Consumer Insights Manager, Menu & Innovation
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
As the Consumer Insights Manager, Menu & Innovation, for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Debbie works with three very talented chefs to identify food trends and determine how to best bring them to life in a uniquely Red Robin way as new products for both the core menu and Limited Time Offer (LTO) promotions. Debbie led the development and implementation of Red Robin’s cross-functional stage gate product development process and is continuing to evolve the process today. Prior to Red Robin, she spent over 15 years with KFC both in Operations and Strategic Planning and Brand Marketing. Debbie holds an MBA in Operations and Marketing from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management and a BA from Rhodes College.
Janice is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist cookbook author whose mission is to share her love of simple and healthy cooking. Her goal is to teach others how easy and fun it is to whip up fast, nutritious, and tasty meals to share with family and friends.
As co-founder of MealMakeoverMoms.com Janice spent 15 years helping busy families eat a healthy and delicious diet through her radio podcast, Cooking with the Moms (nominated by IACP as the best Culinary Audio Program of 2011), information-packed blog, Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen, and five family-friendly cookbooks. In 2015, she was awarded the Media Excellence Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Now, Janice plans to share her love of cooking through hands-on cooking classes and cooking videos. She is very excited to experiment with a plant-based ingredient that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries…stay tuned for more information!
Janice is past president of the Massachusetts Dietetic Association and past chair of the Food & Culinary Professionals practice group of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her undergraduate degree in Food & Nutrition from University of Maine, and her Master of Science in Nutrition from Boston University. She has completed training both at the Culinary Institute of America and the Intermediate Wine Program at Boston University.
Janice formerly served as nutrition consultant to the U.S. Senate Restaurants and Boston Harbor Hotel and is a member of the Nutrition Advisory Boards at Dunkin Brands, Johnson & Wales University, and the National Turkey Federation. Janice is the mother of two girls and lives in Melrose, Massachusetts, where she enjoys testing recipes, conducting cooking classes and events, and entertaining friends with her husband, Don, in their newly renovated kitchen.
Karen is the owner and principal consultant at Nutrition Connections LLC. With specialized focus in retail nutrition marketing and communications, she provides strategic counsel and a variety of services to food companies, commodity groups, PR agencies, supermarkets and retail dietitians nationwide. A recognized trailblazer as one of first supermarket dietitians, Karen co-authored the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ new, 2015 Certificate of Training Program: “Supermarket Business and Industry Skills to Thrive in Retail Dietetics.” Karen is immediate past Chairman of the Supermarket/Retail Subgroup within the Academy’s Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group and was recently nominated by her peers for a 2015 Excellence in Practice Award.
As a thought-leader in retail dietetics, Karen regularly shares her views and insights as an editorial board member for Nutrition 411, as a contributing author to Progressive Grocer magazine, RDBA Weekly, various blogs and newsletters and as a speaker at various national symposia. She is a sought-after advisor to industry groups including the Egg Nutrition Center, National Turkey Federation and more.
Widely recognized as "The Weis Dietitian”, Karen was Director of Lifestyle Initiatives for a Weis, regional grocery store chain of 165 stores located in PA, MD, NY, NJ and WV. In this long-standing position, she was responsible for strategic planning for the company’s health and wellness initiatives, including the creation and launch of award-winning, innovative programs that deliver layered consumer brand messaging, nutrition education and positive ROI. Prior, as a Senior Marketing Manager for a national Sales and Marketing firm, she helped to establish seven new Supermarket Dietitian programs for various retailers in the Northeast.
Karen enjoys offering practical, credible food and nutrition advice to the public via television, radio, newsprint, magazines, and electronic & social media, having delivered more than 1000 media spots throughout her career. You can connect with her on twitter @karenbuch and visit karenbuch.com.
Corporate Executive Chef, Standard Market
At the Helm of The Standard Market as Corporate Chef, Patrick spearheads their mission to “make every meal special.” Incorporating rustic and modern culinary techniques and ingredients in a Grocery setting elevates the common practice of shopping for food to new culinary heights. Whether dining in at one of their restaurants or grabbing a meal to take home, the Chef Driven approach is sure to satisfy.
