2014 #FABlogCon SPEAKERS
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.
Colette 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.
Joel D. Warady is Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Enjoy Life Foods, a leading brand in the North American Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly CPG category. Prior to joining Enjoy Life, Joel was Principal of Joel Warady Group, a Marketing, Social Media, and Business Growth consulting firm. Joel Warady Group was the marketing agency of record for a number of small but growing brands looking to raise their brand awareness through word of mouth and guerilla marketing. Joel is a former owner of a US branded CPG company that at its peak had its products sold in over 17,000 retail locations throughout the US, and 56 countries globally. Internationally, Joel is respected as a marketing and social media expert, speaker, and business advisor. He has spoken on the subject of digital marketing, marketing trends, and social media to individuals and groups from Singapore, France, India, Austria, Turkey, Italy, Taiwan, China, Australia, Norway, The Netherlands and the UK, as well as speaking to hundreds of groups and companies in the US. Joel has spent 33 years in a marketing capacity in the retail, publishing and CPG industries, including 6 years at a major supermarket chain, 15 years developing a CPG company resulting in sales that exceeded $30 million (USD), and over 11 years as a marketing consultant and speaker. Twitter @EnjoyLifeCMO.
Rivka 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.
Jan Hanson first became committed to educating her family and others about food allergies when her youngest son was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies in 1992 at 1 ½ years of age (her older son was diagnosed with several food allergies at the age of eighteen, as he headed off to college). She founded Educating For Food Allergies, LLC (EFFA) in 2001, and provides consulting services and educational workshops to parents and school personnel throughout New England. EFFA is a registered provider of Professional Development Points with the Massachusetts Department of Education and meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to provide contact hours for continuing education for the state’s nurses. Her expertise is in all aspects of food allergy management in the school setting, and over 300 Massachusetts school nurses have attended one of her training sessions. She has been a popular speaker for support group meetings for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter, for over ten years. Jan has been a presenter at the Food Safety Conference sponsored annually by the University of Rhode Island, and at the Visions of Community 2013 conference sponsored by the Federation for Children with Special Needs held in Boston, MA. She is the author of Food Allergies: A Recipe For Success At School. Information, Recommendations and Inspiration for Families and School Personnel, published in September, 2012. She also wrote a guest editorial on the topic of food in the curriculum and the food-allergic student for asthamallergieschildren.com., posted in June, 2013. Jan received her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston College. More information about her work can be found at www.foodallergyed.com and on Linkedin, and on Facebook at Food Allergies: A Recipe For Success At School.
Laurel Francoeur graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. She is also a graduate of Suffolk Law School and has been a practicing lawyer since 1996. She is a support group leader for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and served on their board of directors. She was on the FAI (Food Allergy Initiative) Steering Committee and is now on the FARE Steering Committee.” She has appeared on ABC News talking about her experiences as a parent of a food allergic child. She has drafted legislation in Massachusetts which now gives students easier access to life-saving medication, and Laurel has also testified at the state and federal level about food allergy issues. She is the author of “How to Advocate for Your Food Allergic Child: A Manual for Getting What Your Child Needs at School.” She is also co-founder of Greenlaurel Documents, an online source for food allergy tools including automated health care plans and restaurant cards.
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.
Alisa Fleming founded the largest dairy-free website, GoDairyFree.org, in 2004, which is now host to over 2 million unique special diet visitors per year. She has since written and published the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: the Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, published another best-selling vegan author, and co-produced several ebooks. In 2011, she also joined Allergic Living Magazine as a columnist, advancing to the role of Senior Editor in 2012. Alisa successfully turned a mission-driven hobby into a diverse, rewarding career that offers multiple streams of income from publications, advertising, freelance writing, editing, and recipe creation. She will answer your questions on how you can enjoy work in this field that is both personally and financially gratifying.
David Stukus, MD, is board certified in Allergy/Immunology and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His clinical and research interests focus on asthma and food allergies, especially improving education and adherence for patients and families. As part of his research, Dr. Stukus has created novel technology and educational tools using mobile health apps to improve the care of patients, for which he was recognized with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics Junior Faculty Award in November 2013. Dr. Stukus has been an active member of the medical advisory team for Kids with Food Allergies since 2009 and was elected to the Board of Directors for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America in 2014. Lastly, Dr. Stukus actively engages with food allergy support groups and participates in social media on twitter through @AllergyKidsDoc.
