2016 Speakers

2016  #FABlogCon SPEAKERS

Ritesh Patel Extraordinarily generous with his time, and a patient teacher, as well as an impressive resume! We are very excited to announce the return of one of our most highly praised speakers from #FABlogCon 2013, Ritesh Patel! As the Global Head of Digital, Ritesh Patel brings to the table nearly 20 years of professional experience. Ritesh has provided counsel to clients well-versed in the digital arena, as well as corporate and brand teams taking their first steps into the digital world. He has developed comprehensive digital and social media guidelines for several healthcare clients, and created and implemented standards for best practices, as well as detailed initiatives using a variety of digital and social platforms. In the pharmaceutical arena, Ritesh has worked with Novartis where he developed social media efforts for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, creating a social media ecosystem in which patients and caregivers can interact with others having similar experiences. Additionally, Ritesh led the development of an online educational portal for allergic asthma. Ritesh also created the digital strategy and tactical elements for a lung cancer clinical trial program for a top-five pharmaceutical company. The tactics included the development of a mini-site, as well as a comprehensive paid media and Twitter strategy, including creation of the Twitter page and the development of content, and finally, managing the SEO, paid search, and paid social media advertising programs. On the mobile front, Ritesh has guided the creation of a number of mobile applications, such as the Afib Educator for the AFStat disease awareness campaign for atrial fibrillation. The application offers videos and educational information for healthcare providers and patients to help explain disease symptoms and risks. He also managed the creation of the Harmony for Health website and smartphone app to help patients take charge of their diabetes. Mr. Patel is also the parent of a child with food allergies.

Erica DermerErica Dermer is founder and head celiac in charge of Celiac and the Beast. She started her website because she felt like she had a new and humorous voice to bring to the gluten-free table, and desperately needed some celiac catharsis through writing and blogging. With a background in marketing and market research and development (including the food and beverage industry), she’s always had a soft spot in her heart for packaged goods, marketing, and branding in the specialty diets industry. It also helps that she’s a self-proclaimed terrible cook, so she relies on many gluten-free products to help her get through her day without burning down the kitchen. She uses humor to get through her diagnosis and living gluten-free in a world full of wheat. As a celiac and gluten-free advocate, her aim is to educate the world about celiac disease and the importance of this wonderful “less than 20ppm” universe we live in. She has partnered with her non-celiac significant other, who not only designs gluten-free themed merchandise for Celiac and the Beast, but is a key taste-tester for the brand. Her first book, “Celiac and the Beast: A Love Story Between a Gluten-Free Girl, Her Genes, and a Broken Digestive Tract” was released in October 2013 and highlights her life with a celiac disease diagnosis and what she’s learned along the way.

Lisa MusicianLisa Musician is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in  Pennsylvania with expertise in the area of food allergies. She is a mother of two adult children with multiple food allergies and a history of anaphylaxis. Having food allergies herself, she felt capable of the challenge raising children with food allergies. She was concerned, however, on how to feed her children safely at each meal while maintaining adequate health.  This inspired her to return to college and earn a degree in nutrition. She served on her local School District’s Health Council Committee and Wellness Board advocating state policy on wellness and food allergy guidelines; received awards for Volunteer work experience for Asthma Camp Experience (ACE) sponsored by the American Lung Association and holds several certifications of training as a Food Allergy Specialist.  She speaks professionally to organizations, schools and support groups about the management of food allergies and increasing nutrition adequacy.  She also writes for a local magazine, published in several surrounding counties, in her area. In November 2013, she launched Food Allergy Dietitian, Inc., which is an online service specializing in the area of food allergies providing education and alternative solutions to achieve optimal health for those diagnosis with food allergies. More information about her services can be found at   www.foodallergydietitian.com  and on LinkedIn and Twitter @FoodAllergyDiet.

