Jinsoo An

Project Nourished

Jinsoo is a designer and researcher who creates multi-sensory experiences that connect people with technology in unexpected ways. His latest work, Project Nourished, questions the role of food and introduces a new method of eating that intertwines mixed reality with human senses. He founded Kokiri Lab, a maker playground in Los Angeles that emphasizes the well-being of people and society as its core value

CTO, Wellio

Erik has spent his career attempting to make a positive impact on the world through mathematics. He is currently a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of wellio - an early stage startup applying Artificial Intelligence to the intersection of food and human health. His contributions include defining the technology vision and developing a nascent specialist AI that learns about food, cooking and nutrition from large volumes of unstructured web data augmented combined with input from human subject matter experts.

Director, Google Food

Michiel Bakker is an international Food & Beverage professional with over 23 years of global experience in food and beverage operations, creating and building out partnerships, hotel F&B development and openings, as well as general hotel, service and food & beverages operations.

As the Director of Global Food Services (based in Mountain View, CA) Bakker leads Google’s world-renowned Food program, supporting all food service related activities and initiatives for Google’s global community. Bakker’s focus areas include developing new insights and evidence in how food experiences can enable individuals and teams to be their best short and long term, and developing internal and external global partnerships to explore and tackle the challenges and opportunities in the broader food systems.

President, Goji Food Solutions

Prior to joining Goji, Yuval was Business Development Manager at Hobart Group, a private equity firm primarily focused on developing medical technologies, where he oversaw multimillion-dollar international M&A and investment transactions, and spearheaded innovative marketing and sales projects. Yuval received a BSc in Physics and Medical Physics from University College London and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

COO, Vitamix

Tony Ciepiel serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Vita-Mix Corporation (Vitamix), a mid-market manufacturer of high performance blending equipment for the consumer and food service commercial markets. The company provides products and services in more than 140 countries around the world. In his role as COO, Mr. Ciepiel is responsible for the profit and loss of the company and oversees the following functional areas: Commercial, Engineering, Household Sales, International, Legal, Marketing, Operations and Product Management.

Global Director, Conceptual Design, Firmenich

Mikel Cirkus has spent his 30 year career in creative thinking. As a designer, photographer, illustrator and writer, he has a unique perspective on the rapidly changing world of trends, content creation, and execution. He is currently the Global Director of Conceptual Design for the Flavors Division of Firmenich, the largest privately owned company in the fragrance and flavor industry - where creativity is both an essence and a guiding principle. He has worked personally with many of the most innovative people in marketing, R&D, technical applications and brand management, for hundreds of products in nearly every category of consumer package goods, worldwide.  


Ashlee Clark Thompson


Ashlee spent time as a newspaper reporter, AmeriCorps VISTA and an employee at a healthcare company before she landed at CNET. She loves to eat, write and watch "Golden Girls" (preferably all three at the same time). The first two hobbies help her out as an appliance reviewer. The last one makes her an asset to trivia teams. Ashlee also created the blog, AshleeEats.com, where she writes about casual dining in Louisville, Ky.

Kurt Beecher Dammeier

Founder and CEO, beecher cheese

A fourth generation Puget Sound native and nascent New Yorker, Kurt has always felt passionately about authentic, full-flavored foods, free of artificial additives and preservatives. Through his company, Sugar Mountain, Kurt is the owner and chef of a number of food destinations and brands, including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Bennett’s, Maximus / Minimus, Pasta & Co, Mishima Reserve, and The Butcher’s Table. With each operation, Kurt’s goal is to demonstrate how quality ingredients make for delicious meals, without added food colorings, flavor enhancers, or preservatives. Beyond the retail world, Kurt is effecting change in people’s eating habits through his new book, Pure Food, released in July 2016, and through the Beecher’s Pure Food Kids Foundation (501c3), founded in 2004. Each year, the Foundation’s Pure Food Kids Workshop empowers more than 15,000 fourth and fifth grade students in the Seattle Metro area and in New York City to make healthy food choices for life. 