Pam Jordan was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in January 2011 after struggling for fifteen years with symptoms. She is a working wife and mom to three young kids. Her blog, ImaCeliac.com, provides simple Gluten Free recipes, product reviews, restaurant reviews, and giveaways. Pam has a cookbook called Family Approved Gluten Free Recipes, that is filled with easy to make Gluten Free recipes using ingredients you already have in your pantry. If you are new to the Gluten Free lifestyle Pam has an ebook that will save you time and money! It’s Celiac Disease, Now What?, is a basic beginner’s guide to how to live Gluten Free. Pam is also a contributor to Living Without’s site MyLifeWithFoodAllergies.com. In 2014, Pam will travel to seven states to talk to people about living Gluten Free, menu planning and simple Gluten Free Recipes.
Erica 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.
Gina Mennett Lee, M. Ed. is a nationally recognized food allergy educator, advocate, and consultant who specializes in the management of food allergies in the school setting. She is widely known for her common sense, fact-based approach to food allergy management and education. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and B.S. degrees in both Elementary and Special Education. She is an experienced special education, elementary, and middle school teacher. She is the Founder and President of Food Allergy Education Network, and the Co-Founder and Director of the National Allergy & Anaphylaxis Council.She has provided education, workshops, and/or consulting services to the food service industry, PTA leaders, school principals and administrators, BOE members, nurses, teachers, paraprofessionals, preschool providers, daycare and home care providers, parents, and caretakers.As a mother who witnessed her daughter’s near-fatal allergic reaction, she brings real world experience to the field of food allergies. Through her consulting firm, Mennett Lee, LLC, she helps families, schools, businesses, and organizations create safe and inclusive environments for those with food allergies. In 2012, her blog was named Top 25 Food Allergy Blog by Circle of Moms. Gina was recently honored to join Allergy Home as an expert contributor. She shares news, information, and resources through her website and blog(www.foodallergyconsulting.com), Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@MennettLeeLLC).
Homa Woodrum has been a licensed Nevada attorney since 2007. Her passion for food allergy advocacy found her when her daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. For several years under the guidance of an allergist they avoided wheat, corn, soy, milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, oat, grape, and sesame but have had the fortune of successful food challenges so the list is now peanuts, tree nuts, oats, and sesame. Homa blogs about allergy friendly cooking and family activities Oh Mah Deehness!, named after her daughter’s former way of saying “oh my goodness,” though her blogging has evolved as the years have progressed. Homa is the owner of Woodrum Law LLC and co-manager & co-founder of Food Allergy Bloggers Conference LLC and looks forward to exploring the overlap between blogging/social media and the law with her anticipated panel at FABlogCon in 2014.
Clare Eluka, D.Sc, QTS, DIP A.A (Allergy Testing & Treatment Expert)
“Health is the only trend that never goes out of style” – Clare Eluka, The Sun Newspaper, June 2013. Multi-award winning Ethical Beauty Entrepreneur, Alchemist and Qualified Allergy Practitioner Clare Eluka, is a pioneer and disruptive innovator in the international beauty and wellbeing industry. After working 10 years in the beauty sector for global brands such as M.A.C Cosmetics, Clare has created a new category index in the natural beauty sector – ‘Freefrom Beauty’ through her innovative skincare brand – Premae Skincare. Clare has also enjoyed a remarkable career as a ‘beauty multi-creative’/ serial entrepreneur, enjoying 5 years as a freelance beauty journalist. Clare also has a masters in education and is a qualified A-Level English and Theatre Studies Teacher, with a distinction from LAMDA. Clare was recently awarded a Doctorate of Science in Chemistry, Biology & Modern Medicine and is now qualified to teach her philosophy globally at universities and qualifying institutions. You can learn more of follow on Twitter, Facebook, Premea Skincare, or Lady Clare Eluka blog.