Keeley McGuireKeeley McGuire is the proud mother of “Little Miss”, her sous chef. Together they love spending time in the kitchen creating, cooking, and making fun foods. Keeley views the challenges of working full-time, parenthood, and food allergies as an adventure! Her goal is to show the world that “food can be fun with food allergies”. Keeley is the gluten free & allergy friendly recipe contributor at MOMables.com, has a monthly published lunch column in The Valley Times “Valley Moms” section, has been featured on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, in the Huffington Post, Multiplicity Magazine, and in the Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook: EasyLunchboxes edition. She is also a Lunchbox Love & SunButter brand ambassador. You can follow along their journey at www.KeeleyMcGuire.com, via twitter @KeeleyMcG, facebook/keeleymcguireblog, or instagram @keeleymcguireblog.

Robyn O'BrienRobyn O’Brien, a former food industry analyst, author, and mother of four,  triggered an allergic reaction in the food world when she asked a simple question: “Are we allergic to our food or what’s been done to it?” She brings compassion, insight and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that recent changes to our food supply are having on the health of families, companies and economy. Robyn has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times,  “an inspiring woman to follow on Twitter” by Forbes Woman and”visionary” by the Discover Channel. She founded the AllergyKids Foundation  and on Mother’s Day 2009, Random House published her critically acclaimed book, “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It”. Robyn’s work has been seen on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Dr. Oz, and she is recognized by individuals such as Dr. Oz, Ted Turner, Marisa Tomei and Prince Charles and has been part of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and films and documentaries around the world.  You can learn more and watch one of her TEDx talks at www.robynobrien.com.

IMG_5999afternoon small (1)Michelle Palin was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, then set out to convert all of her family favorite recipes to gluten-free. Since 2012, she has been sharing her gluten-free recipes, favorite products and tips on her blog My Gluten-free Kitchen. She enjoys being in the kitchen, developing from-scratch recipes for decadent desserts and easy family meals. She has developed recipes for a variety of brands, including FABLOGCON sponsors Udi’s and Enjoy Life Foods. Michelle also manages a very active Facebook group for gluten-free bloggers, providing a place where they can collaborate on projects and support each other through social media sharing. She’s a wife to a very supportive husband, mom to two awesome boys, and a former Kindergarten teacher. She’s also a self-described Pinterest addict and a chocoholic. You can find her at:  http://mygluten-freekitchen.com/ and on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest

Personal Branding - Business Heashots by TRUE BLUE Portrait.

Personal Branding – Business Heashots by TRUE BLUE Portrait.

Assly Sayyar has and continues to handle civil law suits from start to finish, taking potential clients through pre litigation options, litigation and/or arbitration, trial if necessary, post judgment appeal, and judgment collection. While her primary focus is that of civil litigation with an emphasis on trial work, she frequently calls upon her courtroom expertise to benefit clients with transactional needs. By knowing the pitfalls of business and real estate litigation, she can better serve the needs of her transactional clients who wish to avoid the courtroom. Her other past practice areas have included collection law, creditor and debtor bankruptcy law, receivership and special mastership, estate planning, premises liability and homeowner association law. After over 7 years of civil litigation and transactional practice in small and medium size firms in the Southern Nevada area, in May, 2012, Assly opened her own solo practice.  Assly Sayyar, Attorney at Law, Inc. is a California professional corporation providing legal services in Southern California and Southern Nevada. With offices in both locals, clients with businesses and real property in the Golden State and Silver State can utilize one law firm for all their legal needs whether in or out of the courtroom.

