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Education Program

Discover the Latest in Specialty Food with Talks and Workshops at the Winter Fancy Food Show

Highlights

Start Up and Go
Are you an entrepreneur who is new to the specialty food industry? Step up your readiness in our one-day workshop on the basics of the business and our 90-minute seminars on scaling up, selling into channels, and pricing your products.
Moving Specialty Foods at Retail
What drives retail specialty food sales today? What will drive tomorrow? Learn from the front line as leaders from forward-thinking retailers from mass merchants to specialty stores and e-commerce platforms share their views in a lively discussion led by Specialty Food Association President Phil Kafarakis.
The Future of Food
Get inspired with this series of short talks by some of the most provocative thinkers in the food world right now. You’ll leave energized and excited to make your mark on specialty food in 2017 and beyond.

Program at a glance

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY


Full Program

Saturday, January 21, 2017

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - The Basics: The Business of Specialty Food

 

Are you new to the specialty food industry or just looking to get a leg up on the competition? The Specialty Food Association’s one-day intensive workshop—from a team of veteran specialty food producers and leaders of the SFA—helps you learn the fundamentals of our market and increase your knowledge base. The Basics covers how to build your brand, sell to supermarkets and specialty retailers, work with brokers and distributors, price your product, extend credit, and market to the trade using promotions, shows, and other activities. You’ll leave with a clearer understanding of the industry, learn best practices, and get real-world answers to your questions. Lunch is included.

  • Doug Renfro is President of Renfro Foods. He oversees new product development and helps manage a number of strategic and administrative areas of the business, including sales, purchasing, legal, and information systems. Doug has spent a majority of his career working in a number of different capacities at Renfro Foods. As a teenager, he worked in production, while in college he weighed out all the spices for daily production.

    After graduating from the University of North Texas, Doug worked in the finance and accounting departments for a large multi-national information services company in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. During his seven-year tenure outside the family business, he was promoted to Divisional Finance Manager, earned his Master’s degree from Southern Methodist University and qualified for his Certified Management Accountant designation. Doug re-joined Renfro Foods in 1992.

    Involved in a number of professional and community organizations, Doug is a past president of the Tarrant Area Food Bank, the Texas Food Processors Association and the North Texas Food Sales Association. Doug currently serves on the executive committee of Casa Mañana, a not-for-profit theater organization and is a past executive committee member of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, a non-profit conservation and preservation institute. Doug is also on the McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors, the Chile Pepper Institute’s Advisory Council and TCU’s Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. He has also served as a board member of Fort Worth South, a non-profit organization that works to renovate Fort Worth’s southern inner city.

     

    Jack Acree is the Executive Vice President of the Company, and leads American Halal’s sales, marketing, and operational strategies. Jack successfully built two of the fastest growing startups in the natural foods business which now deliver well over $50 million in sales – Terra Chips® (Hain Foods) and Alexia Foods® (ConAgra Foods). Jack's team built Alexia’s sales to over $75 million today with over 26 SKU’s. Alexia Food was sold to ConAgra Foods in 2007. While at Alexia in 2002, Jack was able to immediately secure shelf space for this start-up brand into 5,000 stores – in top-tier chains including Whole Foods, Publix, Stop & Shop, Shoprite, Shaw’s, Wegmans, and Wal-Mart. At Terra Chips, Jack grew sales from inception at Terra Chips to over $5 Million. For Terra, Jack built and scaled five broad channels of distribution for this niche start up: independent routes, gourmet shops natural stores, supermarket chains and food service. Today, Terra Chips is owned by Hain foods and generates over $60 million in sales. Jack is a founding member of the Slow Money Alliance and is active in local and national politics.

     

    John Roberts founded Blackpoint Management Inc., to work exclusively within the specialty food industry. After achieving success at companies such as Romanoff Foods, Buitoni, and Riviana Foods (Colgate), John joined The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade – now Specialty Food Association - in 1989 as Executive Director/General Manager, and was promoted to President in 1996. Under his leadership, the organization increased revenues to over $22 million from $4 million, and absorbed the National Food Distributors Association, the Specialty Food Brokers Association and the Kosher Food Distributors Association. John is frequently invited to present his insights regarding the U.S. specialty food marketplace at educational conferences and conventions and to regional and national groups within the U.S. and worldwide. John holds both an MBA and a Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hall University.

