Savor Health is a digital health company that provides personalized nutritional strategies to prevent and manage the symptoms of chronic disease in order to to improve adherence, compliance and survival, reduce healthcare costs, enhance quality of life and satisfaction, and develop PRO and real world data insights.
KEEN Growth Capital identifies food, beverage and wellness companies with great potential started by revolutionary-thinking, passionate entrepreneurs. We apply our trusted skill and passion to invest in and develop them into highly successful and respected companies. Infusion of intellectual and financial capital delivers positive outcomes for stakeholders – and ultimately the consumer. Our investors benefit from outstanding returns and society is enriched by healthier products. Former & current investments include: Shiela G’s Brownie Brittle, Cookie Pop, Dahlicious, Goodie Girl, Mama Geraldine’s, The Jersey Tomato Co., Mamma Says Biscotti, Pure Spoon, Sensible Portions, Sneaky Pete’s, Thrive, Ticks ‘n All, Vintage Italia.
ROOTS FOOD GROUP is a mission-driven technology, healthcare, philanthropic
and food company that believes in creating healthy outcomes through ‘Food is
Medicine’. The company manufactures and distributes high quality, earth made,
medically tailored food products to healthcare companies and affiliated systems,
wellness providers, communities, and direct to the consumer to address the
epidemic of chronic disease and other medical conditions.
Roots Food Group’s medically tailored meals and ‘Food Is Medicine’ products are
prescribed by doctors as a covered benefit to treat various conditions and chronic
‘Food is Medicine’ refers to a spectrum of health and wellness interventions that recognize and respond to the critical link between nutrition and chronic diseases.
Interventions consist of healthful foods that are tailored to meet the specific
needs of individuals living with or at risk for serious health conditions, such as
hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and hypercholesterolemia.
ROOTS FOOD FOUNDATION is the philanthropic arm of Roots Food Group
that focuses on policy, education, and providing an integral piece of the
company’s mission. For every 10 meals sold, the foundation donates meals and
food to underserved communities and programs assisting those in need.
In addition to the private foundation, Roots Food Group is launching Feeding the
Blind, a public non-profit that provides subsidize meals to the blind and visually
The Root Food Group team is comprised of professionals who have built and
distributed national food programs for a myriad of health and wellness
companies, including American Diabetes Association, Weight Watchers, Atkins
Diet, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and several others. We are
aligning with like-minded professionals, vendors, influencers, and investors that
seek to make a major impact on society at large.
These forums are vital. We have very big challenges to address and overcome, and I am looking forward to a robust, respectful exchange of ideas
Fantastic content presented by credible experts. Well organized and thought out to address the many facets of Food as Medicine
The Food as Medicine Summit was a really interesting mixture of experience, backgrounds, and thought sharing. I was blown away at all of the varied methods by which so many people are working to bring Food as Medicine to life. I learned a lot and also was able to connect with some participants to continue that learning. Overall, I enjoyed the summit and am looking forward to the next event!
The Food As Medicine Summit offered a wonderful opportunity to bring clinical, industry, and advocacy leaders together to discuss this exciting topic. As one might expect, this engendered robust discussion and the ability to bring people together with a common goal. It will be exciting to see the movement and improvement in health that results
Ruth Petersen, MD, MPH serves as the Director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO). The Division provides national leadership on nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention through policy and guideline development, surveillance, epidemiological and behavioral research, and technical assistance to states and communities. Dr. Petersen has a breadth of experience and leadership from multiple settings including health care, local and state health departments, national advisory groups, academic settings, the private sector, and global health platforms. Her broad, deep and diverse experience with populations and partners and stakeholders are strong assets for leading DNPAO in its focused efforts to prevent chronic diseases through population-wide public health initiatives and health system innovations.
Prior to CDC, Dr. Petersen led the Chronic Disease and Injury section of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. In this capacity, she provided exemplary leadership of the state’s programs supporting CDC’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work, Community Transformation Grants, and Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Similarly, at the national level, she made significant contributions through her leadership on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.
Dr. Petersen received her MD and MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After training in obstetrics and gynecology in Rochester, New York, she completed the UNC Preventive Medicine Residency and a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research. Throughout her career, she has drawn on this expertise to develop and guide research, policy, and programs to improve health behaviors and reduce chronic disease.
David M. Eisenberg, MD, is the director of culinary nutrition and adjunct associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He is the founding Co-Director of the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference, and founding Executive Director of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, a group of 30+ organizations with teaching kitchens, all of which seek to establish and evaluate best practices relating to nutrition, culinary and lifestyle education.
From 2000-2010, Dr. Eisenberg served as the Bernard Osher Distinguished Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, founding director of the Osher Research Center and the founding chief of the Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Harvard Medical School. He simultaneously served as the director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
David is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He completed his fellowship training in general internal medicine and primary care and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. In 1979, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, David served as the first U.S. medical exchange student to the People’s Republic of China. In 1993, he was the medical advisor to the PBS Series, Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers.
