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summit

The 2017 Building a Healthier Future Summit features a wide range of industry, policy, academic and nonprofit leaders, all committed to making healthier choices easier for busy families and kids. See below for the full list.

2017 Featured Speakers

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford
Entrepreneur, Media Influencer, Super Model, Star.
Cindy Crawford (click to close)
Entrepreneur, Media Influencer, Super Model, Star.

 

Cindy Crawford is known to the world as one of the original supermodels who defined that pivotal moment when fashion models became stars in their own right. Cindy used her fame as a springboard to launch a career that has spanned almost three decades and resulted in an exceedingly successful and trusted brand representing beauty, fashion, fitness and home. Cindy’s staying power in a notoriously fickle industry can be credited to her professionalism, business savvy and dedication to every endeavor. These attributes in particular have made Cindy a force to be reckoned with in support of children’s health.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (click to close)
Founder & CEO
Center for Youth Wellness

 

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is a pediatrician, mom and Founder & CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness (CYW), where she is leading the national effort to revolutionize pediatric medicine and transform the way society responds to children exposed to significant Adverse Childhood Experiences and toxic stress.

She serves as an expert advisor on the Too Small to Fail initiative championed by the Clinton Foundation (in association with Next Generation) to improve the lives of children ages birth to five years.

She earned her MD at UC Davis School of Medicine and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Neil Grimmer

Neil Grimmer
Founder and CEO
the Habit
Neil Grimmer (click to close)
Founder and CEO
the Habit

 

Neil Grimmer is Founder and CEO of the Habit, a meal delivery company that analyzes a person’s biomarkers to create personalized nutrition plans. Prior to founding the Habit, Grimmer was the co-founder and CEO of Plum Organics, the number two baby food brand behind Gerber. Under his leadership, Plum became one of the first companies to reincorporate as a Public Benefit Corporation in Delaware in July 2013, reinforcing its mission to combat child hunger and conduct business responsibly. Grimmer also launched Plum’s social impact program The Full Effect™, dedicated to nourishing little ones in need across America.

Daniel J. Houston

Daniel J. Houston
Chairman, President and CEO
Principal Financial Group
Daniel J. Houston (click to close)
Chairman, President and CEO
Principal Financial Group

 

As Chairman, President and CEO of the Principal Financial Group®, Daniel J. Houston is responsible for overall management of the company. Houston joined PFG fresh out of college in 1984 as a group representative, and has worked his way up to his current position by serving in numerous capacities over three decades, assuming his current role in 2015. Houston sits on several boards, including that of the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), American Council of Insurers (ACLI), Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), Iowa State University Business School Dean’s Advisory Council and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).

Breakout Session Speakers
Julia Belluz
Senior health correspondent, Vox.com
Vox.com
Julia Belluz (click to close)
Senior health correspondent, Vox.com
Vox.com

Julia Belluz is a Canadian award-winning journalist covering medicine and public health for Vox.com. Her writing has appeared in Maclean’s, the British Medical Journal, the Medical Post, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Slate, the Times (of London), the Economist, and other publications. Outside of reporting, Belluz speaks regularly at health care and journalism conferences around the world. She is a fellow and guest lecturer at McMaster University. She holds an MSc. from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Ryerson University’s School of Journalism.

Twitter @JuliaOfToronto and Linkedin.

Matthias Berninger
Corporate Staff Officer, Public Affairs
Mars Inc.
Matthias Berninger (click to close)
Under Armour

Matthias Berninger has been with Mars, Inc. since 2007, when he joined the company’s Mars Europe division following a 13-year political career in his native Germany. Since 2009, he has served as Corporate Staff Officer, Public Affairs, with responsibilities for the central Public Policy and Programs team and the Public Affairs teams in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. He also leads the global trade team within Mars, Incorporated. He has extensive experience working on the company’s Health and Nutrition strategy for food and snack foods.