Evan Dash

CEO, Storebound

Evan Dash is the CEO of StoreBound. StoreBound is a new distribution platform that allows big brands as well as individual inventors to bring new and innovative products to market faster than ever before. StoreBound, which has helped bring to market such products the teh PancakeBot and SoBro, offers a fully integrated model of product development, engineering, manufacturing oversight, logistics, systems, sales and marketing, investing and business management to develop quality products and manage their performance at key retailer. 


Brett Dibkey

VP & GM, Integrated Business Units, Whirlpool

Brett Dibkey was named Vice President and General Manager of Integrated Business Units for Whirlpool Corporation, in May, 2012.  Previously, he was General Manager for the North American Dishwashing Category at the company.

Prior to joining Whirlpool Corporation in 2007, Brett held positions at Pfizer, where he worked in various strategy and business development functions, and at a national consulting firm where he lead a variety of strategic growth engagements for large, multi-national clients, primarily in the manufacturing and financial services sectors.

Brett earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Butler University and his MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Drazen Drnas

CEO, Gammachef

GammaChef is robotic chef that is capable of preparing any one pot meal. We are bringing 21th century technology into our kitchens

James Ehrlich

CEO, Regen Villages

James Ehrlich is the Founder of ReGen Villages, a Stanford University spin-off company creating the “Tesla of Ecovillages.” As a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for 25 years, primarily in the video game and entertainment technology area, James designed worlds that made sense. James became a Senior Technologist at Stanford University in 2012. He is also a Senior Fellow at Opus Novum, a consortium of scientists and technologists based at NASA Ames, an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Stanford H-STAR Institute, a DesignX Resiliency Team member at the Stanford Center for Design Research, and recently appointed to a White House / U.S. State Department Joint Task Force on the Nexus of Food, Water, Energy and Waste.

The genesis of his personal research came from over a decade of case studies on organic and biodynamic family farms and their connection to the strongest communities around the world. James produced an award winning and extremely successful national PBS TV series and co-authored a best-selling companion book on Hachette (Organic Living THG, 2007).

Lisa Q. Fetterman

CEO, NOmiku

LISA Q. FETTERMAN is the founder and CEO of Nomiku, the first home sous vide immersion circulator machine on the market. Lisa has been featured in Wired, MAKE, and Forbes, and was named on both Forbes and Zagat Survey’s 30 Under 30 lists for her pioneering work in the food space. Lisa has worked at some of the top restaurants in the country including Babbo and Jean-Georges in New York and Saison in San Francisco. She lives in San Francisco where she and her husband-cofounder have brought manufacturing back to the states with their new Wifi-Nomiku device.



Tyler Florence

Food Network, Wolf It Down Podcast

After over 20 years as a Food Network star, Tyler has captivated millions of viewers on numerous hit shows, including “Tyler’s Ultimate,” “The Great Food Truck Race,” and “Food 911,” among many others.  But his reach and influence goes well beyond his cooking shows, as he has built a multi-million dollar business with restaurants (Wayfare Tavern, Tyler Florence Fresh), cookware lines, a wine label, and an olive oil blend.
His entrepreneurial spirit has led him to launch such businesses as gourmet baby food line Sprout, cooking app Yumavore (available on iTunes), a new concept in cookbook publishing and, most recently, a podcast detailing his culinary adventures and other issues/stories in the food world. He also works closely with smart kitchen companies like Innit to develop user-friendly and innovative content. 

Tyler’s insatiable quest for what’s current and interesting in the foodspace has always kept him on the forefront of new trends, gaining him a large social media following and making him an influencer, a role he has always comfortably inhabited.  His compelling video content, which he creates himself, has landed him marketing partnerships with brands including eHarmony, Rocky and Rosie Chicken, See’s Candies, ChefSteps, and Traeger Grill.

In his current role as podcast host, Tyler capitalizes on his relationships with, and access to, the Country’s most influential and talented chefs, makers and writers, using his naturally engaging voice to share their stories with his ever-growing listener base.


Sharon Franke

Director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab

Sharon tests every piece of cooking equipment that could possibly find its way into the American kitchen. Everything from a humble wooden spoon to pots and pans to coffeemakers, toasters, and mixers to ranges and refrigerators falls under her scrutiny. Her background: Before joining GHI, she was a chef in restaurants in the World Trade Center. Linkedin


Victoria Spadaro Grant

CTO, Barilla Group

Victoria is the CTO for the Barilla group. She is responsible for driving innovation, fuel growth for the global business, and secure competitive positions through strong quality pillars.