Dr. Ruchi Gupta is an internationally recognized expert on food allergy, and a parent of a child with allergies. She has published some landmark manuscripts including the food allergy prevalence study showing 1 in 13 kids have food allergy and a recent economic study showing food allergy costs 24.8 billion dollars annually in the US. She is an associate professor of pediatrics and Director of the Center for Maternal and Child Health at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Gupta is a pediatric attending at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Her primary research areas include childhood food allergy and asthma. In food allergy, Dr. Gupta is working to improve the state of childhood food allergy in the US (i.e. prevalence and severity, economics, physician and school management, improving diagnostic tests and treatments, quality of life and knowledge). Dr. Gupta also speaks nationally and internationally on the topic and helps educate both physicians and the public. Dr. Gupta is author of the book “The Food Allergy Experience.” Dr. Gupta holds a M.D. from the University of Louisville, an M.P.H from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed her residency training at the University of Washington and fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. You can follow Dr. Gupta, website: www.ruchigupta.com, twitter: @ruchisgupta, Facebook: The Food Allergy Experience.
Lisa 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.
Jules Shepard, a celiac diagnosed in 1999, and an indomitable perfectionist with a penchant for equality and fairness, this former prosecuting attorney was simply unwilling to accept the dry, gritty, vacuous foods that were the norm then. Two years in her kitchen, and Jules had perfected an all-purpose flour blend that enabled her to continue her passion for baking and sharing food with others. Her company, Jules Gluten Free, was soon founded and now produces not only her famous flour blend, but eleven other gluten-free mixes. But as the gluten-free community burgeoned, so did the need for accurate information, advocacy and leadership. So in addition to running her flour company and authoring three highly regarded published books and numerous e-books, Jules took to the road. Jules now logs tens of thousands of miles a year speaking to, teaching and encouraging gluten-free consumer and trade gatherings. When the FDA appeared stuck in neutral regarding long-overdue gluten-free food labeling regulations, Jules brought the gluten-free community together 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. The FDA not only attended the event, but promised to front-burner the regulations, which it has. This mother of two also hosts a popular weekly radio show, personally pens one of the community’s most active gluten-free blogs, oversees the annual Gluten Free Cookie Swap, and moderates her Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ presences. She can be found at JulesGlutenFree.com and @JulesGlutenFree.
April Runge is a marketing research consultant and mom, but declares she should have honorary credentials as a special needs educator, specialty diet chef and triage nurse while raising their two children with different medical conditions—allergies, asthma and epilepsy. April co-authored her first children’s picture book Gordy And The Magic Diet after being inspired by her daughter’s harrowing, yet successful, battle to control her catastrophic epilepsy through a highly restrictive dietary therapy. April is determined to help other children navigate the journey of living on any restricted diet. April has been a dietary therapy coach in her local community with recent speaking engagements at AutismOne, the International Dietary Therapy Symposium for Pediatric Epilepsy and writer workshops for elementary-aged children in the Chicago suburbs.
Keeley 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.
Dr. Xiu-Min Li, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NYC; focuses her research on food allergy and allergic asthma. In the area of food allergy, she is investigating the immunopathogenic mechanisms underlying food allergy and novel therapies for these allergic diseases. She is involved in teaching sessions with the fellows and coordinates weekly immunology rounds, which include clinical case presentations, review of journal articles, and lectures from invited speakers. Her clinical research has included clinical trials in both asthma and allergic diseases. She has recently been involved in studying hypersensitivity and the potential of CpG oligodeoxynucleotide treatment for allergic asthma, also utilizing animal models. In addition, Dr. Li is exploring herbal medicines for the treatment of allergic asthma and food allergy. Dr. Li’s ever-expanding array of research encompasses everything from real-world trials of herbal medicines to experiments to reverse the transmission of allergic tendencies in mice from one generation to the next through ‘corrective epigenetics.’ This pioneering scientist will share her thoughts on the future of medicine with us. You may learn more about Dr. Li and her research in “Food Allergies: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Science and the Search for a Cure” by Henry Ehrlich; available by 3/1/14. More about Dr. Li on Asthma Allergies Children.com.
