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2017 Keynote Speaker

Tom Krouse

Tom Krouse

PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER DONATOS PIZZA

Tom Krouse’s career has spanned over three decades in leadership roles in the restaurant industry. Tom is President and Chief Executive Officer of Donatos Pizza to oversee the company’s restaurant business as well as Jane’s Dough Foods, the consumer products division of Donatos.

Prior to his current position, