Speakers

Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard

Chef/Owner

Girl & the Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat, Cabra, Tiny Goat, This Little Goat

Stephanie Izard, James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” recipient 2013, and 2011 Food & Wine “Best New Chef,” is the Executive Chef and Owner of five Chicago restaurants: Girl & the Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat, Cabra, and Sugargoat, along with the forthcoming Girl & the Goat in Los Angeles. Izard also won the coveted title of “Iron Chef” in 2017 and was the 4th winner of Bravo’s Top Chef in 2008.A 2011 James Beard “Best New Restaurant” nominee, Girl & the Goat has been praised by high-profile publications such as Saveur, New York Times, Food & Wine, and Better Homes and Gardens. Little Goat, Stephanie’s highly successful follow-up to Girl & the Goat, features classic, Americana cuisine in a diner setting. In March 2016, Stephanie opened her third restaurant, a Chinese-inspired concept called Duck Duck Goat in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. In 2019, Stephanie’s Peruvian-inspired eatery, Cabra, opened on the rooftop of The Hoxton, Chicago and, most recently, Izard opened Sugargoat, an imaginative sweets shop and bakery. Izard also created a retail product line called “This Little Goat,” consisting of globally inspired cooking sauces, spice mixes, and everything crunches for home cooks and currently ships her sweets from Sugargoat nationwide in partnership with Goldbelly. Izard’s first book, “Girl in the Kitchen,” was released in 2011 and her second book “Gather & Graze” was released in April 2018.

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JJ Johnson

JJ Johnson

Founder and Chef

FIELDTRIP NYC

JJ Johnson is an award winning Chef, Founder, TV Personality and Author. Chef JJ presents an environment for connection through food that transcends people, memories, and generations. His diligent efforts toward the food industry has amounted to untouchable accolades: James Beard Award Winner for Best Author and Nominations for Best Chef and Rising Star NYC, Forbes and Zagat 30 under 30, and 2time Best New Restaurant of the Year Winner by Esquire Magazines. His ability to combine culturally-relevant ingredients with classical technique is showcased at FIELDTRIP, his quick-casual rice bowl shop that highlights the future of food. Catch him today on his TV show, Just Eats, airing on Cleo TV.

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Pinky Cole

Pinky Cole

CEO and Founder

Slutty Vegan ATL

From her beginnings in a shared kitchen to a food truck to 3 locations and pandemic grand openings, Pinky Cole is building an empire as the owner and visionary of Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta based restaurant. Just two years old, the company’s revenues grew to 4 million within the first 6 months of its grand opening. With a rotating menu and a standard 2-hour wait, to pick up made to order food, Slutty Vegan is a game changer. If you think the phenomenon is only about food, you’d be greatly mistaken. Cole has hit the trifecta of community, commerce and compassion.Serial Entrepreneur, Brand Strategist, and a Veteran Television Producer, Cole pours all her love, experience and talent into a recipe for success increasing revenues this year by 15%. When restaurants are closing, Slutty Vegan opened two locations with socially distanced lines down the block. While record numbers of people are unemployed, Slutty Vegan is providing sustainable employment. Cole’s impact does not stop there. As an economic engine for the Atlanta community, Cole (in partnership with another philanthropist) has also paid rent for local businesses, paid the tuition of 30 Clark Atlanta students, and provided coats to those in need. Cole also purchased a car and life insurance of for the family of Rayshard Brooks who was slain by police in the Spring of 2020 outside an Atlanta fast-food restaurant. She is on a campaign to support the health and generational wealth of the community by encouraging Black males under a particular income threshold to get life insurance, among other initiatives.Defying the odds is in her DNA. The daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Cole watched her mother work 4 jobs supporting their family, while serving the needs of others. Working, serving, and giving are part of her divine design. And although her father (sentenced to Federal Prison on the day she was born) was not physically present, he has provided Cole with business strategy from behind bars. One of his greatest lessons was to create your own opportunity.Cole has done just that. She is a visual aid pointing audiences toward the direction of their dreams. As a business mogul, she has created a new curriculum - a case study in breaking the rules to turn passion into profit.

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Charles Bililies

Charles Bililies

Founder & CEO

Souvla

Charles Bililies is the Founder & CEO of Souvla, a group of Greek restaurants with locations throughout San Francisco. Bililies brought Souvla to life through his innovative fast-fine approach, blending fine dining service standards and detailed touch points in a counter service format. Bililies now leads strategic development and brand partnerships with the likes of DeltaAir Lines and Black Sheep Foods, and serves as an advisor in the food and tech space, including Square, DoorDash, and Plate IQ.

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Marisel Salazar

Marisel Salazar

Latina food writer, cook, and host.

Marisel Salazar is a Latina writer, cook, recipe developer, and host-based in New York City for publications like the Michelin Guide, Zagat, Infatuation, Food & Wine and many others. She has been featured on NYT Cooking, Good Morning America, NY1, ABC10, Food52, The List TV and more. and do recipe development/digital videos for The Spruce Eats, The Kitchn, Food52, Delish, Buzzfeed Tasty, Tastemade to name a few. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Newswomen's Press Club of New York, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.She shares her work and travel adventures with nearly 40k followers on Instagram @mariselmsalazar. She is also writing her debut cookbook. ExpertiseSalazar's specialties are traditional to modern Latin-ish foods with fun riffs (she is originally from Panama and part Cuban) and cook classic to modern Cuban food (and have visited the island firsthand). She has also lived in Japan, Hawaii, and Madrid — all before the time she was 21. She has interviewed and written about a wide range of figures and themes in the restaurant industry, from Michelin-starred and World's 50 Best chefs, politicians, lawmakers, and senators to undocumented restaurant workers and street food vendors. On-CameraIn front of the camera: Salazar is also the Latinx host of United States of Spirits on Spirits Network and Driven to Dine on MSG Networks. Catch me on Food & Wine's newest show Beat the Receipt! She is the host of HelloFresh's latest mini-digital series Fresh Takes on Takeout. She has been featured on WFLA, NY1, ABC10, InsideHook, NYT Cooking and more.

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Justin Rosenberg

Justin Rosenberg

Founder / CEO

honeygrow

Justin Rosenberg, Founder + Chief Executive OfficerJustin Rosenberg is Founder and CEO of honeygrow, a fast-casual stir-fry and salad concept founded in Philadelphia in 2012. With a mission to create a unique, spirited brand focused on simple, wholesome foods, Rosenberg has led the company's creation and growth, which will consist of 26 units by year end. Prior to launching honeygrow, Rosenberg worked as an Asset Manager and Manager of Energy Services for PREIT in Philadelphia, where he was responsible for purchasing and hedging strategies, energy costing, solar power development, capital budgeting, retail re-merchandising strategies and forecasting for a portfolio of over 35 national shopping centers and malls throughout the US. After seven years in the finance and real estate industry, Rosenberg decided it was time to pursue his true passions of entrepreneurialism, cooking and creative brand-building. Influenced by his recent adoption of a plant-based diet and his love for design and music, he drew inspiration for a concept set to differentiate itself from the rest. To prepare himself for this new venture, Justin staged at various restaurants from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. to gain further experience in kitchen operations, cooking, and leadership. In 2012, the first honeygrow location opened in the Rittenhouse neighborhood of Philadelphia, and Rosenberg’s vision catapulted to the next level. Since that day, honeygrow would continue to expand its unit count and team, with sights set for becoming an enduring, sustainable organization. The company has raised over $70 million in equity financing and has grown into the Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington DC and the New York City metro areas. In 2020, Justin received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Philadelphia region and in 2021, was distinguished as a member of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class.Justin resides in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife, three children and Goldendoodle, Bowie. His passions outside of honeygrow include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, cooking, all-things guitar, hiking, and surfing. He is a member of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Corporate Council and a board member of the Common Market Mid-Atlantic.

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Nicole Marquis

Nicole Marquis

Founder and CEO

Marquis & Co - HipCityVeg, Charlie was a sinner., and Bar Bombón

Nicole Marquis is a plant-based industry pioneer, and Founder and CEO of 9 plant-based restaurants in the Philadelphia area and DC (NYC opening 10/21). They include the fast-casual HipCityVeg, with 7 locations (soon to be 15), and two full service restaurants; the award-winning cocktail lounge, Charlie was a sinner., and Bar Bombón, a Latin-inspired restaurant reminiscent of Old San Juan (a nod to her Puerto Rican heritage). Nicole is also the founder and leader of Save Philly Restaurants, an ad hoc coalition representing nearly 300 restaurants, which she formed in 2020 in response to the Pandemic to advocate for the industry and its employees, and founder of Support + Feed Philly. Nicole and HipCityVeg have won many awards including The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Business of the Year in 2019, Star Chef Rising Star Award Winner for Best Concept in 2019, three-time Best of Philly award winner, and Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award for Nicole in 2017. Nicole was named a Thrillist Local Hero in 2020, and one of the most influential restaurant CEOs in the US from Nation’s Restaurant News in 2021. She was also awarded the “Self-Made and Making Others” award for community service and professional success by Temple University in 2021.

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Rick	Badgley

Rick Badgley

Chief People & Administrative Officer

Brinker International, Inc.

Rick Badgley serves as executive vice president and chief people and administrative officer for Brinker International, Inc., one of the world’s leading casual dining companies and home of Chili’s® Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy®. Rick oversees all aspects of the Team Member experience for Brinker and its brands. At an enterprise level, he also leads key business priorities such as business continuity and global business development, along with corporate communications, government relations and Guest relations.

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Trish Giordano

Trish Giordano

Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

Earl Enterprises

Trish Giordano, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Earl Enterprises, oversees all sales and marketing functions and activities of the company’s broad base of restaurant brands, including Buca di Beppo, Brio Italian Grille, Bravo! Italian Kitchen, Bertucci’s, Chicken Guy!, Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, and several other Earl Enterprises affiliates. With over three decades of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries, Trish has an extensive background and leadership experience in all facets of marketing from brand strategy, digital and social media marketing, marketing technology and loyalty within the restaurant business space. Trish has developed a catering sales center and created partnership programs with the third-party platforms to expand Earl Enterprises off premise business. In 2019, Trish co-founded Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) and is responsible for joining brand-building with technology, bringing to market a turnkey solution for multiple successful virtual dining delivery-only restaurants, including Mr.Beast Burger, Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen, Tyga Bites, NASCAR Refuel and more. She co-developed the business model and team which combines and utilizes restaurant operations, digital marketing, customer engagement and third-party delivery technology for the VDC restaurant brands to be easily executed at existing brick and mortar restaurants nationwide.

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Geoff Alexander

Geoff Alexander

President & CEO

Wow Bao

Geoff Alexander joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in 1993 and began leading Wow Bao in 2009. Under Alexander, Wow Bao revolutionized the way diners interact with restaurants by being a leader in technology & social media adding: mobile & desktop ordering, self-ordering kiosks, mobile gift & loyalty programs, bicycle delivery, national shipping, and a food truck. Alexander led Wow Bao’s inclusion into airports, NFL/MLB/NHL/NBA stadiums, universities, music venues, and 300+ grocers sell its frozen retail line. In 2017 Alexander changed the fast casual dining landscape by introducing Wow Bao 2.0 – a tech enabled FOH environment, where guests order via iOS/Android, and pick up from an animated personalized cubby. After being named to Nation’s Restaurant News 2020 Power List, Alexander evolved the restaurant industry again by launching 400+ Dark Kitchens since April 2020, with a moonshot goal of opening 1000 total locations before 2022 – allowing restaurant operators to grow top line sales & increase bottom line profits.

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Mayly Tao

Mayly Tao

Owner

Dk's Donuts & Bakery and Donut Princess LA

Mayly Tao is a Khmer, Thai, and Teochew Chinese Asian American born to Khmer refugee parents who arrived in America to start a new life. Her uncle, Ted Ngoy, sponsored hundreds of Cambodians to come to America and helped them manage and own their own donut shops. She is currently celebrating 40 years in business at DK's Donuts & Bakery in Santa Monica, CA and her delivery-only donut bouquet concept, Donut Princess LA. She also is the creator and host of her own podcast: Short N' Sweet: A Donut Princess Podcast where she explores mindset, women empowerment, and small business tips! She hopes to elevate Asian American voices and representation and vows to create a legacy for the next generation of Asian Americans. She recently launched her new luxury car rental business, ""Donut Exotics,"" in Summer 2021. You can find her ”Securing the Box” at @maylytao, @donutprincessla, @donutexotics.

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Sue	Chan

Sue Chan

Founder

Care of Chan

Sue S. Chan is the founder of Care of Chan, a food culture agency. Prior to founding Care of Chan, she was the brand director at Momofuku and before that she worked at The Food Bank For New York City, raising funds for their food insecurity programs. Sue also did a short stint as a kitchen extern at The Spotted Pig while attending Barnard College. In 2021, Sue released “Eating in Isolation,” an evergreen, eight-part podcast about the food industry that dares to go beyond taste and technique, and instead tackles a long ignored issue that has plagued the industry: mental health. In the special, Sue and Psychotherapist Sara Solomon, LMFT sat down with chefs and each other for personal and vulnerable conversations about mental health, and the way their internal, interpersonal and external experiences and struggles have shaped their kitchens, careers, relationships and lives. Guests included Sean Brock, Sophia Roe, Claire Ptak and Chris Fischer.

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Sean Reiter

Sean Reiter

Director of Brand Revenue

The Melt

Sean is a 30-year restaurant executive and consultant with broad leadership experience - focused for the last decade on elevating profitable sales through online ordering and delivery. At companies such as The Melt, Specialty’s Café & Bakery, MINA Group and Homeroom Mac + Cheese, Sean has driven record revenue while establishing practices and agreements to ensure increased profitability and customer satisfaction. Sean combines his connections with the major delivery partners with a thorough understanding of best practices and the many layers of revenue-driving tools available today. Sean resides in Marin County, California.

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Nicole Milnthorpe

Nicole Milnthorpe

CFO

Smokey Bones

Nicole Milnthorpe, CPA, serves as CFO of Smokey Bones since 2015 and has more than 20 years of experience in financial services. Nicole has been focused on maximizing brand value, generating breakthrough results and maximizing team member value. Nicole previously served as President and CFO of Shula’s Steakhouse and spent nearly 13 years with Deloitte. Nicole was named a 2021 CFO of the Year finalist, 2021 Power List, Most Influential People, 2021 FSR's Reader's Choice Awards, Brand Innovator and 40 under 40. Milnthorpe is a mother of three and a proud alumnus of the University of Miami.

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Darien Bates

Darien Bates

CTO

&pizza

Darien Bates is the CTO of &pizza, with over 15 years of experience leading technology innovation for a wide range of brands and industries. Darien has founded two companies focused on big data and digital transformation and has worked with teams from global brands to single unit concepts to identify viable strategies that make an impact.

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Corey Kaplan

Corey Kaplan

Owner

Corey's NYC Bagel Deli

Corey is the owner of Corey's NYC Bagel Deli, which was established in Chicago in 2000. Corey's NYC Bagel Deli sells over 1,000 bagels daily through two retail locations around downtown Chicago and a wholesale commissary kitchen. In 2011, Corey's NYC Bagel Deli was selected as 1 of 12 ‘Deli’s of Distinction’ in the US by Boar’s Head Management. Corey's NYC Bagel Deli is an official food sponsor of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Fire, and the Chicago Sky and regularly supplies movie and TV sets including NBC Universal, Chicago Fire and Empire.

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Andrew Field

Andrew Field

Owner & Operator

Tacoway Beach

Tacoway Beach opened in 2008 (the first incarnation was Rockaway Taco) and has been a staple for NYC beach goers during the summer. Serving super Fresh Food, right off the beach, you almost don't think you are in NYC. Andrew Field leads the kitchen with a crew of young local kids and feeds the masses all summer long. Andrew has worked in restaurants since he was 15 years old, but incredibly grateful to have Rockaway Beach and all of its urban beach characteristics as his daily office.

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Chuck Hammers

Chuck Hammers

President

Pizza My Heart

Chuck Hammers is President of Pizza My Heart, a chain of 25 surf themed pizza restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pizza My Heart was founded 40 years ago and specializes in pizza by the slice, fresh salads, and beer and wine. About half of the business is takeout and delivery, and they use Doordash exclusively as their delivery partner.

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Frankie DiCarlantonio

Frankie DiCarlantonio

Director

Scaffidi Restaurant Group

Frankie is the Director of the Scaffidi Restaurant Group, a multi-faceted and multi-brand restaurant group specializing in foods with an Italian flare.

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Cliff	Cate

Cliff Cate

Head of Restaurant Success

Yelp

Cliff is an experienced leader and executive with expertise in all aspects of Customer Success particularly at SaaS and marketplace companies. As Head of Restaurant Success at Yelp, Cliff is responsible for leading the Customers Success organization for Yelp's Restaurant Marketplace products. The Yelp Restaurant Success team leads and supports restaurant customers along entire customer journey including support, onboarding, adoption, retention and up-sell.

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Tony Xu

Tony Xu

CEO & Co-founder

DoorDash

Tony Xu is the CEO and Co-founder of DoorDash, a technology company passionate about transforming local businesses and dedicated to enabling new ways of working, earning, and living. Born in China, Tony came to America with his parents and grew up working in his mom’s restaurant. He started DoorDash to help small business owners succeed. Prior to co-founding DoorDash in 2013, Tony worked in Product at Square, led special projects for the CEO and CFO at eBay, and began his career at McKinsey and Company. He holds a B.S. with high honors in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

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Christopher Payne

Christopher Payne

President

DoorDash

Christopher Payne is the President of DoorDash, a technology company that connects customers with their favorite local and national businesses in more than 7000 cities across the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. DoorDash is building the infrastructure and logistics platform to allow any local merchant to deliver their merchandise and expand their business. Christopher served as COO of DoorDash from January 2016 through May 2021. Prior to joining DoorDash, he led the North American business at eBay, ran the development of MSN Search (now Bing) and mapping (Virtual Earth) for Microsoft, and led Amazon's expansion beyond books into video, electronics, wireless, PCs, and software. He holds a B.A. in US History from Dartmouth College.

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Tom Pickett

Tom Pickett

Chief Revenue Officer

DoorDash

Tom is the Chief Revenue Officer at DoorDash where he is responsible for business development, sales, and growth of DoorDash's partnerships with restaurants, convenience, grocery and retail partners. Previously, he was CEO of Ellation, a leading global direct-to-consumer digital media company with several fan-focused video services including Crunchyroll, VRV and RoosterTeeth and led the successful sale to WarnerMedia in 2018. Prior to Ellation, Tom spent 10 years at Google ultimately serving as Vice President of Content and Operations at YouTube. Earlier in his career, Tom served as an F/A-18 pilot and “Top Gun” graduate in the US Navy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (with honors) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Kofi Amoo-Gottfried

Kofi Amoo-Gottfried

VP, Marketing

DoorDash

Prior to DoorDash, Kofi was VP of Brand & Consumer Marketing at Facebook, having previously served as the company’s Head of Consumer Marketing for internet.org. Before Facebook, Kofi was Chief Strategy Officer at FCB New York. He joined FCB from Bacardi Global Brands, where he was the Global Communications Director for the Rum category and the architect for the reinvention of the Bacardi brand.As the Founder and Managing Director of Publicis West Africa, Kofi created and launched the first majority-owned network agency on the African continent. And as the Senior Strategic Planner on Nike at Wieden+Kennedy, Kofi crafted the strategy for Nike’s global Beijing Olympics campaign. He began his career at Leo Burnett Chicago & Leo Burnett London - working on Kellogg’s, Coca Cola, and Global Giving.In 2014, Kofi was named to Ad Age’s “40 under 40” list of young marketing stars. In September 2017, Kofi won ADCOLOR’s “Rockstar” Award. And In 2020, Kofi was named an Adweek Brand Genius. Kofi has a BA in Economics and International Studies from Macalester College. He serves on the Board of Population Services International - the global health and human services NGO dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations, and lives in Half Moon Bay, CA with his college-sweetheart-turned-wife Kate, and their rambunctious young sons Marlowe and Miles.

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Jessica Lachs

Jessica Lachs

VP, Analytics and Data Science

DoorDash

Jessica Lachs is the VP of Analytics and Data Science at DoorDash, where she leads a team of data scientists that help DoorDash make better business decisions, faster. Prior to her current position, she was the first General Manager at DoorDash, responsible for launching new markets. Prior to DoorDash, Jessica founded GiftSimple, a social gifting startup, where she was also CEO. Before her entrepreneurial endeavors, Jessica began her career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers in New York City. Jessica holds a BS from Cornell, and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Austin, TX.

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Hudson Riehle

Hudson Riehle

Senior Vice President, Research & Knowledge Group

National Restaurant Association

As the Senior Vice President of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association, Hudson Riehle directs the Association’s consumer, economic, technology, market, human resources, tourism and operations research as well as oversees its extensive knowledge center activities. Frequently cited by major national and international news organizations and appearing on national television broadcasts, he has authored a variety of articles and serves as an information source and spokesperson for the restaurant and hospitality industry.Mr. Riehle received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Skidmore College in New York and his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Appointed by the Secretary of Labor, he has been a member of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Research Advisory Council; a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Alexandria (VA) Convention and Visitors Association; a member of the Center for Food Integrity Consumer Research Advisory Panel and the Wharton Executive Advisory Panel; and is currently included in the current edition of Who’s Who in America.

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Lawrence Lynch

Lawrence Lynch

SVP, Certifications & Operations

National Restaurant Association

As Senior Vice President of Certification and Operations for the National Restaurant Association, Larry Lynch represents the Association in efforts related to food safety and science. He also oversees the development and delivery of the association’s array of accredited credentials, including program accreditation, customer operations support, state food safety compliance coordination, and food safety instructor quality. Lynch is also president of the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. His focus on food safety and certification includes 17 years of active participation in the Conference for Food Protection where he has served for 12 years on the Food Manager Certification Committee and three terms on Council II overseeing Conference administration. He has been active in the Global Food Safety Initiative and is a subject matter expert for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). He helped develop ISO 22003, which includes the rules applicable for the audit and certifications of a food safety management system. He earned his BA in Political Science at Rutgers University and a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from Rollins College, Florida.

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Jeffrey Clark

Jeffrey Clark

Director, Sustainability, Nutrition, and Food Safety

National Restaurant Association

Jeffrey Clark, an eight-year veteran of the National Restaurant Association, engages restaurant industry professionals who oversee three separate areas of expertise within their companies: food safety & quality assurance, nutrition, and sustainability. He also oversees the Kids LiveWell voluntary program, where restaurants create children's meals with fewer calories and less fat, added sugar, and sodium. Mr. Clark also taught a sustainability in the supply chain course at Georgetown University in 2020.

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Marissa Burns

Marissa Burns

Manager

Jimmy John’s Digital

Marissa Burnes is the Manager of Digital and eComm at Jimmy John’s, part of the Inspire Brands portfolio, based in Atlanta. Burnes manages the development and execution of Jimmy John’s digital strategy, focused on customer experience, digital platform innovation and revenue growth. During her time at Jimmy John’s, Marissa has managed digital media, digital marketing, owned channel communication strategy and the launch of Jimmy John’s first third-party demand generation partnership with DoorDash in 2020.

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Jonathon Relkin

Jonathon Relkin

Director Digital & Off-Premise

Chipotle

Jonathon Relkin is the Director of Digital & Off-Premise at Chipotle Mexican Grill leading Digital Growth Marketing and Sales across Direct and Marketplace channels for Delivery, Order Ahead and Catering. Prior to Chipotle, Jonathon held multiple Digital and eCommerce leadership positions across business and technology functions including Global eCommerce Customization at Vans and Digital Sales Enablement, Trade Marketing and Strategy at Mattel. He loves all things Digital, Burritos and Baseball.

