April 11-12, 2008
Katherine Alaimo, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University. Dr. Alaimo has worked with community gardeners in Michigan on participatory research projects, including an exploration of the effects of gardening and community beautification on neighborhood renewal, social capital and youth development, and a study of the health benefits of backyard and community gardens for women.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension- NYC
Sheila Aminmadani is the Marketing & Community Engagement Coordinator at the Educational Video Center (EVC). At EVC, Sheila manages the marketing, distribution, broadcast and film festival submissions for EVC's youth-produced documentaries. She also builds partnerships with schools, libraries and community-based organizations to promote dialog and social change around critical social issues using EVC videos as springboards for discussion and activism.
Bronx Healthy Hearts
World Hunger Year
Christiane Baker is the founder and president of Daily Bread Productions, Inc., an organization dedicated to using multiplatform media concepts and research based educational content to help change the way kids are eating in the United States. She has most recently developed a program to teach pre-school aged children about food and healthy eating in a fun and creative way for air on national television. She is trained as a chef, and researched and developed a 22 acre working farm/vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island that produces award-winning wines. She is a member of the board of directors of the Rodale Institute, the pioneer of organic farming in the U.S.
Angela Calebrese Barton, Ph.D
Michigan State University
Hilary Baum, Baum Forum, produces educational seminars, conferences and special events focusing on critical issues in food and farming. Her most recent project is Schools, Food and Community which she co-produced with the Nutrition Program of Teachers College Columbia University. She is president of Baum Forum/Public Market Partners, a not for profit corporation, and was the founding coordinating director of Food Systems Network NYC, a collaboration of agencies and individuals engaged in work that furthers access to wholesome, regional food. Hilary has been involved in the development of farmers’ and public markets, agricultural marketing programs, and community supported agriculture, and is co-author of Public Markets and Community Revitalization. She is a board member of Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, the Hawthorne Valley Association, Riverdale CSA, and an advisor to the NYC Wholesale Farmers’ Market.
David Berkowitz joined the New York City Department of Education as Executive Director of SchoolFood in 2003. With over three decades of experience in the foodservice and hospitality industry, David oversees the largest school food service provider in the United States, comprising over 1,400 sites, with more than 9,000 employees, serving over 860,000 meals a day to New York City school children in breakfast, lunch, afternoon, weekend, special events and summer programs throughout the city. Utilizing marketing and culinary programs to drive participation, SchoolFood continues to lead the nation in raising nutritional standards, through programming such as SchoolFood Plus, Farm-to-School and promotional Calendar of Events.
Marcela Betzer, MPH, is the Program Coordinator of the NYC School Wellness Council Project based at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A program initiated through a NYS DOH Healthy Heart grant, the School Wellness Council Project aims to increase physical activity opportunities and improve nutrition in 100 elementary schools in high-need communities over 5 years. The program helps schools form Wellness Councils and facilitates the creation of school wellness policies.
Leslie Boden, Community Health Planner, promotes health in low-income communities, with a focus on sustainable food systems. Her current projects include working with the NYC Parks & Recreation’s GreenThumb program to create a resource guide and policy recommendations in support of school gardens. She has served as a community health planning consultant to public and not-for-profit organizations, providing services instrumental to the development of programs; strategic and community-based plans and their implementation; publications and curricula; and policy research and analysis. Leslie is a CSA organizer and community gardener. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University.
Jonathan Bogarín is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator. His work spans the disciplines of painting, video, and community artworks made in collaboration with youth. He is currently working with the Center for Urban Pedagogy and Bronx Helpers on a documentary about bodegas in the Bronx, and with the School for Democracy and Leadership on a public sculpture project addressing community health issues in Brooklyn.
Scott Burg, Rockman ET AL, has worked with numerous school districts and public health organizations on development and evaluation of program interventions dealing with diet and nutrition, chronic disease management, informal science, and application of web and mobile technologies.
Montefiore School Health Program
New Settlement’s Bronx Helpers
Jaimie P. Cloud is the founder and president of the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education in New York City. The Cloud Institute is dedicated to the vital role of education in creating awareness, fostering commitment, and guiding actions toward a healthy, secure and sustainable future. Ms. Cloud serves as Chair of Communities for Learning, Inc., is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, is a member of the Planning Committee for Education for Sustainability of the North American Association for Environmental Education,(NAAEE), and of the Sustainability Education Planning Committee for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
Jorge Leon Collazo, SchoolFood, New York City Department of Education, is the Executive Chef for the NYC Department of Education. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a former Chef-instructor of food history at the New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier, Vermont.
