Conference on Sustainable Food Procurement by Institutions
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Keynotes & Panelists

Alexa Delwiche, Keynote Speaker - Morning

Alexa Delwiche is the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Good Food Purchasing. Previously, she served as managing director and the first staff person for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council where she spearheaded the development, launch, and implementation of the Good Food Purchasing Program. Prior to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, Alexa worked for the United Farm Workers and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Alexa has a Master’s of Public Policy from UCLA.

Zia Ahmed, Keynote Speaker - Afternoon

Zia is Senior Director of Dining Services at the Ohio State University. He provides oversight and general direction for all food service operations within Dining Services. Zia joined the OSU team in Fall 2010, bringing a wealth of operational, fiscal management, planning, contract negotiation, and labor/employee relations expertise. He is an active member of NACUFS (National Association of College & University Food Services), a certified LEAN Master and has past lecturing experience at the University of Akron. This background provides a balanced ability to couple of the use industry insights and foodservice basics (customer service, accountability, and excellence) to contribute to an extraordinary student experience.

Julian Dautremont-Smith, Panelist - Panel 1: Ensuring Sustainability

A long-time leader in the higher education sustainability community, Julian was one of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s co-founders and served as Associate Director from 2004 until 2009, when he left AASHE to pursue graduate studies. He rejoined AASHE in 2015 as the Director of Programs. In his work with AASHE, Julian played leadership roles in creating the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) as well as the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Outside of AASHE, Julian served for two years as the Chief Sustainability Officer of Alfred State College and spent another year as Senior Program Manager with GreenerU. Julian has an MBA and an MS in Natural Resources and the Environment from the University of Michigan and a BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College.

Michiko Shima, Panelist - Panel 1: Ensuring Sustainability

Michiko Shima is the Technical Advisor of the Supply Chain Innovation Team at the Fair Labor Association (FLA). She develops and implements various supply chain projects and tools at FLA to improve the lives of workers in global supply chains. She has 25 years of experience in business and trade analyses, environmental and social due diligence and ESG/ reputational risk strategies and management systems in SMEs and large corporations. She is trained as the lead auditors in several schemes such as RSPO Chain of Custody, Bonsucro Chain of Custody and ISO 14001. 

She has an MBA in International Business and Finance from George Washington University and an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Phil Tocco, Panelist - Panel 1: Ensuring Sustainability

MSU Extension - Good Agricultural Practices, Food Safety and Food and Animal Systems Educator

Phil Tocco has served as Extension Educator in Jackson County with Michigan State University for over 14 years. He serves as an educator in food safety on the farm for fruit and vegetable farmers statewide. He has functioned as the state coordinator in on-farm food safety since 2009. He currently serves with several other educators, State Departments of Agriculture and FDA to implement and train assessors on the On-Farm Readiness Review, a tool to help growers determine their level of readiness for FSMA inspection.

Phil has a Masters Degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management from the University of California-Davis and Bachelors Degree in Biology from Western Michigan University. He has training in field crop, vegetable and fruit production, with some experience in all three. He lives with his wife and three children in Jackson, Michigan.

Matthew Wooten, Panelist - Panel 1: Ensuring Sustainability

Matthew Wooten is a Senior Analyst with the Fair Food Standards Council, which monitors and enforces the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ groundbreaking agreements with growers and food retail buyers to ensure fundamental human rights for farmworkers. The Fair Food Program has been recognized by observers from the United Nations to the White House for its unique effectiveness in combatting forced labor, sexual violence, and other gross human rights violations in agriculture. 

Mr. Wooten is a human rights and compliance professional whose work has focused on rural communities impacted by development and low-wage work in international supply chains. He has worked extensively in Latin America. In 2012, Mr. Wooten joined the Fair Food Standards Council, where he has also served as a Senior Investigator and Associate Director. He was a Fulbright Scholar and holds an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Ravi Anupindi, Moderator - Panel 1: Ensuring Sustainability

Chair, President’s Advisory Committee on Labor Standards and Human Rights

Professor of Technology & Operations - Ross School of Business

Maria Balice, Panelist - Panel 2: Provider Perspectives

Maria is the Senior Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships at Applegate (a subsidiary of Hormel Foods). Maria has more than 20 years of experience in public relations, food policy, and advocacy. 

She's been working with Applegate since 2010 to advance the company's mission to "change the meat we eat" through consumer education campaigns about the misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture and the higher animal
welfare for farm animals. 