Dave Bloom is CEO of SnackSafely.com, an advocacy he co-founded with his wife Debra in 2011. The firm’s primary publication, the Safe Snack Guide, is a resource used by thousands of schools and tens of thousands of parents nationwide help to keep allergens out of the classroom and the home. SnackSafely.com has developed a proprietary platform to enable food manufacturers to disclose how they process 11 allergens during the manufacture of their products. By leveraging this platform and partnerships with participating manufacturers, SnackSafely.com is transforming the food industry by providing the food allergy community with much more complete, reliable and timely information than is available on the label under FALCPA guidelines. Prior to founding SnackSafely.com, Dave’s focus was information technology for the Financial Services industry, most recently as Chief Technology Officer for MarketPrizm, a pan-European low-latency trading network based in London. Dave was also a founding partner and CTO of Occam & Kiss, LLC, a New York based IT consultancy, and has served in past IT management roles for Salomon Brothers, UBS, Citigroup and Concentra. In a past lifetime, Dave started his career as an electrical engineer for a video game firm and taught programming and computer literacy as an adjunct at Rutgers University. Twitter: @SnackSafely.
Cindy Gordon aka Vegetarian Mamma is the founder and recipe creater at Vegetarianmamma.com Cindy shares gluten free and allergy friendly recipes, product reviews and information on her website Vegetarian Mamma. Cindy is the proud mamma to two little boys with severe food allergies. Her family loves to spend time in the kitchen creating simple and easy gluten free and allergy friendly meals and snacks! They love to sample new and upcoming products and share their thoughts on those products! With experience in Special Education and Educational Administration, Cindy is a natural advocate for children with food allergies and those with special needs. Cindy is a menu planner at Better Batter’s Startglutenfree.com as well as a contributor atmylifewithfoodallergies.com. She is also a brand ambassordor for Sunbutter and is a food allergy constultant to locally within her community. Cindy looks forward to discussing the Balancing Act of Food Allergies, Family and Blogging during a panel discussion at FABlogCon in 2014. You can connect with her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin, instagram and google+
Kristen Kauke is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who also happens to parent two boys with life threatening food allergies, as well as live with food allergies herself. Kristen’s dozen years of clinical experience includes therapy with clients of all ages. She has provided individual, family, couples, and group counseling in both private and school settings. Additionally, Kristen has presented and written on the topics of coping with anxiety, and resolving conflict in relationships as it relates to living with life threatening food allergies. In February 2014, she presented a FARE webinar on managing relationships, dating, and intimacy challenges associated with having severe food allergies. She has penned three books, her most recent, Growing Up Ben, is written in the form of a mother’s letters to her son, and follows a family’s developmental process through anxiety and restricted living to autonomy and intentional living. You can follow her on Twitter @KWKauke or read more and check out her books at Handling Emotions.
Louise Goldberg is a Registered Dietitian in practice for over 15 years. She is certified as a food allergy specialist and one of only a couple hundred board certified pediatric nutrition specialists in the country. She has a private practice, An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting, in Houston where she counsels and assesses children and their families. In addition to seeing patients, she is also a consultant for Green Plate Foods, a freelance writer for print and online media and has a regular nutrition advice column in Green Child Magazine. When she’s not at work, she’s chasing after her 3 active little boys and husband or trying to enjoy a cup of coffee while it’s still hot. You can follow her on Twitter at @AnAppleADayRD or on Facebook “An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting” for nutrition news and advice.
Robyn 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.
Debbie Adler is the owner of the nationally renown bakery Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes located in Los Angeles. In addition to owning her bakery, Debbie is the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery. It was named a “Best Gluten-Free Cookbook of 2013” by Delicious Living Magazine. Debbie is also the co-founding group leader of the San Fernando Valley Food Allergy Support Group, an organization that provides resources and educational tools to local families that have children with severe food allergies. For more information please visit www.sweetdebbiesorganiccupcakes.com
Dr. Lama Rimawi, Pediatrician, food allergy mom; the founder of Tasterie; and a graduate of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She completed her Pediatrics residency at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and Yale Children’s Hospital. She has been a board certified pediatrician for over 15 years. Her company, Tasterie provides great tasting allergy free food from vendors all over the world that meet rigorous allergen testing/manufacturing protocols.
Dr. Paul M. Ehrlich was educated at Columbia University, trained in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital at NYU, and allergy and immunology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He is a partner at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Murray Hill, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine, attending physician in medicine and pediatrics at Beth Israel Medical Center, and attending physician at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, all in New York City. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has been featured as one New York’s top pediatric allergists in New York Magazine for more than ten years. He is past President of the New York Allergy and Asthma Society. He is also co-author of Asthma Allergies Children: a parent’s guide, and a co-founder/blogger for asthmaallergieschildren.com.
