Bruce graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law and Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College and also holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics. Bruce is a popular speaker and has delivered two TEDx talks (e.g., here) and presentations on food innovation at most of the nation's top universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. Bruce has co-authored two books, contributed chapters to five books, and authored seven law review articles.
Jessica oversees GFI’s work to create a better future of food through regulatory and statutory reform in Washington. She came to The Good Food Institute from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, where she served as Deputy Director of Nutrition Policy. Before working for CSPI, she worked for the D.C.-based law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal. She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and an M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University. She is a member of the bar in New York and Washington, D.C.
Alison brings more than two decades of advertising, marketing, and sales experience to GFI working with brands including Taco Bell, Levi Strauss, Gap, Kiplinger’s, and Parents magazine. For the last 17 years, she has developed affiliate programs and ad networks for clients that include General Mills, BET, and Gourmet Ads. Alison works with restaurants, grocery stores, food service, and food processing companies to diversify their protein offerings. She is a graduate of Wellesley College. Alison works with leading foodservice companies, supermarkets, and restaurants to help increase the quality and quantity of plant-based products available on the market.
David holds a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in plant developmental cell biology from Utrecht University. He has more than fifteen years' experience in the life science industry, including the product development, market development and commercialization of cells, scaffolds, cell reprogramming tools and cell culture media for regenerative medicine and bioprocessing applications. At GFI, David combines his background in plant biology and regenerative medicine to help companies and academic research institutions accelerate the development of plant-based and clean meat alternatives to animal products.
Nicole has a B.S. in international affairs from Georgetown School of Foreign Service. After earning a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, she spent eight years at an international law firm advising Fortune 500 companies and executives on white collar and securities issues. Nicole left the law firm to work with animal protection nonprofits in both litigation and governance. She has also served on the board of directors of six nonprofits and fostered almost 300 animals. Nicole is working to bring The Good Food Institute's efforts worldwide and plant seeds for the good-food movement around the globe.
Brad has thirty years of experience bringing innovative products and ideas to market in a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, ergonomic devices, and food. While he has worked with major brands like Walgreens, Kraft, and Jergens, his most recent work has focused on helping start-ups, small businesses, and nonprofits strategically out-innovate their larger rivals. Brad has a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. At GFI, he supports the development and growth of businesses in the plant-based and clean meat market sectors.
Annie leads GFI’s team of passionate and creative communicators. She brings more than 20 years of strategic communications, public relations, and marketing experience to her role -- including time at a nonprofit, in the private sector, and at multiple Fortune 500 companies. Annie’s path to GFI started when she discovered the transformative power of capital markets through her work at Calvert Investments, a pioneering sustainable investment firm, and crystallized after managing public relations for Whole Foods Market in the mid-Atlantic region. Annie earned a master’s in Strategic Public Relations from The George Washington University and has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Reannon has more than a decade of nonprofit management experience working primarily to reform animal agriculture. She is also the founder of Generation Veggie, an online community that supports plant-based families by providing resources on how to raise plant-based kids. Reannon supports The Good Food Institute's mission to create a healthy, humane, and sustainable food supply by keeping our work organized and efficient and providing programmatic support across the organization.
Amy earned her B.A. in economics from the University of California, Davis, and her law degree from the University of California, Hastings. After law school, she clerked for the Hon. Philip M. Pro of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. She then worked for four years at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission before moving on to a variety of in-house legal positions addressing finance, compliance, corporate governance, and regulatory issues at for-profit corporations, institutes of higher education, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining GFI, she spent five years as Deputy General Counsel and then General Counsel of a large manufacturing trade association in the Washington, D.C. area.
Clare brings more than two decades of fund development, community relations, program management, and leadership experience to GFI, first in the private sector and then in the nonprofit field. Focused on securing transformational gifts and grants, Clare has developed philanthropic support for a major medical center and teaching hospital, companion animal shelters, a wildlife rehabilitation center and hospital, and the United States’ leading farmed animal protection group before joining the team at GFI.
Yaron collaborates with academic researchers, commercial companies, NPOs, and government professionals to advance clean meat and plant-based innovations and ecosystem in Israel. Yaron is the former CEO of the Modern Agriculture Foundation (MAF), an Israeli NPO that promotes clean meat and plant-based alternatives. Before joining MAF, Yaron advanced the development and commercialization of innovative stem cell technologies, fundraised, and managed R&D teams at Accellta and AMIT in Israel. Yaron holds a doctorate in cell biology from the Technion and bachelor degrees from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.
