Sam Van Aken‘s art combines sophisticated technology with traditional modes of art-making. Van Aken’s projects cross boundaries between artistic genres, including performance, installation, video, photography, and sculpture. With each body of work, he selects practices and new perspectives that provide a kinesthetic perception of objects and a visceral charge. Born in Reading Pennsylvania, Sam Van Aken received his undergraduate education in Communication Theory and Art. Immediately following his studies he lived and worked in Poland under the auspices of the Andy Warhol Foundation and the United States Information Agency.
Virginia Clarke is the executive director of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), an international network of Grantmakers. SAFSF offers opportunities for shared learning and information exchange, collaboration, and seeks to increase philanthropic awareness of the issues as well as funding needs.
Michael Rozyne is Executive Director of Red Tomato, a non-profit produce ‘food hub’ based in Plainville, MA. He’s been marketing small farm products for three decades, including work on conventional and organic farms in Maine, and as Purchaser/Marketer for a regional food distributor in the Northeast.
Sunny Young is the winner of the TEDxManhattan Challenge. She is the director of Edufood Consulting LLC, a school food reform consulting firm, and program manager of Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS) in Oxford, MS, a project that combines farm to school initiatives, school gardens, and nutrition education. Her passion for good, clean, and fair food arose during a semester working on a fair trade vanilla farm in Madagascar. A transformative experience, Young left the farm knowing that she wanted to dedicate her career to food justice.
Born in Ontario, Canada, David Binkle has served as Director of Food Services at Los Angeles Unified School District since July 2012. He oversees a program that provides over 650,000 meals daily by a team of 4,000 employees. Prior to joining the District, Binkle was Director of Dining Services at California State University, Fresno.
Did you know that the federal tipped minimum has been $2.13 since 1991? With abysmally low hourly wages, tips aren’t just something extra. They’re often the majority of a server’s wages. How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions – discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens – affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Visit ROC United’s campaign to raise the tipped minimum wage.
Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley and author of Behind the Kitchen Door, a national best-selling and groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out (Cornell University Press, 2013).
Peggy Neu is President of The Monday Campaigns, a public health initiative that encourages organizations and individuals to use Monday as the day to start and sustain healthy behaviors. Meatless Monday, the first campaign launched in 2003 with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Schools of Public Health, has become a global movement through viral dissemination by committed advocates and the participation of key influencers and organizations like Oprah, Mario Batali, Sodexo and a growing number of schools, companies, restaurants and whole communities.
Andrew Gunther is Program Director of Animal Welfare Approved. Since 2008, Andrew has spearheaded the program’s unprecedented growth. AWA farms are now recognized as being at the vanguard of high welfare, environmentally positive, and socially responsible agriculture. Combining an expert understanding of the supply chain beyond the farm gate with hands-on experience and knowledge of farm production—and its consequences—Andrew brings a unique perspective to the arena.
Nikki Silvestri is the Executive Director of Green For All. She was previously Executive Director of People’s Grocery in Oakland, CA, a non-profit organization working to improve the health and economy of the West Oakland community through a local food system. While at People’s Grocery, Nikki raised the profile of an already successful organization, developing an innovative leadership development program for food entrepreneurs, strengthening a body of racial justice programming, and developing new partnerships that doubled the financial impact of People’s Grocery’s initiatives.