will be.

Thank you, Paul Smith’s. You took a small town girl from upstate New York and prepared her to succeed in the ever changing and highly competitive world of cooking!

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