Geimy Colon has been a coordinator at CityParks Education for the past four years, where she was instrumental in transforming a school-based garden program into the Learning Gardens, a comprehensive, multi-site initiative that uses community gardens to teach core subjects. As the coordinator, Geimy is responsible for developing curricula, teaching, and managing all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the program. Geimy graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and has been a public school teacher and worked in a variety of non-traditional educational settings.
Isobel Contento, Ph.D.
Teacher's College Columbia University
Amy Cotler, Massachusetts Farm to School, has been a culinary professional and farm-to-table activist for 25 years in both Manhattan and the Berkshires, in Western Massachusetts. She was director of Berkshire Grown, a local food advocacy organization in the Berkshires, and currently works as a consultant and writer. She has written five books. The latest is “Fresh From The Farm: The Massachusetts Farm to School Cookbook,” which was distributed to every school district in the state and is available on-line.
Justine E. Dang, MHS, is Project Director/Senior Program Manager of Community Partnerships at City Harvest, which currently provides overall program management for nutrition intervention efforts at the Mt. Hope and Fordham CSAs, and the Mobile Markets in Melrose, Bronx, and Stapleton, Staten Island. She has experience with leveraging additional external public and private resources to advance changes in the local food system, including Community Food Assessments and technical assistance for buying clubs and food cooperatives, and research and program development in the field of public health nutrition; specifically involving childhood obesity and food retail.
Sarah Timmins DeGregory, MPH, is a Health Promotion Coordinator for the East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office (NYC DOHMH), Harlem School Health Program. She works with school administrators, staff and parents in elementary schools throughout Harlem to assess the school health environment, develop strategies, and broker health programs that address gaps in service. Prior to her work at the city health department, Sarah worked as a child nutrition advocate in NYC public high schools promoting the universal breakfast program. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from New York University.
Claudia DeMegret has served since 2003 as the director of education for the City Parks Foundation (CPF), a private, non-profit partner of the New York City Parks Department. In her role, she designs and oversees diverse environmental education initiatives that work with public school students and community members in the five boroughs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampshire College in Massachusetts. Prior to CPF, she directed youth and community education programs in New York City and Washington D.C.
Johnson City Schools, Rock on Café
Billy Doherty is Project Manager at SchoolFood, NYC Department of Education. He attended the Culinary Institute of America where he earned a degree in Culinary Arts. After graduation, Billy went on to study Regional Italian cuisine in northern Italy and since March 2000, Billy has been working for SchoolFood as a Catering Manager. In September 2004 he was promoted to Project Manager of the SchoolFood Plus Initiative, which helps to promote healthy eating in our schools. Billy also works on Local Initiatives including Farm to School.
Petra Dorfsman serves on the board of Better School Food. Issues around school food, sustainable agriculture and preserving the environment are critically important to her and motivate her work in improving school food in private schools in her region. A former student at the De Gustibus Cooking School in New York City, Petra was also employed as a pastry chef at a top local patisserie in Westchester County. Her business experience includes seven years with EMI Records and Saturday Night Live. Petra resides in Yorktown Heights, NY with her husband and daughter.
Wendy Dubit is a social entrepreneur whose numerous initiatives – built under the Vergant Inc. brand (www.vergant.com) for such companies as Bertelsmann Music Group, America Online, New Line Cinema, Pantone, Primedia and Unilever – all carry common threads: The creation and promotion of programs, processes and products designed to enhance life, work, and learning. She has founded the FarmHands-CityHands: Linking Farm and City for the Social, Cultural, Economic and Environmental Enrichment of Both; The Producers’ Project: A New Lens on Learning; and The Renewables: Thinkable is Doable!
Aine Duggan, Vice President of Government Relations, Policy & Research, Food Bank NYC, oversees the development of research and policy that informs the Food Bank's work with political and community leaders to address the root causes of hunger and implement cost-effective solutions. Since 1990, Ms. Duggan has worked with organizations in New York including the Coalition for the Homeless, as well as in Ireland, and has developed public education, advocacy, policy and direct services to address homelessness, HIV/AIDS, refugee rights and immigration, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Mimi Edelman from On Common Ground creates garden to table experiences in educational, therapeutic and CSA settings. Mimi has been inspired by her culinary and organic farming background to connect people of all ages and abilities to the bounty of the Hudson Valley landscape. She is an instructor of Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy at New York Botanical Garden and Co-Chair of Slow Food Hudson Valley.
The French Culinary Institute
Jose Esquea is the current artistic director of Teatro La Tea, which serves the lower eastside artistic community and its founding population of Latino artists, and is a consultant to The Knowledge Project’s the Green Institute. The Green Institute’s mission is to use practical innovation to sustain the environment and communities. With the Knowledge Project, he coaches high school students to help them understand the business world and presentation strategies.
Fern Gale Estrow, MS, RD, CDN, is the founder of The FGE Food and Nutrition Team and Chair of Food Systems Network NYC. Fern is a registered dietician who focuses on improving health and quality of life through integration of food programs, nutrition education, clinical support, media literacy, and policy development and practice using a food systems approach.
Annie Farrell, Millstone Farm, was born and raised in NYC. Annie spent summers and weekends at the family bungalow in Northern Westchester, which was still “the country” back then. She fell in love with farms; built her own – Annie’s – in Bovina NY; sold organically grown specialty crops…and eventually her farm; and went on to work with and develop private farms and non-profits, including CADE, WAC, Cabbage Hill, Rainbeau Ridge, and now, Millstone Farm. She sits on several boards dedicated to farmland preservation, conservation, diversification and sustainable development.
Elizabeth (Besty) Fink, Millstone Farm, who formerly held management positions at Prodigy Services and priceline.com, is co-Chair of Marshall Street Management and President of the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, which focuses on conservation and environmental education. In 2005, Betsy established Millstone Farm in Wilton, Connecticut, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting local, sustainable agriculture, and which provides its own eggs and produce to a select group of area restaurants and markets. Millstone works with land trusts, environmental organizations and local farmers to preserve valuable agricultural land and develop sustainable agricultural models, and Betsy serves on the Board of the American Farmland Trust and the Wilton Land Trust.
Lynn Fredericks is the founder and guiding force behind FamilyCook Productions, and the author of the acclaimed, Cooking Time is Family Time. Ms. Fredericks and the FamilyCook team have developed successful, replicated strategies and curricula for nutrition/culinary education used in schools and community based organizations across the US. FamilyCook elementary curriculum was recently selected by the Connecticut State Department of Public Health for testing in the state over the 2008-09 school year, and FamilyCook pre-school recipes and training modules for family daycare providers using CACFP reimbursement developed for Share Our Strength will debut in 4 cities this spring.
Jamie Friedman is the President and CEO of Teich Garden Systems LLC. Jamie
joined Founder and CEO of Teich Garden Systems Mark Teich three years ago
after working 25 years at the stock market. Jamie lives in South Salem, NY
with his wife and four children.
Thomas Forster, International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture, serves as Policy Advisor for the Community Food Security Coalition and teaches food policy classes at the New School. Thomas has worked on farm to school policy and related issues in 2002 Farm Bill, 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization and the pending 2008 Farm Bill. He also is working on a campaign related to coming debates at the UN on food security, climate change, nutrition and related issues in 2008-2009.
Laura Gagne, BA, MA, is the Director of Programs for the Urban Assembly (UA) network of schools. The UA is non-profit organization that has created and manages a community of 19 New York City public schools dedicated to preparing students from under-resourced neighborhood for success in four-year colleges. As Director of Programs, Laura oversees program development, implementation and evaluation of mentoring, internship, after school and summer enrichment programs at 19 schools.
Denise Garcia is a member of the Culinary Arts group at the Green Institute, under the instruction of Chef Gary Maxwell. She is a 10th grader currently attending Millennium Art Academy at Stevenson HS Campus, Bronx, NY.
Parsons, The New School for Design
Frederick Douglas Secondary School
Andrew Goodman, M.D., M.P.H. is an Associate Commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where he directs the East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office (DPHO). Among many programs serving the residents of East and Central Harlem, the DPHO recently established the Harlem School Health Program with the Office of School Health to address health issues among children in elementary schools. Dr. Goodman attended Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed a pediatric residency at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York.
Christina Grace manages the NYS Departmen of Agriculture and Markets' Urban Food Systems Program which includes farm to school, community and school gardening, and urban agriculture initiatives as well as efforts to connect New York farmers with the NYC marketplace. After a 10 year career in Marketing Management, she simultaneously co-founded New Territories, a local food focused marketing and research consultancy, and a neighborhood farmers market in Portland, OR before returning to her home in the Northeast. Chris is also a trained cook.
Jonathan Rose Companies LLC
Amie Hamlin is the Executive Director of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, a statewide nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of New York's students by advocating for healthy plant-based foods, including local and organic where possible; farm to school programs; the elimination of unhealthy competitive foods in all areas of the school (not just the cafeteria); and comprehensive nutrition policy and education to create food- and health-literate students.
Signe V. Harriday, Youth Workshop Facilitator at LightBox, has extensive experience using creative dramatics to work with youth from elementary age children to college age young adults. She has developed different programs to meet the needs of collaborating arts organizations, diverse youth, and her own desire to be a positive agent of social change through the arts in her community. She currently teaches for New Victory Theater, Theatre Development Fund, and Lincoln Center Theater. She earned her MFA from the A. R. T. Institute at Harvard.
Fresh After-School Club and Youth
Barrett Heaton has been both a teacher and student for many many years. He has taught and taken classes in a variety of institutions, both public and private, and on three continents. He met his wife while teaching English to young adolescents in Japan and currently lives with her and their daughter. He continues to teach and pursue his studies in Brooklyn, New York.
Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D. is an “investigative nutritionist” and award-winning journalist with more than 25 years’ experience in clinical, academic and public health nutrition. She founded and formerly directed the Nutrition Communications Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia and was a W.K. Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2004-2006. Her articles appear in Cable in the Classroom, Current Health, Touch the Soil, and Edible Communities magazines. She co-authored a children’s book, “Treasure Hunt with the Munch Crunch Bunch: A Healthy Fun Food Adventure!” in 2006. In 2007, she received an Award of Excellence from the American Dietetic Association’s Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Practice Group.
Rasheed Hislop is an Outreach Coordinator for GreenThumb, NYC Department of Parks' community gardens organization. He is dedicated to helping school gardeners—teachers in particular—to find resources to make their gardens more successful. Rasheed hopes to act as a facilitator in the conversation between teachers, principals, custodians, parents and greening groups all over the city to produce lasting relationships that hold together community gardens.
Patrick Hooker, the Commissioner of Agriculture in New York State, oversees the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, addressing agricultural economic development, environmental stewardship, and food safety issues to ensure agriculture remains a significant contributor to New York’s economy and quality of life. Pat previously worked for New York Farm Bureau for 16 years as the farm advocacy organization’s top lobbyist, serving as Director of the Public Policy Division. He has also worked in the State Legislature – first as the Rural Affairs Advisor for the State Assembly Minority Leader, and later as the Director of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee.
Food Bank For New York City/ FoodChange
Alma Idehen is a Health Director at the Bronx Integrated Service Center of the NYX Department of Education. She’s worked in youth development and education in the community for years. She is community minded and is a supporter and advocate for programs and services for children and family health.
Education Committee Chair
Elizabeth J.E. Johnson is co-founder of Conscious Cravers, a business dedicated to the production of performance art about food, wellness and cooking. She's an expert in teaching tots and teens the tools they need to improve their physical, mental and spiritual health and in empowering young people to take control of and responsibility for their lives.
Shane Giles Joseph
CENYC – Council on the Environment of New York City
Amy Kalafa is an award-winning filmmaker specializing in health and wellness communication. In addition to her recent documentary, Two Angry Moms, Amy’s related production credits include food and health segments for “Martha Stewart Living;” Dr. T. Berry Brazelton’s parenting show, “What Every Baby Knows;” PBS specials, “Our Nation’s Health: A Matter of Choice” and “Healthy Aging”; and the Reiner Foundation’s, “The First Years Last Forever”. Amy holds a Lectureship at the Yale School of Medicine and Psychiatry as well as certifications as a health and nutrition counselor and yoga teacher.
Karen Karp is president and founder of Karp Resources, a food business consultancy founded in 1990. Karp Resources supports and facilitates innovation among five key business sectors: education, corporate, government, non-profit and small business. Karen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design and a Masters Degree (MSc) from the prestigious University of Bath School of Management’s Responsibility and Business Practice program, where she won honors for her thesis “How Does Food Sustain Us?”
Laura L. Klein, M.P.H. serves as a research coordinator for the Healthy Eating Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is based in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Ms. Klein assists with grant call for proposal (CFP) and proposal application and review processes, coordinates researcher and practitioner meetings, and offers ongoing technical assistance and to grantees. Laura received her Master of Public Health with a specialization in Public Health Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Pam Koch, Nutrition Program, Teachers College Columbia University, is passionate about educating children about the food system; from how food is grown, to what happens from farm to table; from how to experiment and cook food to what happens to food in the body; and from how our food system generates waste and pollution to what we can do to make food choices that support personal and environmental health. She is the primary author of the Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) Curriculum Series and is the Executive Director for the Center for Food & Environment at Teachers College Columbia University.