He has served as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federation of State Medical Boards with regard to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine research, education and policy. From 2003-2005 David served on a National Academy of Sciences Committee responsible for the Institute of Medicine Report entitled, ―The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public. More recently, David served as a member of the US National Board of Medical Examiners Clinical Skills Committee and its Communications Task Force.
David has authored numerous scientific and educational articles involving complementary, integrative and lifestyle medicine and continues to pursue research, educational and clinical programs relating to integrative and lifestyle medicine. As the son and grandson of professional bakers, David aspires to bring together the culinary and medical communities to enhance comprehensive health care for all.
Hilary Seligman, MD, MAS is Professor at the University of California San Francisco with appointments in the Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Dr. Seligman directs the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCSF, School of Medicine. NCSP aims to offer unparalleled training for clinicians as change agents driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and health care. The goal of the program is to cultivate health equity, eliminate health disparities, invent new models of care, and achieve higher quality health care at lower cost by training nurse and physician researchers who work as leaders and collaborators embedded in communities, healthcare systems, government, foundations, and think tanks in the United States and around the world (https://nationalcsp.org/).
Dr. Seligman is an expert in food insecurity and its health implications across the life course. Her policy and advocacy expertise focus on federal nutrition programs (particularly SNAP), food banking and the charitable food network, hunger policy, food affordability and access, and income-related drivers of food choice. She directs the Food Policy, Health, and Hunger Research Program at UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (https://cvp.ucsf.edu/programs/food-policy-health-and-hunger-research-program) and the CDC’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy, Research and Evaluation Network (www.nopren.org). She also serves as Senior Medical Advisor for Feeding America (feedingamerica.org).
Dr. Seligman founded EatSF, a healthy foods voucher program for low-income residents of San Francisco (www.eatsfvoucher.org). Vouchers are redeemable for fruits and vegetables at grocery stores, corner stores, and farmer’s markets in underserved neighborhoods. Outside of San Francisco, EatSF is known as Vouchers for Veggies.
Dr. Seligman serves on the Board of Directors for California Food Policy Advocates and the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. She also serves on the Food Security Task Force for the City and County of San Francisco. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Tataranni is the global Chief Medical Officer of PepsiCo. PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, and generated more than $67 billion in net revenue in 2019, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tataranni oversees all aspects of the company’s efforts to protect its global workforce, products and communities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also leads PepsiCo’s Life Sciences strategy and the R&D Fellows Program as its Executive Sponsor. Dr. Tataranni joined PepsiCo in September 2018 as the Senior Vice President of R&D Life Sciences, responsible for leading the development and execution of a nutrition and bio-sciences strategy in support of the company’s portfolio transformation and Winning with Purpose agenda.
Prior to joining PepsiCo, Dr. Tataranni was Senior Vice President, Head of Global Medical Affairs, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Business Unit, in charge of medical strategy worldwide and operations for mature markets at Sanofi. Previous responsibilities within the group included the roles of Vice President Global Medical Affairs, Medical Director Europe, Vice President for the Metabolism Medical Unit in the US affiliate (2006-2008) and Medical Director for the Metabolism Franchise (2005-2006). Between 1999 and 2004 he was Head of the Obesity, Diabetes and Energy Metabolism Unit at the Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. and Director of the Clinical Research Center at the same institution from 2000 through 2004.
Dr. Tataranni is an avid researcher who has published and lectured extensively at national and international meetings on obesity, diabetes and their cardio metabolic complications. Professional awards presented to Dr. Tataranni include the NIH Fellowship Award for Research Excellence (FARE) in 1998 and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)-Lilly Scientific Achievement Award in 2004.
Dr. Tataranni is a native of Italy. He graduated from Catholic University School of Medicine in Rome in 1990 and went on to receive a specialty diploma in Endocrinology, Metabolic Diseases and Diabetes at this University. He has authored more than 100 original manuscripts, in addition to contributing to numerous review articles and book chapters.
David has been involved with Community Servings since its inception in 1989, moving from volunteer to board member, Board Chair, Director of Development, and eventually CEO, in 1999.
Under David’s leadership, Community Servings has evolved from a small neighborhood meals program delivering dinner to 30 people, to a critical regional program providing 15 medically-tailored meals plans to 2,300 people with acute life-threatening illnesses, their dependents, and caregivers, across Massachusetts.
An advocate for integrating accessible, medically tailored meals into the healthcare system, David has formed partnerships with leading healthcare payers and providers to better link clinical care and social services, designing some of the country’s first health insurance contracts for prescription meals.
With 35+ years experience in food service management, David also created the highly cost-effective fundraising events, LifeSavor and Pie in the Sky, a Thanksgiving pie sale duplicated in cities around the country.
He is the former Board Chair of the Association of Nutrition Service Agencies, and is a founding member of the national Food Is Medicine Coalition. In recognition of his leadership and impact at Community Servings and within the Greater Boston community, David was named a Barr Foundation Fellow in 2017. A resident of Cambridge, he holds graduate degrees from Middlebury College and Boston University.
