Karen Buch, RDN, LDN Founder and Principal Consultant Nutrition Connections LLC
Karen, our Healthy Shopper Summit Emcee, is a nationally-recognized nutrition expert with extensive experience in the world of retail dietitians.
As founder and principal consultant at Nutrition Connections LLC, Karen provides strategic counsel and a variety of nutrition communication services to food companies, commodity boards and retail dietitians nationwide. She shares her insights as a speaker at various national symposia, and she is a contributor to national publications and an advisor to various organizations including Progressive Grocer’s Retail Advisory Board. In addition, Karen writes reviews of food and food products for monthly publications.
In an effort to help other RDNs prepare for a retail career-path, Karen helped develop and co-author the Academy’s certificate of training program: Supermarket Business and Industry Skills to Thrive in Retail Dietetics. As a trusted nutrition expert with more than 12 years of experience working in grocery retail, Karen uses multi-media communications to translate nutrition science into practical solutions for consumers.
Connect with her on Twitter @karenbuch, Facebook @NutritionConnectionsLLC, Instagram @karenbuch1, or visit her website and Food News & Reviews blog at karenbuch.com.
Dan Stanek WD Partners Executive Vice President As Executive Vice President at WD, Dan works with clients to innovate and optimize customer experiences in the Health & Wellness sector. In this role, he manages the firm’s insights and approach to the sector. He builds on WD’s experience and expertise, providing clients with a unique customer-driven holistic journey perspective. Dan’s skills include marketing, business and branding strategy, consumer insights and innovation planning. He has considerable experience in management consulting and experience design, leading consulting engagements with hundreds of leading brands including The Home Depot, EBay, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, MillerCoors, and many others.
Matt Lally Associate Director, Nielsen Fresh Growth & Strategy Nielsen Matt is a member of Nielsen's Fresh Growth & Strategy team where he focuses on presenting uncommon insights at various fresh industry conferences and events across the country. He also works one-on-one with companies to understand how changing food trends are impacting their business. Over the past 8 years, he has specialized in product and consumer sales trends, and market dynamics impacting retail perishable departments. Matt also leads the development of Nielsen's thought leadership in fresh produce and bakery. Prior to this role, Matt delivered analyses focused on product placement, pricing and promotional strategies to help clients maximize their ROI.
Matt holds a marketing degree from Butler University where he built his passion for college basketball, curling and tennis. In his spare time Matt sits on the board of a local Chicago non-profit and runs a social enterprise project in Africa focused on agriculture.
Susan Borra, RD Chief Health and Wellness Officer, Executive Director, FMI Foundation Food Marketing Institute Sue T. Borra, RD leads the Food Marketing Institute's (FMI) health and wellness initiatives recognizing the unique assets of a grocery store - food, nutrition experts and pharmacy,- and food retail’s important role in helping customers lead healthy lives. Borra is also executive director of the FMI Foundation which supports research and education in the areas of food safety, nutrition and health.
A registered dietitian, she is a nationally recognized as an expert in nutrition, food and health. Borra has built her career working with national and international organizations representing the food retailing and food processing industries.
Prior to this appointment, Borra served as senior vice president of communications and strategic planning at the Food Marketing Institute. Borra also served as executive vice president at the International Food Information Council (IFIC).
Borra has held many leadership and advisory roles for professional organizations and societies, including serving as president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) (2001-2002) and chairman of the ADA Foundation (1999-2000). She has also served as a member of the Subcommittee on Interpretation and Uses of Dietary Reference Intakes of the National Academy of Sciences (1998-2001).
Melanie Hall, MS, RD Senior Nutrition Marketing Business Partner Kellogg's Melanie Hall lives by the philosophy “nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive” and enjoys helping to create and cultivate public/private partnerships that result in improved nutrition and healthy habits.
Melanie received a B.S. in nutrition science with an emphasis in dietetics from the University of California at Berkeley, a M.S. in Nutrition Communications at Tufts, and completed her dietetic internship at Francis Stern/New England Medical Center.
Prior to Kellogg’s, Melanie worked as a Marketing Specialist for chronic disease prevention programs that encouraged fruit and vegetable consumption in African American SNAP-eligible communities in the San Francisco and Los Angeles area. She then advanced to managing a shopper marketing campaign promoting fruit and vegetables through grocery store programs in s SNAP-eligible communities throughout California.
