reThink Food

 

The Culinary Institute of America


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Peter Ruppert

Peter Ruppert

Foodome Lab Manager

Center for Complex Network Research

 https://www.barabasilab.com/

PETER RUPPERT has more than 15 years of experience in transferring research technology into startups with a specific focus on network analytics. Having raised several investment rounds as a co-founder of Maven7 and Scipher Medicine – a spin-out from the BarabasiLab/Northeastern University, Peter helps transform technologies from the lab to the market, from raw technology to product. Peter is currently working on the Foodome Project and various other spin-out ideas from AI to biological chip technology. (Boston, MA) @papaanteporta

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Stuart Getty

Stuart Getty

Creative Writer

IDEO

 https://www.ideo.com/

STUART GETTY is a writer and strategist with more than a decade of experience copywriting and leading teams in the advertising sector. With a love for strategic communication and brand story, Stuart has helped bring a wide variety of brands to life, from the boutique to massive CPG and retail conglomerates. Stuart also has four years’ experience as a filmmaker, which has helped them learn the true importance of authentic storytelling and emotional connection in any market. Stuart’s best work is led by the heart, but also by the laugh. Stuart loves to play, and believes freedom and imagination are necessary fuels for the most innovative design and ideation. Stuart’s films have shown at TEDx (Portland) and in the Oregon Room at Sundance. As part of IDEO’s Design for Food studio, Stuart helps craft the rich stories behind food and community, and the choices for nourishment we make every single day. Stuart graduated with honors from the journalism school at the University of Missouri and spends their free time boxing, dancing, making films, or just hanging out on their sunny deck with their wife-to-be, Nora. (San Francisco, CA) @IDEO

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Rachel Maloney

Rachel Maloney

Senior Environments Designer, Project Lead

IDEO

 https://www.ideo.com/

RACHEL MALONEY is a senior environments designer and project lead for the Design for Food Studio at IDEO. As an interior designer and culinary hobbyist she loves to design innovative spaces that explore how our physical environment influences the way we interact with food. With an eye for detail, she loves to see her work through from concept to final build. Prior to IDEO, Rachel spent the past eight years focusing on food and beverage service design for one-off restaurants as well master planning for campus-wide food service, both corporate and educational. Rachel holds a BFA in interior design from California College of the Arts. She is a LEED accredited professional. (San Francisco, CA) @IDEO

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Julie Newman

Julie Newman

Director of Sustainability

Masschusetts Institute of Technology

 https://sustainability.mit.edu/

Dr. JULIE NEWMAN has worked in the field of sustainable development and campus sustainability for twenty years and is currently the director of sustainability at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Julie joined MIT as the first director of sustainability for the institute in 2013. Julie served as the founding director of the Office of Sustainability at Yale from 2004-2013 where she also held lecturer appointment with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to Yale, Julie co-founded the Office of Sustainability Programs (OSP) now the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Julie served as an environmental management Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, which was her foundational foray into exploring the meaning of sustainable development. Julie lectures and consults for universities nationally and internationally, participates on a variety of boards and advisory committees and has contributed to a series of edited books and peer reviewed journals. (Boston, MA) @sustainablemit

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John Mitchell

John Mitchell

New Product Innovator

 http://www.chefjohnmitchell.com/

JOHN MITCHELL is a new product innovator for the natural foods industry. He has served as the creative force for innovative change and tastemaker at many companies throughout the natural foods industry including Treasure8, Whole Foods Market, Delta Airlines, Luvo, and Revolution Foods. He was most recently the chief product officer for Treasure8, a San Francisco-based food innovation and technology company on a mission to solve the nutritional challenges and environmental stresses of a growing global population. After graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. John spent seven years as executive chef and partner for the Lark Creek Restaurant Group in San Francisco, an early pioneer in the farm-to-table movement. From there he spent 11 years with Whole Foods Market during their hyper-growth phase, serving as executive coordinator for the Global Food team. During his tenure he developed the Whole Foods Market innovative foodservice operations for the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and the UK. Prior to joining the team at Treasure8, John was a founding member and served as the chief innovation officer and executive chef at Luvo (formerly LYFE Kitchen, Reatil), named to the top 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2014 by Fast Company. John developed Luvo’s extensive product portfolio that attracted A-list brand ambassadors including Dr. Mark Hyman, Yankee’s legend Derek Jeter, Seattle Sea Hawks’ Russell Wilson, Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin, and actress Jennifer Garner. As the creative force at Luvo, John partnered with Delta Air Lines to re-imagine their in-flight menus providing improved nutritional value and delicious flavors. Additionally, John worked closely with Dr. Mark Hyman to develop the recipes for the best-selling book, The Blood Sugar Solution: 10 Day Detox Cookbook. Over the past 20 years, John has also donated his time and culinary talents to like-minded organizations such as Monterey Bay Aquarium/Cooking for Solutions, Wholesome Wave, Why Hunger, Staglin Brain Helath and The Organic Farming Research Foundation. (San Francisco, CA)