Chicago born and raised, he started his culinary career as a line cook, and has worked in the restaurant and food business for more than 26 years.
Patrick opened his first restaurant Eclectic in 2001 to several 3 Star reviews and began to solidify himself as one of Chicago’s best young Chefs. Building on that success, he opened 10 West in Naperville, IL. 10 West also received 3 Star reviews, and was named as one of the “Top 20 Best New Restaurants” by Chicago Magazine.
In 2006, as the Executive Chef and General Manager, Patrick got on board to physically transform the historic Gary-Wheaton Bank into an upscale dining establishment where he brought culinary diversity with an emphasis on scratch cooking to the Western Suburbs.
As the Executive Chef at Wheaton College Patrick had the pleasure of once again calling upon his fine dining roots and putting to use the practice of “you make everything from scratch!” with his culinary staff of 45 people. Combining 20 years of personal culinary achievements and Bon Appetites’ culinary philosophy he and his team took Wheaton Colleges Campus Dining program to new heights in sustainability, as well as being named #1 “Best Campus Food” Princeton Review 2012.
Patrick is a graduate of The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, as well as the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone in Napa Valley where he studied Flavor Dynamics and Wine.
Tara Collingwood is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion and is quoted in a variety of media including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and websites. Tara was the co-host of Emotional Mojo, a national television show where she was the resident nutrition and health expert from 2013-2015. She is a past National Media Spokesperson for the professional organization of 80,000 Registered Dietitians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Tara appeared regularly as the “Diet Diva” on the national morning television show, The Daily Buzz for 10 years until the show ended in 2015. Tara is the author of Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition for Dummies (2012) and co-author of Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies (2014) and All In One Pregnancy (2016).
Tara is currently the team dietitian for the Orlando Magic NBA team and nutrition consultant to University of Central Florida (UCF) Athletic Department. As the official nutritionist for runDisney, she offers nutrition tips to runners on the runDisney blog as well as at the EXPO for all Disney races. Tara was a health blogger and the Healthy Eating Expert on the health information website www.healthline.com for five years.
Tara owns Tara Gidus Nutrition Consulting, LLC in Orlando, FL. A dynamic speaker, she motivates groups large and small on various topics such as achieving a healthy weight, preventing disease, maximizing energy, aging well, enhancing sports performance, pregnancy nutrition, and creating a positive body image. Tara is a nutrition and movement performance coach at the prestigious Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute where she teaches senior executives how to manage their energy.
As a consultant, she has worked with numerous companies including Walt Disney World, Rodale Publications, Tupperware, Canyon Ranch Spa, Rosen Hotels, United Behavioral Healthcare, and others. Tara has previous experience improving the diets of senior executives through her work with the Rippe Health Assessment at Florida Hospital Celebration Health. She has also overseen numerous weight loss research projects.
Tara graduated from Purdue University earning a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major of Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness, and Health. She continued on at Purdue, earning a Master of Science Degree (MS) in Health Promotion, specializing in health behavior and worksite wellness programs. She is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) with the Commission on Dietetic Registration and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist (LDN) in the state of Florida. Tara holds a Board Certification as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). Tara is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the American Council of Exercise (ACE-CPT). Tara was inducted into the Purdue University Alumni Hall of Fame in the School of Nutrition Science in 2013 for her many accomplishments in the field of nutrition.
Volunteering is something important to Tara as evidenced by her continued commitment to the Restoration Ministries for Women. For the past six years, Tara has been giving a lecture biweekly to a group of women who are on a six-month rehabilitation program after their release from prison. She teaches them how to eat right and exercise in order to feel their best to beat their addictions and get their lives on the right track. Tara has served as the Co-Chair of the Silent Auction for the American Cancer Society’s Orlando Chapter. She is a Past President of the Dietetic Association in Orlando and served as the Awards Chair for the Florida Dietetic Association. She has received numerous awards including the esteemed Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year from the Florida Dietetic Association.