Amy Koren-Roth is a dietitian with the New York State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition, Bureau of Nutrition Risk Reductions. She is the Director of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Unit, and oversees Eat Well Play Hard, an initiative to reduce long-term chronic disease risk in children. While serving as the team leader of the New York State Action for Healthy Kids SPIN (Schools and Professionals in Nutrition) team, she developed training for over 685 nutrition professionals to help schools assess their nutrition and physical activity environments. Ms. Koren-Roth leads the NYS Consortium for School Local Wellness Policy Implementation.
Margaret Lamb is the School Lunch Program Director at Saratoga Springs City School District, located 30 miles north of Albany, NY. She and her colleagues began a Farm to School Program in their district last September.
Montefiore School Health Program, Community Health Organizer
Special Assistant for Market Development, New York State Agriculture and Markets
Open Space Greening Program, CENYC
Sam Lipschultz, The Real Food Network, is currently a student at Sarah Lawrence College where he is concentrating on history and food studies. On campus, Sam is co-founder and lead organizer of Sustainable SLC, a student group that is working on projects ranging from installing a green roof on a campus dorm, to reviewing Sarah Lawrence’s current food services and researching alternatives. Sam is also the New York Organizer for the Real Food Challenge, which primarily involves outreach to other students and allies in New York, coordinating meetings and events, and planning the Northeast Real Food Summit.
Dorothy Lipsky is the Director of Community Outreach for Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps program. She holds double Masters’ degrees in secondary science education from Hunter College, and counseling psychology from NYU. In her work for the HealthCorps, Ms. Lipsky promotes health activism, both within the school setting as well as in the local communities where the goal is to develop collaboration between students and community-based organizations. In addition, Dorothy advises HealthCorps on its mental health resilience curriculum and program development.
Toni Liquori, Liquori and Associates and Nutrition Program, Teachers College, is a public health nutritionist whose work has focused on improving the quality of foods available through public institutions (schools, soup kitchens, food pantries, hospitals) in New York City and she teaches graduate students at Teachers College about how to do this and why it is crucial. Developer of the CookShop™ Program and the SchoolFood Plus Initiative™, two successful NYC programs that focus on the important connections among farms, classroom education and school meals, Toni brings years of experience with urban institutions and their challenges with implementing large-scale institutional change. Current WK Kellogg Foundation funding is enabling her to extend this strategic vision on school meal reform to large, urban school districts across the country.
Bridget Llanes, For a Better Bronx, is a rooftop and community gardener who created and worked for the past four years with youth in a tuition-free Environmental Stewardship Summer Camp in the Melrose neighborhood of the south Bronx. She currently is the Local Growing Coordinator at For a Better Bronx(FABB), and facilitates the Youth Mentorship Program which gives youth paid internships to run the South Bronx Farmers Market and Summer Camp.
Kate MacKenzie, MS, RD, is the Director of Program Development and Policy at City Harvest. She works to reduce the underlying causes of hunger and food insecurity by advocating and developing programs, policies, and private-sector actions that bring about long-term change and improves community self-sufficiency. These programs and policies increase community food security by expanding access to high quality, local, non-emergency sources of food. She works with Federal, State, and local partners on food security issues to support local agriculture, community development, and individual health. Kate is also a convener of the NYC Food and Fitness Partnership.
Carlos Martinez, Environmental Administrator, has been Green Map System's Office Manager and Latin American Liaison since 2004. He has been involved in many projects that focus on youth and education, including six Energy and Environment Exploration Modules and the forthcoming Green Schools Green Map. Concurrently, he has coordinated community and academic-based initiatives around Green Mapmaking in his hometown in Colombia.
Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment, Academy for Environmental Leadership
Frances Montell, Ph.D., Research Associate, Rockman ET AL., conducts educational research and program evaluation, including such recent projects as evaluations of NSF- and DOE-funded science and arts programs and a public school district salad bar implementation program. She specializes in creating logic models and evaluation plans that enable programs to demonstrate their impact.
Cloud Institute of Sustainability Education
Jerry Musillo, District Manager for FLIK Independent Schools, has over 25 years of experience in the food service industry. In his role as the District Manager for the New York City and Long Island area, Jerry and his associates have constantly pushed the boundaries of Independent School dining. His work with sustainability, organics, cafeteria design and food allergies have won him rave reviews from his clients and peers. Jerry has been the force behind a slew of unique projects like the in house tilapia farm, aquaponics unit, and the verti-gro vertical hydroponics units.