As a Sr. Nutrition Business Partner on the Kellogg Nutrition Team, Melanie manages Kellogg’s WIC strategy and helps the Kellogg sales team develop health and wellness focused shopper marketing programs. In her role, she forms public private partnerships, develops nutrition education tools, helps brand teams maintain their WIC portfolio of foods, trains a variety of WIC stakeholders on marketing strategies aimed at improving the WIC shopper experience, and develops messaging that identifies novel ways to use everyday staples to improve the eating habits of all families.
Jennifer Aranas Sr. Project Manager & Chef Datassential Jennifer is a Sr. Project Manager and professional chef who brings over 15 years of foodservice industry knowledge that includes her experience as an executive chef, corporate chef, restaurant owner, cookbook author, and culinary instructor. Most recently she spent over 6 years with Sysco Chicago as their Corporate Chef and in Sales. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from University of Illinois and a culinary certificate from Kendall College.
Kerry Clifford, MS, RD, LDN Corporate Registered Dietitian and Spokesperson Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets Kerry Clifford, MS, RD, LDN, received an honors Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in Dietetics and Fitness & Health in West Lafayette, IN. Spending a summer studying Sustainable Food Systems in Florence, Italy shaped her philosophy to whole, real foods that taste great. She also completed her Master of Science and Dietetic Internship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Growing up in Minnesota, she also enjoys skiing, running marathons and being active. Kerry’s excitement and passion for nutrition has been featured in multiple live TV interviews, radio segments, facebook lives and more!
Meghan Sedivy, RD, LDN Corporate Registered Dietitian and Spokesperson Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets Meghan Sedivy, RD, LDN, is a Corporate Registered Dietitian and Spokesperson for Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets. With more than 8 years’ experience in health and wellness and a background in psychology, she believes that all food can fit and hopes to help others make better choices that will help them reach their goals. Previously, Meghan earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL and completed her Dietetic Internship at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. As a true foodie at heart, she enjoys cooking for friends and family, is an avid lover of animals, small and large and enjoys being active in the great outdoors.
Mitch Uyeda Director, Research & Strategy EnsembleIQ Research Solutions Decoding the psychological and emotional aspects of behavior are complex and intriguing. This has been Mitch’s focus during his insights career: why do people do what they do? Whether understanding the purchase process of a vehicle, the triggers for purchasing a candy bar, or how a B2B relationship is built, Mitch has helped organizations gain a deeper understanding of human behavior. He focuses on helping organizations understand the human element of their business, building empathy to drive greater customer experiences.
As a part of EnsembleIQ Research Solutions, Mitch is focused on the CPG and Retail industries. He works with each of the EnsembleIQ brands to deliver their customers the insights to drive change and the strategies necessary to activate on them. Mitch is based out of Metro Detroit and is a proud alumnus of Central Michigan University.
Judy Seybold, MS, RD, LD Chief Nutrition Officer ItemMaster As Chief Nutrition Officer, Judy is responsible for the strategic growth and development of ItemMaster’s data-driven wellness solutions. She brings over 30 yrs. of academic, FORTUNE 100, retail, and private sector innovation that led to key developments in the field of nutrition including approval of the first FDA health claim - oats and heart health, regulatory use of Vitamin D and designing the first regulatory compliance methodology that drives automated attribute scoring. Over the past 8 yrs, Judy has been an advocate of consumer product transparency and a pioneer continuing the design of scientific rulesets that drive machine learning for attribution. These rulesets provide the underpinnings for wellness programs used across the US, reaching millions of shoppers. Judy is a registered, licensed dietitian and has a master of food science education.
Ashley Martinez Category Manager for Retail Nutrition Solutions Kroger/The Little Clinic Ashley Martinez is a Category Manager for Retail Nutrition Solutions at Kroger working closely with the in-store dietitian programs and also the culinary team. Ashley began working for the company at the age of 14 and soon after, found a passion for retail dietetics. Her long term association with Kroger has provided her with expert knowledge on store operations, in-store programming, and customer outreach. Ashley’s current role focuses on culinary innovation where her nutrition expertise influences all prepared foods, restaurant creations, and magazine nutritional content developed under the Kroger banner. Ashley also works closely with the Kroger brand team on reformulating products that keep nutrition a core “ingredient”. Ashley was also recognized this year as Produce for Better Health’s Retail Dietitian of the Year.
