As all the excitement for ShiftCon 2016 is building, we have been working frantically in the background to put together all the details for you this year. And based on your feedback from last year, we have grown bigger and better! So what is in store for you this year? Informative speakers, tons of inspiration, alliance building and networking, and help growing your platforms and making more money. Let’s get busy and change the world.
We will start off Thursday with our sponsored expo and orientation starting at 3pm. And then later that night a welcome reception where you can enjoy drinks and appetizers while networking with your colleagues and new friends. Influencers will be recognized during an award ceremony hosted by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families on their special work in activism. And then there is still more time to get out into New Orleans and check out the French Quarter, visit one of our recommended restaurants, take a tour or enjoy some jazz. There are plenty of things to do in New Orleans in the evening so you will not be bored. I promise.
The following day we will have a yoga class, two keynotes for breakfast and lunch, more time in the expo to visit with our sponsors, and several workshops during the day. That night dinner will be on your own and there will be plenty of time to explore the city once again. And then finally, Saturday is very similar to Friday with a fitness event, keynotes for breakfast & lunch, the expo to visit with sponsors and workshops, but we will have a farewell reception that night with a special guest speaker.
Thank you all for your patience. Putting this special cast of keynote speakers together has been worth the extra time it took to organize. And I know you will enjoy each one. Here are all our keynote speakers in order of appearance.
Thursday Night Welcome Reception & Award Ceremony sponsored by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families
Leah Segedie, Founder of ShiftCon Social Media Conference
Leah Segedie is the founder of the ShiftCon Social Media Conference, Mamavation.com, and the Bookieboo Influencer Network. Working alongside influencers, promoting healthy living & supporting the food movement are all her passions. Through the Mamavation community, she teaches “digital moms” healthy living practices to combat disease in their home, including nontoxic product recommendations. The community members of Mamavation have lost over 3,500 lbs. over the years, but since then has become a more lifestyle driven community. Leah is also a very passionate food activist. She organizes trending online parties to educate the public about the food supply and other issues impacting public health. She also organizes social media blogging activations through the Bookieboo Influencer Network, whereas her roster includes over 10,000 bloggers and 100 natural brands.
Andy Igrejas, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families
Andy Igrejas organized Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in 2009 to address the common need of health, environmental and labor organizations in developing an approach to advancing chemical policy reform. The initial group of organizations became the Steering Committee for the campaign, and Andy became its Director in June of that year. Since then the campaign has grown to include 450 organizations and small businesses from across the country and across the political spectrum. As a firm believer in the power of networking and organizing to overcome the power of big money in the political process, Andy has had the opportunity to put that philosophy to work with the campaign’s emphasis on public education and partnerships with both large national and small local organizations. Andy’s appreciation for the role of entrepreneurship and the private sector in creating positive social change led to the campaign’s decision to launch Mind the Store, an initiative challenging the nation’s largest retailers to restrict hazardous chemicals in their supply chains. As Director, Andy chooses and oversees the campaign’s small central staff and convenes its Steering Committee, while also serving as its main spokesperson with policymakers and the press. Prior to organizing the campaign, Andy worked on environmental health and government reform issues for state organizations in New Jersey and California and later for the National Environmental Trust in Washington. A native of Bloomfield, NJ with family roots in Newark, Andy graduated from Rutgers College in 1992.
Mike Schade, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families
Mike Schade spearheads the Mind the Store campaign which aims to work with the nation’s leading retailers on creating comprehensive chemicals policy. For the previous eight years, Mike was the Markets Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), a national environmental health organization where he led national campaigns to phase out PVC plastic, phthalates, BPA and dioxin. Prior to CHEJ, he was the Western New York Director of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition. Ethisphere Magazine listed Mike as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics for 2007 and the PVC Campaign received two awards from the Business Ethics Network.
Friday Morning Keynote Speaker and Breakfast
Ron Finley, aka “Gangsta Gardener”
Meet Ron Finley, a man who will not sit still and watch a problem take root. Having grown up in the South Los Angeles food prison, Ron is familiar with the area’s lack of fresh produce. He knew what it’s like to drive 45 minutes just to get a fresh tomato. In 2010, he set out to fix the problem. Outside his front door, that is. Ron planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. And quietly, carefully, tenderly started a revolution. I wanted a carrot without toxic ingredients I didn’t know how to spell, says Ron.