Miriam Neptune, Educational Video Center, is an independent filmmaker and media educator. She is the former director of the EVC Documentary Workshop (2004-2008) where she facilitated a semester-long program for NYC public high school students to address social issues through documentary production.
Trevor Nicholas began as a high school intern at For a Better Bronx (FABB) over 5 years ago, and is now the Youth Program Director at FABB. He uses a multi-disciplinary approach to working with youth and conducts workshops on Living Healthy in high schools, universities, and for the south Bronx community.
Michel Nischan, Wholesome Wave and the Dressing Room, is a renowned chef and cookbook author often credited with creating a "cuisine of well being." Michel is an avid proponent of sustainable farming, local/regional food systems, and heritage recipes. His experience running restaurants for himself and Myriad Restaurant Group led him to The Dressing Room: A Homegrown Restaurant, which he operates in Westport, Connecticut with partner Paul Newman, and which collaborates with people and entities ranging from The Daila Lama and Staples High School's Edible Mentorship Program to Betsy and Jesse Fink, Annie Farrell of Millstone Farm in Wilton; The Chefs Collaborative; Harvard Medical School and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Karyn Novakowski, MS, MAT, is the Farm and Educational Coordinator for The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, New York. Over the past ten years, Karyn has participated in environmental geology research, the development and implementation of inquiry based science curriculum for in-school and afterschool programs, and science education research. Her work experience also includes teaching science to students of all ages including those at the college level, directing a farm camp for teenagers, and cooking at a restaurant that uses local, organic products.
Stephen J. O’Brien is the Manhattan Regional Director for SchoolFood, New York City Department of Education. Mr. O’Brien has worked in the food service industry for 24 years. He has a Bachelors of Science in Foodservice Management from Johnson & Wales University and a Masters of Public Administration from Baruch College, CUNY. He worked in various capacities within the Department Of Education, SchoolFood division before becoming the Manhattan Regional Director.
Jane S. Park
Carol Parker-Duncanson, MS, is a program leader to the Nutrition and Health Program Area in NYC for Cornell Cooperative Extension - NYC. She oversees nutrition and health programs for limited resource families, and coordinates special projects in collaboration with community-based organizations that serve pregnant and parenting adolescents. Carol works closely with the program and administrative leadership and Cornell University faculty to develop and implement many large scale community based nutrition programs, and conduct multiple training sessions for both paraprofessional and professional nutrition and health educators.
Stefania Patinella is Manager of Food and Nutrition Programs for The Children’s Aid Society. She has created and directs Children’s Aid’s Go! Healthy initiative, which includes healthy cooking and gardening programs for children and parents, a youth market program, and a Healthy Menus initiative that implements from-scratch, plant-based recipes across Children’s Aid many early childhood, after-school and teen programs.
First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson, Office of New York Governor David Paterson, graduated from Syracuse University and earned a M.S. in Health Services Management at the Milano Graduate School in New York City. In 2002, First Lady Paterson accepted a position as the Director of Community and Government Affairs at North General Hospital in Harlem. In 2005, First Lady Paterson became the Director of External Affairs and Corporate Contributions for HIP (Health Plan of New York) where she has worked with community organizations, agencies, and corporations on issues such as health care and education. At present, she is the Director of Integrative Wellness at HIP, where she focuses on evidence-based programs that promote healthy living with a focus on childhood obesity and stress-related ailments. First Lady Paterson is currently working with organizations and schools to help raise community awareness of childhood obesity and its consequences. The Governor and First Lady now live in Harlem, where they have raised their two children, Ashley (19) and Alex (13).
Kimberly Perry has the pleasure of serving the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association. The goal of the Alliance is to stop the nationwide increase in childhood obesity by 2010 and to take bold, innovative steps to help all children live longer and healthier lives. The Alliance is having a positive impact focusing on its four key initiatives, the Healthy Schools Program, Industry, Healthcare, and Kids’ Movement.
Melissa Pflugh, MS, RD is the Program Manager of Healthy Schools Healthy Families and previously served as the program’s nutritionist for two years. In addition, she does nutrition education consulting for agencies including The Sylvia Center, Highbridge Community Life Center and New York City Coalition for the Homeless. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Pediatric Special Interest Group of the Greater New York Dietetic Association and was recently elected to the House of Delegates of the American Dietetic Association.