Leila Costa, Panelist - Panel 2: Provider Perspectives

Leila Costa is the Senior Sustainability Manager for Sodexo Universities in the US and Canada. Working on Sodexo's Offer Development team, she designs and pilots new sustainability offers, while also supporting existing corporate responsibility initiatives to meet Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow 2025 Objectives. Leila received her Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Jane Feenstra, Panelist - Panel 2: Provider Perspectives

Jane works closely with local organizations and business leaders to ensure Gordon Food Service is addressing key environmental and social issues that are linked to the company’s core strategies. Her work is focused on identifying opportunities and initiating programs that will drive positive change in its operations, supply chain, or community. With a background of leading change in the supply chain, Jane bridges the gap between vision and execution in all areas of the company’s stewardship strategy. Jane was instrumental in the recent launch of Clear Choice, a product transparency program, and the Battle of the Buildings, an energy reduction competition that resulted in a more than 10% reduction in electricity use across the company’s North American DC’s in just 2 years.

Jane is an alumnus of Western Michigan University (BBA) and Grand Valley State University (MBA).

Jeremy Moghtader, Panelist - Panel 2: Provider Perspectives

Jeremy is the Farm Manager for University of Michigan Campus Farm.  He is formerly the Director of Programs for the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm, where he also served for 10 years as Farm Manager. In his time at MSU he developed and directed the MSU Organic Farmer Training Program and the Farmer Field School creating courses, teaching, and giving talks on organic and ecologically based farming techniques. Jeremy holds a M.S. in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, where his research focused on Agro-ecology, and a B.S. in Economics also from the University of Michigan. Whenever he has a chance he loves backpacking on Lake Michigan with his spouse and their two wonderful daughters. His favorite vegetable is a freshly harvested Hakurei salad turnip.

Terry Neilidov, Moderator - Panel 2: Provider Perspectives

Terry Nelidov serves as Managing Director of the Erb Institute, the business-sustainability partnership between the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment & Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan. Erb Institute faculty, researchers, students, and business partners work together to “create a sustainable world through the power of business”.

Terry came to the University of Michigan from BSR, where he worked with client companies to integrate sustainability into company strategy and operations across project in the US, Central America, and Asia. Terry began his career in Business Marketing at Pacific Bell in San Francisco and then went on to serve as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. He spent 15 years living and working across Central and South America, as Founding Director of INCAE Business School’s Business Leadership for Sustainable Development Network in Costa Rica, as General Manager for AmeriCasas (a land-development start-up in El Salvador), and the Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services in Peru.

Anne Macdonald, Panelist - Panel 3: Making it Work

Assistant Vice-President, Ancillary Services at the University of Toronto.

It is no small feat for a large educational institution to dream of an ambitious food services transformation. More than two years in the making, Macdonald’s mission was to nourish the campus community and support the work of local food suppliers by transitioning to a high-quality dining operation where all the food is made fresh on campus every day.

Macdonald was the driving force behind the idea but it was a tremendous collaboration, she stresses, and it wouldn’t have happened without Jaco Lokker, Director of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef, among others. “Food is important – you start the day with breakfast, you end with dinner,” she laughs. “I just knew we could do a better job of providing nutritious food that tastes good.” U of T Food Services is now one of the largest institutional food buyers in the country, and opts to source locally produced food more than 60 per cent of the time.

Students need food, but they need shelter, too. Macdonald is responsible for transitioning the Toronto Colony Hotel to a University residence, and for leading a team to work on a collaborative development plan in the Huron-Sussex neighbourhood, where U of T owns most of the houses. It’s also home to a housing program for new faculty members and their families. “It is challenging,” says Macdonald. “There are so many stakeholders with many different ideas and different objectives. Coming to a shared vision is a very interesting process, but a rewarding one.”

Anne has been leading and managing large teams for over 20 years in non-profit environments, in roles where revenue generation is a key focus. Her current portfolio includes undergraduate and graduate student residences, Student Family Housing, Transportation, Food and Beverage Services, Faculty Housing and Trademark Licensing, and employs over 500 people. Anne has a Bachelor degree in Music and an MBA from the University of Toronto and has served on several non-profit boards in the city including the boards of Factory Theatre, University of Toronto Press and YWCA Toronto.

Steve Mangan, Panelist - Panel 3: Making It Work

Michigan Dining Director Steve Mangan leads one of the nation’s largest college dining operations, including nine dining halls and 24 markets and cafés located across the Ann Arbor campus.