John Bulger is the Chief Medical Officer for Geisinger Health Plan. He is responsible for working with Geisinger and community providers to improve the quality of medical care for the patients and members we serve.
Before joining Geisinger Health Plan in 2015, Bulger held several positions at Geisinger, most recently serving as Chief Quality Officer, a position he held since 2011.
Bulger earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from The Pennsylvania State University in State College.
Cathryn Couch is the founder and CEO for Ceres Community Project, a non-profit working to foster health by connecting people to one another and to a healthier food system. Ceres provides 180,000+ organic medically tailored meals annually to low-income people struggling because of a health challenge. Youth volunteers grow food and prepare the meals as part of a youth development, culinary and food system education program. Ceres has trained a dozen communities across the United States and in Denmark to replicate their model.
Couch is a founding member of the California Food is Medicine Coalition, a six-agency collaboration conducting the first statewide medically tailored meal pilot for Medicaid members. In 2020-2021 Ceres was one of four agencies that conducted large-scale randomized control trials for medically tailored meals at Kaiser Permanente. Couch is on the board for Partnership Healthplan of California, an advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Food & Society initiative; a member of the Food Lab at Google; contributed to the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2020 Reset the Table report; helps lead Hearts of Sonoma County – a collaborative working to reduce heart attacks and strokes; and participates in Marin HEAL and Marin Food Policy Council, and the California Food & Farming Network.
Couch is a CNN Hero and has been a finalist for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Community Health Leaders Award, finalist for the James Irvine Leadership Award, and a Red Cross Adult Humanitarian Hero for Northern California. She holds an MBA from the University of Michigan.
William W. Li, MD, is a world-renowned physician, scientist, speaker, and author of EAT TO BEAT DISEASE – The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. He is best known for leading the Angiogenesis Foundation. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. His TED Talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has garnered more than 11 million views, and he has appeared on: Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Voice of America; and in The Atlantic, TIME, and The New York Times. An author of over 100 scientific publications in leading journals such as Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet, Dr. Li has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School, Tufts University, and Dartmouth Medical School.
Dr. Liz Kwo is an experienced healthcare executive with 15+ years specialized in building and scaling digital healthcare products to provide high quality care, leveraging predictive and prescriptive analytics to improve outcomes. Her current role at Anthem is to create digitized, automated, and continuously improved frictionless patient and provider experience that drives down cost of care. She has worked in remote patient monitoring for Medtronic, American Well as the VP of Provider Networks for telehealth, and is an active angel investor in the healthcare community, with a specific interest in technology-enabled healthcare delivery such as RubiconMD. She founded multiple venture-backed companies in educational technology (sold to CVC private equity firm in 2014), digital healthcare, and healthcare supplies and is passionate about creating seamless tailored experiences for enrolling patients and building on-demand data driven insights to support national employer clients.
Dr. Kwo has extensive experience in healthcare technology product development and commercialization, P&L, B2B/B2C marketing & sales, strategic partnerships, & post-merger integration. A practicing physician in urgent and preventive care, Dr. Kwo’s clinical expertise allows her to translate ideas from bench to bedside. She is also a lecturer in the Harvard-MIT HST Program and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Kwo has an MD from Harvard Medical School, MBA from Harvard Business School, MPH from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and a BA from Stanford University. She completed her residency at Harvard Preventive Care and is Board Certified in Preventive Care and Occupational Medicine.
Lindsay Hanson is the Head of Behavioral Insurance, Global Strategy and Delivery for Manulife and John Hancock. Lindsay is responsible for building strategic partnerships for the business to continue to expand on its new approach to life insurance that helps protect your financial future while rewarding you for taking steps to live a longer, healthier life. She leads a team that executes partnerships, collaborations, development of new initiatives to achieve growth targets and to continue to build out a world class customer experience for John Hancock Insurance customers. Lindsay is a member of the leadership team and has a strong and active working relationship with teams across Manulife/ John Hancock as well as the industry to bring this vision to life. Her passion is wellness and she is always exploring how this passion can fit into the everyday lives of our customers. Lindsay lives with her son Jack in Lakeville, MA. Her interests include spending time with her family, running and skiing in the White Mountains. Lindsay is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, MA with a BA in Business Finance and Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Hamed Faridi is the Executive Director of the McCormick Science Institute and previous CEO of McCormick.
Dr. Faridi is the voice of science for McCormick & Company. Under his leadership, McCormick’s R&D program has been transformed and is rated by investors and global customers as one of the most innovative in the industry. Morningstar, a respected leader in investment research, wrote, “Under Hamed Faridi, McCormick’s research labs have become the best in the industry, in our opinion.” Bear Stearns reported “For McCormick, perhaps the most sustainable growth driver beyond even acquisition and marketing is R&D”. His science-based approach to “Flavorful Healthy Eating” is recognized as a groundbreaking platform for improving public health. His vision led to the formation of the McCormick Science Institute (MSI) in 2006 as a research-driven organization to advance scientific understanding of the potential health benefits of culinary spices and herbs. This research prompted a close partnership with USDA to help in implementation of the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
He has published six books and dozens of scientific articles in food science and technology and has been a guest lecturer at conferences and research institutions in 22 countries. He has also served on several boards of professional and trade associations in the U.S. and Europe. He was elected and served as president of the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACCI) and the Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA). He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Maryland University of Integrative Health and chairs the Compensation Committee.