Jeffrey Breslin
Sr. Mgr, Global Philanthropy – Under Armour
Under Armour
Jeffrey Breslin (click to close)
Under Armour

Jeffrey Breslin leads Under Armour’s global investments in youth through the UA WIN program, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative to ensure all youth have access to the life-altering impact of sport participation. Prior to joining Under Armour, Breslin spent 10 years leading program development at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.

Elijah Brooks
Youth on the Move in Community
Elijah Brooks (click to close)
Youth on the Move in Community

Elijah Brooks is the Director of Youth On The Move, which offers programs in football, basketball, karate and after-school tutoring and GED services to more than 275 young people living in Harlem, New York.

Known as Coach Brooks by youth and elders alike, he served 18 years as a volunteer football coach before becoming Director. He is committed to providing youth in Harlem with access to safe and healthy choices, alternatives and outlets that enable them to grow to their full potential.

Coach Brooks previously served as a law enforcement professional for 20 years with the New York City Police Department.

Victoria Kumpuris Brown
Senior Program Officer
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Victoria Kumpuris Brown (click to close)
Senior Program Officer
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Victoria Kumpuris Brown joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2015, where, as Senior Program Officer, she continues her dedication to connecting business and healthcare in the battle against childhood obesity. Brown’s work mobilizing the business community around social imperatives began when she was Vice President for Strategic Alliances at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association. She holds a MPAff from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in public policy from Washington and Lee University.
Joy Cornthwaite
Registered Dietitian
McGovern Medical School
Joy Cornthwaite (click to close)
Registered Dietitian
McGovern Medical School
Joy Cornthwaite, MS, RD, LD, CDE, is a registered dietitian and diabetes educator at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School, with experience working in critical care, Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), diabetes self-management training (DMST), nutrition and wellness education. She has worked to promote and develop programs that create positive outcomes for patients with acute and chronic diseases. Her work includes the development of programs in adult obesity, childhood obesity and diabetes self-management.

Cornthwaite is a self-proclaimed foodie and enjoys the cultural diversity and dialogue that food inspires. She encourages changing lives one meal at a time, with an understanding of the role food plays in wellness.

Fatima De La O
Fatima De La O 
Fatima De La O joined the Adelphi/Langley Family Support Center four years ago. Through the Center’s Cooking Matters program, she learned how to cook healthy meals while her son, Eduardo, participated in a child development program to improve his cognitive and language abilities.

Cooking Matters showed her how to use less salt, more vegetables and more creative ways of preparing healthier meals for her family, as well as how to change her grocery shopping habits to allow her to save money. Now, she and her family are eating healthier, more nutritious meals that help them all to maintain a healthier weight.(click to close)

Rocco DiSpirito
Celebrity Chef
Rocco DiSpirito (click to close)
Celebrity Chef
Rocco DiSpirito is a Healthy Lifestyle Crusader, James Beard award-winning chef, author of 12 highly acclaimed cookbooks and well-known television personality. He founded the Pound A Diet meal delivery service, which designs one-of-a-kind menus to meet each customer’s preferences, weight loss and health goals. He is a Chef Partner to Wellness in the Schools, a national nonprofit that inspires healthy eating and fitness for kids in public schools. He also serves on the Entertainment Council for Feeding America and is an Ambassador for HealthCorps, through which he visits schools around the country to empower students to make healthy food and lifestyle choices.
Nona Evans
President and Executive Director
Whole Kids Foundation
Nona Evans (click to close)
President and Executive Director
Whole Kids Foundation
Nona Evans is President and Executive Director of Whole Kids Foundation, a philanthropic endeavor of Whole Foods Market dedicated to improving children’s nutrition in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Previously, Evans led global marketing for Whole Foods Market, at a time when the company was beginning to educate shoppers about the importance of what kids eat at school. Whole Kids, a lead partner in Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, has helped bring more than 5,000 salad bars to schools across the U.S., funded more than 4,000 school gardens and provided information to more than 13,000 teachers about how to improve their own nutrition.
Helena Bottemiller Evich
Senior Food and Agriculture Reporter
POLITICO
Helena Bottemiller Evich (click to close)
Senior Food and Agriculture Reporter
POLITICO
Helena Bottemiller Evich is a senior food and agriculture reporter for POLITICO, where she has worked for the past three years. Before joining POLITICO, she spent four years reporting on food politics and policy at Food Safety News, where she covered Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her work has also appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review and on NBC News. Bottemiller Evich’s reporting has taken her to the Louisiana coast during the Gulf oil spill, Arizona lettuce fields, North Carolina hog farms and the occasional presidential turkey pardoning.
Riley Fields
Director of Community Relations
Carolina Panthers
Riley Fields (click to close)
Director of Community Relations
Carolina Panthers
As Director of Community Relations for the Carolina Panthers, Riley Fields oversees programs and partnerships that address the special needs of communities in North and South Carolina. He also directs the team’s outreach programming and Carolina Panthers Charities grant process. Each year, the team executes 80 programs and services, with a focus on education, youth health and wellness, youth football and military support programs, as well as other NFL platform initiatives, engaging 300,000 youth annually. The team is recognized at the NFL level as a leader in innovative programming for Play 60 and youth football.
Karin Gillespie
Associate Director, Public Policy
Novo Nordisk
Karin Gillespie (click to close)
Associate Director, Public Policy
Novo Nordisk