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Vanessa Rimando

Vanessa Rimando

Owner & Founder

Vanessa Rimando LLC

Vanessa began her career in the food and beverage industry roughly 20 years ago as a line cook and Sous Chef working for some of NYC's most celebrated chefs including Tom Colicchio, Damon Wise, and Wesley Genovart. She then transitioned to front of the house management, and later earned the title of Director of Operations of the Roberta's restaurant group, with its numerous entities. Vanessa is a co-owner of Spirit, a restaurant/bar, music venue, and community event space that Esquire named one of the Best Bars in America in 2017. Vanessa is also co-owner of Mia Natural Inc., a beverage company that is bringing the incredible health benefits of the sea buckthorn berry to the world. Vanessa is the founder and principal of Vanessa Rimando LLC (Trillium Insights), and consults with her clients on culture & leadership development, operations & food safety strategies, personal & team coaching. Vanessa graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis, and her certifications include lead HACCP Instructor, completion of Seafood HACCP training, Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), International Coaching Federation – Professional Certified Coach (PCC in progress), EMCC Senior Practitioner (SP in progress), CCE Board Certified Coach (BCC in progress).

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Heidi Peterson

Heidi Peterson

Account Executive

Headspace

Heidi is a certified breathwork coach and all around wellness enthusiast. After finishing her athletic career as a Division I ice hockey player, she has found new ways to challenge herself both mentally and physically. She has completed five marathons and routinely practices meditation, breathwork, and yoga. Heidi joined Headspace in March 2020 as an account executive and is currently helping leaders reduce stress and burnout in the workplace.

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Kimberlee Vandervoorn

Kimberlee Vandervoorn

Vice President, Consumer Solutions

UnitedHealth Group

Kimberlee Vandervoorn, Vice President of Consumer Solutions with UnitedHealth Group/Optum, has developed and led UnitedHealth Group’s joint venture partnership with the National Restaurant Association since its inception in 2010. This joint venture is a platform for developing and offering a variety of members-only negotiated products and services that meet the unique physical and mental health needs of the hospitality industry. Ms. Vandervoorn started her career as a labor attorney and went on the become a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, applying a variety of business principles to design and build organizational cultures and processes to deliver the most efficient and consistent value and highest quality to the customer. During her tenure with UnitedHealth Group she has worked with multiple industries to develop health and wellness solutions that meet their unique needs and help them navigate the complex health care system. Ms. Vandervoorn sits on multiple state restaurant and lodging association boards and councils to better advocate for and understand the challenges faced by the hospitality industry. She holds a BA degree from Connecticut College, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt from Villanova University and Juris Doctorate from Catholic University of America.

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Kaytia King

Kaytia King

Deputy Director, Partnerships

I Stand With Immigrants Initiative

Kaytia King is the Deputy Director of the I Stand With Immigrants Initiative powered by FWD.us, where she also serves as the head of corporate engagement and previously served as the Colorado State Director. As State Director, she recruited, trained and empowered directly impacted communities to advocate for immigration policy reform before Congress. In her current work, Kaytia helps corporate partners shape their own narratives on immigrant contributions to America. She also leverages a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) framework to assist in the implementation of corporate social responsibility tactics.

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Kevin Huang

Kevin Huang

VP, Merchant Strategy & Operations

DoorDash

Experienced leader in early stage growth, operations, and strategy in tech.

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Erin Butler

Erin Butler

GM, Restaurant Ads

DoorDash

Erin Butler leads the Restaurant Ads & Promos team at DoorDash. Her team focuses on building products to help restaurant brands of any size reach customers and grow their business.

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Stephanie Bauer

Stephanie Bauer

Director of Marketing

The Piada Group

Stephanie’s experience in the restaurant industry is multi-faceted. As the Director of New Restaurant Openings for Chipotle Mexican Grill she helped open over 200 restaurants a year with a focus on operations and training. At Wendy’s, Stephanie learned the franchise side of the business as a Division Marketing Manager for over 1,000 restaurants. She is currently the Director of Marketing for Piada Italian Street Food, a brand that prides itself on its genuine hospitality and thoughtfully prepared food and was named one of Fast Casuals Top 100 Movers and Shakers in 2021.

