DAVID BENZAQUEN

David is the Founder and CEO of PlantBased Solutions, an award-winning, strategic brand management and marketing agency for plant-based consumer products. PlantBased Solutions has led strategy and marketing efforts for some of the world’s largest meat and dairy-alternative brands, including gardein (acquired in 2014 by Pinnacle Foods) and Daiya Foods (acquired in 2017 by Otsuka).

David is also the CEO of Ocean Hugger Foods. Founded by Certified Master Chef James Corwell, Ocean Hugger Foods makes delicious, plant-based alternatives to the world’s most popular seafood items to stop the overfishing crisis. Ocean Hugger Foods’ flagship product, Ahimi, an alternative to raw tuna made from tomatoes, is sold throughout the US and Canada and will be launching in Europe and Asia in 2019. The company will also soon launch its eggplant-based eel, carrot-based salmon and more. Ocean Hugger Foods was recently recognized as Whole Foods Market’s Supplier of the Year for Outstanding Innovation.


 Celeste Holz-Schietinger, PhD, Director of Research,  Impossible Foods .

Celeste Holz-Schietinger, PhD, Director of Research, Impossible Foods.

CELESTE HOLZ-SCHIETINGER

Dr. Holz-Schietinger has led flavor discovery at Impossible Foods since 2012, where she creates plant-based flavor systems and products that satisfy the cravings of the most passionate carnivores. Celeste and team are responsible for pivotal Impossible Foods discoveries, including identification that meat flavor is created by a molecule called Heme, and then the use of Heme to create delicious plant-based meats. Her inventions in microbial flavor generation were also fundamental in the creation of Kite Hill, a plant-based dairy company.

Prior to Impossible Foods, Celeste led research and mentorship programs in Enzymology, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Environmental Science at UC Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and the University of Georgia, and has published multiple papers and patents. Celeste holds a B.S. in Evolution and Molecular Biology from the Evergreen State College, and an PhD in Biochemistry from UC Santa Barbara.

She is an inventor, educator, and athlete, and is passionate about creating solutions that allow humans to live more sustainably. 


 Laura Zaim, Venture Partner at New Crop Capital

Laura Zaim, Venture Partner at New Crop Capital

LAURA ZAIM

Laura is a specialized private venture fund that primarily provides Angel, Seed, and Series A funding.

She is a social entrepreneur and environmentalist working to shift our world away from industrial agriculture. Previously, Laura co-founded WorkAmerica, a venture-backed social enterprise that connected Community College and vocational school graduates to employment opportunities. 

She earned a BA in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. She is originally from the DC Metro area, where she remains committed to growing the social enterprise community through volunteering, mentoring and public speaking.


 Matthew Hayek, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Law School

Matthew Hayek, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Law School

Matthew hayek, phD

Dr. Matthew Hayek is a postdoctoral research fellow in biochemistry and food systems sustainability and at Harvard Law School. He received his PhD at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and has published in the areas of atmospheric physics, environmental chemistry, and food security.

His current research focuses on animal agriculture’s contribution to climate change. Using computational modeling techniques, his current project maps how changes in dietary demand and policies can transform global landscapes to benefit conservation and climate change mitigation. His research helps inform strategies for meeting sustainable development goals and supplying higher-quality food to the world’s population, which is growing in both numbers and wealth.


 Justin Kolbeck, Chief Executive Officer, Wild Type

Justin Kolbeck, Chief Executive Officer, Wild Type

Justin Kolbeck

Justin Kolbeck is a co-founder and CEO of Wild Type, which is using cellular agriculture technologies to make better meat.

Before Wild Type, he spent nearly five years as a consultant at Strategy& helping companies develop and launch products, grow into new markets, and operate efficiently.

Justin started his career as a Foreign Service Officer, serving in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, and Washington DC. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Management, L’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, and UC Berkeley.


 Lisa Feria, Chief Executive Officer, Stray Dog Capital

Lisa Feria, Chief Executive Officer, Stray Dog Capital

Lisa Feria

Lisa Feria is the CEO of Stray Dog Capital and is a seasoned business manager with over 15 years of experience running organizations and businesses. She has worked with blue chip companies such as Procter & Gamble and General Mills and on businesses ranging from $350 MM to $2.5 BN. Lisa has an MBA from The University of Chicago where she was voted “one of the 25 most influential MBA students,” and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Lisa has always been heavily involved in the community – as a volunteer for SPCA and the United Way, and was recipient of one of the two ArtsWave awards given by the Procter & Gamble CEO. She enjoys a plant–based diet and lives in Kansas with her husband, two boys, and many dogs.


 Jody Rasch, Managing Trustee, VegInvest

Jody Rasch, Managing Trustee, VegInvest

Jody rasch

Jody Rasch is the Managing Trustee of VegInvest. Prior to this, he headed the Social Performance Group at Moody’s Corporation working on projects including microfinance and social investing. He also served on various advisory boards including Women's World Banking’s Gender Performance Initiative, the SMART Campaign’s Certification Task Force, Grameen Foundation’s Social Performance Advisory Committee and the Global Impact Investing Rating Service (GIIRS).