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Michael Kaufman

Michael Kaufman

Partner

Astor Group

MICHAEL KAUFMAN, JD is a partner of Astor Group, a New York boutique M&A advisory and investment firm. He focuses on assisting companies primarily in the restaurant and retail sectors with strategy and transactions to raise capital or to buy or sell companies or assets. A nationally recognized industry leader, Michael led Metromedia Restaurant Group (a $1.4 billion chain restaurant company), created and successfully exited a restaurant start-up, and innovated a restaurant brand for a luxury retailer. Michael also served as an investment banker with Kluge & Company and an M&A lawyer with Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York. He is a visiting executive at the Harvard Business School where he has co-developed a course, “Challenges and Opportunities in the Restaurant Industry,” served as chairman of the board of the National Restaurant Association, and is currently a director of the NRA, a trustee emeritus of The Culinary Institute of America and the NRA’s Educational Foundation, an executive advisor to Gryphon Investors (a San Francisco-based private equity firm), a director of Dessert Holdings LLC (a $300 million dessert manufacturer), a trustee of Northern Westchester Hospital, and a member of the Menus of Change Sustainable Business Leadership Council. He also served on the boards of Benihana, Inc., Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges, and the Chappaqua School Foundation (including as its president). The recipient of a number of industry awards, including the Golden Chain Award and the Cecil B. Day Ethics Award, and a recognized keynote speaker, Michael is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. (Chappaqua, NY)

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Soren Bjorn

Soren Bjorn

President

Driscoll's

 https://www.driscolls.com/

SOREN BJORN is the president of Driscoll’s of the Americas, the leading global brand for fresh berries. In his role, Soren leads the largest business unit for Driscoll’s and is responsible for all aspects of the business enterprise from the strategic planning process and to its financial success. Family owned for more than 100 years, Driscoll’s works with more than 700 independent growers around the world to create shared value in the communities where Driscoll’s berries are grown. Driscoll’s global R&D breeding programs focus on developing proprietary seedlings in order to deliver great tasting berries to consumers. This superior flavor is a competitive differentiator and one of the primary reasons Driscoll’s is the market leader in fresh berries. Soren earned an MBA from Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, TX, and a BBA from Baylor University in Waco, TX.  Soren lives on the California Central Coast and is the father of three boys. (Watsonville, CA) @driscollsberry

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Laura Shulman

Laura Shulman

SVP, Partner

FleishmanHillard

 http://fleishmanhillard.com/

LAURA SHULMAN is senior vice president, partner and leader of FleishmanHillard’s Food and Nutrition Practice in Chicago. She has spent nearly 20 years working with global food and nutrition companies, commodity groups and associations to solve business challenges through insight-driven strategies and creative ideas. Her experience and expertise cut across the food spectrum, including consumer marketing, influencer engagement, nutrition strategy, reputation management, and thought leadership positioning.Clients she’s worked with include Kraft, Campbell Soup Company, Oreo, Frito Lay, PepsiCo, Quaker, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dairy Management, Inc., and ADM. Before joining FleishmanHillard in 2015 Laura worked at Edelman, Weber Shandwick and Burson Marsteller. Prior to her PR career, Laura was a television reporter and anchor. She resides in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and nine year-old twins. (Chicago, IL) @Fleishman

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Matt Cohen

Matt Cohen

Founder and CEO

Off the Grid

 https://offthegrid.com/

Originally from Denver, CO, MATT COHEN started his career as a public school educator. His professional career then took him to Japan, where he taught English with the JET program. During his time there, he developed a healthy obsession with tonkotsu ramen and Japanese summer fireworks festivals. These experiences led him to create Off the Grid in 2010, effectively bringing much of the feeling of a Japanese night market to the San Francisco Bay Area. Capitalizing on the initial popularity and growth of Off the Grid Markets, Matt has overseen the company’s growth into a scalable experience platform focused on unlocking the value of space through food. Beyond public events, Off the Grid specializes in large-scale catering and corporate dining innovation including its own modular manufactured product, Cubert, and proprietary software platform. Most importantly, Off the Grid is proud to routinely engage more than 300 food businesses that together serve more than 4 million meals a year through its platform. (San Francisco, CA) @otgsf