In addition, he has served on Advisory Councils of food science departments for four major universities. He was honored as a Fellow by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in 2010 and the AACCI in 2011. He is the recipient of Kansas State University 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award. In 2015, he received the Flavor Industry’s most coveted Richard L. Hall Distinguished Service Award for “his significant and lasting contributions to the flavor industry”. He received the 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given to “Americans in recognition for accomplishments in their field and inspired service to the nation. On September of 2017 he received the Ohio State University’s Harris Award for his lifetime of dedication to excellence in food science. On November 2017, Dr. Faridi received the Upwardly Global 2017 Outstanding Leadership Award that recognizes individuals who have advanced the promise of an interdependent world and global economy by championing immigrants and refugees.
Linda Shiue is a physician, chef and founder of a teaching kitchen for patients at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco, where she is the first Director of Culinary Medicine. She believes that the best medicine is prevention. Her cooking classes showcase seasonal produce, lavishly flavored with spices and fresh herbs. Her food writing has been published widely and she has been interviewed frequently on television and in print. Her debut cookbook, Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes, will be published on 3/16/21. Dr. Shiue has served as faculty at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University and serves on the board of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. She is a graduate of Brown University, San Francisco Cooking School, UCSF and the kitchen of Michelin-starred restaurant, Mourad, in San Francisco. She also has a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. Connect with Dr. Shiue on Twitter and Instagram at @spiceboxtravels, on Facebook at https://www.Facebook.com/TheDoctorsSpicebox and follow her culinary adventures at http://SpiceboxTravels.com.
Angie Kalousek Ebrahimi oversees the sales and marketing of clinically proven lifestyle medicine programs for Blue Shield of California’s members. Angie and her team work to drive both enrollment and engagement in the lifestyle medicine interventions under the Wellvolution brand. Angie strongly believes that lifestyle medicine can transform the current health care model by introducing clinically effective, cost effective and non-invasive lifestyle approaches into the care continuum. She, herself, has incorporated lifestyle medicine into her own life to prevent disease and live in optimal health. Angie is strategically working to forward Blue Shield of California’s philosophy that lifestyle is medicine.
Prior to joining Blue Shield in 2010, Angie worked as the Wellness Program Manager at Visa, Inc. where she created and implemented a new suite of global wellness programs for Visa employees. Part of her role at Visa was to incorporate Visa wellness programming with health plan offerings so that employees had a seamless experience. Prior to her time at Visa, Angie served as the Fitness Director at the Sports Club LA in San Francisco where she oversaw a staff of 60 trainers, nutritionists, and sports coordinators. In her role there, she also managed new member fitness programs, trainer education and direct private training sales. Angie has also worked in marketing, business planning and accounting.
Angie holds an MBA from Golden Gate University, a BS in Business from the University of California, Haas School of Business, Berkeley, and is a Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach.
Dr. Schneeman is recognized for her work on dietary fiber, gastro-intestinal function, development and use of food-based dietary guidelines, and the connection between science and policy development.
She served as the Director of the Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the U.S.A. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over 8 years. In that position, she oversaw the development of policy and regulations for dietary supplements, labeling, food standards, infant formula, and medical foods and served as the U.S delegate to two Codex committees (Food Labeling and Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses).
At the University of California, Davis she was a member of the faculty from 1976 until 2007 and served Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Professional activities include chair of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and serving on the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), committees for NASEM and for the State of California, USDA, Food and Agricultural Organization, and the World Health Organization. She has been on the editorial board for several scientific journals.
Recent professional honors for Dr. Schneeman include Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Conrad Elvehjem Award for Public Service in Nutrition, the Gilbert Leveille award and lectureship, the Carl Fellers Award from the Institute of Food Technology, the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation and the Harvey W. Wiley Medal, and the FDA Merit Award.
Sarah Downer is a Clinical Instructor at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School and directs the Center’s Whole Person Care Initiative, which seeks to improve care for underserved individuals at every point of interaction with the healthcare system. She works with clients and partners to nurture innovations in healthcare delivery and financing, scale successful interventions, convene powerful coalitions, translate emerging research into comprehensive and compelling resources for policy-makers, and to explore the short and long-term implications of healthcare trends. Ms. Downer also leads the Center’s Social Determinants of Health Law Lab, a special project dedicated to analyzing novel legal issues that arise when the healthcare system interacts with patients in new ways. Ms. Downer has a BA from Harvard College and JD from Harvard Law School.
Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH, FACLM, DipABLM, is Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Community Wellbeing and the Blue Zones Institute for Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. Dr. Shurney is ACLM’s immediate past-president and continues to serve as a board member and leader of the organization’s work to address health disparities. Previously, he held the position of Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Clinical Affairs at Foodsmart by Zipongo; Chief Medical Director / Executive Director for Global Health Benefits and Corporate Wellness for Cummins, Inc.; and Chief Medical Director, Employee Health Plan for Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. At Vanderbilt he also held joint faculty appointments as Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Internal Medicine and Public Health, and Adjunct Faculty, Owens Graduate School of Management, and was appointed to chair the Tennessee Diabetes Prevention and Health Improvement Board. He is also the former Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and the most recent chair of the Business Strategies Committee for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). He attended Loma Linda University, and received his medical degree at Howard University College of Medicine. He holds Masters’ Degrees in Business and in Public Health from the University of Detroit/Mercy and the Medical College of Wisconsin, respectively. A fellow in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, he is board certified in both Preventive Medicine and in Lifestyle Medicine. He serves on numerous other boards including the Bon Secours-Mercy Health Foundation, the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), the National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP), and the Population Health Alliance (PHA).
Sharon Donovan received her B.S. and Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at Stanford University School of Medicine, she accepted a faculty position at the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1991. She was promoted to Professor in 2001 and, in 2003, was named the first recipient of the Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Nutrition and Health at the University of Illinois. She served as Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences Interdisciplinary Graduate Program from 1999-2009. She is actively involved in her professional societies and served as the Presidency of the American Society for Nutrition (2011-2012).
Her research focuses on pediatric nutrition, with an emphasis on optimization of neonatal intestinal development. She compares the biological effects of human milk and infant formulas on intestinal function in human infants, neonatal piglets and in various models of intestinal disease.
She has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications, review articles and conference proceedings. She has garnered ~ $20M in research funding as principal investigator or co-Investigator and her research is funded by NIH, USDA and private industry and foundations. She the recipient of several awards in recognition of her research, including the Mead Johnson Award and the Norman A. Kretchmer Award from the American Society for Nutrition.
Manik Bhat is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Healthify. Manik co-founded Healthify in 2013 while working as a community health worker in East Baltimore. He saw how social needs – like access to food and housing – dramatically impacted health outcomes in the community and was moved to create Healthify. Manik is a thought-leader in the social determinants space, an avid speaker, and an advocate for addressing the social determinants of health through equitable and collaborative partnerships between healthcare and social service organizations.
Momochilo Vuyisich is the Chief Science Officer at Viome Life Sciences and has more than 25 years of R&D experience in many scientific disciplines. He was most recently a scientist and leader of the Applied Genomics team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he successfully managed large national and international collaborations. His team’s research focused on developing and applying modern genomics to the areas of gut microbiomes, host-pathogen interactions, microbial interspecies interactions, pathogen detection, cancer biology, toxicology, infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, forensics, etc. He also helped set up several turn-key genome centers in Africa and Asia, and provided complete staff training in laboratory methods and bioinformatic analyses.
Kartika Palar, PhD, is Associate Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, and Associated Faculty in the
UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on evaluating
strategies to address social determinants of health in HIV, diabetes and other chronic diseases,
with a focus on food insecurity. She has a special interest in conducting pragmatic research in
the context of equitable community partnerships that can directly inform policy and practice,
considering both safety-net interventions that address immediate needs as well as upstream
policies to promote systems change. Her current research, funded by NIH, state and local
Departments of Public Health and others, investigates the health impacts of providing medically
tailored food support to food-insecure populations living with HIV, diabetes and/or heart failure,
in partnership with local nutrition agencies.
Jim Flatt, Co-Founder & CEO of Brightseed, is a longtime biosciences R&D leader enchanted by the promise of unknown medicines and treatments in nature. With a 35-year-long track record of transforming scientific breakthroughs and advances in technology into popular health products, his experience spans the range of science and the needs of the human body.
Prior to founding Brightseed, he was CTO for Synthetic Genomics, a leader in synthetic biology, that developed new products in partnership with leading Fortune 100 companies, including Novartis, ExxonMobil, Monsanto and ADM. He led R&D at Martek Biosciences, a leader in developing fatty acid nutritional products for infant brain and eye development, and cardiovascular health, and oversaw the design and construction of the first large-scale microalgae production facility. He has led breakthroughs in producing biofuels from yeasts and bacteria with energy research company Mascoma and developed plant-based food products and novel plant-based protein ingredients with food manufacturer Hampton Creek. Jim is a chemical and biochemical engineer with a PhD from the University of Wisconsin and degrees from MIT and UC Berkeley.
Dr Nora Khaldi is the CEO and founder of Nuritas.
Using machine learning and AI, Nuritas is discovering life-changing ingredients with huge potential to improve global health in a sustainable way. Nora founded Nuritas with the mission to improve the lives of billions of people globally.