Headshot (1)Robert & Nicole Smith Nicole Smith is the author of three children’s books about food allergies. Her first book, best seller on Amazon, Allie the Allergic Elephant: A Children’s Story of Peanut Allergies was published in 1999 by her publishing company, Allergic Child Publishing Group. She created her website, AllergicChild.com, in 2000 to assist other families managing severe food allergies. Cody the Allergic Cow: A Children’s Story of Milk Allergies and Chad the Allergic Chipmunk: A Children’s Story of Nut Allergies were written to help children with dairy and tree nut allergies learn to be safe. Robert Smith is an active food allergy parent and an active “Dad” who understands and has managed food allergies with his son, wife and daughter for the last 19 years! Robert has had the opportunity to educate other parents, business and Boy Scout leaders, with various tips, techniques and conversations he has learned over the years, in how to keep children safe in various sports, camping, hiking and other activities. He is a public speaker, and owns a marketing, coaching and consulting firm, Axcelerate Worldwide Inc. Nicole has helped school districts across the United States manage food allergies and create safe environments for food allergic children. She was a founding member of her school district’s Food Allergy Task Force in 2007, which continues its mission today to assist students and families managing life threatening food allergies in Academy School District 20 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Nicole Smith has been interviewed by numerous media outlets including NBC Nightly News and Living Without magazine about managing food allergies. Additionally, she was interviewed by multiple newspapers and TV News shows in regard to the EpiPen price gouging scandal: the Denver Post, the Toronto Star,  Market Watch,  WebMD, the local ABC News and NBC News affiliates, and Forbes Magazine. Nicole has written extensively on the subject of food allergies on her own blog, and previously in the newsletter, for AllergicChild.com. Additionally she writes for Allergic Living magazine. Both Robert and Nicole were interviewed for Scouting Magazine in regard to managing food allergies in Cub and Boy Scouts. Nicole has served as Treasurer for the non-profit organization, Kids With Food Allergies, Inc. and on the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) Advocacy Steering Committee. Additionally, she participated in the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) Support Group Advisory Council, the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Executive Council, was an Anaphylaxis Community Expert for Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics, and was the Vice President of Government Relations for FAACT – Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team. Robert and Nicole live in beautiful Colorado and have two grown children, one with life threatening food allergies and one with celiac disease and a mast cell disorder. Both children live a full, successful and extremely active life by managing their food allergies. You can find Nicole on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Pinterest, and Robert on LinkedIn.

14256344_10154539275867431_767207502_nChandice Probst is the co-author of Gluten Free on a Budget, which has received high praise from some of the most influential people in the gluten-free and celiac communities. Chandice is Founder of popular website,  www.glutenfreefrenzy.com which is known as the #1 gluten free giveaway site and provides individuals with recipes, reviews, giveaways and much more.  Chandice is an avid health foodie and is a member of the Real Foods Market social media and marketing team. Chandice Founded the Celiac Disease Foundation Arizona East Valley Chapter four years ago. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in exercise and health wellness from Arizona State University and graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors. She does freelance writing for Delight Gluten Free Magazine team as a regular contributor. She is also a SheKnows.com Expert Among Us writer. Chandice has been featured on ABC 15 Sonoran Living, Channel 12 Arizona Midday and in print publications, Women’s World, The Arcadian Journal andTotal Kid Magazine. She is now a regular contributor on Channel 3 Your Life A to Z in Arizona where she resides.In addition to her above professions, Chandice considers her role as a wife, mother and everyday cook to her family to be of greatest value.

Brown_JulieDr. Julie Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and is co-Director of research for the Division of Emergency Medicine.  She is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine and works in the Seattle Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.  She is Canadian but has crisscrossed the border many times over the years: she received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her medical degree from McGill University and her MPH from the University of Washington. She was a pediatrics resident first at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland and then at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she also completed her pediatric emergency medicine fellowship training.  Her research interests include anaphylaxis, foreign bodies, minor procedures, emergency management of respiratory diseases, and the use of technology in medicine. When there is time after making up for her sometimes neglect of her husband and two teenage boys, she enjoys gardening, sewing costumes, genealogy, and evening walks.