     

    Trish Pohanka was most recently the Director of Merchandising and Marketing for European Imports Inc (a specialty division of Sysco). European Imports is an importer and distributor of specialty foods offering upscale products to restaurants, hotels and retail establishments. As the specialty food import division of Sysco, European Imports products are distributed nationwide through the Sysco network as well as directly to specialty retailers. As Director of Merchandising and Marketing, Pohanka was committed to sourcing innovative products from around the world and identifying trends; managing the procurement team, development of European Imports private labels and implementing marketing programs to provide support for retailers and foodservice professionals. The foundation of EIL’s success is the relationships they have formed over the past 35 years.

    Pohanka served on the Board of Directors for the SFA for 12 years and completed her term on the Executive Council as Past Chairwoman in 2010. Pohanka is Chairperson for the Distributor Council and was appointed to the Board by the council in 2014.

     

    Ron Tanner is vice president, philanthropy, government and industry relations at the Specialty Food Association, owner of the Fancy Food Shows® and publisher of Specialty Food Magazine and Specialty Food News. Ron has worked for the Specialty Food Association, and its 3,000+ members, since 1987. Prior to joining the association, Ron worked for 10 years as an editor with Progressive Grocer Magazine. Ron has appeared on The Today Show, CNN and Food Network, and has been quoted in Newsweek, The New York Times, and Parade Magazine. Ron has an MS in Journalism from Columbia University in New York City, and a BA in English and Communications Studies from Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.

     

    Tim Metzger is president of Metzger Specialty Brands and the owner of Washington State's Tillen Farms range of pickled specialty vegetables, selling to a network of distributors and retailers nationwide. After nearly a decade in sales and marketing for traditional branded companies, including Procter & Gamble and Dannon Yogurt, Tim's initial effort with specialty foods was with Pasta & Cheese, specialty pasta shops in New York City, where he introduced fresh packaged pasta into the supermarket trade. The company went public three years later and within a year, was sold to Carnation, and is now a $250MM brand under the Buitoni label. Tim also gained invaluable importing experience during his nine-plus years as vice president of sales and marketing for specialty food importer, The Gilway Co.

     

    Denise Purcell is Head of Content for the Specialty Food Association. She oversees news and features on platforms like Specialty Food News, Specialty Food Magazine and specialtyfood.com, as well as our educational programming online and at the Fancy Food Shows. Denise previously worked as an editor for publications in the private label, commercial shipping, and home improvement industries. She holds a BA in Journalism from Rutgers University.

     

     

     

    Hass Alireza is the CEO and Founder of The Daily Crave. His background began in 1984 as a merchandiser for a Northern California Distributor, Gourmet Specialties, leaving the company as their general manager to start his own sales and marketing company. In 1997 he established his own brokerage firm specializing in natural and specialty foods in California called Global Sales and Marketing. Hass represented product lines such as Newman’s Own Organics, Twining’s teas and many other up-and-coming specialty and natural foods companies. In late 2011 Hass saw a tremendous opportunity in a “better-for-you” category in snacks as well as other high volume consumable segments such as cookies and crackers. He combined great ingredients, attributes and value into a very distinctive package and, as they say, “The rest is history”.

    Natural Intentions was founded in late 2011 and The Daily Crave brand was created and started doing business in May of 2012. The Daily Crave is now sold in more than 16 countries as well as airports, airlines, club stores and thousands of grocery, natural and specialty food stores in the U.S.

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - FSMA Ready: How to Build Your 2017 Food Safety Plan

 

NOTE: THIS SESSION IS FREE
This year is a key preparation period for specialty food manufacturers who need to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2017 or 2018, depending on their company/sales size. In this presentation, you’ll get detailed information and hands-on practice on how to build a food safety plan to ensure that your company is ready for the new regulations. Note that many SFA members will need to take the three-day Preventive Controls training to get certification – this free workshop is an introduction to the materials you’ll cover in that training.