Mr. Rasch has presented on social and financial issues at conferences worldwide. Mr. Rasch also worked at Moody’s Risk Management Services. Prior to joining Moody’s Mr. Rasch started Financial Directions, a training company that conducted financial training programs for international commercial and investment banks. He also headed the New York derivatives sales desk of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and has worked in the corporate treasury departments of two Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Rasch has a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and holds an MBA in Finance from New York University.

Mr. Rasch is on the Board of Directors of Battery Dance CompanyVegFund and Woodstock Farm Sanctuary.


 Wanqing Zhou, Associate, Brighter Green

Wanqing Zhou, Associate, Brighter Green

Wanqing Zhou

Wanqing Zhou is an Associate at Brighter Green, where she provides research, programming, and organizational support on raising public awareness of the meat consumption issue, building collaborative networks, and facilitating changes.

In the summer of 2014, Wanqing toured multiple cities in China and shared Brighter Green’s documentary film, “What’s For Dinner?” with Chinese and international audiences. Since then, she has been helping Brighter Green expand its work in China. The effort recently evolved into the Good Food Fund that is now active with educational and empowering projects such as the Good Food Academy and the annual Good Food Hero Summit.

Wanqing also led the Food and Agriculture Program at Worldwatch Institute, where her studies focused on the multifaceted impacts of industrial animal production as well as alternative production models. She earned a BSc degree in Biotechnology and Ecology from the University of Hong Kong and received her MA degree in Climate & Society from Columbia University.


 Aylon Steinhart, Business Innovation Specialist, The Good Food Institute

Aylon Steinhart, Business Innovation Specialist, The Good Food Institute

Aylon Steinhart

Aylon graduated cum laude from University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and has co-founded two startups, Photopaz (now part of DigiLabs Inc.) and BrideBox. At GFI, Aylon uses his expertise in entrepreneurship, go-to-market strategy, marketing, and business development to help entrepreneurs launch the next generation of good food startups. He brings significant business leadership experience to GFI and has worked with companies such as Kellogg's, Applebee's, and Nestle.


 William Duffy, MD, Penn Medicine

William Duffy, MD, Penn Medicine

William Duffy, MD

Dr. William Duffy is a career internal medicine physician and leader who embodies the role of clinician as educator, adviser, confidant, advocate and colleague. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from Seton Hall University, an M.D. from Georgetown University and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In over twenty years of practice, he has extensive experience in outpatient and inpatient care, preoperative consultation, as well as student and resident teaching. However, his primary focus is one of lifestyle modification as both prevention and treatment of disease.

He focuses on the individual's health as a product of their unique environment and dedicates time to discussing nutrition, exercise, stressors, family, support systems, leisure time, physical feelings with each patient. He strives to be the best clinician he can be and works in tandem with his patients to foster their efforts to be their best as well. Dr. Duffy currently practices at Penn Medicine Valley Forge in Penn Personalized Care.

In 2018, after seeing the need for more education about nutrition and it's effects on health, well being, Dr. Duffy founded Food As Medicine Philadelphia (@FAMPhilly) which held its first conference on April 7, 2018. He continues working to educate the public as well as medical professionals about the benefits of good nutrition through FAM Philly as well as his medial practice.

Dr. Duffy is a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), as well as a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). He also maintains memberships in both the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Football League (NFL) Physician Societies.


 Kate Krueger, Research Director, New Harvest

Kate Krueger, Research Director, New Harvest

KATE KRUEGER

Kate began working in cellular agriculture as an intern at Perfect Day Foods (formerly Muufri) developing strategies to make milk proteins. She has a background in protein biochemistry and cell biology, and completed her Ph.D. in May 2017.

 While in graduate school, Kate created and instructed at Clones to Crystals, an 8-week undergraduate laboratory course covering the basics of cloning, protein purification, and crystallization trials. She also co-founded and ran Learn to Code, a data science bootcamp for women, teaching 50+ students the basics of data science and software development in Python. Her research focused on how insects use their immune systems to fight disease, particularly the biochemistry of thioester containing proteins (TEPs), a family of insect immune proteins. She has extensive research experience in biochemistry, structural biology, and cell biology. Kate holds an M. Phil in Cell Biology from Yale University and an A. B. in Biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College, and is a proud native of Federal Way, Washington.


 Robert Ostfeld, M.D. MSc, Director, Cardiac Wellness Program, Montefiore

Robert Ostfeld, M.D. MSc, Director, Cardiac Wellness Program, Montefiore

Robert Ostfeld, M.D. Msc.

Robert Ostfeld, M.D., MSc., a cardiologist, is the founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore, an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Associate Director of the Cardiology Fellowship at Montefiore-Einstein.

Dr. Ostfeld earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa; his MD from Yale University School of Medicine; and his Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Ostfeld completed his medical internship and residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and his cardiology fellowship and research fellowship in Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital - both teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School.

His professional interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, medical education and clinical research. He earned the Outstanding Full Time Attending of the Year award at Montefiore for excellence in teaching medical residents; the Program Director's Award for dedicated service on behalf of the Montefiore-Einstein Cardiology Fellowship; and was elected to the Leo M. Davidoff Society at Einstein for outstanding achievement in the teaching of medical students.