Missy Berggren Headshot

Missy (Berggren) Voronyak (@missyvoronyak) is a marketing and social media professional with more than 17 years of marketing and communications experience, as well as a food allergy parent and blogger atmarketingmama.com. As a Group Director with WCG, Missy helps global brands with social media strategy and influencer engagement. She frequently hosts social media trainings for clients, bloggers, physicians, executives and more. Missy is the founder of the Minnesota Blogger Conference and the director of strategic planning for Social Media Breakfast of Minneapolis/St. Paul. You can find Missy online at marketingmama.com and across social channels as “Marketing Mama.” Twitter @missyvoronyak

CYBELE PASCAL is the author of three bestselling cookbooks, Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking, The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook and The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook. She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, the Food Network, the Today show, Good Morning America Health, PBS, and NPR. She is a leading blogger in the field with an award-winning website, and lectures and teaches nationally. She is also the CEO and president of Cybele’s Free-to-Eat, a line of gluten-free foods that are #FreeFrom the top eight allergens. For more information, visit  www.cybelepascal.com and www.cybelesfreetoeat.com

LindaCossLinda Coss Although you might know Linda Coss as one of the pioneers in the food allergy world, her clients know her as an amazingly good marketing writer. Linda writes the text for websites, brochures, blogs, newsletters, direct mail and more, for organizations in a wide variety of industries. Her specialties: words that persuade and words that inform. At FAB Linda will be sharing how to take the same principles and techniques that she uses to make people want to buy her clients’ products and services, and apply them to getting people to “buy in” to food allergy accommodations and legislation. Linda is the author of four books: 75 Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business; How to Manage Your Child’s Life-threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips for Everyday Life; What’s to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook; and What Else is to Eat? The Dairy-, Egg- and Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook.

FullSizeRender (17)Aleasa Word As an International Professional Life Coach and Personal Redevelopment Strategist with Allergy Words Consulting, LLC, Mz. Word is certified in Emotional Intelligence. Her Chapter II Living™ Program includes many subscales not limited to Chapter II for Men™, Interpersonal Skill Connections for Leaders, Diversity & Inclusion, Stress/Time Management, Conflict Resolution, Self-Restoration and her outreach program From Diagnosis to Living Again™ for those affected with life threatening food allergy and anaphylaxis. She is an Editor with The Good Men Project Magazine, Leadership Team Member for the Charter for Compassion’s Compassionate Atlanta Div., a professional speaker and author of “Get Right for Love; The Muscle Guide to Relationship Readiness” on Amazon.Com .Her weekly blog “The Wordallogic” has been read by thousands worldwide and she contributes articles to many other sites as well. Aleasa also provides professional development workshops on specialized diversity concerns. The program for those affected by food allergy and anaphylaxis aims to help allergic persons and their caregivers reduce stress and create balance. Her company website is http://www.allergywords.com and links to social media sites are noted below. Mz. Word’s community outreach work includes a role as Director of the Food Allergic & Asthmatic Multicultural Society of Diversity (FAMSOD) an all volunteer organization and the Society of Emotional Intelligence (SoEI). FAMSOD provides support to families of those with life threatening food allergies and asthma through a multicultural lens; while SoEI is an association of practitioners of and those interested in Emotional Intelligence. She is also the founder of Flowers for Anaphylaxis a condolence program for families who have lost food allergic children to anaphylaxis. Through Flowers for Anaphylaxis, In 2014, Mz. Word founded Worldwide Love Remembers Day

Susan Weissman Bio PhotoSusan Weissman was an English teacher long before she was a mother, but children changed her life in ways she had not foreseen. Her son Eden has multiple food allergies and other allergic conditions. So, ten years ago, she devoted herself to learning and writing about food allergies. She wrote for her site: SusanWeissman.com, the Huffington Post,Psychology Today and other publications. Then, in 2012, she published her memoir,Feeding Eden: the Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family. Now, she has shifted her focus to raise funding and support for her son’s Chinese Herbal Medicine treatment, provided under the care of Dr. Xiu-Min Li.