  • Amanda Lathrop is an Associate Professor of Food Science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After receiving her BS in Food Science from Cal Poly, she earned an MS and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. Prior to joining Cal Poly, she was employed at The National Food Lab in Livermore, CA. As Food Safety Manager at the lab, she assisted clients in developing and executing food safety projects ranging from product and process food safety assessments to new technology validations. At Cal Poly, she teaches Introduction to Food Science, Food Plant Sanitation, and Food Safety. Her research has focused on studying the microbial safety of low sodium cheeses, the survival of Salmonella in low-moisture environments, and working on developing biological control methods to ensure the microbial safety of produce.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

 

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. - Flavor Trends: Hybrids, Extremes, and What Tastes Good Right Now

 

Have you ever heard of comfort fusion? When did you last try a mashed-up or hybrid snack food? Trend authority Suzy Badaracco studies quantitative research and industry movements in order to identify and predict the flavors that consumers will crave next. In this seminar, you’ll learn about current and upcoming food and beverage trends and understand how fused and layered flavors can lengthen product lifecycles. You’ll also get insight into how to spot openings in the marketplace as well as translate trend directions into new products and menu items that can outlast the hype and be successful with consumers.

  • Suzy Badaracco is a toxicologist, chef, and registered dietitian. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminalistics, an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts, and an MS in Human Nutrition. Suzy has worked as a trends forecaster for food industry clients since 1992, has been trained in military intelligence, chaos theory, and predictive analysis techniques used by both corporate and government bodies, and has been practicing trends intelligence and predictive forecasting for more than 15 years. Using these techniques she has been able to successfully predict and profile government, technology, adversary and ally, food, flavor, consumer, industry, and health trends.

 

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. - Start Right, Grow Strong: Nine Critical Steps

 

How can you enter and succeed in the specialty food market? Trade expert John Roberts offers nine key steps and a comprehensive, commonsense plan to set you up for success.

You’ll leave this workshop prepared to face the challenges ahead by learning how to evaluate your product's potential based on key success factors, execute a low-cost market test, analyze the results of your efforts, and develop a fact-based business plan with minimum risk. You’ll also get detailed worksheets and handouts to put what you've learned into practice.

  • John Roberts founded Blackpoint Management Inc., to work exclusively within the specialty food industry. After achieving success at companies such as Romanoff Foods, Buitoni, and Riviana Foods (Colgate), John joined The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade – now Specialty Food Association - in 1989 as Executive Director/General Manager, and was promoted to President in 1996. Under his leadership, the organization increased revenues to over $22 million from $4 million, and absorbed the National Food Distributors Association, the Specialty Food Brokers Association and the Kosher Food Distributors Association. John is frequently invited to present his insights regarding the U.S. specialty food marketplace at educational conferences and conventions and to regional and national groups within the U.S. and worldwide. John holds both an MBA and a Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hall University.

 

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - How to Create a Product Mission for What You Make or Sell: A Workshop with Bi-Rite

 

Consumers are looking for more transparency and authenticity as they make their purchasing decisions. How do producers, distributors, and retailers convey their core values through the products they produce, represent, and sell? Join Bi-Rite Family of Businesses founder and visionary Sam Mogannam and his team as they detail their process of writing a Product Mission to strengthen their businesses’ product sets. Attendees will come away with strategies, templates, and techniques for replicating this process for their own businesses.

  • Sam Mogannam. A San Francisco native and graduate from City College of San Francisco’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program, Sam is the second generation owner of Bi-Rite Market and the founder of the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses (which includes two San Francisco neighborhood Markets, Bi-Rite Creamery, Bi-Rite Catering, and Bi-Rite Farms). He stepped into the family grocery business in 1997, after working as a chef in his own restaurant. Sam is author of the book Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking, and Creating Community Through Food, and is a popular speaker and sought-after advisor on organic and sustainable food. Sam volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Specialty Food Association, the Advisory Board for the Good Food Awards, and is often asked by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office to consult on policy change having to do with small business, employee benefits, and healthy food access.