Tara appears frequently as an expert on various television stations and shows including ivillage Live, Orlando NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox stations, Central Florida News 13, CW Network, Ivanhoe Broadcast News, and The Golf Channel. She has been quoted in over 1000 various print and online publications including the Associated Press, New York Times, and the Orlando Sentinel as well as various magazines including Women’s World, Self, Fitness, Shape, Women’s Health, Her Sports, Men’s Health, People, Vegetarian Times, Runner’s World, Club Business International, Cooking Light, Family Circle, Fit Pregnancy, American Baby, Prevention, and more. She has been quoted on various websites including webmd.com, ediets.com, aol.com, usnews.com, cnn.com, msnbc.com, and more. Tara is an avid runner and has completed one ultra marathon, fourteen full marathons including the prestigious Boston Marathon three times, as well as countless half marathons and other races. Tara lost her husband Stephen Gidus to cancer in 2012. She married John Collingwood in 2015 and is busy raising her two sons, Basil (9), Levi (7), and two stepsons Maxim (13), and Samuel (11).
Senior Vice President of Research&Development at The Wendy’s Company
Lori Estrada has been with The Wendy’s Company since 2001. During her tenure with the company, she led the successful re-invention of several menu categories including salads, chicken, and premium Dave’s Hot & Juicy Hamburgers. In 2014, Lori received Nation’s Restaurant News’s LTO of the year for the 2013 launch of the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. Lori has worked in the food industry for over 29 years. Prior to her career with Wendy’s, Lori led product innovation at several other major QSRs, including Burger King, Taco Bell, and Jack In the Box, earning awards of distinction for her work. She is active in restaurant industry associations and is a current board member for the Flavor Experience.
Lead Nutritionist, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets
Sarah is the Lead Nutritionist for GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets. She received a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and is a board certified nutrition specialist as well as a licensed dietitian nutritionist. As the Lead Nutritionist, Sarah provides daily guidance to the team of in-store nutritionists, trains new team members, and develops company-wide health and wellness programs. She also works with customers and associates, focusing on weight management, the impact of food on mood, and empowering them to have a healthy relationship with food.
Real Mom Nutrition
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, educator, author, and mom. She blogs at RealMomNutrition.com, a “no-judgments zone” all about feeding families and blogs weekly for Parents magazine. In 2014, she collaborated with Cooking Light on Dinnertime Survival Guide, a cookbook for busy families, and she recently released an e-book called The Snacktivist’s Handbook: How to Change the Junk Food Snack Culture at School, in Sports, and at Camp—and Raise Healthier Snackers at Home. An award-winning reporter and writer, Sally has been published in nearly 20 magazines including Prevention, Health, Family Circle, Eating Well, Fitness, and Shape, and she served as a Contributing Editor to Parents magazine for six years. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
President and Founder, Cutting Edge Innovation
Jeff is president and founder of Cutting Edge Innovation, a firm that advises corporations on innovation and foodservice strategy, menu and product platform development as well as disruptive innovation and speed to market.
Jeff has spent 20 years in the food and beverage industry driving sales by creating world class teams and products, most recently as the Vice President and Executive Chef at Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., one of the world’s leading franchisors of quick service restaurants serving coffee, breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, and ice cream at over 19,000 restaurants in more than 60 countries worldwide. In this capacity, he led a team of 22 chefs, food scientists, bakers and coffee experts as he oversaw global innovation and product development for all Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins product categories.
Prior to Dunkin Brands, Jeff put his Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales to work in numerous restaurant and corporate positions including kitchen management, operations, supply chain, commercialization, and R&D.
A dynamic public speaker, Jeff also worked as a media personality fo Dunkin appearing on the Food Network’s show Rewrapped as a judge, MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki, and even made thanksgiving turkey with NFL star Rob Gronkowski, as well a number of other local, national and social media appearances. He has spoken globally at industry conferences on the subject of innovation including the Innovation Enterprise, International Egg Commission, the David Michael Roadshow and The Culinary Institute of America Menu’s of Change. He currently resides in Boston and spends his free time cooking, cycling, playing guitar, and flying locally as a private pilot.
Corporate Executive Chef, Luby’s | Fuddrucker’s
Chef Phalen has over 20 years of culinary experience. He studied at the San Jacinto Culinary School where he received an A.A.S. in the Culinary Arts. During that time he also completed a three-year chef’s apprenticeship at the Doubletree Hotel where he received his culinary certification through the TCA-Texas Chefs Association and the ACF-American Culinary Federation. Through his efforts as an apprentice, he was elected junior chapter Chairman and was awarded Apprentice of the Year honors.