Jon Clinthorne, PhD Nutrition Communications Manager Atkins Nutritionals Jon Clinthorne, PhD received his doctorate in Human Nutrition from Michigan State University for his work focusing on diet and immune function. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical campus where he studied the role of the gut microbiota in the development of graft-versus host disease following bone marrow transplantation. Now at Atkins Nutritionals, Jon works to accurately communicate the beneficial physiological effects of low-carbohydrate diets on obesity and diabetes. Over the course of his career, he has been an invited speaker at numerous conferences, featured on radio shows, podcasts, magazines, and TV interviews. He serves on the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council and formerly served on the medical advisory board for Wellbridge Fitness Clubs’ Physician Referral Exercise Program.
Kim Kirchherr, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND Health & Wellbeing Advisor/Consultant Independent Grocers Alliance Kim Kirchherr, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND is an award winning registered dietitian. She is the Health & Wellbeing Advisor for the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) and additionally, is available for consulting and speaking engagements. Kim has experience in agriculture, supermarket, media (traditional and social), hospital-based health and fitness centers, as well as outpatient medical nutrition therapy programs. She served as the Chair of the Food & Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group (FCP) for 2017-2018 and has been chair of both the FCP Agriculture and Supermarket Subgroups. Kim is a past president of Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. www.kimkirchherr.com
Hope Danielson Director of Health & Wellness Neimann Foods Hope is a Community Health Graduate from Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in nutrition. She interned as a Wellness Coordinator with Catholic Charities where she was responsible for designing and implementing wellness seminars for Senior Citizens. She also has worked one-on-one with individuals as a Fitness and Nutrition Consultant and has developed youth exercise programs with the YMCA.
Hope has spent the last 8 years employed as a Director of Health and Wellness for Niemann Foods/County Market. She is responsible for educating shoppers on healthy eating, quick and healthy meal ideas, cooking tips and overall wellbeing. She helps shoppers identify healthier options throughout the grocery store aisles; is responsible for developing healthy in-store brochures; creates healthy recipes and tips for ads and a healthy living blog; and conducts health and wellness related store tours.
In 2015 Hope was named one of Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery. She has appeared on local news stations, radio, newspapers and other publications throughout Illinois. She is very involved in local communities working with major employers, schools and government bodies. Hope resides near Springfield, Illinois with her husband and two daughters. Her passion is health and wellness and she believes in an “all foods fit” philosophy. She is also very passionate about children’s’ health and creating a healthy future generation.
Michele Simon Executive Director Plant Based Foods Association Michele Simon has 20 years of experience in food and beverage law and policy. Through her book, articles, and reports, she has written extensively about food and alcohol politics, litigation, and a wide range of food and beverage advocacy efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. After years of researching and writing about what’s wrong with the food system, Michele decided to offer her services to food and beverage companies trying to do the right thing. She offers legal advice on federal regulatory compliance for labeling and marketing, among other services. In addition to her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Michele has a master’s degree in public health from Yale University. She is admitted to practice law in California, working "of counsel" to Handel Food Law. She is also executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association, a trade group representing the nation's leading plant-based foods companies.
Sonja Nodland, Ph.D. Senior Scientist Ganeden Sonja Nodland received her Masters degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and Doctorate in Immunology and Cancer Biology from the University of Minnesota. After completing a post doctoral fellowship in human developmental immunology in Tucker LeBien’s laboratory at the University of Minnesota she became a scientist in the Healthcare division of Biothera Inc., working with the functional food and beverage ingredient, Wellmune®. During her time at Biothera she was responsible for the development and implementation of the research program to identify immune biomarkers of Wellmune’s function. After the Wellmune business was acquired by Kerry in 2015, she took on responsibilities for the clinical research program for Wellmune. Since the acquisition of Ganeden BC30 by Kerry in September 2017, Sonja is active in technical support and clinical study development to support the efficacy of the Ganeden BC30 ingredient in addition to the Wellmune research portfolio. In her spare time Sonja enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, volunteering in her community, golfing and playing music.
Allison Kuhn is the Director of Retail Nutrition for Kroger Health, which includes pharmacy and The Little Clinic. In this role, Allison creates strategies leads projects which put food at the center of Kroger’s health and wellness mission. Included in her line of business are digital-based solutions, in-store clinical nutrition services, and point of sale healthy eating education and inspiration. She trained in culinary arts before receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Cincinnati. In the spring of 2015, Allison received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science, also from the University of Cincinnati. In 2014, Allison was selected by the Produce for Better Health Foundation as “Supermarket Dietitian of the Year” and in 2017 received a Progressive Grocer “Top Women in Grocery” award.