Zach Neil is a self-made American entrepreneur, motivator, pop culture expert, musician, best-selling author, chef, and highly regarded business advisor. He has been featured multiple times on the Food Network as well as Good Day New York, Cheddar, Watch What Happens Live, MSNBC, ABC World News, and has graced the pages of Maxim, Time, People, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and many others.
Zach has gained additional notoriety through his popular experiential entertainment programs and his pop-up dining and drinking experiences including the world-famous Beetle House, The Will Farrell-themed Stay Classy bars, The dark side Star Wars experiences, and several other buzzy pop culture pop-ups nationwide.
Zach’s first book “The Nightmare Before Dinner” cookbook became a best seller and one of quartz publishing’s best-selling cookbooks for the last two years. Zach has diversified his business interests from food and beverage to personal care, experiential salons and spas, cosmetics, production, and consulting.
He is a partner on several brands from fashion to tech as well as a host of two podcasts (Zach Neil’s daily gold) and (Recomposer with Zach Neil). Zach had advocated for restaurant owners and staff through quarantine and raised both money and awareness.
Recently he launched an investment program to support creative and deserving businesses needing financing and mentorship due to the pandemic called ReInvest in Mainstreet which is about helping female entrepreneurs and women of color-owned businesses adversely affected by the pandemic with finances and mentorship.
We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Zach!
Tammy Reese: Please tell us about ReInvest in Mainstreet and how did it come about?
Zach Neil: ReInvest Mainstreet is a product of the love of a father to a daughter, the love of a son to a mother, love a brother to a sister, and love of my peers and partners who are women in business.
It’s also a product of what I consider the smartest piece of business any man can do right now! In my opinion and I believe it to be a fact, women are going to lead the next century of business and I want to be in business with them not only for all of the above-mentioned reasons but also because it’s just a smart business and it’s more than overdue.
Tammy Reese: When you think of the word “Empowerment”, what comes to mind?
Zach Neil: Honestly, women. Maybe because that term is heavily associated with women, “women’s empowerment” but that is the first thing I think of.
Tammy Reese: What impact do you intend to make for Women and Minority Women Business Owners?
Zach Neil: There are Kings and Queens, and there are King and Queen makers. Those of us who are in a position to make future leaders need to. It’s great to create jobs for women and to close the wage gap. These are all important and noble causes. However, there has to be more than just creating jobs and paying fair wages. That’s literally the baseline of what should have already been happening.
We (men) aren’t helping women by paying them fair wages and creating jobs, we’re just doing what we should have already been doing! We need to be making CEOS and presidents, we need to make sure our successors are women. It’s more than just money, or investment, or mentorship, it’s a call to action that when a man in power is stepping down or moving on, that he considers a woman as a priority.
If there is a pool of men and women who are equally qualified, women should be given the first opportunity. This creates an immediate balance in the force 🙂 This is how we balance make domination in organizations by having women at the top of the organization. So our program calls on leaders to do that, but also helps us create CEOs by investing into, guiding snd mentoring women entrepreneurs who need the help.
Tammy Reese: What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?
Zach Neil: I love creating. Creating experiences, companies, environments, landscapes, philosophies, etc. creating is what drives my engine. That includes creating a better world, than the one I was born in.
I’ve made a deal with myself that once I hit a certain comfort zone financially I’m going to dedicate the rest of my life to philanthropy, that’s where the real magic happens.
Tammy Reese: What other projects or initiatives are you currently working on
Zach Neil: I’m trying to bring an iconic celebrity brand to NYC from LA. I’m opening a handful of fun thematic eating and drinking spaces for the post covid world. I’m working on a cosmetics brand with my brilliant partners. I’m doing work with Xixi Yang, Gia Farrell, Hillary Jones, Tatum Neiderhiser, Walter Mosley, and Tim Ogrady on this and many other projects.
Tammy Reese: What can you tell us about the upcoming virtual pitch session?
Zach Neil: It’s going to be great because even if we don’t pick a certain brand for investment, I’m personally going to advise for free, every single person who pitches. I’m going to make myself and my company a resource for them all. That’s the Santa clause moment.
Tammy Reese: What advice would you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Zach Neil: Do it. Don’t wait, the time is never going to be right. Don’t stress, live playing the game. When you love playing baseball you love the gameplay, win or lose, entrepreneurship is the same way.
LOVE what you’re doing and block out all the naysayers. Listen to yourself and trust your own instincts. It’s your life, so live it the way you want. F%&k anyone who disagrees.
Entrepreneurs send your pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.