carolinem_b12 Caroline Moassessi has spent the last 13 years raising two food allergic and asthmatic children.  She is the author of the blogsite www.gratefulfoodie.com.  She recently worked on the passing mandated stock epinephrine law in the State of Nevada as the lead advocate. She currently sits on the American Lung Association (ALA) National Assembly and advocacy committee, is Secretary/Treasurer for the ALA of the Southwest region and is past chair of the Board of Directors for the American Lung Association in Northern Nevada.  Caroline is deeply committed to serving our food allergy and asthmatic community.  She co-founded the non-profit, Northern Nevada Asthma and Food Allergy Parent Education Group, and still serves as its president. She is also a member of the national Food Allergy Research and Education’s Support Group Advisory Council and is a certified Open Airways for Schools educator and a Safe@School instructor. Caroline is a member of the National Allergy and Anaphylaxis Council and is one of the Circle of Moms top 25 Food allergy Bloggers. Caroline has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and has traveled the world as a trainer in this industry. She still enjoys reading, making jewelry and good food. She lives in Reno with her husband and two children.

fbprofilepicAmy Billington is the momma force behind AmyBillington.com. She blogs about food allergies, oral immunotherapy, and a better immune system via organic, non-gmo foods and holistic care. Her family is one year into a life of freedom from food allergies after she saw the emotional toll that a life-threatening allergy was having on her son and so they moved 700 miles away in order for him to begin peanut desensitization under the care of a board certified allergist. Her mission now is to share their story in order to help other families find the same freedom.

Oranges with MelMelanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP is a certified pediatric speech language pathologist who specializes in helping children become more adventurous eaters!   Melanie provides feeding therapy  for kids with significant food allergies who are hesitant to try new foods or due to medical reasons are required to change to a specific diet but cannot tolerate the sensation of new tastes and textures.  Melanie is an international speaker and the co-author of Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating (October 2015), the co-author of Baby Self-Feeding:Solid Food Solutions to Create Lifelong, Healthy Eating Habits (July 2016) and the author of Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids:How to Teach Your Child about the Joy of Food (November 2010).  She is the executive producer of the children’s music CD titled Dancing in the Kitchen:Songs that Celebrate the Joy of Food!  When it comes to blogging, Melanie is a monthly contributor to The American Speech Language Hearing Association’s blog The ASHA Leader.  Melanie’s parenting articles, written with pediatrician Dr. Nimali Fernando (Dr. Yum), are featured monthly on PBS Parents.com  in the Parenting Expert Tips and Advice column.  Melanie teamed with Dr. Yum to create a one-of-a-kind preschool curriculum titled Doctor Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure, currently being studied by top researchers at Duke University and now an integral part of preschool education in Virginia, New Jersey and soon, Colorado!  Mel’s  advice has been shared in Parents Magazine,  Dr. Oz The Good Life Magazine, Huffington Post and a variety of other media.  Television appearances include CBS Philly, CBS Richmond and Colorado’s Best KWGN.   Melanie has two websites, www.MyMunchBug.com, which is the platform for speaking engagements and feeding therapy.  Her second website, www.ParentingInTheKitchen.com is the only educational resource on how to raise healthy, happy eaters that includes collaborative advice from a pediatrician and a feeding therapist. The site has over 75 videos to guide parents on the path to raising adventurous eaters and an on-line educational course specifically designed for parents of picky eaters.  Follow Melanie on facebook/My Munch Bug  via Twitter @MyMunchBug and on Pinterest/My Munch Bug.

meg.profilepic.3x5Megan Lavin from Allergy Awesomeness has a son who was diagnosed with a rare disease, eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE), at only 14 months old and has over thirty food allergies. She dropped her global marketing position and dedicated herself to learning how to cook all over again. Since then, she sits on a non-profit board that supports food allergies and devotes her time to sharing allergy-friendly recipes on her blog, Allergy Awesomeness. When she’s not wrangling her two kids, or doing the endless stack of dishes, she also goes on a local television station, KSL, to do cooking segments to show others how to enjoy different diets. She feels she’s found the perfect intersection to her education and passion. Her broadcast journalism degree helps her feel comfortable writing, and in front of or behind the camera. Her mantra is: give up ingredients, but don’t give up awesomeness. Find her at:  Twitter: https://twitter.com/allergy_awesome;  Instagram: https://instagram.com/allergy_awesomeness/; Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr1nDBydjj-o92LesLsYz8g/Author and recipe developer of AllergyAwesomeness