Dan then returned to San Jacinto College as a culinary instructor for three years teaching advanced pastry techniques and food fundamentals. During his career, he has worked as banquet chef, off-premise high-end catering, executive pastry chef, culinary director, and catering consultant. He also worked for 12 years with Sodexo, including the last three years as a regional culinary director for 12 states. Dan has been with Luby’s for 8 years developing the culinary services division and is now the Corporate Executive Chef for Luby’s Fuddruckers LLC and oversees all culinary for Luby’s cafeterias, Luby’s Culinary Services, Fuddruckers and Cheeseburgers in Paradise restaurants.
Dan has competed in numerous culinary competitions and has been awarded 9 medals including bronze, silver, and gold and the “best dessert” award in the Washington Apple Growers competition.
Dan is a native Houstonian who lives in Spring with his wife Maria, daughter Danielle and son Aaron.
VP Supply Chain, Pieology
With more than three decades of extensive foodservice experience in supply chain management and operations for brands including El Pollo Loco, California Pizza Kitchen, and McCormick and Schmick’s, Richard Pineda brings a wealth of knowledge and proven strategy to the Pieology team. In his role as vice president of supply chain, Pineda is responsible for developing and maintaining strong vendor relationships while ensuring supplier selection supports Pieology’s focus on quality service standards. A graduate of Pepperdine University with a degree in accounting, Pineda currently resides in Foothill Ranch, California.
President and Owner, Shari Steinbach & Associates
For the past 26 years, Shari has worked as a dietitian in the grocery industry for two major retailers in the Midwest. In her retail roles, Shari has managed consumer health communication, community events, nutrition programs and solution-selling strategies.
Shari has served as a nutrition expert and corporate spokesperson, providing food and nutrition advice through monthly television spots on ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates and local radio segments. She has also conducted numerous educational presentations to community groups and professional organizations throughout the country. Her timely nutrition and food product information and strategic social media messages have reached millions of consumers.
Shari also was key contributor to the “Simply Cook” book to assist low income consumers with planning and creating easy, affordable, healthy meals. The book has received many positive accolades from community health educators and over 150,000 copies have been distributed to individuals and through local food banks.
In 2014 Shari was a finalist in the first ever Retail Dietitian of the Year award through the Retail Dietitian Business Alliance and has also been honored twice with the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Dietitian of the Year Award.
Shari holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from Central Michigan University and a Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition from Andrews University in Michigan. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She serves as an advisory board member for the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance. Other advisory roles include those with the Food Marketing Institute and the Michigan State University Dietetic Internship program. She is a past chair of the Food and Culinary Professionals DPG Supermarket Dietitian Sub Group.
Dietitian Manager, Skogen’s Festival Foods
Lauren is a nationally accredited, state-certified Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist. As the Dietitian Manager at Skogen’s Festival Foods, she leads the regional dietitian team in developing innovative nutrition programs across the company. Lauren partners with national organizations and movements to promote good nutrition through a wide variety of media, including television and social. She also collaborates with a variety of community groups, including health care systems, schools, government agencies, area businesses, non-profit organizations and universities, to help community members learn to shop smarter in the supermarket. She designs and conducts group and individual nutrition and culinary classes, events, store tours and presentations in the community. Lauren is very passionate about helping people find achievable ways to live longer, healthier, happier lives.
Lauren is committed to giving back to her profession. She serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a preceptor to dietetic students and interns annually. She is also on the advisory committee for the Wellness and Health Promotions program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
YOU Magazine named Lauren one of the “20 Women to Know” in 2015, which features influential women who are inspiring conversations, shaping their organizations and changing the way women do business in Green Bay, WI.
Lauren received Produce for Better Health Foundation’s Supermarket Dietitians of the Year award in 2015, which recognizes the top supermarket registered dietitians and/or health and wellness staff for their support of Fruits & Veggies—More Matters and of the collective goal of the increasing the sale and consumption of fruit and vegetables.