Varun lives in Mumbai, India and studied at Carnegie Mellon University. He brings experience in healthcare, entrepreneurship, technology, venture capitalism, and knowledge of India's plant-based market to expand GFI’s operations in India. Varun also invests in and serves on the board of a number of Asian technology companies and is assisting them with entering the Indian market. He is also working on establishing an Effective Altruism Foundation in India.
Gustavo lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil and is focused on developing and promoting Brazil's plant-based food industry. He has experience as a start-up strategist and is involved in the Brazilian entrepreneurship community. Gustavo worked with the Whirlpool Corporation for seven years, and he has a background in project management, product development, and marketing. He holds a bachelors degree in Business from Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo.
Liz holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Johns Hopkins University, a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of California, San Diego, and postdoctoral research experience from the University of Colorado Boulder. Liz is a Fellow with the University of Colorado at Boulder Sustainability Innovation Lab. She has a decade of academic research experience in synthetic biology, recombinant protein expression, and development of genetic engineering tools. Liz works to identify and address areas of need for plant-based and clean meat innovation and encourages funding agencies to prioritize research that moves this field forward.
Erin earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from DePauw University before going on to obtain a Master’s in Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in genetics from Duke University. She has ten years of research experience focused on a variety of topics, including molecular biology, nutrition, poverty, and social disparity. Erin seeks out funding opportunities for plant-based and clean agriculture research, and she is also working to establish a dedicated plant-based and clean food lab at a top research university in the United States.
Allison Berke received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, B.S. degrees in math and biology from MIT, and previously worked in biomedical- and security-focused consulting with McKinsey & Co. She has experience managing research, education, and outreach activities as the Executive Director of the Stanford Cyber Initiative and teaches CS181 at Stanford (Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy). At GFI, Allison advises academic research and education initiatives related to clean meat and plant-based meat alternatives.
Elizabeth works on global and domestic regulatory issues affecting clean meat and plant-based food entrepreneurs. She was previously a partner in a financial regulatory practice at the law firm of WilmerHale LLP. She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and an M.P.H. with a Certificate in Food Systems from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a member of the bar in New York, Washington, D.C., and California.
At GFI, Isaac studies the significant environmental and human health impacts of industrial animal agriculture and evaluates the reduced impact of plant-based and clean meat. He holds a B.A. in biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology from Whitman College and a Ph.D. in agricultural and biological engineering from Purdue University. Isaac has more than a decade of research experience in biomedical science and life cycle assessment of energy and agricultural systems. As a multidisciplinary scientist, he has a passion for discovering and communicating the most effective and efficient ways to reduce the adverse impacts of our diets.
At GFI, Keri’s research advances the plant-based and clean meat market sectors by generating effective messaging that helps consumers make healthy, humane, and sustainable food choices. She is also a Visiting Scholar with the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University (ASU). Keri earned her Ph.D. in Communication from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and completed postdoctoral work in Science Communication with ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society.
A public health professional with an academic background in tissue engineering research, Brianna most recently worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as a senior consultant on a variety of health care projects. She holds a Masters of Public Health from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University. Brianna's work at GFI is focused on launching new plant-based and clean meat companies and helping start-ups be as successful as possible.
Aylon graduated cum laude from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and has co-founded two startups, Photopaz (now part of DigiLabs Inc.) and BrideBox. At GFI, Aylon uses his expertise in entrepreneurship, go-to-market strategy, marketing, and business development to help entrepreneurs launch the next generation of good food startups. He brings significant business leadership experience to GFI and has worked with companies such as Kellogg's, Applebee's, and Nestle.
Caroline works with leading manufacturers and retailers to increase the quality, quantity, and availability of plant-based products. She also advises on marketing and merchandising best practices for the plant-based foods industry. Caroline most recently served as the Director of Marketing for Celestial Seasonings and has held positions in brand management, finance, and consulting. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.S. in business administration and finance.
Matt has graduate degrees in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and in forest ecology from the University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, which he earned during his tenure as a Department of Energy Global Change Fellow. Prior to grad school, he was an engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton and Pratt & Whitney. Matt left CMU’s Ph.D. program in environmental engineering to pursue advocacy full-time, and he went on to found two nonprofit organizations and to work for and advise several others. Matt has spoken on environmental and animal issues around the world and has written two books.
Rose is a classically trained designer with experience maintaining brand and evolving design, setting up and running in-house studios, and collaborating with teams, stakeholders, and vendors to bring ideas and strategies to life. She is passionate about GFI's mission to change the world by transforming animal agriculture, and she develops graphic designs and creative materials to empower that mission. Rose graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BFA in graphic design.
An active member of the Effective Altruism community, Zak holds a B.A. in Business Management from Cedarville University, and joined GFI after several years of experience in sales and working with start-ups. He works with leading grocery, foodservice, and restaurant companies to help increase the quality and quantity of their plant-based product offerings.
Alexis graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Communication Studies. She has dedicated her career to securing foundation funding for many worthy nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Alexis has served as a grant writer, an independent grants consultant, and most recently as a director at a grants consulting firm. At GFI, Alexis establishes relationships with foundations that share our passion for harnessing the power of food innovation and markets to create a healthy, humane, and sustainable future of food.
Brittany has spent her career developing innovative pathways of fundraising and constituent engagement for the advancement of the nonprofit world. She came to GFI from Keuka College, where she served as the Director of Alumni Relations and Development, connecting a broad base of diverse constituents to causes that inspire philanthropic support. Brittany volunteers on several nonprofit boards, primarily as fundraising strategy counsel. Brittany holds a master’s degree in management from Keuka College, where she studied the science behind building a culture of philanthropy, and a bachelor of arts degree in history and communications from SUNY Cortland.
With more than 15 years of experience in development, operations, and finance, Tracy ensures that GFI runs smoothly behind-the-scenes. She has expertly managed offices, databases, accounts, and spreadsheets for many years and is thrilled to live her values by supporting a good food future. Tracy holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Washington-Seattle.
Cameron holds a degree in biology with distinction from Carleton College. He has interned and worked for several nonprofit organizations, including Animal Charity Evaluators and Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, a project of the Humane Society of the United States. Cameron enables GFI to achieve its mission as rapidly as possible by finding the best talent to grow our team.
Andrew has worked as a recruiter, nonprofit administrator, college professor, and director of a postgraduate university writing center. The founder of a plant-based nutrition bar company, he also volunteers as a writer, speaker, advocate, and fundraiser for healthy, humane, and sustainable food. At GFI, he recruits and interviews talent to build our team. Andrew holds a bachelor's degree in political science from The George Washington University, a master's degree in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University, and a doctorate in administrator leadership from Walden University.
Anastasia graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley where she studied sociology. After several years in sales, she began recruiting for startups in Silicon Valley where she witnessed first-hand the power of technology and its ability to transform long-established industries and practices. Inspired by the possibilities for growth and innovation in the plant-based industry, Anastasia brings her skills and passion to GFI where she helps discover and attract top talent to the organization.
Toube (pron. "Toby") brings more than 15 years of executive assistant experience from tech startups and the banking industry to GFI. She is passionate about creating a healthier, more compassionate world and serves as a consultant for California State University and Chico’s Town Hall Meeting program on the topic of the humane treatment of animals. Toube also holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
Anne earned her Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her first career was as a Teaching Professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University, where she received her college's highest award for excellent in teaching, among other honors. Since 2007, she's worked in the non-profit sector for several groups, including two she co-founded. Anne brings considerable experience in editing and behind-the-scenes organizing to the GFI team.
Lance received his bachelor's degree in chemical and biological engineering from Princeton University and is a current Wharton MBA student. Prior to Wharton, Lance worked as an investment analyst at the McKinsey & Co. Investment Office and at The Rockefeller University, a biomedical research university. As a Campus Fellow, Lance encourages University of Pennsylvania students to pursue scientific and entrepreneurial opportunities in the plant-based and clean meat space.
Jake holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University in Science, Technology, and Society. After graduating, Jake worked on the investment team at Makena Capital, an endowment-style investment fund investing across all asset classes and geographies. He worked on the strategy team at Impossible Foods before returning to Stanford to attend the Graduate School of Business, where he is currently earning his MBA. Jake supports The Good Food Institute's mission by increasing the number of students at Stanford interested in pursuing clean protein entrepreneurship through maximizing GFI's visibility on campus, planning events, guest lectures, and more.