Annelies Zijderveld derives joy in working toward creating community online and offline. A natural networker, she enjoys her role as the online community manager for Attune Foods and delights in seeing people achieve their potential. With over a decade working in food marketing, she is particularly fond of food start-ups that focus on healthier living. She likes surrounding herself with innovative minds, finding their vision ignites her creative spark. Annelies received her BA in Journalism at Southern Methodist University and an MFA in Poetry from New England College. When she’s not at work or attending blog conferences, she can be found singing in her kitchen cooking or taking urban hikes with her husband.
Stacey Stratton is using her BA in Communications, MA in Special Education, and experience as an educator, to work with parents and schools in communicating the special needs of children with food allergies. Her book, Allergies at School, is a resourceful guide for parents working with their school to help increase their child’s safety. Stacey is also the founder and creator of PeanutFreeZone.com, a website that provides tools and resources in one place to help keep children with food allergies safe. Some of these resources include food allergy awareness products designed by Stacey’s sister, a graphic designer and food allergy mom to two young boys. As an advocate for inclusion, Stacey is always creating or promoting a variety of ideas for allergy-friendly food and fun. You can follow her and the Peanut Free Zone on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
Charissa Fleischer is co-owner of Zest Bakery, a gluten-free bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area. Charissa is a self taught baker that was first introduced to gluten-free baking when she met her husband Patrick who has Celiacs Disease. After years of experimental baking in the home kitchen, Charissa and her husband Patrick Luke opened Zest Bakery in 2010 to fill a void on the SF peninsula. Zest Bakery is well known for their local and organic selection of delectable sweets like cookies, muffins, cupcakes, and even wedding cakes as well as their savory items like fresh sandwiches, pizza, and breads. While most of the products at Zest Bakery are gluten free, dairy free, and soy free, Charissa and the baking team are always working on new allergen friendly sweet and savory treats. Charissa focuses on marketing and R&D, and shares a variety of allergen friendly and paleo recipes for the Zest Bakery blog. You can follow her: Facebook: Zest Bakery, Twitter: @zestbakery, Pinterest: Zest Bakery, Blog: Zest Bakery, Instagram:zestbakery
Lori Sandler is the founder of Divvies, a fun, national brand of delicious snacks made in Divvies own dedicated nut, egg & dairy free bakery, located in South Salem, NY. Her youngest son, Benjamin, is the inspiration behind Divvies. When he was diagnosed with severe food allergies, the social as well as safety realities of the situation became clear. Lori became a Mom on a mission, and set out to find a solution that would help bridge the divide that may potentially keep anyone with food allergies/restrictions on the outskirts of social events….and let kids be kids! Lori’s philosophy is that eating and celebrating should always be a shared, inclusive experience; not exclusive only to those without special dietary restrictions/allergies. Lori calls her work her “labor of love”. She is passionate about helping families navigate food allergies and lead inclusive, fulfilling lives. Lori teaches Inclusive Cooking Classes for Kids, where she creates menus that take into account all participants’ food allergies/restrictions to create a safe environment and scrumptiously inclusive meal. She is also the author of THE DIVVIES BAKERY COOKBOOK, No Nuts, No Eggs, No Dairy JUST DELICIOUS (St. Martin’s Press); has been a guest on The Martha Stewart Show and CBS’s The Early Show; and has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, Vogue, Daily Candy, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. www.divvies.com @Divvies email@example.com
Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, Hay House author of PERCOLATE – Let Your Best Self Filter Through & founder and CEO of the Best Ever You Network, understands firsthand the challenges that life can bring and has worked with thousands of people worldwide to illuminate their light within and help them live their best life. She has a degree in communications and broadcasting; is a life coach, food-allergy expert, and anaphylaxis survivor; and is the host of The Best Ever You Show. Elizabeth and her husband and four sons live in Maine. Elizabeth lives her daily life with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. In 1998, Elizabeth nearly lost her life due to an allergic reaction to almonds. In 1999, she had a second near-fatal allergic reaction while pregnant with her third son, after which she was hospitalized for more than a week. With Brian Hom, she co-founded the Food Allergy Zone to find a cure and the cause of food allergies and she is a spokesperson for FAACT – Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team. her websites: www.BestEverYou.com and www.PercolateBook.com.