Neil Grimmer

CEO, Habit

Neil co-founded Plum Organics®, which turned the baby food industry on its head by replacing flavorless goop in jars with great-tasting, organic meals in pouches. Of course, in nurturing Plum, Neil experienced what a lot of new parents go through: His own well-being took a hit.

Neil still thought of himself as a skinny punk rocker turned triathlete. But when he looked in the mirror, he saw a middle-aged white dude with a dad bod that was threatening not just his self-esteem, but his longevity. After DNA and blood tests, he discovered that the best way back to a healthier, energized version of himself started with understanding his body’s fundamental needs—and eating the types of foods and nutrients that his body asked for.

Twenty-five pounds lighter, and feeling better than ever, Neil founded Habit to change the world through food, once again – this time for grown-ups. He had made it easier for the youngest generation to feed their bodies what they needed, and now he would do the same for their parents and grandparents. He scoured the earth for the best science, wellness, design, tech and culinary partners he could find, to make his dream of personalized wellness through nutrition a reality. And so, Habit was born.

Jay Holzer

Global Head of Development & Production, Tastemade

Jay currently oversees production and development for original and branded shows on Tastemade's global network.  He has over 10 years of experience running production and content teams of every possible size and type from high-volume/low-cost production workflows, million dollar branded content campaigns, award-winning editorial projects, and everything in between. 

Maura Judkis

Food and Culture Reporter, Washington Post

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report, TBD.com, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper and the Onion A.V. Club.

Vaiva Kalnikaite

CEO, Dovetailed

Vaiva Kalnikaitė is the founder and CEO at Dovetailed, an unconventional user experience design studio and innovation lab delivering design thinking and beautifully crafted experiences to innovative companies and global brands. Dovetailed creates technologies for 3D food printing (nufood.io), CAD design, self-quantification, everyday memory, internet of things, public visualisations, wearables, behavioural change and experimental dining.

Carley Knobloch

Host, HGTV Smart Home

Carley Knobloch is a digital lifestyle expert, on a mission to help people improve their relationship with technology, one tap or swipe at a time. She’s a regular contributor to the Today Show and CNN, and the Technology consultant and host for HGTV’s annual Smart Home. Carley has been featured in Real Simple, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Allure magazines. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and myriad tablets. Twitter

Dr. Matthew Lange


Dr. Matthew Lange is a Food Scientist and Informatician at UC Davis with over 20 years experience building data, information, and knowledge systems for academia, industry, and government operations. As the Principle Investigator for International Center for Food Ontology Operability Data and Semantics (IC-FOODS) at UC Davis, Dr. Lange leads efforts to build the semantic and distributed ledger infrastructure for the Internet of Food. The Semantic Web of Food (SWoF) and Internet of Food (IoF) hold promise to fundamentally alter the way we produce, process, deliver and consume food: giving rise to ecosystems of next-generation knowledge tools that lower technical innovation barriers for creation of novel, traceable, ecologically-friendly foods, products, medicines, and lifestyle regimens: precisely personalized for health and delight, and aggregatable for population and market analyses. The IoF holds potential to provide infrastructure enabling companies to compete to deliver healthier, more sustainable, and more trustworthy foods. 

Yoon Lee

Senior Vice President of Innovation, Samsung

Yoon Lee leads innovation for Samsung Electronics North America. Prior to his current role, Yoon Lee led product strategy for IoT and smart home for Samsung Electronics. 

Giacomo Marini

Chairman and CEO, Neato Robotics

Marini is the Chairman and CEO of Neato Robotics, a home robots company, since March 2013. Previously he was Chairman of the Board.

He is also founder and Managing Director of Noventi Ventures, a Silicon Valley early-stage technology venture capital company.

In 1981, Marini co-founded Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) with Pierluigi Zappacosta and Daniel Borel. He served until 1992 as Chief Operating Officer. Earlier, he was Executive Vice President, Engineering and Operations; and Vice President of Engineering. 

