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Advisor Bios


Advisor Bios

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Advisor Bios


Advisor Bios

John Ason


John Ason, Professional Angel Investor

John Ason


John Ason, Professional Angel Investor

John Ason, Professional Angel Investor

John Ason has been a professional angel investor for about 20 years specializing in early stage pre-revenue companies. He has made about 80 eclectic investments in the areas of e-commerce, technology, advertising, digital social media and entertainment. He currently has about 25 companies. Some of his better know exits are Xlibris.com, Diapers.com. LiveLook.com and Centrak.com. Sixteen of his companies have been founded by women.

John was at AT&T Bell Labs for over 25 years, first involved in bleeding edge software and technology development, then in marketing and business management of large telecommunications projects sold internationally primarily in the Far East. He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and a guest lecturer at Wharton, Fairleigh Dickinson, NYU, Rutgers, and NJIT. He mentors the following women’s groups: Astia, Springboard, 37Angels and the Vinetta Project. John’s hobbies include traveling, golf, and mentoring companies. Please check out his website at www.JohnAson.com.

Dan Barber


Chef Dan Barber

Dan Barber


Chef Dan Barber

Chef Dan Barber 

Dan Barber is a chef and owner of several restaurants including Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. Food and Wine Magazine named him one of the Best New Chefs in 2002. In May 2009, he was named to Time Magazine of the book, The Third Plate (The Penguin Press). His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times, along with many other publications.

Appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Dan continues the work that he began as a member of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture’s board of directors: to blur the line between the dining experience and the educational, bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table. Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the country’s Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

James Corwell


Chef James Corwell

James Corwell


Chef James Corwell

Chef james Corwell, certified master chef 

Chef James Corwell is one of 69 American Certified Master Chefs and is the inventor and founder of Tomato Sushi. With over 30 years of diversified experience as an Executive Chef, and also training chefs in leading establishments around the country, Chef Corwell is a highly experienced leader in food innovation and the assimilation of emerging culinary trends within the restaurant and club industry. James has a love for writing and lecturing on the origins and history of food, but these days, when he is not immersed in the professional kitchen, his passion and focus is engaging chefs and industry leaders about the future of food, food sustainability, and conscious capitalism in regards to the food industry. He has spoken in the last year at The James Beard Foundation, Cornell University’s Ivy League Vegan Conference, and the American Culinary Foundation, to name a few. James is a food leader who is dedicated to changing how we think about food on a global level.

Jeff Furman


Jeff Furman

Jeff Furman


Jeff Furman

Jeff Furman 

Jeff Furman serves as Chair of the Board of Directors at Ben & Jerry’s. Jeff helped write the first business plan for the original store at the gas station in Burlington, and has been involved in almost all aspects of the business since. He is a strong advocate for progressive values in business leadership, and has a deep connection to NGO groups dedicated to creating a more just world. Jeff founded Social Ventures, Inc., a non-profit focused on health, environment, race and class issues, and dozens of other social causes.

Laurent Gras


Chef Laurent Gras

Laurent Gras


Chef Laurent Gras

Chef Laurent Gras

Laurent Gras is recognized as one of the most talented chefs cooking today, having attained three Michelin Stars at three different restaurants, on two continents. He has been voted “Best New Chef” from Food & Wine Magazine, his eateries gaining the title of “Best New Restaurant” from Esquire Magazine, James Beard Foundation and CS Magazine. Echoes of the same sentiment come from his colleagues, like chef David Chang who wrote, “Gras is, I think, ounce-for-ounce the best cook in the world.”

Born and raised on the Côte d’Azur in France, Gras worked alongside the best chefs, and decided to design his own restaurant from the ground up. In 2007, Laurent opened L2O in Chicago, and earned three Michelin stars in the first Chicago edition of the guidebook. Laurent’s creativity extends to his groundbreaking L2O blog and innovative online cookbook, ‘Laurent Gras: My Provence.’ Today he brings all of his experience together at Laurent Gras Consulting, a New York-based culinary agency offering services in concept and menu development, kitchen design and retail products, serving clients around the globe.

Karen Karp


Karen Karp

Karen Karp


Karen Karp

karen karp

Karen Karp is a fourth-generation food entrepreneur with a deep understanding of good design and leadership. Establishing Karen Karp & Partners in 1990 (as Karp Resources), Karen developed interests that would soon become the company’s well-regarded niche: developing a range of bespoke strategies that explore the interconnections between agriculture, food, policy and people, and how to marry common interests of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

KK&P has grown to become a nationally respected boutique consultancy with a uniquely skilled staff and a diverse roster of clients. Karen and her team are equally adept in the boardroom, in the kitchen, or on the land – their systems-based approach is always both conceptually rigorous and grounded in practical understanding. Karen’s real success is measured by her ability to change the way a wide range of people – corporate executives, school officials, distributors, educators, and farmers – think about how food can be produced, processed and distributed, and how she encourages them to overcome challenges and pursue innovation.

Bill King


Bill King

Bill King


Bill King

Bill king 

Bill dedicated many successful years to his career on Wall Street, and has spent the last six years exploring his other passions: farming and food. Bill co-founded the Old Greenwich Farmer’s Market with Jeff Bischoff alongside the Burke and Evans families, and is often the brains and strategy behind this collective effort. When Bill is not immersed in financial models, he can be found planting vegetables, expanding the farm, talking about improving organic food systems or working on behalf of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture where he is an active board member. Bill brings passion and drive to everything he touches.