Marie is conducting clean meat research at Harvard Medical School under Dr. George Church with the support of GFI's REAP Grant funding. She is a MS Physiology student at North Carolina State University with a BS in Zoology, minor in Psychology, and 10 years of veterinary experience. She also serves as a New Harvest Research Fellow. Marie is using her passion for animal welfare and interest in medical science to explore and promote the cellular behavior needed for large-scale muscle cell production in bioreactors using serum-free media.
Chris has more than two decades of leadership experience in financial and venture capital management. Chris is investment manager of New Crop Capital and serves as director of Anark Corporation, director at Pitcairn Financial Group, and managing partner at Abele Kerr Investments. Chris mentors startups in the good food space, provides market-level due diligence for potential investors, and connects the most innovative and disruptive good food companies with an array of potential funders.
After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in economics, Milena went on to earn a doctorate in psychology from the Wright Institute, where she developed expertise in dietary behavior change. Milena currently holds an academic position as director of counseling psychology at the Wright Institute. She has also partnered with a number of nonprofit organizations to promote the wide-ranging benefits of a plant-strong diet. Milena is a California state councilmember for The Humane Society of the United States and speaks nationally on the psychology of dietary and social change. Milena organizes meetups for good-food entrepreneurs and advises GFI on consumer behavior.
Jaime graduated with honors from Longwood University in Virginia. Shortly thereafter she moved to California and began a career in corporate sales. Jaime’s experience is focused in the restaurant and hospitality industry, having worked with industry leaders such as OpenTable, Daiya Foods and HotSchedules. She is encouraged by the growing focus of putting plants at the center of the plate, and as an advisor to GFI, she helps to connect chefs and restaurant operators with leading innovators and innovations in plant-based and “clean” (i.e., cultured) meat, dairy, and eggs.
Jamie Macfarlane is a political and brand communications specialist and is currently completing an MBA at Stanford Business School. He spent five years with communications group WPP, where he ran election campaigns across the world. He served as a high level communications advisor to the Prime Ministers of Kosovo and Croatia and led the digital campaign of the democracy movement in Cambodia. Jamie also has extensive experience working with major consumer brands, designing advertising campaigns for Unilever, Carlsberg, Red Bull, and GSK. Jamie supports GFI through engaging in social science research and by representing us in social science coalitions related to plant based and clean meat research.
As an advisor to GFI, Jacqueline assists restaurants and wholesale distributors with improving and expanding their plant-based offerings. She has enjoyed a diverse career spanning both public and private sectors, most recently as a Senior Account Executive for Open Table, working with local and national restaurant chains as well as independent operators. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Virginia.
Emma is a student at the University of Miami majoring in exercise physiology with a minor in chemistry. She found her passion for a plant-based and active lifestyle after taking a nutrition class two years ago. She's excited to intern with GFI and help meat alternative products become more mainstream.
Kyle is an interdisciplinary scientist with a background in biochemistry, tissue engineering, neuroscience, and global health. He recently spent a year coordinating public health and nutrition programs in Guatemala, and currently works in a laboratory pursuing various projects related to tissue engineering and clean meat development. A passion for innovative technology and global problem solving brought him to GFI, where he helps accelerate food innovation by establishing relevant contacts at top universities.
Giuliana is a student at Suffolk University Law School. As the Lead Articles Editor of Suffolk Law's Journal of Health and Biomedical Law, Giuliana curates and edits articles written by legal professionals. She has also written a Note on plant-based milk labeling under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, to be published in the Fall 2018 Journal. Giuliana shares GFI's mission to promote plant-based foods as a sustainable and humane alternative to animal agriculture.
Miranda is a food scientist working in R&D for the natural foods industry who has won several new product awards, including a Vegetarian Times Foodie Award. She holds a master’s degree in Food Science from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in International Development from Tulane University. Miranda also volunteers at Compatible Technology International providing technical assistance for food processing projects in developing countries to improve the incomes and nutrition of smallholder farmers and their families. At GFI, she supports food entrepreneurs and scientists interested in plant-based foods by researching plant-based ingredient functionality.