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Emily Turner, Gluten Free With Emily is a plant-based, gluten-free chef and host of her own hilarious, gluten-free cooking show. She brings the bright side to living a plant based lifestyle, with treats and healthy eats that are truly delicious. By creating one-of-a-kind foods there has yet to be a gluten-free version of something she hasn’t mastered when given the
challenge. She makes it fun to be in the kitchen cooking, so you can enjoy a healthy, happy, and satisfying diet.  You can find her on YouTube, and on her website Gluten Free with Emily 



Jules Shepard has been highly visible in the gluten free community since 2007 with the publication of her first gluten free cookbook. Since then she founded her namesake company, Jules Gluten Free, authored two more highly-regarded and award-winning published books, became Associate Editor of Living Without’s Gluten Free & More and in 2014, resigned her position with her first company and started gfJules.com to better serve her community. As a passionate gluten-free advocate, Jules has also had a busy career, beginning when the FDA appeared stuck in neutral regarding long-overdue gluten-free food labeling regulations. Recognizing the dangers of unregulated gluten-free food labeling, Jules brought the gluten-free community together in 2011 by co-founding 1in133.org and building an 11-foot-tall, one-ton gluten-free cake in Washington D.C. to get the FDA’s attention. This event galvanized the gluten-free community, raising $50,000 for the cause, garnering 10,000 signatures in two months, and prompting the FDA Deputy Secretary to personally attend the event – at which promises to fast-track the regulations were made and kept, resulting in the finalization of the regulations in August of 2014. Jules has continued her advocacy by exposing other dangerous practices in manufacturing and in the restaurant industry, and promoted awareness and education around gluten free products. She continues to travel extensively, teaching about living safely gluten free, and raising the standards of the gluten free community by making easy and reliable recipes, videos and products that bring baking success even to those who have never baked before. Jules also hosts a popular podcast (The Gluten Free Voice), personally pens the #1 Gluten Free Blog (as voted in the 2016 Gluten Free Awards), and continues to run gfJules, an award-winning gluten-free flour and baking mixes company. She can be found at gfJules.com and @THEgfJules on Twitter, @gfJules on Facebook and Instagram, and Jules Shepard on Google+ and Pinterest.

Profile Picture 1.3Rivka Kawano is a social media expert, speaker, and author of the book What To Post: A Complete Guide to Effective Social Media. She also has first hand experience with the danger that food allergies present and loves to help people find ways to reach their audience with this important message. As an avid reader and literacy advocate as well as author she has a passion for books, authors, and the whole publishing process. Nothing makes her happier than seeing authors of amazing books getting the attention they deserve. You can see more at her website: Author Sensei; and follow her on Twitter @authorsensei.

SB profile pic circleSarah Hornacek is the baker and blogger over at Sarah Bakes Gluten Free. She started her blog back in 2012, a few years after her husband was diagnosed with celiac disease. Her life changed even more when she discovered her multiple food allergies, as well as her son’s gluten intolerance. Sarah Bakes Gluten Free is a place for Sarah to share her favorite gluten free baked goodies. She also bakes without dairy and eggs too, making her recipes vegan friendly. Sarah is a brand ambassador for both Bob’s Red Mill and So Delicious Dairy Free. She is supported by her amazing husband and two children. She has a deep love for cupcakes and a passion for creating allergen free recipes for all to enjoy! You can connect with Sarah over oninstagram, facebook, pinterest and twitter.

headshotBrianna Hobbs has been blogging at FlippinDelicious.com since 2012. She loves creating (and sharing) gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes for snack-worthy meals and desserts that taste just like what she had when she was a kid. You can follow her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.