David McInerney


David McInerney

David McInerney


David McInerney

Daviid mcinerney

David McInerney is a co-founder of FreshDirect.com, the leading online grocer in the U.S. In strategically setting the direction for food at FreshDirect, David helps educate and provide higher quality fresh food to millions in New York and Philadelphia. Every year, he spends the majority of his time visiting and building relationships with local and global farmers, ranchers, and fishermen, giving him a rare view across the entire sustainable food spectrum.

David started his food career while studying and working in Burgundy under renowned chef Bernard Loiseau at his Michelin 3-Star restaurant La Cote d’Or and later under legendary New York Chef David Bouley. Since then, he has been on a “tastes-great” crusade for the past twenty years, inspiring and educating others at TEDx Manhattan “Changing The Way We Eat," and many other influential events. He has dedicated his life to changing the way consumers eat, and how the industry sources fresh, healthy, sustainable foods.

Mark Meador


Mark Meador, Alola

Mark Meador


Mark Meador, Alola

Mark Meador, Alola

Agroforestry, bakeries, botanicals, cacao, chocolate, coffee... for more than 30 years Mark Meador has successfully launched and managed various international businesses, principally in South American and USA. His strengths include finance, marketing and operations. He currently serves as COO/Co-Founder of Alola, a smart app solution for healthy eating and lifestyle choices. 

Eric O'Brien


Eric O'Brien

Eric O'Brien


Eric O'Brien

Eric O'Brien

Eric O’Brien is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fall Line Capital, bringing over 18 years of professional investment, financial services and operating experience to the firm. Prior to forming Fall Line with Clay Mitchell in 2011, Eric spent 12 years at Lightspeed Venture Partners, a top tier Silicon Valley venture capital firm with over $3 billion of assets under management.  At Lightspeed, he was a Managing Director responsible for early and growth stage investments in technology and services companies in the U.S. and China.

Eric has a track record of identifying and executing effectively against emerging market opportunities. In 2004, he identified a strategic opportunity for Lightspeed to expand its activities to China, where very few U.S. venture capital firms had established themselves at the time. Prior to Lightspeed, Eric was an Associate at InterWest Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm where he focused on communications, internet and consumer investments. Eric holds an AB degree in Economics magna cum laude from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

Urvashi Rangan


Urvashi Rangan

Urvashi Rangan


Urvashi Rangan

Urvashi Rangan

Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D. leads and directs the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group for Consumer Reports. She is responsible for managing risk analysis, policy assessments, label evaluations and consumer advice for tests, reports, and related advocacy work. Urvashi joined Consumers Union in 1999 and developed the ratings system, database, and Web site, Eco-labels.org for evaluating environmental and food labels. In 2005, she managed the launch of GreenerChoices,org, which covers green aspects over a wide range of products and services.

Dr. Rangan serves as a primary, national spokesperson for Consumer Reports in the areas of sustainable practices and safety issues. She advocates for credible labeling in the marketplace, and has successfully publicized the benefits of organic production. She was also involved in the Sigma Delta Chi award winning food and supplement magazine reports which highlighted public health concerns. Dr. Rangan received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University and was a National Institute of Health fellow from 1990-97.

Sarah Smith


Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith


Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith 

Sarah Smith is a designer and writer who helps people imagine new stories about the future of food, health, and technology. She creates artifacts from the future, which provoke public imagination about what kind of futures we really want to live (and therefore, eat) in. As a researcher in IFTF’s Food Futures and Health Futures Labs, Sarah has worked with many of the world’s largest food, health, and CPG companies to plan for more resilient futures. She was recognized for culinary public diplomacy on behalf of the USA for participating in the Expo Milano 2015, has written for National Geographic’s food blog, and traveled across the country on the Millennial Trains Project to explore new possibilities for food innovation. She draws from her experience in a range of disciplines—international studies, graphic design, creative writing, and the food service industry—to explore how emerging technologies and social practices will change the way people and communities seek and create well-being. Sarah holds a BA in International Studies and Visual Communication from Loyola University Chicago.

Tom Stevens


Tom Stevens, Stevens & Associates

Tom Stevens


Tom Stevens, Stevens & Associates

Tom Stevens, Stevens & Associates 

Tom Stevens is principal of the law firm Stevens & Associates, a successor to the firm he founded in 1989. He is an English solicitor and an American attorney with a focus on finance, mergers and acquisitions, entity structuring and governance, tax planning, international transactions, and best practices analyses. He is an avid supporter of early entrepreneurs, providing mentoring through the firm's Startup Trebuchet Program. Tom makes regular presentations on entrepreneurship, angel and VC funding, and early-stage best practices at 1871, among Chicago's and the country's premier incubators, and serves on several boards, including Moneythink, The Experience Institute, and I-Go. 

Dan Treiman


Dan Treiman

Dan Treiman


Dan Treiman

Dan Treiman 

Dan is a co-founder of HelloFresh, the first nationwide meal-kit delivery company in the US, which has raised $278MM globally. There he acted as COO and CPO, running nationwide operations and overseeing product development, ingredient sourcing, and packaging, and taking the company from pre-launch to millions of meals delivered annually to the entire contiguous US. He is currently VP of New Markets at Doorman, leading efforts to scale operations nationally for the scheduled package delivery and logistics startup.

Previous food and beverage experience includes consulting for numerous packaged foods companies, food and tech startups, and restaurants, including those from former Top Chef, Next Food Network Star, and America's Best New Restaurant competitors. He also opened Miami's first pop-up restaurant (a Vietnamese concept voted one of the 3 Best Miami restaurants of 2011 by Eater) and a 24-hour southern restaurant concept in NYC, and cooked at Eleven Madison Park, Momofuku Ssam Bar, and the Saveur Magazine test kitchen.