His was an exceptionally creative, cost-effective and simple solution; however, it was also an act of spirited rebellion that led to a run-in with the authorities. The City of Los Angeles owns the “parkways” the neglected dirt areas next to roads where Ron was planting. He was cited for gardening without a permit. This slap on the wrist did little to dissuade his green thumb. So Ron fought back. Hard. He started a petition with fellow green activists, demanding the right to garden and grow food in his neighborhood and then, the city backed off.
This caught the eyes of creative leaders and media voices that lauded his courageous act of ebullient defiance. Ron has continued to share his story and vision with the world, giving a TED talk and planning many exciting ways to continue his involvement in mitigating Los Angeles food prisons.
His dreams have been reshaped into a thriving garden of pumpkins, peppers, sunflowers, kale and corn. But more than being a gangsta gardener, Ron is a community leader. Determined to change South Los Angeles from food desert to food forest, he wants his actions to be educational, inspiring, and nutritious. He wants kids to grow up with the option of healthy food, instead of fried, fattening staples. He wants to sweep up and transform his street, his hood, the city of LA and communities everywhere.
Friday Lunch Keynote Speaker sponsored by MegaFood
Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.
Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.’s exploration of natural medicine began more than 35 years ago as she studied midwifery, herbal medicine; massage therapy and martial arts before earning her medical degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements and women’s health, Dr. Low Dog was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, served as the elected Chair of the US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements and Botanicals Expert Information Panel, and was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. She has been an invited speaker to more than 550 scientific/medical conferences, published 40 peer-reviewed articles, written 22 chapters for medical textbooks, and has authored five books, including three National Geographic books, Fortify Your Life, Healthy at Home and Life is Your Best Medicine. She has appeared on CNN, ABC’s 20/20, and is a frequent guest on the Dr. Oz show and NPR’s The People’s Pharmacy. She currently serves as the Fellowship Director for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.
Saturday Morning Keynote Panel sponsored by Applegate
Ashley Koff, RD
Ashley Koff is an internationally-renowned registered dietitian who believes better nutrition is simple and is on a mission to help anyone achieve their personal health goals by providing simple but highly effective tips and strategies. A self-described “Qualitarian,” Koff emphasizes the value of quality nutritional choices in achieving optimal health and has developed tools such as The Better Nutrition, Simplified Plan and The AKA Personal Shopper to help facilitate this. Koff is widely sought after for her knowledge and ability to translate nutrition science into practical and motivating messages and appears regularly in the National Media, has authored two books and speaks frequently on the topic of better quality choices for better health. Koff began her nutrition career as a practitioner and continues to maintain a high-profile, international nutrition practice providing personalized nutrition recommendations with an integrative nutrition approach. She’s a member of several Scientific Advisory boards and serves on the faculty of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Koff was educated at both Duke and New York Universities and trained at LA+USC and Columbus Children’s hospitals. You can learn more about Ashley and her work at www.ashleykoffrd.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Steve Lykken, Applegate
Steve joined Applegate as Chief Operating Officer in August of 2015 and was named President in January of 2016. In his current role, he is responsible for all things Applegate, headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
A 24 year veteran of Hormel Foods Corporation, he spent nearly 13 years at the Jennie-O Turkey Store subsidiary in Willmar, Minnesota. During his time at Jennie-O, Steve led Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain teams.
He began his career at Hormel in 1992 as a grocery products sales representative in Salt Lake City, Utah and held numerous sales assignments in Denver, CO, Houston, TX, and Baltimore, MD. He transferred to the company’s corporate office in November of 1996 as brand and category development manager of the company’s ethnic brands. In December of 2001, he assumed additional responsibilities in the grocery products division as group product manager of ethnic foods.