Prior to Logitech, he held technical and managerial positions with Olivetti and IBM. 

Marini is Board Member or investment lead of Aurora Algae, Celltick, Ecrio, Heliovolt, and Minerva Networks and Board Member of PC-TEL (Nasdaq: PCTI), a communications technology company. He is Chairman of the Marini Foundation and Trustee of the University of California at Davis Foundation. He is a former Board Member of the National Italian American Foundation.

Over his career, Marini has helped build a variety of technology companies. He was involved as an investor, board member or advisor to companies such as Multiscope (acquired by Symantec), Advanced Gravis, Pellucid (acquired by Media Vision), NexCom (acquired by ISSI), Teltier (later Dynamicsoft, acquired by Cisco), Teknema (acquired by Ravisent/Axeda), M7 (acquired by BEA Systems), Easy Market (acquired by TUI), Sygate (acquired by Symantec).

Marini holds a Laurea Degree, cum laude, in Computer Science from the University of Pisa, Italy.

Lisa McManus

Executive Editor, Testing & Tasting

Lisa McManus is executive editor of equipment testing and ingredient tasting at America's Test Kitchen, home of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines. She researches and writes about kitchen gear and food, and she’s the on-screen Gadget Guru for America’s Test Kitchen. Lisa joined America’s Test Kitchen in 2006, after working as a newspaper food editor and a magazine and newspaper journalist in Boston, New York, and Palo Alto, California. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

David McIntyre

Global Head of Food, Airbnb

David McIntyre oversees the food and beverage programs for Airbnb’s 26 global offices. Before taking on the corporate food world, David’s career has included work in Retail with Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, Education as Director of multiple culinary programs, academic research, and policy. David did his graduate work at NYU with Marion Nestle in Policy and Food Systems and continues to stay involved in advocacy work today

Bill Mitchell

CEO, Picobrew

Dr. Bill Mitchell is CEO of PicoBrew. Bill is a former Microsoft Corp Vice President is an experienced technology executive with several decades of innovation leadership under his belt. Bill founded and led many of Microsoft's early efforts in consumer electronics including Windows CE PDAs, smartphones, automotive and wearable computing, and helped pioneer Intel's early work in FLASH memory. Bill's a passionate father, home-brewer, pilot, dual-sport motorcyclist and sports photographer. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from ASU. Linkedin

Ola Nilsson

CEO, Electrolux Small Appliances

Nilsson is the CEO of Electrolux Small Appliances group and Electrolux Home Care. 

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John Pleasants

CEO, Brava Home

John is a long-time Silicon Valley executive and a veteran of the consumer technology industry.  He was CEO of Ticketmaster and its subsidiaries from 1999-2005, as both a public company and a leading division of IAC/InterActiveCorp.  After a stint as COO of Electronic Arts, he joined Brava co-founder Dan Yue at Playdom, where John served as CEO and oversaw Playdom's 2010 acquisition by Disney.  There, he served as Co-President of Disney Interactive Media Group, spearheading the development and launch of Disney Infinity and achieving the division's first-ever multi-quarter profitability.  He joins Brava from Samsung, where he was EVP of Media Solutions.

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Amanda Rottier

Product Director, Cooking, New York Times

Amanda is a Product Director at The New York Times, where she is responsible for NYT Cooking's long term strategy, revenue and roadmap of both its web and app products. Prior to NYT Cooking, Amanda worked on the corporate strategy and development team of The New York Times. Amanda has an MBA from MIT Sloan and lives in New York with her son and husband.

Hans Stier

CEO, Bonaverde

Bonaverde is a Berlin-based company known for developing a roast-grind-brew coffeemaker. Founded by Hans Stier in 2013, the company created The Bonaverde Berlin, the world’s first roast-grind-brew coffee maker that will take you from green coffee beans to coffee in 20 minutes or less, producing the freshest cup of coffee possible-- from crop to cup.

