LESLEY COHN, CO-FOUNDER COHN RESTAURANTS

Lesley Cohn, Co-founder of the Cohn Restaurant Group

Lesley Cohn, Co-founder of the Cohn Restaurant Group

LESLEY COHN, CO-FOUNDER COHN RESTAURANTS

Lesley Cohn, co-founder of Southern California’s premier hospitality collective, Cohn Restaurant Group, has been deeply rooted in San Diego’s philanthropic community, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. True dining scene icons, Lesley and her husband David have earned a reputation as the most giving and generous restaurant group in Southern California, making regular donations of time, money and resources to regional and national organizations such as the Garfield High School Foundation, Rady Children’s Hospital, Balboa Park Conservancy, Surfrider Foundation, Helen Woodward Animal Center, Special Olympics, KPBS and more. In addition to the more than 350 local organizations the Cohn Restaurant Group has supported over 35 years, Lesley and David opened San Diego’s first not-for-profit restaurant, Tacos Libertad, to create an additional avenue for local charity fundraising. Guaranteeing a minimum of $3,000 to a monthly rotating charity, Cohn Restaurant Group has been able to raise more than $125,000 for local organizations through Tacos Libertad since its opening in May of 2017.

A true businesswoman in every sense, Lesley and her husband’s small diner back in 1982 has grown to over 25 restaurants with locations in San Diego (22), Long Beach (1) and Maui (2). Believing in the importance of giving back to the community, David and Lesley have been recognized for their strong community and industry support, including the California Restaurant Association’s “2013 Restaurant Neighbor Award”, Gaslamp Quarter Historic Association “Vision Award”, the San Diego Press Club’s “Entrepreneurs of the Year” Award, the San Diego City Schools for exemplary Support and Commitment to Partnerships in Education and the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Market Place Ethics. Lesley herself has been awarded numerous accolades for her philanthropy work, including the 2015 Lamplighter “Lifetime Achievement Award”, the 2015 Girl Scouts’ “Cool Women Award”, the 2011 San Diego Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” award, and “Woman of the Year” in 2002 from the State of California Legislature, among many others.