With a staff of over 300, Michigan Dining consistently delivers high-quality food and dining experiences for students and guests in partnership with University Housing, University Unions and Conference and Event Services. Since Steve’s arrival in 2014, Michigan Dining has launched four renovated dining halls and cafés, improved menu offerings, increased revenues to support dining investments, elevated student involvement and achieved ambitious sustainability goals in local food procurement, composting, recycling and waste reduction.

His expertise comes from four decades in the foodservice industry—first as a chef and restauranteur, and later in leadership roles at three Big Ten colleges. His successes come through a philosophy of meeting customers’ needs, working collaboratively with his team and creating a culture of innovation.

Prior to joining Michigan Dining, Steve served as Resident District Manager supervising the campus dining program of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. During his tenure, he brought the residential and retail dining programs together in unified management, created new partnerships, led new sustainability efforts and improved culinary professional development.

A Certified Executive Chef, Steve holds a B.S. in Psychology from Michigan State University and an A.O.S. in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. He is recognized as a contributor in his profession and his community, including working with The Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington, Indiana and LIFT Chicago to combat poverty and expand economic opportunity. Mangan currently serves as a Trustee at Large on the NACUFS Board of Trustees.

Adam Millman, Panelist - Panel 3: Making It Work

Adam Millman is currently the Senior Director of Yale Auxiliaries responsible for providing operational leadership, concept development, and innovation leadership to ensuring operational excellence for retail shops, catering, culinary support center as well as new concept and project development.  Prior to joining Yale Hospitality, Adam directed the East Coast operations for Cini-Little International, the premiere Hospitality Design and Business consulting firm.  Additionally, Adam has held senior leadership positions with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Club Quarters Hotels and Restaurant Associates.

Eric Montell, Panelist - Panel 3: Making It Work

Eric Montell is the Executive Director of Stanford Dining at Stanford University. He has worked at Stanford University for twenty years, eleven as the Executive Director.

He oversees an award-winning dining program feeding over 4400 undergrad and 7000 grad students daily in eleven dining hall locations and three late night cafes. His portfolio includes an executive dining program for the Stanford Graduate School of Business, rated #1 in the world by the Financial Times, athletic high-performance meals for the #1 rated athletic program in the nation, Central Production Kitchen, Teaching Kitchen @ Stanford, Stanford Flavor Lab, summer conference dining and the university community gardens.  Stanford Dining serves 3.5 million meals annually.

Eric is also the co-Founder and co-Director of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC). The MCURC is an international working group of leading academics, university business leaders, executive chefs, nutritionists, and sustainability leaders from invited universities. The MCURC is a collaboration of forward-thinking scholars, food service leaders, executive chefs, and administrators for colleges and universities who are accelerating efforts to move people toward healthier, more sustainable, and delicious foods using evidence-based research, education, and innovation.

Janine Oberstadt, Panelist - Panel 3: Making It Work

Director of Corporate Sustainability at Creative Dining Services

For more than 30 years, Janine Oberstadt has enjoyed a diverse career in foodservice and hospitality, from restaurant operations to serving the non-commercial segment of the industry in corporate employee dining, conference center operations and college and university dining. She has a deep passion and competency in sustainable food sourcing and foodservice facility operations. Janine currently serves as Creative Dining Services’ Corporate Sustainability Director, leading Creative’s sustainability strategy and managing the portfolio of sustainable initiatives and partnerships available to our 100 client locations in 12 states. Janine holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Cincinnati and has completed further study at the Disney Institute, The Ritz Carlton, and the Culinary Institute of America. She has also completed sustainability training with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Food Service Technology Center and ENERGY-STAR. She is an accredited LEED Green Associate. She is an active member on industry-related advisory boards, including Michigan Farm to Institutions (MFIN) and the West Michigan Food Waste Leadership Advisory Council. She is a frequent guest lecturer on the subject of sustainability within the hospitality industry. 

Keith Soster, Moderator - Panel 3: Making It Work

Keith is Director of Student Engagement, Sustainability, Training and Development for Michigan Dining, in the division of Student Life. A local and sustainable food resource expert, Keith works to unlock Michigan Dining’s transformative potential as the most extensive food program on campus. He also acts as point-person and sustainability lead for Student Life as a whole, overseeing sustainability progress in buildings amounting to nearly one-fifth of the university’s Ann Arbor campus. At the core of Keith’s work is outreach, putting him in constant contact with suppliers, students and campus stakeholders, and involving him in myriad initiatives for a greener, healthier campus. Currently, he is an advisor to the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP), Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan (DMUM), and also serves on the advisory board for Michigan Food to Institution Network (MFIN).

 

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