As Associate Director, Public Policy, Karin Gillespie leads the Changing Diabetes Policy function at Novo Nordisk, serving as Co-chair for the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance and US Project Lead for Cities Changing Diabetes. She is also responsible for developing and leading research that underpins Novo Nordisk’s diabetes advocacy work. Previously, Gillespie was a Senior Consultant for Elayne Howard & Associates, a Philadelphia-based healthcare strategy firm. She has been published in numerous professional journals and authored a book on shaping healthy eating habits in young children. Gillespie holds a BA in Psychology from Princeton University and an MBA degree from The Wharton School.

Dan Giusti
Celebrity Chef and Founder
Brigaid
Dan Giusti (click to close)
Celebrity Chef and Founder
Brigaid
Fueled by a desire to change the narrative surrounding good meals for kids at school, world-renowned chef Dan Giusti founded Brigaid – a group of chefs dedicated to transforming school cafeterias into places where children can enjoy delicious, affordable meals cooked with passion and care. Giusti – former Head Chef at Copenhagen’s Noma, one of the world’s top restaurants — believes chefs are uniquely suited to work within the limitations of the National School Lunch program.Brigaid will partner with schools to refurbish kitchens and staff them with highly trained chefs. Giusti is a graduate of New York’s Culinary Institute of America.
Dr. Diane Harris
Health Scientist
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Diane Harris (click to close)
Health Scientist
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Diane Harris, PhD, MPH, is a Health Scientist in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Lead for the Healthy Food Environments Team in the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch, which focuses on research, technical assistance and programmatic support for increasing access to healthy foods. Her primary interest is creating healthy food environments in child care settings, schools, worksites and other institutional settings. She is also Lead for the CDC’s efforts to mobilize and engage stakeholders at the local, state, and national level to support salad bars in schools.
Pati Jinich
Chef, PBS TV Host, Cookbook Author
Pati Jinich (click to close)
Chef, PBS TV Host, Cookbook Author

Pati Jinich is resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C., a cookbook author and mom to three boys. She is also TV Host of the James Beard and Emmy nominated PBS series, “Pati’s Mexican Table,” now in its 5th season. Originally trained as a political scientist, she worked as a policy analyst at the Inter-American Dialogue but switched careers in 2006 when she formally jumped into the kitchen to explore and share Mexican cuisine, while breaking down its myths and preconceptions. Her first cookbook Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home-Cooking published in 2013.

Ashley Koff
Registered Dietitian
Ashley Koff (click to close)
Registered Dietitian

Award-winning nutrition expert Ashley Koff, RD, helps create better health fueled by better nutrition. From her earliest days as an ad executive, Koff mastered the skills needed to develop targeted nutrition marketing messages that directed people to better choices. Her highly successful approach helps people reach their better health goals by identifying and making Better Not Perfect choices more often. She has made appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, Fox and ABC News and been quoted in The New York Times and The Washington Post. She lives in Washington DC with her dog, Rerun.

