Edible Institute Speakers, 2016
Meet the presenters at the 2016 Edible Institute -- a one-day thought forum focusing on the challenges, opportunities, and ideas that will impact the way we source, view, and share our food in the years to come.
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Keynote: Katherine Miller
Senior Director, Food Policy Advocacy, James Beard Foundation
Katherine Miller describes her entrance into food policy as a “delicious accident.” After nearly two decades as a communications executive and campaign strategist working with leading organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the Aspen Institute, a chance phone call from JBF trustee Eric Kessler sent her down the path to her latest project: turning chefs into advocates.
As founding executive director of the Chef Action Network, now an official initiative of the JBF Impact Programs, Miller has developed training and guidance for toques looking to become more engaged with issues they’re passionate about, and in her new role as JBF’s senior director of food policy advocacy, she’ll broaden that reach to expand and enhance the Foundation’s work to establish a more sustainable food system.
Manager, Culinary and Strategic Initiatives | Seafood Watch, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Sheila’s work focuses on educating and activating culinary audiences – the most important seafood buyers in the U. S. – and inspiring their shift to seafood that’s caught or farmed with the environment in mind. Trained as a marine scientist and passionate about conservation, her work takes her around the country and into kitchens where sustainability really begins. In 2014, the National Audubon Society recognized Sheila as one of their “Women Greening Food”.
Now in its sixteenth year, Seafood Watch is the leading source of science-based seafood recommendations in the U. S.. Seafood Watch inspires and supports the purchase of ocean-friendly seafood and has tools for every seafood buyer, from producers to consumers.
Leigh Uhler, M. Ed.
Professor, School of Hospitality Management / Member of Center for Teaching and Learning | Kendall College
Leigh Uhler, a hospitality educator with more than 25 years of industry experience, possesses a strong, versatile background in education, training, and front- and back-of-house operations within the restaurant and hotel industry. Prior to joining Kendall College as a full-time faculty member, Uhlir worked in many aspects of the industry, creating staff development courses and training programs at some of the nation’s leading hospitality companies and restaurants, including the Four Seasons in Chicago and the Las Vegas-based restaurants of Lettuce Entertain You. She has also been intricately involved in the development and implementation for point-of-service and team management systems.
Leigh began her academic career in 2008 at Le Cordon Bleu College. She holds a Master of Education from American InterContinental University and an Associate of Applied Science in culinary arts and a Bachelor of Arts in hospitality and culinary management from Kendall College.
Christopher W. Silva
President & Chief Executive Officer, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
A fifth-generation Sonoma County native, Christopher Silva has deep roots in Sonoma County agriculture. He was raised in a family of dairy farmers, and nine years after graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, he retired from practicing law to join St. Francis Winery, where he became President and CEO in 2003. He understands firsthand that a farmer’s intimate knowledge of the soil, microclimates, and terroir are the most important ingredients for healthy vines.
In addition to crafting world class wine, Christopher has also lead a dedication to green practices at St. Francis. Thanks to aggressive steps in water conservation, recycling, eco-friendly packaging, solar installations, and an on-site sustainable vegetable garden to support its culinary programs, St. Francis is certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. In 2013, St. Francis was named #1 Restaurant in America by Open Table in recognition of its farm-to-table wine and food pairings offered onsite. The company’s further commitment to workforce wellness and community involvement earns it additional accolades.
Principal, Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group
With an expertise in quantitative and qualitative research, market analyses, community development, and more, Mari Gallagher has enjoyed a national reputation for diverse, high-impact projects focusing on food, community health, and other topics for over 20 years.
A lauded speaker and advisor on food-related issues, she has authored and established a national reputation for her work in the areas of food access, identifying food deserts, and assisting the public and private sectors in developing policy and action in that regard.
Her clients and partners include grassroots community and civic organizations, government entities, foundations, and major international corporations. She and her firm have collaborated with the Institute of Medicine of the Academy of the Sciences, the Urban Institute, Harvard, MIT, and the National YMCA, to name a few.
Victor E. Friedberg
Co-Founder and Managing Director, Seed 2 Growth Ventures (S2G)
Victor Friedberg has been at the forefront of innovation, global development, and sustainability for over 20 years. As Co-Founder and Managing Director of S2G Ventures, a multi-stage investment fund investing in innovative food and agriculture companies, he has been a principal force in developing the S2G mission, culture, strategy, and team. S2G Ventures invests in innovative food and agriculture companies from “soil 2 shelf”. Victor looks for mission-aligned innovative companies that have a big idea, passionate founders/management, and tailwinds. He helps to capitalize and guide those companies to achieve scale and success. Victor is on the Boards of Maple Hill Creamery, Beyond Meat, Ataraxis, and is also a member of the Governor’s Innovation Council for Food and Agriculture.
Prior to S2G, Victor co-founded and was Executive Director of LAUNCH, the innovation accelerator with NASA, USAID, US Dept. of State, and NIKE, and an Executive Director at WIRED.