About our Honoree

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Leslie McCrorey Wells, a co-owner of Pizzeria Verità, Trattoria Delia  and Sotto Provisions (formerly Sotto Enoteca) is an unsung superhero in our community. She is a distinguished business leader and inspiring advocate for social justice and education who gives tirelessly of her time and talent to promote and advance the concept that women and people of color can and should aspire to business ownership and community leadership.  

Leslie grew up in Vermont, graduated from the University of Vermont and worked for Ben & Jerry’s in marketing as her first job after college. She opened her first restaurant, Purple Knights Pizza, in 2001.  

When Covid-19 began and our economy was shut down, Leslie contacted Mercy Connections and offered to feed families in need. She has partnered with us over the last year to provide food to more than 2,000 people.  

Long before Covid-19, Leslie was supporting our community in many different ways. She has served on various boards and committees such as the Vermont Commission on National & Community Service, the UVM Coming Home Project, the Burlington School District Strategic Planning Committee, Burlington Mayor Clavelle’s Anti-Racism Task Force and Mercy Connections. Leslie currently serves on the board of The Intervale Center, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum. She was recently recognized by the Lake Champlain Chamber with the Community Impact Award.  

**Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, was a 19th century leader in Ireland who made it her life’s work to promote social justice. She advocated for those who were overlooked and underserved and believed that every individual was worthy of equal opportunity.