Matti recently submitted her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia. During her graduate program, she conducted research exploring psychological barriers to clean meat, among other things. In September she will be continuing her research at the University Centre for Human Value with Bioethics Professor, Peter Singer. She is passionate about animal welfare and the environment and hopes to use her research to minimize psychological barriers to ethical food choices
Tessa is currently pursuing her M.S. in Health and Strategic Communication at Chapman University in Orange County, CA. As an avid health advocate for both humans and animals, she is passionately curious about the most useful methods of communicating about clean meat and plant-based foods. Tessa is excited to support GFI's research on effective consumer messaging.
Yad is an experienced software professional with a passion for animal rights and the environment. Armed with an insatiable curiosity, Yad aims to be a part of the solution to the big problems that earthlings face. As an intern at GFI, Yad envisions using technology to tackle these problems and bring positive change to the world's many varied residents.
Based in Denmark, Valentin is a biotechnology MSc from the University of Copenhagen. Led by the conviction that a more humane and sustainable future of animal products is possible and motivated by the social isolation felt as a vegan at barbecues, he wants to use his knowledge to help bring about the cellular agriculture revolution.
Colleen is a student at Cornell University, where she is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Food Science. She is passionate about using food science to develop more sustainable and nutritious products. At GFI, she supports the Science and Technology team by uncovering information about plant proteins.
Harriet graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Biology, a minor in Environmental Studies, and a passion for food sustainability. She has worked with GFI to explore novel plant protein sources viable for utilization in plant-based meat, and is providing administrative support for the UC Berkeley Challenge Lab focused on plant-based meats for the Fall of 2017. She hopes to pursue a higher degree in Food Science and Technology in the future so she can work towards mitigating problematic causes of climate change, poor human health, and animal cruelty by providing healthier and more sustainable plant-based food options.
HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, an advocate of animal rights and a proponent of healthy living, believes in a bevy of clean and green methodologies. Khaled, having enthusiastically adopted a vegan lifestyle and energy efficient alternatives, is an avid healthpreneur. As a business figure, a technology enthusiast, and the founding chairman of KBW Investments, Khaled has holdings on five continents. He invests in diverse global businesses and early-stage ventures, including those in advanced technology and clean energy, at the intersection of innovation and economic stability. A member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, Khaled is a motivated spokesperson for entrepreneurs in the Middle East and endeavors to educate on animal rights while advocating the benefits of sustainability and going green. In his capacity as chairman of the elected Saudi Green Building Forum Trustee Board, he works to advance Saudi Arabia’s green building targets.
Josh Balk is co-founder of Hampton Creek, one of the fastest-growing food technology companies in the marketplace today. Josh works full time at The Humane Society of the United States where he helps build start-up companies in the food tech arena. He also works with the world’s largest food companies, such as Walmart, McDonald’s, and Starbucks, to create more humane, sustainable purchasing policies. The New York Times, Fortune magazine, and CNN are among the many media outlets to spotlight his work.
Since Ryan Bethencourt co-founded Indie Bio in 2014, he and his team have funded 42 biotech startups, including companies building the post-animal bioeconomy: Clara Foods, Memphis Meats, Gelzen, New Wave, and Pembient. Previously, Ryan headed the Life Sciences Prize Group at the XPRIZE Foundation and co-founded Berkeley Biolabs in addition to serving as its CEO. He is co-founder of Sudo Room, Counter Culture Labs, Lab Launch, and The Open Source Insulin Project as well. Ryan also helped catalyze the early biohacker movement starting in 2008.
Kevin Boylan is co-founder and co-chairman of Veggie Grill, the largest plant-based restaurant company in the United States. He is also a founding partner of Powerplant Ventures, which invests in emerging growth companies that deliver better nutrition in more sustainable and ethical ways by making it easier and more enjoyable to consume plant-based products. Kevin spent the first 10 of his more than 25 years in finance at investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert as senior vice president and the subsequent 15 years at his own firm, Standard Capital Group.
Asheem Chandna is a partner at Greylock Partners where he assists entrepreneurs in creating and building the next generation of enterprise companies. He has helped establish and grow multiple businesses to market-leading positions. Asheem has appeared on the Forbes Midas list of top technology investors for the past several years.