A graduate of Moorhead State University, Lykken holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business. In December of 2004, he completed the Minnesota Executive Program at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
John Foraker, Annie’s Homegrown
John Foraker is the President and former Chief Executive Officer of Annie’s, Inc. and a leading authority in the organic and natural foods industry. With more than 20 years of business experience and a sharp focus on sustainability and social responsibility, Foraker’s vision for growing Annie’s has always relied on transparent leadership and an over-arching commitment to creativity, innovation and honesty. Prior to assuming his role as President in October 2014, Foraker led investors to place growth capital into Annie’s in 1999, earning his title as Chairman of the Board. Beginning in 2004, Foraker led as Annie’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), taking Annie’s public under the BNNY symbol in 2012, just prior to the company’s buyout by General Mills, Inc. in October 2014.
A featured expert spokesperson in the organic and natural foods industry, Foraker has been featured in Fast Company, Bloomberg News and Wall Street Journal, in addition to other platinum media outlets. Foraker has also shared his leadership and expertise with business owners and audiences at home in the Bay Area and across the country, addressing organizations like the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and the Nutrition Business Journal Conference, among others. Most recently, Foraker was awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year® 2015 in Northern California, recognizing his entrepreneurial excellence in the retail and consumer products category. In addition to his role as President, Foraker also leads within the greater General Mills organization as an advisor for the company’s small business incubator 301, Inc., a new venture group that invests in small promising companies. Prior to his tenure at Annie’s, Foraker served as Vice President at Bank of America, overseeing commercial banking client relationship management in the bank’s premium wine business portfolio. Foraker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
Steve Young, General Mills
Proven general manager/marketer with a track record of superior performance at leading consumer products companies like General Mills and Visa. Relied upon as a “go to” leader on everything from turnarounds to rapid growth acceleration opportunities.
Current primary responsibility is to serve as chief General Mills lead for Annie’s Homegrown, a top-tier natural/organic company that General Mills acquired in 2014. On Annie’s, I am responsible for the overall business integration and guide all primary commercial operations with accountability for in-market performance vs. targets. In addition, I have responsibility for central leadership of its broader $700+ Billion natural/organic portfolio and go-to-market model.
Over 5 years of international experience working abroad in both Australia and Europe. Led the marketing integration of a corporate acquisition in Australia, and served as the top global marketing officer for General Mills’ cereal joint venture with Nestle.
Mariano Lozano, Danone
Mariano Lozano has been CEO of The Dannon Company since January 2014. From March 2009 to December 2013, he was General Manager of DANONE Brazil. He started his career in various sales functions at Cerveceria y Malteria Quilmes, a leader of the Argentinean beer market, and was then appointed Sales Director of Pillsbury Argentina. He joined DANONE in March 2000 as General Manager of Logistica La Serenisima, the company in charge of sales and distribution for DANONE and La Serenisima products in Argentina. From 2004 to 2006 he was General Manager of DANONE Slovakia and from January 2006 to May 2009 General Manager of DANONE Clover (Pty) in South Africa. Mariano is an Argentinean citizen and holds an Industrial Engineer Diploma from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and children.
Saturday Lunch Keynote Panel sponsored by Beautycounter
Andrea Donsky, Naturally Savvy
As a pioneer and visionary in the health food industry, Andrea Donsky’s passion is to inspire people to make enlightened choices for healthy living. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur to educate the public on living an organic and non-GMO lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, videos, speeches, and media appearances. Andrea founded Naturally Savvy Media Inc. in 2007, a website (www.naturallysavvy.com) with unique content dedicated to healthy living from a holistic approach. The site is packed with helpful news, tips, recipes and videos. To make it easier for consumers to make the right choices for their families, the site also vets healthy options. For example, most people might make a decision based on the nutrition facts like calories or fat when it is more important to focus on the ingredients.
Lindsay Dahl, Beautycounter
Lindsay Dahl is a seasoned campaigner and coalition builder and has been at the forefront of successful public health and environmental advocacy campaigns for over ten years. Currently Lindsay is the Director of Policy and Partnerships with Beautycounter, a safe skin care company dedicated to disrupting the beauty industry and reforming our out of date cosmetic safety laws. Lindsay helped start and run the nation’s largest campaign working to protect American families called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Before rolling up her sleeves in Washington D.C., Lindsay ran successful state level bans on toxic ingredients in consumer products in Minnesota, where they became the first state to ban the toxic chemical BPA.