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Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf

Publisher, Creator

The Spoon, Smart Kitchen Summit

 https://www.smartkitchensummit.com/

MICHAEL WOLF is the publisher of “The Spoon” and creator of the Smart Kitchen Summit. Michael has written for such publications as Forbes, Gigaom, and the New York Times, and has published a book on the connected home. He also has too many kitchen gadgets. (Seattle, WA) @michaelwolf

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Phil Colicchio

Phil Colicchio

Founder

Colicchio Consulting

 https://colicchioconsulting.com/

PHIL COLICCHIO is founder of Colicchio Consulting. Phil occupies a unique space in the hospitality and mixed use development industries. As a New York-based attorney at Taylor Colicchio LLP, Phil has represented more than 50 James Beard Foundation Award winning chefs, restaurateurs, beverage professionals, service professionals, restaurant designers, and authors. He was a pioneer in the Las Vegas mega-restaurant boom, representing both the renowned chef and hotel communities in structuring and negotiating long term management and licensing contracts. During the last several years, Phil has brought his experience and deep relationships to the mixed use, retail and hotel development sectors where, through Colicchio Consulting, he works on behalf of ownership, advising on the keys to identification, selection, negotiation and engagement of high quality food and beverage operators. Phil also advises professional and collegiate sports venue operators and large scale music festival promoters on strategies geared toward elevating the food and beverage experiences for all levels of clientele. Since 2015, Phil has been at the forefront of the food hall movement, advising property owners on the critical need for programming commercial space to include curated retail food and beverage offerings, markets, beer gardens, rooftop experiences, and thoughtfully crafted food halls. Phil is an adjunct professor in the master of professional studies program and an advisor to the intrapreneurship program at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He is a member of the Auburn University Hotel and Restaurant Management Program Advisory Board in Auburn AL, is a director of the not for profit Heritage Radio Network in Brooklyn, NY, and was appointed by the governor to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Phil speaks frequently at industry events on the importance of elevated food and beverage programming to real estate development and re-development. (New York, NY)

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George Kantor

George Kantor

Senior Systems Scientist

Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute

GEORGE KANTOR is a senior systems scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. He has over 15 years of experience research in developing and deploying robotic technologies for real-world applications such as agriculture, mining, and scientific exploration. In the agriculture domain, earlier research projects include the development of distributed sensor-actuator networks for intelligent irrigation control and the development of vehicles for autonomous navigation in specialty crops environments. One of his current efforts involves investigating in-field robotic phenotyping technologies that include autonomous mobility, camera imaging, and contact sensing to accelerate the breeding of sorghum. Another project is using imaging in viticulture crops to provide nondestructive crop yield predictions, crop quality assessments, and pruning weight measurements. His group is exploring similar technologies in apple orchards, specifically pursuing automated apple detection to facilitate harvest from an automated harvest platform that carries human pickers. Kantor holds a BS in electrical engineering from Michigan State University, and MS and PhD degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Maryland College Park. (Pittsburgh, PA)

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Jacquelyn Chi

Jacquelyn Chi

Director of Programs and Special Projects, Strategic Initiatives Group

The Culinary Institute of America

JACQUELYN CHI, MA is director of programs and special projects for the Strategic Initiatives Group at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). In this role, Jacquelyn oversees the CIA’s reThink Food conference exploring the intersection of technology, behavior, design, and food. She also oversees Appetites + Innovation National Leadership Collaborative for Retail Foodservice (A+I), which aims to advance culinary excellence and cultures of innovation in retail foodservice; and the Flavor Summit retreat, targeting F&B executives in the hotels, resorts, cruise lines, casinos, and upper-tier multi-unit restaurants sector. In 2013, Jacquelyn project-managed the CIA’s first mobile app for its flagship Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival, which won the 2013 Cvent Plannie Award for “Best Use of a Mobile App”. Prior to joining the CIA, Jacquelyn earned a bachelor’s degree in radio-television-film from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in international communication from American University, where she researched food as a tool of public diplomacy and the social construction of authenticity in foreign eating experiences. She has also served as photographer and videographer for a Turkish coffee truck diplomacy project; managed social media for a start-up food company; and worked in a chocolate factory. (Napa, CA)