Hanson Watkins is the founder and owner of Indie Candy – a fully all natural and Big 8 allergen free candy manufacturer located in Alabama. She graduated from Emory University and carries a MBA and a Master of Health Administration from Georgia State. After a career in health management, Hanson had two children. She went to culinary school in 2008 after a life long love affair with cooking. In 2009, Hanson and her son were diagnosed with multiple food intolerances and allergies, which included some food dyes. This might have cut her culinary career short, but after finding no commercial produced treats for the holidays (it was Halloween), Hanson had the idea to produce a product of her own. Indie Candy opened it’s first store in 2010 in her hometown of Mountain Brook. By 2011, Indie Candy had outgrown its little candy store beginnings and moved to a factory space outside Birmingham in Moody, Alabama. Indie Candy treats are carried around the nation and Canada and have included national retailers like Williams Sonoma, catalogs and grocery chains. Currently Indie Candy produces all natural gummies, marshmallows, chocolate confections and lollipops for all the major holidays and year round. Indie Candy specializes in providing a variety of treats for special diets, including Feingold, food allergies (Big 9 and beyond), vegan and Paleo diets. Visit her shop at Indie Candy or follow on Facebook & Twitter.
Maya Trimner is an artist, e-book author and former makeup-artist who has lived with severe multiple food allergies since birth. She describes her life-threatening struggles with many various topics affecting the food allergy community on her blog, www.mayashappyplace.com where she hopes that newly diagnosed people can gain some useful information or support from her words. Her e-book, Invisible Disability talks about the most personal issues affecting young people with food allergies and gluten sensitivities, such as intimacy, relationships and expectations. It is her hope that her emotional experiences might help make life easier for people trying to navigate the world and social situations with severe food allergies. Besides reading ingredient labels, cooking from scratch and causing a stir with her blog, Maya spends much of her time painting portraits, still-life and pin-ups. She is a member of the Connecticut Portrait Society and her artwork is held in private collections all over the world.
William Devine holds extensive experience in consumer bankruptcy, debt collection, and intellectual property matters. Prior to joining Rainey Devine, William was an associate attorney in the Intellectual Property practice group of Armstrong Teasdale, a nearly 300 attorney firm with offices throughout the country. During that time, William practiced exclusively in the area of patent prosecution in the electrical, computer science, and electro‑mechanical technology arts. Prior to becoming an attorney, William was a technology consultant in the emerging Internet industry, and held various technical management and executive positions with multiple technology start-ups in and around Houston, Texas. William uses his vast technology experience to improve the efficiency of his practice and client communication. William is also an active tribal member of the Eastern Shawnee of Oklahoma, serving on the Tribe’s Constitutional Review Committee.
Heidi Bayer is currently CEO of Numodo ,
National board member of AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), Chair for the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Readiness Committee, a former Chair of Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (www.kidswithfoodallergies.org), Brooklyn Food Allergy Support Group Leader and blogs as “Brooklyn Allergy Mom.” She is the proud parent of a teenaged daughter.
Dr. Barry Wershil is a graduate of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He did a residency in Pediatric at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and then completed a Fellowship at the Combined Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Harvard. Dr. Wershil became a faculty member of the Division of Gastroenterology at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he started his career as a basic research scientist in the field of mucosal immunity. Dr. Wershil is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. His research interest is broadly focused on the pathogenesis of food allergies, and specifically on mast cell and eosinophil biology and the role these cells play in gastrointestinal inflammation. He is on the Medical Advisory Board of APFED (American Partnership for Eosinophilic Diseases) and a member of TIGERs group (the International Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Researchers). Dr. Wershil is also the co-director of the Eosinophilic Esophagitis Program at Lurie Children’s.
Heather Hewett is a writer and an associate professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz who has written for a range of popular and academic venues. Her personal essays about raising a daughter with food allergies have appeared in the Motherlode Blog at The New York Times, CNN.com, Brain, Child magazine, and the anthology The Good Mother Myth (Seal Press). She has published academic research on motherhood, women’s writing and blogging, and food allergies for a range of scholarly journals and books. She speaks frequently at college campuses and professional conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.