    Liz Martinez has worked for the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses for the past 13 years in numerous capacities, including stints as the Alcohol Buyer, the General Manager of the flagship 18th Street Market, and the Director of Operations for the entire Family of Businesses. She is currently the Director of Product, leading the Buyer team’s efforts to source the best products possible to be featured throughout the four businesses including two Markets, the Creamery, and Catering. In 2011, Liz led the Bi-Rite team’s effort to write its Service Mission, which has served as the company’s guiding principle for both internal and external service in all of its businesses ever since. In 2015, she and Waverley Aufmuth co-captained the project to author the companion mission statement, Bi-Rite’s Product Mission. The Product Mission, along with its detailed sourcing guidelines, now document Bi-Rite’s ongoing effort to affect positive and lasting change in the food system by providing the best-tasting, responsibly-sourced products to its guests. 

    Waverley Aufmuth earned her MA in Food Culture and Writing at NYU, where her study of Mexican cuisine and communities in California culminated in her graduate thesis on the cultural value of the Mission Burrito to San Franciscans and its co-modification of San Francisco culture the world over. Waverley joined the team at the Good Food Foundation in 2013, the organization behind the Good Food Awards, where she led the foundation and growth of the Good Food Merchants Guild – an organization dedicated to fostering and supporting specialty food producers with sustainable business practices and uniting them as a powerful economic force. In 2015, Waverley joined the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses, working closely with the buyer team to develop and codify sustainability and sourcing guidelines for all of Bi-Rite’s products. In addition to writing the Product Mission, Waverley manages the communications and marketing strategies and content development for the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses.

 

9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - Sell Smart: The Best Channels for Your Product

 

Which markets will be the best for your new product? This could be the difference between success and failure as each channel has its own rules and protocols, not to mention pros and cons. Ian Kelleher, director of strategic channels for Peeled Snacks, teaches you how to determine which channels are right for your product type and stage of business: grocery, gourmet, natural, convenience, mass-market, online and beyond. You’ll understand the role of brokers and distributors, and prepare to create the ideal sales strategy to get your product on consumers’ tables.

  • As the Head of Sales for New York City based Peeled Snacks, Ian Kelleher has helped navigate his company through sales to a wide range of retailers. Peeled Snacks' organic fruit snacks began as a snack at the gym. Since then, Ian has sought to make his company’s healthy treats available wherever people need a snack. (Everywhere!) From gourmet grocers to gas stations, from farmers’ markets to international exporters, Ian has grappled with the big and the small, the mystifying and the mighty, and he’s eager to share his tales. Arriving in the food industry from the technology world in 2006, Ian was lured into food by the promise of the burgeoning organic movement, which has transformed and flourished in front of his eyes. But Ian’s love of cooking really makes his job a passion project. Ask him over for dinner and tell him to bring a side of vegetables. You’ll see, and taste, what we mean.

 

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Price It Right: Using Costs to Create Real-World Price Sheets

 

Pricing is paramount. It can truly determine whether or not your food business thrives. Jonathan Milo Leal, of Milo's Whole World Gourmet, leads this hands-on workshop aimed at helping you establish best practices for pricing. You’ll learn pricing levels for various channels, understand how freight affects your final cost, set the margin structure for your company and identify steps to take to be sure you're growing safely and protecting your profit margin.

  • Jonathan Milo Leal founded Milo's in 2003 and has grown the company into two brands -- Vino de Milo and JB's Best -- with retail placement across the country.  His company's pasta sauces, salad dressings and BBQ sauces are now sold in several other countries as well, which led to the firm being recognized in 2010 with the Ohio Governor's Award for Export.  He has a teaching degree, a master's in French literature, and an MBA from Ohio University. Jonathan has been a speaker on various topics at Fancy Food Shows for years, and loves to share his knowledge of the industry with folks who are just getting started!