Cindy HeadshotCindy Gordon is the creator of Vegetarian Mamma and is a foodie who loves to blog about gluten-free vegetarian recipes. Her family also focuses on foods that are peanut, tree nut, dairy, and gluten-free. Her family is dedicated to finding/creating recipes and products that fit their allergy needs. Cindy resides in Ohio with her husband and two boys (born in 2007 and 2010). She enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, gardening, wine and cooking! Cindy is the author to two cookbooks: Gluten Free Fork and The Dessert Fork both available on amazon. Cindy is a contributor to Gluten Free and More Magazine as well as a freelance writer for many food brands. Connect with her at VegetarianMamma.com or on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

unnamed (2)Trish Gavankar RN, BS (CCRN), is an adult with food allergies, parent of a daughter with nearly 20 food allergies, national speaker, support group leader, small business owner, food allergy blogger and food allergy advocate since 2003.  In May 2016, Trish was awarded the FARE Outstanding Community Education Award, in recognition of her 12 year history of service within the food allergic community.  She formerly worked as a Clinical Nurse Manager, Clinical Educator and staff nurse in ICU, ER and Critical Care and in those roles she gained extensive experience at analyzing and interpreting medical information. Her unique consulting business, Rock Food Allergies Consulting, focuses on lifestyle management for her food restricted clients. She hopes to assist them with balancing the daily stressors of living with food restrictions, finding safe food, recipe development and improved communication with their medical providers by assisting them with comprehensive food and symptom journaling, as well as a structured plan to arrive with documentation for medical provider’s interpretation. Additionally RFA Consulting strives to assist those who are traveling with food restrictions, by forming a travel plan before they head out the door. Disney is a specialty of RFA Consulting, but Trish has assisted travelers to many travel destinations. RFA Consulting has provided complimentary RFA Chef Cards nearly 1,000 traveling families, which have been immensely well received by chefs and RFA Chef Card Carriers. Trish Co-founded NC FACES (Food Allergic Children Excelling Safely), a local volunteer support group that has provided educational, social and emotional support activities for 12 years. She also founded Disney Chefs Rock Food Allergies, a Facebook support group dedicated to those traveling with food allergies and restrictions, especially to Disney. Through the years, Trish has been interviewed by many journalists and participated in numerous other activities to educate the public. By chairing the FARE Walk for food allergies in 2013 and serving on the FARE Educational Committee and the Support Group Advisory Council, she has helped shape the food allergy community.  Most recently, she was Master trained by AllerTrain, enabling her to work directly with restaurants to better serve the food restricted guest. Speaking for FARE at the International Food Allergy Alliance Conference, Trish was able to represent the impact of dining out for food allergic families around the globe. Her thousands of social media followers, call her “The Allergy Queen,” as she delivers a unique combination of humor, realism and knowledge of what it takes to live with food based restrictions.

kellyKelly Rudnicki is the author of the The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals, The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book,  and Vegan Baking Classics.  She’s also the creator of the award-winning blog Food Allergy Mama. She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, The Today Show, Windy City Live, WGN News, ABC News as well as in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Parents, Parenting, Shape, Family Fun, Woman’s Day, and others. As the mother of five children, one of whom with severe food allergies, Kelly advocates for food allergy awareness and policy, especially in schools. She is a spokeswoman for Mylan Speciality and helped write the food allergy guidelines for the Chefs Move to Schools Chicago, an initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Go for the Gold campaign to promote higher standards for food, fitness and nutrition education. Kelly also is a freelance writer and film producer in Southern California, where she resides with her children.