Kiran Krishnan
Research Microbiologist
Kiran Krishnan (click to close)
Research Microbiologist

Kiran Krishnan is a Research Microbiologist who has been involved in the dietary supplement and nutrition industry for the past 17 years. His early work involved hands-on Research and Development in the fields of molecular medicine and microbiology at the University of Iowa. He is a frequent lecturer on the human microbiome at medical and nutrition conferences and health summits and a regular expert guest on national and satellite radio. He is currently involved in six novel human clinical trials on probiotics and the human microbiome.

Fred Maxik
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Lighting Science Group
Fred Maxik (click to close)
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Lighting Science Group
Fred Maxik is one of the world’s foremost experts in Solid State Lighting. He is Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Lighting Science Group, North America’s largest developer and manufacturer of ground-breaking LED bulbs and lighting systems. Maxik, the principal inventor on hundreds of patents in the US and worldwide, has more than 25 years of experience in innovating environmentally friendly technologies. He has been recognized with the Champion for Change Award (White House, U.S.), A Congressional Medal of Merit (Congress, U.S.), the NASA Group Achievement Award, the Samuel Bard Award in Science and Medicine and the Friends of the Phelophepa Award, given by Desmond Tutu.
Marissa Nelson
Senior Vice PresidentAhold USA
Ahold USA
Marissa Nelson (click to close)
Senior Vice President
Ahold USA
Marissa Nelson is responsible for leading Ahold USA’s strategic efforts on healthy living for customers and associates, sustainability and community giving, with a focus on Ahold USA’s Healthy Living aspiration: to provide healthy food for all, ensuring it is of good quality, affordable and available.

Previously, she led Ahold USA’s Merchandising Support Services and worked as chief of staff for the global CEO, supporting him in the development of Ahold’s Reshaping Retail Strategy, Better Everyday Promises and Ahold Balanced Scorecard. Additionally, she supported Ahold USA’s COO in the implementation of this strategy at the US company.

Beverly J. Smith
National Senior Program Director
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Beverly J. Smith (click to close)
National Senior Program Director
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Beverly J. Smith is National Senior Program Director for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Sports & Recreation Program. Since December 2000, she has managed LISC’s partnership with the NFL Foundation, providing financing and technical assistance to neighborhood-based organizations, parks and recreation departments and other community-based organizations across the nation to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local football fields for youth. Smith also manages LISC’s collaboration with ESPN/Disney Worldwide Services, piloting an effort to increase access to basketball courts in underserved neighborhoods.
Janie Wilson
Student
Janie Wilson (click to close)
Student

Janie Wilson is a seventh grade student from Peabody, MA. She believes cooking with family and friends can be a fundamental tool in a child’s education and make memories that last a lifetime. In 2014, she was the Grand Prize winner in the Uncle Ben’s Ben’s Beginners cooking contest, earning a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for her elementary school and a $15,000 cash prize for her family. In 2015, she competed on Food Network’s Chopped Junior and was featured on the cover of Chop Chop Magazine. Janie hosts, produces and edits her own cooking show on Peabody Access Communication Television.

Jenna Wolfe
Talk Show Host
Jenna Wolfe (click to close)
Talk Show Host
Jenna Wolfe is a TV personality, certified personal trainer, health and wellness expert, motivational speaker and (most challenging of all), mom to two little girls, Harper and Quinn. She is also the host of a live-streaming, four-hour daily talk show, The Jenna Wolfe Show. Wolfe is the Coach for Kids Ambassador to Wellness in the Schools, a national nonprofit that inspires healthy eating and fitness for kids in public schools.

Wolfe was the first-ever lifestyle and fitness correspondent on NBC’s Today show and recently wrote her first book, Thinner in 30, outlining a 30-day diet and fitness plan.