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Mistie Boulton

Mistie Boulton

CEO & Owner

Oren's Hummus & EyeSpy

Mistie Boulton has an unmatched passion for the restaurant and hospitality industry, having spent most of her professional life in management roles as an industry changemaker.In addition to serving as the Director of Operations for PFS Restaurants from 1993-2001, Mistie has been a restaurant general manager, bar manager, and regional manager. In fact, it was her own experience in the restaurant business that led her to create EyeSpy Critiquing & Consulting – a restaurant and hospitality consulting company that offers Mystery Shopping and other operational support services to restaurants and hospitality companies. A devoted restaurateur, Mistie is also CEO & Co-owner of Oren’s Hummus, a Mediterranean fast casual concept with over a half dozen locations in the Bay Area. She oversees both day-to-day business for Oren’s Hummus and acts as the CEO of EyeSpy. Mistie actively consults to restaurants and coaches management teams to success. A positive and vibrant force for industry improvement, Mistie’s energy and enthusiasm are welcomed by both clients and customers. A member of several Bay Area merchant groups, business associations, and charitable organizations, Mistie is also certified through Accomplishment Coaching as a business and life coach.

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Shanna McClearn

Shanna McClearn

Director, Working Capital Direct & Community Partnerships

Accion Opportunity Fund

Shanna has been with Accion Opportunity Fund for over 7 years and is the Director of Working Capital Direct and Community Partnerships. She works with partner organizations to provide technical assistance, coaching, and affordable financing to minority and women entrepreneurs that may not qualify for bank or SBA financing.

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Darlenne Helena

Darlenne Helena

Certified Lead Trainer

Facebook

Darlenne Helena is a Facebook Certified Lead Trainer and experienced marketer with a passion for digital marketing and social media. She is a marketing agency owner running social media campaigns since 2012 for a wide variety of businesses and industries in both paid and organic strategies. She has run Facebook ads for small and medium-sized businesses and has managed over $3 million dollars in Facebook ad spending. Darlenne is also a sought-after trainer, with over 8 years of professional training experience. Her unique talent comes from taking complex concepts and ideas and making them simple and understandable to all. She regularly facilitates social media training workshops to educate the small business and nonprofit communities.

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Ashlee Tran

Ashlee Tran

Director, Merchant Strategy & Operations

DoorDash

Ashlee is a part of DoorDash's Merchant Strategy and Operations team, working to build new services and products to help merchants expand their geographic footprint and grow their businesses in innovative ways.

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Xenia Strunnikova

Xenia Strunnikova

Director, Merchant Experience

DoorDash

Xenia Strunnikova is the Director of Merchant Experience at DoorDash, a role she has held for the last year. Prior to Merchant Experience, Xenia was on the Consumer Experience team where she focused on VIP Consumers, Proactive Support and Manual Task reduction. Before DoorDash Xenia was in the Digital Strategy Group at Adobe.

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Christine Cikowski

Christine Cikowski

Chef and Co-Owner

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Christine Cikowski is the Chef and Co-Owner of Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. She and co-owner Josh Kulp created a business backed by business principles that embodied valuing employees. At culinary school at Kendall College, she met Kulp, and the two of them began hatching plans for Sunday Dinner Club, their underground dining concept which sparked the idea of Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Cikowski, along with Kulp, has garnered acclaim including a spot on Eater Chicago’s Essential 38 List, Jean Banchet “Chef of the Year” Nominations, a Chicago Tribune Dining Award, Star Chefs Rising Star Chef, and more. Additionally, Honey Butter Fried Chicken won both Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine's Reader’s Choice Award for Best Fried Chicken. Christine has worked closely on activist and community initiatives with Pilot Light, RAISE, the James Beard Foundation, Chicago’s Green City Market, The Mayor’s Task Force for Working Families, and Step Up Women’s Network. She and Kulp have also co-authored op-eds advocating for higher wages and the elimination of the subminimum wage in Chicago. Every month, their restaurant donates $1 from every Honey Butter Fried Chicken Sandwich to an organization in Chicago that supports underserved communities. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga, off-the-grid hiking and camping, and spending time with her adorable rescue dog Dusty.

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Jennifer Eng-Loiselle

Jennifer Eng-Loiselle

Sr. Manager, Merchant Strategy & Operations

DoorDash

Jennifer is a Senior Manager in DoorDash's Merchant Strategy & Operations team, working on Merchant Success and Growth, based in Seattle. She has deep strategy, product management and marketing expertise and helps companies unlock growth opportunities and operationally transform to address evolving market forces. Prior to DoorDash, Jennifer worked at Nordstrom in Corporate Strategy, focused on omnichannel growth, and in strategy consulting for the Media and Tech sectors at Monitor Deloitte.