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Rizal Hamdallah

Rizal Hamdallah

Head of Innovation Lab

Tyson Foods

 https://www.tysonfoods.com/

RIZAL HAMDALLAH, head of the Innovation Lab at Tyson Foods, is committed to inspiring others to reach their full potential. He has made it his mission to encourage start-up mindsets, always challenging the status quo. Rizal’s focus within the Innovation Lab is driving Tyson Foods forward into the future of food while creating a culture of innovation focused on tackling larger global food issues, like food waste. Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Rizal held positions with Unilever, Nestle, Abbott Laboratories, and SC Johnson. He is also the founder of GetBetty, Inc., a start-up offering on-demand beauty services.  His experience in global brand marketing, R&D, as well as corporate venture capital and entrepreneurship are foundational to Tyson’s mission to change the paradigm around what it means to be a big food company. An innovator through and through, Rizal is a US Patent Holder. He received the “Most Active Corporation of the Year” Award from Plug and Play, a global innovation platform, in 2018 and was featured in the Asian Talent Go Global Career Book in 2015. Rizal earned his Master of product development in design and management at Northwestern University.  An adventurer at heart, he has visited more than 40 countries. (Chicago, IL)

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Jenny Dorsey

Jenny Dorsey

Studio ATAO

 http://jennydorsey.co

JENNY DORSEY is a professional chef, author and artist specializing in multi-platform storytelling fusing food with social good. Her current focus is emerging technology, especially augmented and virtual reality. She runs an experimental popup series named Wednesdays (http://wednesdays.nyc), is the co-host of “Why Food?” podcast on Heritage Radio Network and leads a non-profit studio named Studio ATAO (http://studioatao.org). (New York, NY) @chefjennydorsey

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Colleen McClellan

Colleen McClellan

Director of Client Solutions

Datassential

 https://datassential.com/

COLLEEN MCCLELLAN, MS, MBA, CMS is director of client solutions at Datassential. She has over 18 years of experience in traditional and digital marketing, strategy development, insights, and product innovation for both retail and foodservice markets. She is a certified sommelier and has an MBA in international business and a master’s in IT. Prior to joining Datassential, Colleen’s experience ranged from managing her own consulting firm to working for start-ups and a Fortune 1000 food manufacturer. Throughout her career, Colleen has worked with distributors, retailers, manufacturers, and operators to translate trends and insights into profitable actions across all food and beverage categories. (Chicago, IL) @datassential

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Lauren Yarmuth

Lauren Yarmuth

Director

IDEO

 https://www.ideo.com/

LAUREN YARMUTH is a director at IDEO, based out of New York City. A systems-thinker, Lauren has a bent for bringing people together around complex issues and designing for widely beneficial outcomes. Her work is grounded in regenerative design principals, with an emphasis on global food systems.  Trained as an architect and with nearly two decades of working in the sustainability space, Lauren is skilled at helping organizations, products, spaces, and people benefit from approaching challenges in new and fundamentally better ways. Immediately prior to IDEO, Lauren co-founded a prominent global sustainability consultancy which she ran for nearly a decade. She also served as long-standing faculty at Columbia University where she taught a masters-level course on sustainable technologies. Lauren holds a degree in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. (New York, NY)

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Sara Roversi

Sara Roversi

Founder

You Can Group, Future Food Institute

 http://youcangroup.it/

SARA ROVERSI is a serial entrepreneur and social innovator; founder of You Can Group, and Future Food, an entire ecosystem that makes food innovation a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future, connecting with the world while promoting the local territory, food rituals and food heroes. This comprehensive ecosystem centers around education; the Future Food Institute, through its precious global partnerships, the Food Innovation Program; and the numerous international projects provide a true platform of positive cross-pollination and constant inspiration. The ecosystem is also an accelerator that supports companies in the sector and institutions on the paths towards open innovation, as well as nurturing communities of young entrepreneurs and scientists with “disruptive” ideas through laboratories and the Future Farm project that is a real, working farm for startups in the agtech sector. Sara is the executive director of the Food Innovation Program, the international master’s degree program that aims to inspire and shape a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators in the global food chain. She is a member of the Italian delegation of the Young Entrepreneurs G20 YEA, the SME Development Task Force B20 China and Germany, and the Sustainable Food System Task Forces at B20 Argentina. She is a board member of CAAB (Agri-Food Center of Bologna), which conceived the project FICO Eataly World. (Bologna, Italy)