A pure mathematician with a PhD in Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics, Nora is an extensively published author, a multi TEDx speaker and has won an accolade of awards including Woman of the Decade by the Women Economic Forum. She was inducted into the World Economic Forms’ Young Global Leaders in 2019.
Throughout her career, Nora’s ambition has been to disrupt the status quo in areas that have been void of technology by introducing new ways of thinking, big data, and new algorithms.
Previous to Nuritas™, Nora was the first scientist to show gene transfer between multi-cellular species. This ground-breaking find put into question many of the phylogenetic methods currently in use today.
An avid social-justice practitioner, intellectual, and creative thinker, Benjamin Perkins is the CEO of Wholesome Wave, nonprofit organization that creates partnership-based programs that enable underserved consumers to make healthier food choices by increasing affordable access to health, locally and regionally grown foods. He has worked in the public health field for two decades, first specializing in disease prevention and research education to communities vulnerable to HIV infection, where he held numerous leadership roles, from community advisory board chair, to founding director of a CDC-funded HIV-prevention and wellness center, to project director for an NIH-funded HIV-prevention feasibility study. In 2014, he shifted focus to health disparities and inequities in cardiovascular disease and stroke rates among communities of color and other underserved populations, where he worked for the American Heart Association as Vice President for Multicultural Health Initiative and Health Equity as well as Vice President of Health Strategies.
Benjamin received his Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2000 and is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serves a wonderfully multicultural congregation in the Boston area. In addition to his education at Harvard Divinity School, Benjamin received his Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles and his Bachelor of Arts in geography from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Lindsey Kane MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and Habit Expert with 10+ years experience in the Food, Health, and Wellness space where she leverages nutrition research, behavioral science, consumer insights, and industry trends to create win-win opportunities that drive business results and optimize health and wellbeing.
She is currently the Director of Nutrition at Sunbasket where she oversees the development of personalized, healthy meal solutions delivered to doors nationwide and supports Strategic Wellness Partnerships as well as Food as Medicine Initiatives.
Lindsey completed her B.S in Nutritional Sciences and competed on the Women’s Division 1 Varsity Lacrosse Team at Cornell University, after which she obtained her MS in Nutritional Sciences and completed her Dietetics Program at the University at Buffalo.
Throughout her career, Lindsey has developed and launched healthy eating programs for companies such as Whole Foods Market, Zesty (acquired by Caviar/Square, followed by Doordash), and Lightwell Health, and has provided nutrition therapy services for Simplex Health (Corporate Wellness), the Wellnest (Integrative Health Center), Unite for Her (a nonprofit breast cancer organization), and her private practice, Bite for Change.
Lindsey practices a HAES-aligned, inclusive-care approach and has helped thousands of clients improve their health and happiness while managing a variety of health conditions including infertility, PCOS, diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, IBD, sports performance, and general wellbeing.
Lindsey served as a main contributor for Philly.com’s Health and Wellness Column, she has been featured on top platforms such as Shape, US News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, Eat this Not that, MindBodyGreen, Parade, and has appeared as a guest on podcasts such as “Quit Dieting for Good” and “The Path Pod”.
Christine is the Director of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative.
Christine has built, scaled, and led operations within a variety of healthcare systems and settings. Prior to joining the TKC in 2020, Christine ran operations and implementation teams within the digital health industry, focusing on employee wellbeing, incentivisation of health engagement, and user outcomes.
Previously, she managed the COPE Project in Navajo Nation, focused on community health representative training, chronic disease management and prevention, healthcare team and systems alignment, and innovating on solutions for healthy food access. Her particular focus on improving systems towards equity and justice was sparked by her career start at the global health organization Partners In Health.
Christine holds an MBA and MPH from the Haas School of Business and UC Berkeley School of Public Health, where she focused on health and food systems innovation. She lives in Oakland, California.
Kyle Dardashti is a 7x Social Media Week speaker and Co-Founder of mllnnl, a New York based millennial marketing agency. Kyle led Media & Strategy for the agency for clients such as Birthright Israel, T-Mobile, JSwipe and Wynn Hotels.
He’s been featured in Facebook Business for innovative media strategies that drove exceptional results. He’s been coined “the Lebron James of Paid Social” by JSwipe’s Founder, David Yarus.
Today Kyle leads marketing, product and strategy for a variety of start ups in development phase. He’s also the Marketing Advisor for successful technology companies PR Volt and GVNG.
Holly is an Investment Partner with Joyance Partners, investing in companies with the capacity to deliver Delightful Moments in US and EU. Her focus is new foods, consumer packaged goods, sexual wellness, femtech, farmtech and earth-positive manufacturing methods. Holly spent her career growing startups through early stage sales and PR, most recently as the Chief Revenue Officer at Citia, a NYC based global content creation, storage and distribution platform servicing Fortune 500 brands including GE (global), Mastercard (US), Viacom (global), and P&G (global). Recent investments include: Unbound, Rosy, WholyMe, TeaCrush, Finless Foods, Loli, MushLab, Weller, Gourmey, Sigrid Therapeutics.