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Monday, January 23, 2017

 

8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. - Selling Specialty: A Retailer Roundtable

 

Join Specialty Food Association President Phil Kafarakis for a lively discussion on the state of specialty food as he hosts some of the leading minds in retail. In this high-level panel featuring mass-merchant, supermarket, natural food stores, specialty, and e-commerce retailers, we’ll delve into the changing specialty food landscape. We’ll also look at what’s driving sales in the different channels, what consumers are looking for, and what it will take to sell specialty foods in the future.

  • Phil Kafarakis, President, Specialty Food Association. Mr. Kafarakis brings more than 30 years of food industry experience to the Specialty Food Association, with a background in innovative brand management, membership development, and strategic planning. Since May 2013, Mr. Kafarakis served as Chief Innovation and Member Advancement Officer for the National Restaurant Association, based in Washington, D.C. The National Restaurant Association is the world's largest foodservice trade association, supporting more than 500,000 restaurant businesses. Prior to that, Mr. Kafarakis spent ten years with McCormick & Company in Hunt Valley, MD. Mr. Kafarakis has also held executive leadership positions at Cargill, Jones Dairy Farm, and Kraft. He has a BA in marketing management from Northern Arizona University and an MBA from Georgetown University.

     

    Sam Mogannam, Founder, Bi-Rite Family of Businesses. A San Francisco native and graduate from City College of San Francisco’s Hotel and Restaurant Management Program, Sam is the second generation owner of Bi-Rite Market and the founder of the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses (which includes two San Francisco neighborhood Markets, Bi-Rite Creamery, Bi-Rite Catering, and Bi-Rite Farms). He stepped into the family grocery business in 1997, after working as a chef in his own restaurant. Sam is author of the book Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking, and Creating Community Through Food, and is a popular speaker and sought-after advisor on organic and sustainable food. Sam volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Specialty Food Association, the Advisory Board for the Good Food Awards, and is often asked by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office to consult on policy change having to do with small business, employee benefits, and healthy food access.

    Freddy Cameron, General Manager of Operations, Sam’s Club. Mr. Cameron got his start as a utility clerk - a fancy title for grocery cart pusher - for a local grocery store as he worked his way through school. Cameron was promoted to supervisor within a year, and his rise in retail continued as he landed a position as a leader in merchandising for one of the nation's largest big box retailers. He started his career with Costco Wholesale in 1998 as a Foods Grocery Merchandiser, then became Foods Grocery Supervisor and was later promoted to Senior Merchandise Manager in 2003 where he oversaw Merchandising Operations. He was promoted to a Regional Merchandising Position in 2006 and while in this role, he worked with the Regional Buying Teams in the areas of Food, Grocery and other specialty areas. In 2013, Cameron left Costco and took a position at Sam's Club as the General Manager of Operations for the Los Angeles Metro area where he currently oversees Club Operations and Merchandising, with a focus on Supplier Diversity. Cameron attended American Public University in West Virginia where he earned a BA degree in Business Management. Cameron is also the current Co-host on the CW Network Television series "Hatched," where he serves as the show’s retail expert.

    Bentley Hall is the CEO of Good Eggs in San Francisco. He's a passionate, driven entrepreneur who helps emerging, mission-driven brands scale. After spending time with Johnson & Johnson and Clif Bar, he joined Plum Organics as the third employee. In his seven years at Plum, he held a variety of C-level roles that launched the business from $0 to $100+ million. After a successful sale to the Campbell Soup Co., he became an investor and board member of three additional high-growth, early stage consumer companies.

     

     

    Suzy Monford is the CEO of Andronico’s Community Markets, in San Francisco. Monford is also founder/ CEO of the newly launched “FitBank.Works” mobile app. Premiered by Andronico’s in 2016, “FitBank” is the world’s first mobile app that incentivizes and rewards employees and customers via curated fitness + food FitBank Challenges. Monford also sits on the Boards of Director for both the Food Marketing Institute, and the California Grocer Association.