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Henny Admoni

Henny Admoni

Assistant Professor, Robotics Institute

Carnegie Mellon University

 http://hennyadmoni.com/

HENNY ADMONI is an assistant professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where she works on assistive robotics and human-robot interaction. Henny develops and studies intelligent robots that help people perform complex tasks like cooking and eating. Her focus is on how natural, intuitive human behaviors, such as where people are looking, can reveal underlying human intentions and improve human-robot communication. Henny completed a postdoc at the Robotics Institute at CMU and a PhD in computer science at Yale University. She also holds a BA/MA joint degree in computer science from Wesleyan University. Henny’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation, the US Office of Naval Research, and Sony Corporation. @hadmoni

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Linda Pouliot

Linda Pouliot

Founder, CEO

Dishcraft Robotics

 http://www.robolinda.com/

LINDA POULIOT is a serial entrepreneur specializing in robotics, based in Silicon Valley. In 2004, she co-founded Neato Robotics with the idea that robots can perform household chores as effectively as humans. Neato’s award-winning vacuums sell at big-box retailers throughout the world, making Neato the number-two consumer robotic vacuum company globally. At Neato, Linda Pouliot was vice president of product management and operations, where she alsooversaw hiring and manufacturing. Linda also served as COO of Adiri, Inc., where she worked on the internationally award-winning Adiri Natural Nurser. She has also developed products for retail brands, including Disney, Banana Republic, and QVC, as director of operations at Gouda. She has been awarded multiple patents and international awards. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a BFA cum laude. Currently, Linda and a team of award-winning technologists in Silicon Valley are working on solutions to revolutionize the commercial kitchen, and help line staff adapt to the shifting needs of an increasingly automated workplace. (San Carlos, CA) @therobolinda

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Shirley Everett

Shirley Everett

Senior Associate Vice Provost, Residential & Dining Enterprises

Stanford University

DR. SHIRLEY EVERETT, EDD, MBA is the senior associate vice provost for Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) at Stanford University. Shirley’s shared vision is to create a culture of excellence by aligning strategic goals and performance with that vision. R&DE employs an organizational model that is dedicated to student advocacy, exceptional customer service, staff wellness, sustainable practices, and fiscal stewardship. Shirley is the steward for a $206M budget and $1.7 billion asset portfolio comprising one-third of Stanford’s physical plant. She leads strategic operations for R&DE Housing, Dining, Auxiliaries, Conference Services divisions and strategic business partners. She is responsible for the overall direction and performance of financial management, strategic planning, concept and facilities design, human resources, information systems, innovation and sustainability, and public relations for R&DE. She collaborates with schools and departments across campus to complement Stanford’s premier academic programs with a robust residential living and learning environment and an award-winning dining, auxiliary, and conferencing program while leading an 800+ employee organization that houses 12,000 students and serves over 6.5M meals to students, conference, catering, retail and concession guests. Shirley serves on the Stanford University President’s Full Cabinet that shapes Stanford’s direction, policy, and planning.  She also championed the collaboration of Stanford University with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in developing and co-leading the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) to develop ground-breaking strategies that motivate students and consumers toward healthier, more sustainable, plant-forward diets within universities. Shirley and her team have been recognized with numerous awards including Food Management’s Best Concepts Awards, Best in Show for innovative design and programming in the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons. She has achieved the prestigious IFMA Silver Plate Award for Outstanding Leadership for College and University Foodservice. She has served as a regional President for the National Association of College and University Foodservices (NACUFS). Shirley earned both her doctorate in educational leadership and a master of business administration from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. (Santa Clara, CA)

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Jean-Xavier Guinard

Jean-Xavier Guinard

Professor

University of California, Davis

 https://foodscience.ucdavis.edu/people/jean-xavier-guinard

JEAN-XAVIER GUINARD, PHD is professor of sensory science and interim director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at the University of California, Davis. Trained as a food and agricultural engineer, he earned MS degrees in sensory physiology and in food science/enology and a PhD in microbiology. His research focuses on sensory strategies for dietary change and the optimization of the sensory quality and consumer acceptance of foods, beverages, and other consumer products. He teaches undergraduate, graduate, and extension courses at UC Davis and consults for food and beverage companies and consumer agencies worldwide. Jean-Xavier currently serves as chair of the Research Working Group for the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative. (Davis, CA)