D._Jacob.mug.web.2008_400x400Dianne Jacob, Previously a newspaper, magazine, and publishing company editor-in-chief, Dianne became a full-time writing coach, author, and freelance editor in 1996. Her blog is aimed at writers and covers trends, issues, and techniques on blogging, freelancing and writing books. She started it in 2009 as a way to update her multiple award-winning book, Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and Morewhich features an extensive chapter on food blogging.The New York Times, Publishers’ Weekly, and Eater have picked up her posts. Now in its third edition, her book has won three international awards for excellence: The Cordon D’Or International award for Best Literary Food Reference Book, the Gourmand World Cookbook Award, and a Silver Nautilus award in the Creative Process category. Dianne is also the co-author of two cookbooks with chef Craig Priebe: The United States of Pizza, which was recommended by The New York TimesThe Boston Globe, and NPR as one of the best cookbooks of the year; and  Grilled Pizzas & PiadinasThe United States of Pizza won a 2015 national award for cookbooks from IndieFabShe coaches writers and blogger across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia on writing and publishing books, freelance articles, and blogs. She has been a judge for the James Beard Foundation’s annual cookbook awards, the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual cookbook awards, and the IACP Food Writing Awards, where she was a finalist for an award. As a freelance writer, she has written feature articles for a variety of publications, from local to international, including Lucky Peach and The Washington Post.

ColetteMartinHeadElowresColette Martin is a food allergy mom, an expert on how to bake allergen-free, and author of Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts. When her son was diagnosed with allergies to wheat, milk, eggs, soy and peanuts in 2001, she had to reinvent how her family ate. Having first learned to bake in her grandmother’s kitchen with wheat, butter, milk, and eggs, Colette understands first-hand what it means to transform her kitchen to accommodate multiple food allergies. As she modified her recipes to eliminate the top eight food allergens and gluten, she discovered her own intolerances to wheat and soy. Colette is Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Kids with Food Allergies. You can follow her: Facebook: Allergen-Free Baker  Twitter: @colettefmartin  Pinterest: Colette Martin     Blog: Learning to Eat Allergy-Free  You Tube: AllergenFreeBaker.

Betsy P109Betsy Craig is an Award Wining CEO and the Founder of MenuTrinfo®, LLC, a leading company providing accredited nutrition & food allergy solutions. MenuTrinfo is dedicated to helping foodservice operators including institutions, restaurants and catering operations protect the lives and health of customers by meeting and exceeding new nutritional labeling regulations as required by law.

The company’s complete suite of services includes menu labeling, certification and training in the areas of food allergies and food sensitivities, AllerTrain™ the only ANSI accredited food allergy & gluten-free training class in the food service industry, nutritional counseling and policy development. It is the only full-service solution for nutritional labeling that is insured and based on an FDA-approved process.

img_0001_#1_0Sharon Wong is a mom, advocate, and blogger at NutFreeWok.com, where she shares her recipes and adaptations for Allergy Aware Asian Fare as well as her experiences as a food allergy mom. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two teenaged sons. She loves being a stay at home mom and has over the years has volunteered her time in her children’s school PTA, local food allergy related events, and epinephrine related legislation in California. She is loves to cheer on food allergy research at Stanford, where her son is a clinical trial patient. When Sharon attended the very first FABlogCon, she was inspired by the friendships, support, and knowledge gained from attending the conference and hopes you will be inspired in a way that is meaningful to you. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram (@nutfreewok on all social media).

img_0250Dr Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo is the director of the Division of Allergy & Immunology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and PSA chief for the Section of Allergy & Immunology. Dr. Hernandez-Trujillo earned her medical degree from Albany Medical College in New York. She completed her pediatric residency program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in allergy and immunology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center through the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Dr. Hernandez-Trujillo is board certified in general pediatrics and allergy & immunology. Her clinical interests include anaphylaxis, food allergy and primary immunodeficiency disorders. Dr. Hernandez-Trujillo has conducted basic laboratory and clinical research, made presentations nationally and internationally, and published numerous articles on the topics of primary immunodeficiency disease, food allergy, and anaphylaxis.   She has appeared on “The Doctors” and “Discovery Channel CME” on the topics of anaphylaxis and food allergy.