Larissa Phillips is the founder and co-chair of the Food Committee at PS 146/The Brooklyn New School. She is also a food writer, and author of the “Feeding Your Family” column at parenthood.com and the creator of a blog about feeding children called mothershipmeals.blogspot.com.
Jan Poppendieck is a Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York. She is the author of Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression (Rutgers: 1986), Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement (Viking, 1998, Penguin, 1999) and articles on hunger, food assistance, and public policy. She is currently at work on a book on school meals, under contract to the University of California Press, and tentatively titled Stepping up to the Plate: Realizing the Potential of School Meals in America.
Forum on Democracy and Trade
Adam Rihacek, Youth Workshop Facilitator at LightBox, has worked as a director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Wright State University, and Perrysburg High School. In the summer of 2005 he was an instructor with The LEAP (Linden Education and Arts Program) in Dayton, OH. In 2005-2006, Adam served as a mentor with the Town Hall Children's Theatre in Springfield, OH where he both taught and performed with the students. Adam is a member of LightBox as well as Judith Blazer's Artist's Crossing, and has a BFA in Acting from Wright State University.
Stephen Ritz, The Growing Connection, is an environmental educator/advocate dedicated to sustainable green initiatives in the Bronx. He was the first DOE educator to integrate Earth Boxes and The Growing Connection into daily curriculum with astounding results. Aligned with Sustainable South Bronx, Urban Farming, Bronx Coalition of Parks and Green Spaces, Bissel Gardens and DYCD Programs, he and his students have grown thousands upon thousands of pounds of vegetables for hungry and homeless NYC residents, restored parks and community spaces and installed green roofs. Steve and his team have a new school proposal supported by the Bronx Borough President.
Dr. Susan Rubin is a holistic nutritionist, food educator and health advocate as well as a mother of three. She is the founder of Better School Food, a nationwide non-profit whose mission is to support parents and others in advocating for a better food environment wherever children meet and eat: preschools, childcare centers, K-12 schools, after school programs and summer camps. Susan and Better School Food are featured in the independent documentary film entitled Two Angry Moms.
Melinda Salazar, Ph.D. is Director of Education at The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, where she coordinates and develops curricular materials and delivers professional development services for K-12 school systems. She has over thirty years of experience in education and sustainability, and created the Teaching Peace Conference, the Durham/Bronx Youth Coalition for Social Justice, and Race Unity/Diversity Day to further the goals of peace education, race dialogues and grassroots community development. Melinda has a Masters in Peace Education from Lesley University, and a Ph.D in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of New Hampshire.
Learn It, Grow It, Eat It
Pat Sheldon and her husband Albert, a sixth generation vegetable farmer, own Sheldon Farms in Salem, Washington County NY, 40 minutes east of Saratoga Springs on the Vermont border. Today they grow 50 acres of white, yellow and specialty potatoes, 50 acres of handpicked sweet corn, and 25 acres of beans, peppers, eggplant, squashes, pumpkins and other market vegetables. Sheldon Farms has worked with the Saratoga Springs District since fall of 2007 both in providing potatoes and promoting local agriculture, and is strongly committed to helping find ways to bring local food to school lunch.
School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, UK
Rebecca Sparks, MS, RD is a community nutrition educator and gardener who creates programs for low-income audiences of almost every age to change nutritional behavior and increase access to healthful food. She works as a nutritional consultant for Head Start and teaches community nutrition at NYU. She is also the chair of the New York City Nutrition Education Network (NYCNEN).
Ted Spitzer, founder of Market Ventures, is a nationally recognized expert on food markets and alternative local food systems. Over the past 20 years, he has helped communities throughout the country to develop, revitalize, and improve their public markets and the neighborhoods around them. In partnership with NYU and Karp Resources, he was the Lead Evaluator for SchoolFood Plus, a broad-based effort to improve meals served in the New York City public schools and purchase foods from New York farms, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. He is currently the Lead Evaluator for the NYC Food & Fitness Partnership, also funded by the Kellogg Foundation.
David Sprauve is a junior at Millennium Arts Academy in the Bronx. He is interested in theatre, community affairs and technology. David is a strong advocate for exercise and dietary change as an obesity prevention strategy. He is witty and comical and offers insightful commentary as to the behaviors and attitudes of people surrounding their everyday choices.