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Grant Martin

Grant Martin

VP Marketing; Writer/Editor

Fat Shark; Skift, Forbes, The Economist

GRANT MARTIN is an engineer and writer working in the consumer electronics and travel space. His primary role is leading product development and marketing around head mounted displays at Fat Shark, which specializes in personal media headsets. In addition to his product work, he works as a writer and editor in the travel and tech industries. Currently, he’s the business of loyalty editor at Skift and a frequent contributor to FORBES and The Economist, while in the past he’s held editorial positions at AOL and The BBC. He is currently based in Chicago. (Chicago, IL)

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Daniel Vennard

Daniel Vennard

Director, Better Buying Lab

World Resources Institute

 http://www.wri.org/

DANIEL VENNARD is director of the Better Buying Lab within the World Resources Institute. He works with food companies and experts in behavior change and marketing to develop, test, and scale new ideas that can help shift diets to more sustainable options. Daniel has worked for the last fifteen years at Mars Incorporated and Procter & Gamble in corporate strategy, sustainability, and marketing. He has written and presented widely on how consumers can be shifted towards buying more sustainable products. Daniel is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturing and holds a first-class degree from Sheffield University in plant sciences. (London, UK)

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Matthew Travers

Matthew Travers

Professor - Robotics Institute

Carnege Mellon University

 https://www.ri.cmu.edu/ri-faculty/matthew-j-travers/

MATTHEW TRAVERS is professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on a broad spectrum of topics in robotics, including locomotion and fine manipulation, as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Matt is currently working on a pilot project with The Culinary Institute of America, looking at how data collection methods and data utilization can help transform the kitchens of tomorrow.

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Eric Frost

Eric Frost

Founding Partner

Zeus Jones

 https://zeusjones.com/

ERIC FROST is the founding partner of Zeus Jones. He spends the majority of his time thinking about the future of food and helping clients innovate their products and marketing in the food space. Eric has a personal passion for the topic of food as medicine due to dealing with an autoimmune disease for decades. Before working at Zeus Jones, Eric was a group creative director in the Interactive department at Fallon, and had a brief career as an HTML monkey after deciding that working as a teacher and starving poet in San Francisco wouldn’t pay off his massive student loans. In Eric’s spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, writing, and concocting elaborate stories to entertain his daughters. (Minneapolis, MN)

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Mirit Cohen

Mirit Cohen

Global Food Program Manager

Adobe

 https://www.adobe.com/

MIRIT COHEN is global food program manager at Adobe. Mirit took over planning big family celebrations at the age of 10. The challenge of orchestrating a complex experience compelled her, and when she pulled it off, the thrill was like nothing else. Years later, as the global head of designing Adobe’s workplace experience around food, the thrill is still there. It’s there when she designs a new cafe that shifts the company’s culture, fostering greater in-person connection between colleagues. It’s there when she pulls off an innovative three-day summit for her team that fuels intense creative collaboration. It’s there whenever she solves a problem by conceptualizing a new way of bringing people together, and then overcoming whatever obstacles may exist to execute that concept. Mirit holds a BS in evolutionary anthropology and psychology from Rutgers University, and a MA in developmental psychology from Stanford University. Prior to Adobe, Mirit was part of the opening food team for Google, before launching her own company providing daily foodservice to Bay Area start-ups, including Twitter, Square, and Yelp. (San Jose, CA)

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Howie Choset

Howie Choset

Professor

Carnegie Mellon University

 https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~./choset/

HOWIE CHOSET is a professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University where he serves as the co-director of the Biorobotics Lab and as director of the robotics major. Motivated by applications in confined spaces, Howie has created a comprehensive program in modular, high DOF, and multi- robot systems, which has led to basic research in mechanism design, path planning, motion planning, and estimation. This work has been supported by both industry and government. In addition to publications, this work has led Howie, along with his students, to form several companies, including Medrobotics for surgical systems, Hebi Robotics for modular robots, and Bito Robotics for autonomous guided vehicles. This year, Howie co-led the formation of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, which is a $250 million national institute advancing both technology development and education for robotics in manufacturing. Finally, Choset is a founding editor of the journal, Science Robotics. (Pittsburgh, PA)