Allison Yoder (MA, RDN, LD) is the Nutrition in Food Retail Program Development Fellow through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, leading the “Leveraging RDNs in the Food Retail Environment to Improve Public Health” project. Support for the project is funded through a grant from Walmart. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist and leader in the retail health and wellness industry, with over 15 years experience specializing in the strategic development of wellness programming. Ms. Yoder has a passion for improving the health of individuals and communities and utilizes data analytics and an extensive background in health promotion and retail nutrition to produce cost-effective and results-driven wellness strategies to improve nutrition and health outcomes. Previously, she served in many capacities at Hy-Vee, Inc. She started her career as an in-store registered dietitian and HealthMarket manager, where she worked directly with customers to implement health and wellness strategies. Ms. Yoder also spent many years at Hy-Vee’s corporate office, supervising the retail dietitian program as well as HealthMarket departments. She received a Bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Iowa State University and has a Master’s degree in Health Promotion from the University of Alabama. She is certified in adult weight management and a trained lifestyle coach through the National Diabetes Prevention and Recognition program.
Jeremy Cooley, a lifelong entrepreneur and business consultant, began his professional career 15 years ago when he founded a lead generating company, which he successfully brought to cash flow positive within six months. Utilizing his proprietary technology Cooley grew the company to generate over 50k calls a day, which were used as leads by banks including Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank.
Leveraging his success in the finance industry, Cooley became licensed in all 50 states and began delivering mortgage loans. With a database of millions of consumers Cooley became interested in consumer human behavior. It was through his constant analysis of these databases that he began to understand behavioral economics. With this shift, he realized his goal would be to crack “the code” in order to find the best way to get consumers to perform actions that could be monetized.
“Everyone has a different motivator: curiosity, fear of missing out, competition, status, etc. The goal is to figure out which trigger motivates someone in order to have them perform an action.”
Jeremy has worked with clients such as: Johnny Rockets, Nike, Kawasaki, Teladoc, Ameridoc, Aetna, Bud Light, MGM, Palms, Career Builder, Monster, Papa Johns, Boyd Gaming, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, World Saving Bank, Flagstar Bank.
Jeremy continues to pursue his education through independent coursework at Wharton, University of Virginia, Northwestern, and Columbia in Gamification, Business Strategy, Content Strategy, Sustainable Development and Management courses.
Jeremy is lean startup certified and is responsible for the strategy of Forkcast and directing its overall growth by identifying and bringing on experts in each field, motivating and giving them the tools to execute our mission.
Meet Sara, the founder of GEM, a consumer health company investing in plant-based innovations to deliver better-for-you nutrient solutions. GEM is starting by creating a line of natural alternatives to the supplement aisle. Sara has a BS in international agricultural development studies from Cornell University and has worked with women entrepreneurs and farmers in sustainable food networks all over the world, from Morocco and Kenya to India and Vietnam. As a 2x entrepreneur in the food & beverage world, and a former Venture for America Fellow, Sara is passionate about redesigning a healthier future for humankind and fundamentally changing the way we nourish ourselves.
John Bagnulo, PhD, MPH has served as a nutritionist in a variety of health-related environments for the past 21 years. He has worked as a Registered Dietitian in health and wellness clinics, in hospitals, and at well-known spas and retreat centers. John was an assistant professor at the University of Maine at Farmington and has taught programs at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and within several communities that he and his family have called home.
Dr. Bagnulo’s graduate work was conducted at the University of North Carolina, where he earned a Master in Public Health, and at the University of Maine, where he earned a PhD in Nutrition and Food Science.
In addition to teaching nutrition through a variety of different organizations, including the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s Food As Medicine programs, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Dr Bagnulo leads programs centered around the concept of disease prevention and reversal through lifestyle change. His primary tools in optimizing the health of individuals are their daily food and exercise patterns. With this approach, John has found his work to be immensely rewarding. “To see an individual or a group of people awaken physiologically, mentally, and to really start thriving, is one of life’s greatest gifts; better immune function, greater mental health, improved insulin sensitivity, the list goes on and on. All through making basic changes with what they eat and how much they move on a daily basis.”
Dr. Bagnulo has a clinical nutrition practice in Middlebury, Vt. When he is not working as a nutritionist or educator, he is spending time with his wife and five children, either hiking, gardening, or being outdoors in nature, which has always been his favorite classroom. John has spent a considerable portion of his life either in the mountains or on big mountains. He has climbed all over the world and summited Mt Everest in May of 2006 as part of a small, two man climbing team.