Stephen Svajian

CEO, Anova

Steve is the Co-Founder and CEO of Anova. Since its founding in 2013, the company has become one of the most successful startup hardware brands in the Bay Area. Prior to Anova, Steve founded Get Fresh, a full-service marketing agency dedicated to helping early stage hardware brands get their first 10,000 to 100,000 customers. Several years ago, Steve discovered sous vide for the home cook and immediately took an interest in the technique, seeing its potential use cases as a connected device. Steve is passionate about bringing science and technology into the home kitchen to allow anyone the ability to achieve incredible cooking results. Linkedin/Twitter


Basheer Tome

Hardware LEad, Google VR

Basheer is a hardware interface designer with a firm belief that products should feel beautifully designed even after the first button press. He designs new controllers for immersive computing and served as the industrial & interaction design lead on the Daydream Controller, shepherding it from sketch, to breadboard, to CAD, to launch. Through a unique blend of filmmaking tools, electronics prototyping, and form finding techniques, he creates new hardware interfaces that transform purely digital processes into analog methods of interaction

Michael Voltaggio

Chef, ink; Winner, Top Chef

Chef Michael Voltaggio is primarily known for modernist techniques, however, he stresses that he is just cooking. He has a vast repertoire that melds strict, classic French technique with progressive and innovative applications allowing for precision and creativity. Ingredients drive his culinary ambitions; he strives to elevate the best ingredients to create a multi-sensory experience where taste is paramount.

Voltaggio may best be known for his win on Bravo TV’s Emmy award-winning season of Top Chef. He has since made many returns to television with guest appearances on shows such as Fox’s Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen, and a holiday special with his brother for cooking channel’s voltaggios take on thanksgiving. he also has a handful of cameos on scripted shows – abc family’s young and hungry, abc’s suburgatory and tv land’s the exes. he even has a film credit in sony screen gem’s 2014 remake of about last night. most recently, he was back on the small screen with a highly acclaimed and sometimes controversial series for travel channel called breaking borders, which aired in 2015.

Esmée Williams

Vice President, Consumer and Brand Strategy, Allrecipes

Esmée, a leading digital food trends and technology expert, is a member of the core team that facilitated Allrecipes’ growth from early start-up to the world’s largest digital food brand with a global audience of 80 million cooks across digital, apps, print and broadcast media. With two decades of experience in marketing strategy, brand building, communications, and product innovation, Esmee spearheaded the creation of many of Allrecipes’ most successful partner integrations and customized marketing programs.
Prior to Allrecipes, Esmée spent time at Vivendi Entertainment managing home productivity brand marketing; at McCann-Erickson developing communications strategies for the Washington State Lottery, and at Nestlé USA developing communications to support new product launches. She has earned both gold and silver EFFIE Awards for her work.

Michael Wolf

Creator and Curator, Smart Kitchen Summit

Michael Wolf is the creator of the Smart Kitchen Summit, host of the Smart Kitchen Show podcast and founder of NextMarket Insights a research and advisory firm focused on the connected home. He decided to put this conference together because he is fascinated by how technology will change the way we cook, eat and live. Mike has been advising companies large and small in the connected home, consumer technology and Internet of Things market verticals for over 15 years, and today he helps clients have used his advisory services to assist with product development, go-to-market strategy, marketing and advertising, and mergers and acquisition. Linkedin/Twitter

Shireen Yates

CEO, Nima

Shireen Yates is co-founder and chief executive officer of Nima. She has been leading a gluten-free diet for the past eight years due to multiple food allergies. After pursuing an MBA from MIT Sloan, she decided to pursue her passion for helping people lead healthier lifestyles by starting Nima. Founded in 2013, Nima is empowering people to be their healthiest selves by providing information about what's in their food. Its first product is a connected food sensor that tests food for gluten in a few minutes. 

Chris Young

CEO, ChefSteps, Coauthor, Modernist Cuisine

Chris Young is the CEO and co-founder of ChefSteps, a James Beard award-winning company behind ChefSteps.com and its companion app, which inspire and teach home cooks new techniques and recipes with high-quality interactive content, techniques, tools, and resources. Prior to ChefSteps, Young was the principal co-author of the acclaimed and worldwide bestselling six-volume work Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. He was also the founding chef of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen, the secret culinary laboratory behind the innovative dishes served at one of the best restaurants in the world.