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Geetika Agrawal

Geetika Agrawal

Program Director

La Cocina

 https://www.lacocinasf.org/

GEETIKA AGRAWAL is the program director of La Cocina, a food business incubator cultivating working-class women and immigrant entrepreneurs. In her role she oversees the incubation program and leads strategic projects for the organization. Today there are 26 brick and mortar locations in the Bay Area run by La Cocina graduates, including businesses included on Food & Wine’s “Best Of” lists, featured in national publications such as Saveur, and nominated for James Beard awards. Prior to joining La Cocina in 2013, Geetika worked all over the world including at Acumen Fund in India managing the agriculture portfolio, at Bootstrap Company in East London incubating innovative social projects, and as an emerging markets manager at IBM. She has a computer science degree from Stanford University (and wrote code for a living right out of college!) and an MBA in social innovation & finances from New York University Stern. Geetika lives in San Francisco with her husband and almost toddler daughter. (San Francisco, CA)

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Chioma Ume

Chioma Ume

Design Researcher

IDEO

 http://www.ideo.com

As a design researcher in the Food Studio, CHIOMA UME’s work focuses on keeping people at the heart of the design process. Always curious about how people understand and interact with the world around them, she’s passionate about translating people’s stories into opportunities for design. A lawyer by training, Chioma has over a decade of domestic and international research and project management experience working with a vast array of corporate, government and community stakeholders. Excited by the intersection of food, communities and design, she considers it very fortunate that she enjoys moving as much as eating…almost. (San Francisco, CA) @ChiomaUme1

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Matt Rothe

Matt Rothe

co-founder

FEED Collaborative

 http://feedcollaborative.org/

MATT ROTHE is a co-founder of the FEED Collaborative at Stanford University, where he is an educator-practitioner in design thinking and food system innovation. Matt is also the founder and principal of Crazy Beta Design, a design consulting agency that provides innovation strategy consulting services, creates and facilitates highly customized workshops and executive training sessions, conducts consumer insight research, and builds crazy beta prototypes of new ideas and concepts. Prior to his work as a designer and teacher, Matt was a fellow at the Stanford d.school, director of Stanford’s Sustainable Food Program, and an operations executive at both Attune Foods and Niman Ranch. Raised on a 10,000 acre conventional corn farm on the plains of Colorado, Matt’s more formal degrees include a BA in Environmental Earth Science from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford. (Stanford, CA) @MattRothe

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Caleb Harper

Caleb Harper

Principal Investigator and Director, Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative

MIT Media Lab

 https://www.media.mit.edu/groups/open-agriculture-openag/overview/

CALEB HARPER is the principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. He leads a diverse group of engineers, architects and scientists in the exploration and development of future food systems. Caleb’s research focuses in the areas of control environment design, actuated sensing, control automation and data-driven resource, energy, and biologic optimization. His group is developing an open-source agricultural hardware, software, and data common with the goal of creating a more agile, transparent, and collaborative food system. Caleb is a National Geographic explorer and a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Vision for Agriculture Transformation Leaders Network. His work has been featured by TIME, WIRED, The Economist, IEEE, World Urban Forum (WUF), USAID, and TED. Prior to joining the Media Lab in 2011, Caleb worked professionally as an architect designing and developing data centers, health care, and semi-conductor fabrication facilities. Additionally, he has consulted with multiple international development agencies, including USAID, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Delhi Development Authority on high-density urban development projects. (Boston, MA)

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Ali Bouzari

Ali Bouzari

Chief Science Officer/Co-founder

Pilot R&D

 http://www.pilotrd.com/

ALI BOUZARI, PhD is a culinary scientist, author, educator, and co-founder of Pilot R&D, a culinary research and development company, and Render, a new food company that collaborates with the best restaurant chefs in the country to reinvent the way food lovers eat. As a chef with a PhD in food biochemistry, Ali has helped to lead the charge in changing the way we think about cooking by teaching and developing curriculum at top universities, from ivy league schools to The Culinary Institute of America, and collaborating with the country’s most innovative restaurants including State Bird Provisions, Benu, Eleven Madison Park, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. Ali has been featured on Forbes’ and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 lists, as a contributor to Popular Science, WIRED, Eater, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and as a guest expert on NPR, TEDx, Cooking Channel, and Iron Chef America. His book, Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food, won the 2017 IACP award for Best Reference Book. (Berkeley, CA)