    Monford’s career experience spans the restaurant industry, with leadership roles including CEO/president for Cheers Inc., a restaurant corporation in Texas, and in the supermarket industry having held leadership roles with H-E-B Central Market, and later with H-E-B Grocery Company.

    She is passionate about creating healthy communities and served on the executive boards of director for both the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council and the YMCA. She holds a BA in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach under the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and an internationally certified group exercise instructor.

    Mathis Martines is the Emerging Brands and Innovation Leader at Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket company. Martines is a data-driven retail innovator with deep experience in helping debut and develop brands with organizations like Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, and Kroger, and is well-known in entrepreneurial circles for his passion for natural, organic and fresh ideas that can initiate new category development or accretion. Martines began his career at Kroger in March, 2013, after working in merchandising and innovation leadership roles at The Fresh Market and Whole Foods Market. He has also held roles as a consultant with Greenslate Consulting LLC and Third Coast Produce.

 

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Old World and New World Cheeses — An Educational Tasting

 

How do the New World cheeses stack up to the Old? In this session, James Beard award-winning cheese book author and educator Laura Werlin will take attendees on a cheese tasting journey through both worlds with side-by-side comparisons of similar cheeses made on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether it’s English cheddar, French Roquefort, Spanish Manchego or myriad other European cheeses, their American equivalents bring a New World sensibility to the Old World traditions. Come take this educational tasting journey and decide for yourself: Classic, New — or both!

NOTE: You must select this session when registering for a Premium Pass or Event Day Pass if you plan to attend. Pick up a Cheese Tasting Bracelet in the Education Office at the Fancy Food Show.

  • Laura Werlin is one of the country’s foremost authorities on cheese. She is a James Beard award-winning author of six books on the subject, a sought-after speaker and teacher, President of the American Cheese Education Foundation, and is a spokesperson for consumer and trade organizations, as well as a frequent television and radio guest. An expert in cheese and wine pairing and in particular American artisan cheese, Werlin received the prestigious James Beard award for her book The All American Cheese and Wine Book and a nomination for her book, Laura Werlin’s Cheese Essentials. She is also the author of Great Grilled Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Please!, Mac & Cheese, Please!, and The New American Cheese. She has been the subject of instructive yet fun cheese-related videos on the popular website chow.com, and is a frequent writer for national magazines including Food & Wine, Eating Well, Sunset, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Culture, Aspen Magazine, Saveur, Delta Sky, and Cooking Light.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

 

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Better Food, Brighter Future: Talks from Visionaries, Makers, and Innovators

 

Get inspired with this series of short talks by some of the most provocative thinkers in the food world right now. Our speakers will analyze startup profitability, take on food waste and packaging, discuss the use of agricultural technology to revive forgotten crops, developing innovative products, and much more. You’ll leave energized and excited to make your mark on specialty food in 2017 and beyond.

  • Lyndsey Manderson is the founder of the ZERO Market in Denver, Colorado. Vegan for 10 years, mother of two, extremely passionate about the earth and creatures from all walks of life and community networks. She has a Bachelor of Science from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia as well as experience in environmental education, and running a Community Volunteer Association. Manderson was a mental health worker for 7 years in the downtown eastside of Vancouver BC, working with a population dealing with addiction and mental illness and supporting those who need the extra help getting by, day-to-day. She is now a middle school teacher and the owner of Colorado's first zero waste store.

    Jesse Manderson, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, is the manager and operator of the on-site workshops, seminars and community events held very frequently throughout the year at ZERO market, a zero-waste store in Colorado. He has several years of Consulting Holistic Nutrition experience as well as years of current practice research, leading seminars and nutritional journalism with YesWellness in Vancouver, BC. He also has more than 13+ years as a mental health worker and has been an important advocate in the community for the underprivileged and malnourished. He has been living a plant-based lifestyle for the past 18 years and has continued to keep up with current health and nutrition practices throughout as well as an incredibly motivating force in a lot of people's lives.