Brad Goldberg spent 35 years in investment management as an executive vice president, portfolio manager, and head of the value and balanced account segment of Jennison Associates, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial. He is a certified financial analyst. Brad founded Animal Welfare Trust in 2001, which provides grants to students and organizations, and is chair of HEART, a humane education organization. Brad helped establish the Animal Studies Initiative at NYU and the Animal Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School.
Craig Phillips has held leadership positions in foodservice for decades. These include director of purchasing and corporate director of strategic planning at U.S. Foodservice Inc., and vice president of purchasing for Metz Culinary Management, a top 20 management company running foodservice operations in college, hospital, K–12, and other segments, as well as franchisee restaurants and hotels. Craig is especially interested in helping plant-based companies better understand the needs of foodservice companies.
Professor Mark Post has taught for the KNAW Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands, Harvard Medical School, and Dartmouth Medical School. Since 2002, he has served as professor of vascular physiology at Maastricht University and professor of angiogenesis in tissue engineering at the Technical University Eindhoven. Since 2008, he has worked on creating "clean" meat (i.e., cultured meat), including a highly publicized project to produce a clean meat hamburger, which was funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Alicia Robb is a senior fellow with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. She is also founder and CEO of Next Wave Ventures, which has launched two angel funds and training programs focused on bringing more women into angel investing. Alicia is a visiting scholar with the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is founder and former executive director and board chair of the Foundation for Sustainable Development, an international development organization. Alicia currently serves on the board of the National Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprise, the Advisory Board for Global Entrepreneurship Week, and the Deming Center Venture Fund. She is also a guest contributor to outlets such as The Huffington Post and Forbes.
As founder of The Culinary Architects, Maggie transforms food categories and innovates products. She is focused on shifting the way people eat and is considered a thought leader in natural, organic, and plant based solutions. She has influenced and launched more than 100 successful products in her 20 years in the CPG industry. Maggie is a Certified Food Scientist from the Institute of Food Technologists and holds a B.S. in Food Science from The Ohio State University.
Chad Sarno is Vice President of Culinary at Good Catch Foods and cofounder of the Wicked Kitchen line of foods in Tesco. Chad also is an ambassador for Rouxbe, the world’s largest online cooking school, where he launched the Professional Plant-Based Certification course. He spent several years at Whole Foods Market as Senior Culinary Educator and media spokesperson for the Global Healthy Eating program. Before that, Chad launched a line of boutique restaurants in Istanbul, Munich, and London. He has been a contributing author to more than a dozen cookbooks, and if not in the kitchen he’s getting lost in his gardens.
Derek Sarno is the Executive Chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco, the third-largest food retailer in the world. Derek is cofounder of the Wicked Kitchen line of foods in Tesco and cofounder of Good Catch Foods. He is also the former Senior Global Executive Chef at Whole Foods Market, where he catered all the company’s major executive leadership events and oversaw national recipe development. After culinary school, Derek owned several critically acclaimed restaurants and catering businesses. He spent a few years farming and spent some quality time learning to meditate and cook a variety of foods at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Derek has always loved to train squirrels in the ways of the ninja.
Kurt Schmidinger is a geophysicist and earned a doctorate in food science in Vienna, focusing his dissertation on "clean" (i.e., cultured) and plant-based alternatives to animal products. In 2005, he founded the project Future Food, which gathers and presents a worldwide portfolio of alternatives to animal products for human nutrition, as well as possible future technologies for food production, such as biofermentation and clean meat.
Susan Vitka brings more than three decades of experience as a strategic financial adviser to clients in the private and social benefit sectors. Her clients have consisted of startups, Fortune 100 companies, and sovereign wealth funds, among others. She is an active early stage investor and adviser, with particular interest in life sciences, nutrition and agriculture, and the environment. Susan has served on numerous boards in the U.S. and abroad, including those of Women for Women International, Women for Women International UK (as founding chair), Physicians for Human Rights, the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, and several family foundations.
Suzy Welch is co-author, with husband, Jack Welch, of international best sellers The Real Life MBA and Winning. She is also author of New York Times best seller 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea. Her career expertise and perceptive commentary have made her a regular contributor on The TODAY Show and Bulls & Bears. Suzy, a vegan and longtime animal rights supporter, currently serves on the board of directors of The Humane Society of the United States and is a mother of four.