Susan Bratton, CEO and Founder of Savor Health, is a seasoned healthcare and finance executive
with experience across the healthcare services, healthcare technology and pharmaceutical
sectors. After a 20-year career as a healthcare investment banker, Susan left Wall Street to found
Meals to Heal, the first disease-specific medically tailored meal delivery business in the U.S. and
predecessor to Savor Health. Savor Health is a digital health company which today provides
personalized nutrition interventions to prevent and manage the symptoms of cancer and cancer
treatment. Savor Health’s platform, which combines expert knowledge, scientific literature, and
machine learning, was designed to deliver at scale clinically appropriate and contextually relevant
nutritional interventions to people with a wide range of chronic medical conditions in order to
improve treatment adherence, compliance and survival, reduce dose reduction and treatment
suspension, and prevent unnecessary and costly healthcare resource utilization. While initially
focused in oncology, the Platform’s cardiovascular and autoimmune modules will be released in
late 2021 and therapeutic areas in 2022 and beyond. A lifelong vegetarian, Susan believes that
“food is medicine” and that the benefits of nutrition and nutritional strategies as interventions
extend beyond the social determinants of care and are effective leversthat result in better clinical
outcomes at lower total cost of care and lower symptom burden for all individuals. Her mission
is to build the scientific evidence necessary for nutrition and food as medicine interventions to
be broadly adopted and reimbursed as a standard of care.
Susan speaks internationally on the role of nutrition as an intervention in chronic disease as well
as on leadership, startups, and managing diverse teams. She has been a featured speaker at AI
in Healthcare, Harvard Medical School’s Career Advancement and Leadership Skills for Women
in Healthcare, ESMO World Congress on GI Cancer, BioPharm America, AARP Live @50+, Lake
Nona Impact Forum, and IIR ePharma Summit. Susan is the author of the Meals to Heal
Cookbook, 150 medically-tailored recipes to support the nutritional health of cancer patients.
As part of her commitment to supporting cancer patients, she spent 4 years as a volunteer at
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in pediatric oncology. Susan received her undergraduate
BA degree from Duke University and MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University
Robert T. Jones is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Roots Food Group, a mission-driven technology, healthcare, philanthropic and food company that believes in creating healthy outcomes through ‘Food is Medicine’. Robert brings over 25 years of business experience with well-established firms, family offices and firms with an emphasis on complex deal structuring, international negotiations, product development, food manufacturing, logistics, farming, warehousing and distribution in a variety of markets and industries and has the innate ability to function in multiple capacities taking a product, company and engagement from concept to commercialization. Robert has negotiated, built, and executed food medical trials as well as private label food programs for health and wellness companies. His executive duties include product development, capital raising, customer acquisition, strategic planning, and overall management of the Company. Specializing in negotiations, business development, relationship management, transactions and investment structuring, Robert’s experience as a leader in the food industry provides the company a clear, actionable business focus and model.
Robert has negotiated and launched in excess of one hundred food product manufacturing and licensing transactions with large CPG, media, technology, health, wellness and medical companies. His clients have included Fortune 1000 companies with businesses and assets located worldwide, including: Canada, China, India, Italy, France, Korea, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and the U.S. A sample of his customers include University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,
Weight Watchers, Atkins, American Diabetes Association, Coca Cola, Pepsi Co., Smithfield Foods, Campbells Soup, Nestle, ConAgra, Hershey’s, Vice Media, Clorox, Once upon a Farm, Zipongo, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and Prevention Magazine, to name a few.
In previous companies, Robert has been instrumental in the development of revenue models, new product development, and full-scale commercialization of products and businesses. He has managed, hired, and trained teams in all aspects of businesses. Robert’s experience includes successfully negotiating purchase transactions, start-up businesses, patent, and IP related products, as well as conducting in the field execution and project management for numerous domestic and international transactions and businesses.
Robert has significant experience with valuations for tangible and intangible assets (such as trademarks and patents) that clients needed for internal and external reporting purposes. He began his career in farming, produce, frozen food warehousing, distribution, brokering and logistics. Later he led multidisciplinary engagement teams for KPMG’s Global Financial Strategies practice. This practice’s core services include Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Corporate Restructuring and Valuation Services.
To provide you with the very best virtual experience, the Food as Medicine Summit: Bay Area will be hosted on Hopin, a world-class purpose-built platform for exceptional events.
The benefits of virtual are endless! For starters, no more wondering who is in the room! View and message the entire attendee list, or reach out to any attendee through their connected LinkedIn profiles. If that’s not enough, there are a multitude of structured and unstructured networking opportunities to give you the chance to reconnect with old friends and meet your future collaborators.
Then there’s the learning! Through an engaging and connected live agenda, you can interact directly with the speakers, through Q&A, polls, interactive panel discussions, and more. And with recordings available for six months post-event, you won’t miss out on any of the exclusive content, no matter your schedule.
Imagine the possibilities for networking and learning!
Be a part of the biggest and most diverse multistakeholder meeting in Food as Medicine.
Bringing together senior-level executives from consumer brands, healthcare, pharma, and retail, along with the most exciting newcomers in the movement, the 2nd Food as Medicine Summit promises an unrivalled networking and learning opportunity for everyone working in this space.
The Food as Medicine Summit provides a rare opportunity to showcase your offering to a dedicated, world-class audience. Spaces are limited this year, please contact our commercial manager, Oscar (email@example.com), to discuss opportunities for involvement.
Register for the Event
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