    Ellen King, Owner/Head Baker of Hewn, is a Chicago native and classically trained chef who has cooked in various kitchens in Seattle, including under Thierry Rautureau (James Beard Award winner for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest). She worked as the artisan cheese buyer/monger for Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA, and spent time at Quillisascut Farm School, a sustainable farm school in Rice, WA, where she first learned to bake bread in a wood-fired oven. King attended the Seattle Culinary Academy where she was awarded the Les Dames d’Escoffier 2003 scholarship. She holds a Master’s degree in American History from the University of Maine and a Bachelor’s degree in History from St. Norbert College. She was previously chair of the Evanston Backyard Chicken Committee and served on the Evanston Environment Board. King is currently a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Chefs Collaborative, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and the Bread Bakers Guild of America. Additionally, she is a chef instructor for the “Food as Medicine” culinary classes held in Evanston with Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark.

    Josh Treuhaft, founder and creative director of Salvage Supperclub and design strategist for Arup, is a crossbreed – a designer, a strategist and a sustainability advocate – interested in tackling complex urban environmental challenges. He’s a creative problem solver, a storyteller, and a collaborator, and believes very strongly that all of those skills are critical to creating change. Most recently, Treuhaft has been working at the intersection of design and sustainability. He has helped to re-brand a revolutionary sustainable materials company (Ecovative), directed design for a start-up composting company (NYCOMPOST), designed low-cost, ergonomic farm tools for smallholder farmers in India (with Design Impact), and founded the Salvage Supperclub, a communal dining experience aimed at reducing food waste by exciting guests about the untapped potential in often-overlooked foods. He studied industrial design at UID in Sweden and received his Masters in Design for Social Innovation at SVA in New York.

    Nicholas Fereday is an executive director and senior analyst in Rabobank’s research department in New York, specializing in food and consumer trends across the food manufacturing, food retail and food service sectors. Prior to joining Rabobank, he was a senior economist and VP of sales for LMC International, an economic agri-food consultancy company. Additionally, he has worked for the Natural Resources Institute in the UK, The Department of Agriculture in Papua New Guinea as well as a freelance journalist and lecturer in Applied Economics.

     

    Gilonne d’Origny is the Chief Development Officer at New Harvest, a non-profit research institute building and establishing the field of cellular agriculture. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in International Relations and Environmental Studies, a Masters from SOAS in Geopolitics, and an LLM from SOAS in International Environmental Law and International Criminal Law. d’Origny has a strong finance background, working at Citigroup has the designer of one of the first impact bonds, and in private equity at Pegasus Capital Advisors where she raised $1 billion to invest in sustainable and efficient products. Her business background led her to IMG, where she created and ran their sustainability division and helped start their IMG and Diplomacy consulting sub-division. Working at On Demand Books, which disrupts the book supply chain, d’Origny helped to deploy European and African operations. d’Origny has published many academic papers and news articles on climate change and decolonization of the Western Sahara, as well as war crimes. She also co-directed and co-produced Stealing Klimt, a documentary about the restitution of Nazi-stolen art, which inspired the feature film The Lady In Gold.

    Tim Geistlinger is the Chief Technology Officer at Perfect Day, a disruptive dairy startup developing technology to produce milk from fermentation, not cows. Tim leads all scientific research and development efforts for the Bay Area company where his work is focused on creating earth-friendly, high-quality, functional proteins that deliver a truly satisfying full-dairy experience, without the environmental and welfare issues inherent to factory farming. Tim brings over 15 years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research and development to Perfect Day, along with a track record of innovative breakthroughs across various medical, industrial, and academic arenas.
    Most recently, Tim led R&D at Beyond Meat where he built a team of scientists to create meat products — chicken, ground beef, and hamburgers — from plants, using simple ingredients his grandmother would have in her pantry. Most notably, Tim developed the Beyond Burger over 18 months. It was the first animal-free meat product to cook and taste like meat and paved the way for an investment in the plant-based company from Tyson Foods. It is currently being served in major restaurants and sold at Whole Foods Market.
    Tim earned a PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from the University of California, San Francisco. During his free time, you can find him playing guitar with his two children or biking the coastal roads of California.

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