|Pam Wait, founder of the O.C. Restaurant Association.
Pam Waitt is the founder of the O.C. Restaurant Association, a group near and dear to her heart. The OCRA serves all the restaurants and foodies in Orange County. It also puts together countywide culinary events, such as OC Restaurant Week and Kid's Restaurant Week, to name a few.
The 36-year-old mom, who says she once hoped to be a chef in Hawaii or a marine biologist, became interested in food very early on in life.
“I was interested in food since the moment I could speak. I used to push a chair up to the stove and start creating concoctions as early as 4,” she says. “I wrote a recipe book for all my classmates in first grade. I then proceeded to market the cookbook with posters throughout the school.”
Waitt also devotes some of her time to volunteering for such groups as the March of Dimes because she says it is important for all of us to do our part in society.
“I/we also work with SOS and Cystic Fibrosis; I help coordinate the dining side. We have so many fantastic restaurants and chefs that really step up to the plate and make my volunteering job very easy,” she says.
However, when asked, she says the very most important thing she does for the community is “raise two kids that will be a benefit and not a drain on society.”
Aside from that, she is also a strong proponent of green initiatives which help everyone in the long run, and of course volunteering.
Waitt also looks forward to Orange County Restaurant Week. “It has been so awesome to pull together OC as a whole. Dining out and making fantastic friends along the way has also been fantastic. This is the hospitality business everyone is very hospitable and that makes it all worth it,” she says.
Born and raised in the OC, she says she has learned that by working and working hard, she has been become successful.
“Work, work, work and keep moving forward. Turn all of the little bumps in the road into a new opportunity, because bumps will be there and you have to create opportunity.”
Married to Greg, the couple has two children and she enjoys movies, bowling, dining out, and goofing off with friends and family.
This self-proclaimed quote-a-holic, adds that two of her favorites, which she probably lives her own life by may some it all up: "No Guts, No Glory" and "Whether you think you can or cannot either way you are right."
In addition, Waitt says she tends to like the Buddhist way of life in terms of her own life motto: “They love and accept everyone! My number one motto is really simple just be nice, but don't let anyone push you around. It is important to stand your ground but you can do it nicely.”