Nova Covington, Goddess Gardens Organic
Nova Covington is the Founder and CEO of Goddess Garden, the fastest-growing suncare brand for the past five years. She is also a mom who was inspired to create better alternatives after her baby daughter’s skin reacted to the synthetic chemicals in body care products.
Nova attended college at Oregon State University and began her career at Hewlett-Packard in leadership development. She later received her Master’s Degree from the University of Denver in Business and International Communications.
Using her education and business acumen, along with her inspiration to help her daughter, Nova and her husband, Paul, created Goddess Garden. From day one, their mission was to provide the type of products they wished were available for their daughter—truly natural products that were safe for people and the planet.
Nova has recently taken her passion for protecting the planet one step further by creating the Goddess Garden Foundation. Because chemical sunscreens are contributing to the destruction of coral reefs, the focus of the Foundation is to help fund projects to protect the reefs and clean up the oceans, and educate people on making safe choices.
Today, Goddess Garden helps makes these safe choices easy to find by producing a complete line of certified organic skincare products that are free from synthetic chemicals and hormone disruptors, and are safe for children, adults and the Earth. Their reef-safe sunscreen products are carried in nearly 10,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including Whole Foods, Target, CVS, Wegmans, REI, Sprouts Farmers Market, Walgreens and most natural retailers.
Shazi Visram, Happy Family
Shazi Visram is the founder and CEO of Happy Family Brands, the first US brand to offer a complete line of nutritious foods for babies, toddlers and, kids, and prenatal supplements for mothers. She is also mom to six-year-old Zane.
Happy Family started small on Mother’s Day 2006 in five stores, grew exponentially, and in May 2013 formed a partnership with Groupe Danone, a global company whose mission is to bring health to people everywhere through food. This strategic alliance has raised the bar for children’s nutrition in the United States, combining the companies’ shared commitment to social responsibility and innovation.
Ms. Visram has received numerous awards and accolades, including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and being named to Crain’s New York Business’ “40 Under 40” and Babble’s “Moms Who are Changing the World” lists. In addition to her work with Happy Family, she is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Ms. Visram earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Naomi Whittel, TwinLab
Ms. Whittel, President and CEO of Twinlab Consolidated Holdings (“Twinlab”) was also the CEO and Founder of Organic Holdings, which was acquired by Twinlab in October 2015. She started the Company with a goal of becoming an innovator in the health and wellness field by providing best-in-class, first-to-market nutritional supplements made with science-based ingredients. With two decades of experience in developing and managing sustainable companies in the health and wellness sector, Ms. Whittel launched more than 140 science-based products and won more than 30 industry awards for product excellence.
Ms. Whittel was named the Gold Stevie Award Winner as Female Executive of the Year of a consumer products company. Also in 2012, the Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) awarded Reserveage Nutrition with the prestigious Business Achievement Award in the Mid-Size Company Growth Category. Ms. Whittel was the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Florida Award recipient in the Emerging category, as well as a national finalist.
Saturday Night Farewell Reception
JP Sears, AwakenwithJP.com
JP Sears is an emotional healing coach, international teacher, world traveler, and curious student of life. His work is intended to empower people to empower themselves to live more meaningful lives. He runs a very busy one-on-one client practice (most sessions are via skype) where I’m fortunate enough to work with people everyday on healing their hearts, resolving self-sabotage, and stepping into their true power. He also leads retreats around the world on different healing and personal empowerment themes for like minded and like hearted people to come together and learn, grow, and heal.
He also makes very amusing videos on YouTube, where he regularly releases videos to help people help themselves. The most popular are the comedy videos known as my ‘Ultra Spiritual’ series. Aside from the entertainment value of these humorous videos, they also carry important underlying messages.
He also holds certification as a Holistic Coach Advanced Practitioner through the Holistic Coaching Institute in Columbus, OH. And also served as a faculty member for the C.H.E.K. Institute from 2006-2013. Most importantly, he has red hair, blue eyes, a caring heart, and a warped sense of humor.
For more information about the ShiftCon 2016 Schedule click here.