Brown Partners, Philadelphia Food Trust
Robert Stern (M.S. Teachers College Nutrition Program) is the Sr. Program Manager, NYS Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy. The Task Force, chaired by Assemblyman José Rivera (Bronx), develops policies, legislation, and budget initiatives to mutually benefit New York consumers, producers, and marketers of food in urban, suburban and rural communities. The Task Force developed the State’s Farm-to-School, Childhood Obesity Prevention, and School Breakfast Requirement laws.
Barbara Storper, MS, RD, FoodPlay Productions, is an Emmy Award-winning nutritionist, journalist, and leader in the field of children’s nutrition. As founder and Executive Director of FoodPlay Productions, she writes, creates, and produces national touring theater shows and media campaigns to turn kids on to healthy eating and exercise habits. She has also authored several nationally distributed video kits, curricula, exhibits, and most recently, a new children’s book. She’s received a host of awards including the first “Outstanding Young Nutrition Educator in the Country Award” from the Society for Nutrition Education and was recently honored with Columbia University Teachers College “Distinguished Alumni Award”.
Tom Strumolo spent his youth on his grandfather's farm in Long Island learning to plant and pick. His career in organic retail sales and wholesale distribution began in 1971. He began working for Greenmarket/CENYC in 1983, serving as Director for five years. Tom is a retired Architect with a M.A in Philosophy, as well as an avid gardener.
Robert Surles (Chef Bobo) is Executive Chef & Director of Food Service at The Calhoun School in Manhattan and author of award winning “Chef Bobo’s Good Food Cook Book”. His lunch program at The Calhoun School was recently awarded the Kiwi Crusader Award for 2008 as the model school lunch program for independent schools. Chef Bobo was recognized with an Outstanding Graduate award by the French Culinary Institute.for his contributions to the culinary industry as a pioneer in changing the way kids eat.
John Turenne, founder and President of Sustainable Food Systems, was one of the lead innovators in sustainable food practices during the creation of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Realizing the impact that food service decision-making has on the world around us; John has worked to transform conservative institutional food service models, of which he had 25 years experience as an operator, into sustainable dining programs through careful planning, teaching and development.
Thomas Turnbull, Green Map System, received a degree in Geography at the University of Edinburgh. Thomas worked in environmental education for WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Program) in the UK, teaching people about compost. As Green Map System's web developer since early 2007, he has rebuilt GreenMap.org as a multilingual presentation, created the collaboration and tool center, and is now developing OpenGreenMap.org, an online map-making tool to benefit Green Mapmakers in 50 countries.
Josh Viertel, Co-Director, Yale Sustainable Food Project, came to Yale in 2002 to help the University create a sustainable dining program, a college farm, and educational programming about food and agriculture. Prior to his work at Yale, he started a small vegetable farm in Connecticut and taught Environmental Science at the Mountain School of Milton Academy in Vermont. He graduated from Harvard in 2001 with a degree in Philosophy and Literature. He is an avid baker, fisherman, and farmer.
Food System Education
Karen Washington, Co-founder, La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition, is a community activist, working tirelessly on social, economic and environmental issues affecting the Bronx and NYC. A community gardener for 20 years, she is a board member of the New York City Community Garden Coalition and Just Food and the co-founder of La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition in the Bronx. Karen also helps run the La Familia Verde Farmers Market.
Jennifer Wilkins is a Senior Extension Associate in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Shortly after joining the Cornell faculty in 1993, she conceptualized and developed the first regional food guide in the United States – the Northeast Regional Food Guide. During her time as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow (2004 to 2006), she developed a newspaper column, The Food Citizen, which now appears each month in the _Albany Times Union_ and the _Ithaca Journal_. Jennifer is the recipient of the 2007 Human Ecology Extension, Outreach, and Public Service Award for Outstanding Public Service.
The Real Food Network
Parent Activist, Nest + M
Judith Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD, is Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Head of the Division of Behavioral and Nutritional at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Wylie-Rosett has served as an investigator in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, the Diabetes Prevention Program, the Women’s Health Initiative, and the Trial of Antihypertensive Interventions and Management Study. Her own research includes studies to address resource utilization in weight control and community approaches to address the rising obesity epidemic. .
Kolu Zigbi, Program Officer with the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, is responsible for funding in the area of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Her portfolio includes grants to about 30 organizations working in all parts of the U.S. primarily at the state, regional and national levels, with grants made at the local level only to people-of-color led organizations that are diversifying leadership of the broader movement through active participation in networks and coalitions. During her eight years at Noyes, Kolu designed and implemented a three-year initiative in partnership with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation supporting grassroots food and agriculture policy leadership by ten people-of-color led organizations.