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Hildreth England

Hildreth England

Assistant Director, Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg)

MIT Media Lab

 http://www.mitopenag.com/

HILDRETH ENGLAND RDN manages people and potential at the Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg). She heads the group’s research in education, and explores design as a lever for behavior change in food and well-being. She’s particularly passionate about inclusive technologies and design methodologies that give voice to the most vulnerable. She’s spent the last 15 years leading communications, policy, and technology design projects for underserved populations in the public and private sector, and is a registered dietitian/nutritionist (RDN) specializing in maternal and child health. Before joining the Media Lab, Hildreth spearheaded innovation strategy for the Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and chaired the City of Austin Sustainable Food Policy Board. She’s a co-chair in MIT’s Food & Sustainability Working Group, offers pro-bono nutrition consulting to low-income clients with Sersano Nutrition, LLC, and her food design work has been featured at the Triennale di Milano with her design studio, HESTIA design lab. (Cambridge, MA) @HildrethEngland

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Nicki Briggs

Nicki Briggs

Founder & President

NEAR BOIL Brand Communications

 http://nearboil.com

Recognized as one of PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 ‘Trailblazers to Watch,’ NICKI BRIGGS, RDN is a driven brand communications leader and passionate food and nutrition expert. Nicki is the CMO at Lavva, a new whole-food, plant based yogurt. She is also the founder of Brooklyn-based NEAR BOIL Brand Communications, where she acts as a strategic advisor, board member, and interim brand marketing leader across a diverse range of food, technology, and hospitality clients. Formerly, Nicki led global communications for Chobani. She was responsible for building the brand’s voice and played a pivotal role in transforming a once regional yogurt company into a one-billion-dollar brand in less than five years—gaining the company recognition as one of the fastest-growing startups ever. Nicki holds a masters degree in nutrition communication from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. (Seattle, WA)

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Greg Drescher

Greg Drescher

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Industry Leadership, CIA; Sacramento, CA

The Culinary Institute of America

 http://www.ciaprochef.com/

Greg Drescher is vice president of strategic initiatives & industry leadership at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where he oversees leadership initiatives for the foodservice industry, including conferences, invitational leadership retreats, digital media, and strategic partnerships. He is the creator of the college’s Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival (now in its 18th year); the annual Worlds of Healthy Flavors, and the new Menus of Change initiative, which are presented in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health; and numerous other CIA “think tank” initiatives. Dubbed the Flavor Hunter by Bon Appétit, Greg was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2005, was honored with Food Arts’ Silver Spoon Award in 2006, and received two James Beard awards for the CIA’s Savoring the Best of World Flavors DVD and webcast series. In 2008, he was appointed by the President of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine to its Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake. Greg previously served on the James Beard Foundation Awards Board, and currently serves on advisory boards for UC Davis’ Agricultural Sustainability Institute and Olive Center. In 2011, he was inducted as a member of the Accademia dei Georgofili, Europe’s oldest agricultural academy.

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Michiel Bakker

Michiel Bakker

Director of Global Food Services, Google; Mountain View, CA

Google

 http://www.google.com/green/efficiency/oncampus/#eating

Michiel Bakker is the director of global food services for Google, leading its world-renowned Food program, supporting all food service related activities and initiatives for Google’s global community. Michiel’s focus areas include developing new insights and evidence in how food experiences can enable individuals and teams to be their best short and long term, and developing internal and external global partnerships to explore and tackle the challenges and opportunities in the broader food systems. Prior to joining Google, Michiel spent 17 great years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in various roles.  Most recently, he led Starwood’s Food and Beverage in Europe, Africa and the Middle East where he drove operations and guided growth and development. Prior to that, he co-lead Starwood’s F&B efforts in its North American Division. Michiel serves on several advisory Boards. He is an Advisory Board member for the Stockholm Food forum EAT, the Sustainable Business Leadership Council for the CIA – Harvard School of Public Health ‘Menus of Change’ Initiative; the International Hospitality Advisory Board of the Hotel Management School Maastricht, the Netherlands and a Board member of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management. Michiel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Hotel Management School Maastricht (The Netherlands), a MBA from the University of Bradford (United Kingdom), a Master’s of Hospitality Administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (USA) and a Master’s degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver, Colorado (Mountain View, CA).