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Joey Simons

Joey Simons

Senior Vice President of Operations

C3 by sbe

Joey Simons is the Senior Vice President of Operations for C3, the leading global food tech platform that is re-imagining the food service industry with a brand-first approach through established brick and mortar shared kitchens, digital restaurants and the group’s soon to be opened Citizens culinary markets. Joey oversees and leads all facets of the C3’s global business units, overseeing day to day operations and growth strategy for the group. C3’s digital restaurant brands include Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam's Crispy Chicken, and Kumi, as well as brick and mortar restaurants Katsuya, Cicci di Carne and Sa’Moto, the latter which are slated to open this summer. Joey is currently leading the charge of C3’s first CITIZENS culinary market, launching in New York City this month and which will feature a 40,000 square foot lifestyle food hall at Brookfield Properties’ Manhattan West development in New York City. Additionally, and most recent he oversaw C3’s international expansion with the announcement of partnerships in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and the UK.Joey brings 15+ years of expertise, driving vision and strategy in multi-property hospitality operations. He has a proven track record of adding millions in revenue, cutting costs and delivering projects of up to $32mm as well as motivating teams of 500+ to deliver top quality experiences and customer satisfaction through training, coaching, and mentoring. Prior to current work with C3, Joey served as Director of Operations for Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group, steering business operations, finance, and strategic initiatives for a $75M restaurant portfolio. driving revenue, profits, and property value, while heading business strategies, leading P&L, budgeting forecasting, and overseeing large-scale restaurant build-outs. Additionally, he served as Director of Operations with Beyond Restaurant Group, where he drove operational vision, strategy, and profitability. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

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Jenna Strange

Jenna Strange

Operations Manager - Virtual Brands

MINA Group

Jenna Strange currently serves as Operations Manager of Virtual Brands for the Mina Group. The Mina Group is a restaurant ownership and management company, specializing in creating upscale innovative restaurant concepts following the lead of renowned Chef & Founder, Michael Mina. Jenna graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in International Relations and then attended Johnson & Wales University where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts. In 2016, she proceeded to work for the Mina Group as a cook in their Bourbon Steak Miami restaurant. She then left the kitchen in 2019 to become the Mina Group’s corporate office manager. During the pandemic, Jenna played a part in Mina’s launch into the world of virtual dining, and has been part of its development ever since.

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Saul Cooperstein

Saul Cooperstein

Chief Development Officer

C3 by sbe

Saul Cooperstein rejoined SBE in March 2021 as Chief Development Officer. Cooperstein also currently serves as an Advisor / Advisory Board Member to: Creative Juice, a venture backed fintech platform serving the creator community which he co-founded in June 2020; Night Media, a multimedia talent management company and creative outpost for the most popular creators on the internet; and Crave! Delivery, a dark kitchen and technology platform based in Boise Idaho. Immediately prior to joining SBE, Cooperstein served as Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, Restaurants for Barilla America, Inc. Cooperstein joined Barilla in 2017 and in his role lead day-to-day oversight of Barilla’s branded restaurants division as well as co-lead the company’s exploration and strategy within restaurant delivery and dark kitchens. From December 2012 until 2016 Cooperstein served as Umami Restaurant Group’s Chief Strategy Officer including serving as the lead executive of the company during the first half of 2014 after the resignation of founder Adam Fleischman. At Umami, Cooperstein concepted and lead the launch of the Umami Burger Artist Series and identified and fostered the company’s relationship with Impossible Burger, with Umami as the first multi-location brand to launch with Impossible. Cooperstein also served as a board member for Umami as well as its subsidiary 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza. Prior to joining Umami, Cooperstein served as Managing Director Business Development for SBE. Joining SBE as a single-digit corporate team member in 2004, Cooperstein was responsible for co-developing SBE’s primary business model and leading strategy, transactional finance, analysis of new acquisition and development opportunities and the execution and implementation of in-process developments including the development and growth of the SLS, Bazaar, Katsuya and Hyde Lounge brands. Cooperstein also identified and led the execution of SBE’s relationship with Chef and Philanthropist José Andrés. Before SBE, Cooperstein was an Assistant Vice President at Public Resources Advisory Group (PRAG), the top-ranked financial advisory firm to state and local governments. At PRAG, Cooperstein provided advisory and analytic services on more than 30 bond and note transactions totaling over $40 billion of issuance and presented new business proposals resulting in new clients including the California Tribal Gaming Securitization, the City of Phoenix, LA Unified School District and Burbank Airport. Cooperstein also served as Project Manager for the California State Treasurer’s 2003 Debt Affordability Report and developed and implemented innovative financing approaches including a medium-term debt strategy for the State of California, the use of forward “swap” rates to more appropriately model future variable rate debt cash flows and a marginal cost pricing models for the State of California's annual multi-billion dollar RAN offering. Proceeding PRAG, Cooperstein worked in the investment banking division of Lehman Brothers (now Barclays) within the bank’s technology and general/industrial groups. Cooperstein earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Marci, a television executive at CBS and his two son’s Laser (9) and Sawyer (4).

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Tasia Hawkins

Tasia Hawkins

Program Lead, Social Impact

DoorDash

Tasia Hawkins is a Social Impact Program Lead at DoorDash, where she leads the company’s initiatives to support underserved entrepreneurs including the Main Street Strong Accelerator, Kitchens Without Borders, Made By Women, and DoorDash's Black-owned business program. She holds a Master's in Public Administration from NYU Wagner specializing in Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment, and outside of work serves on the Action Board of Getting Out Staying Out, a reentry nonprofit based in New York City.

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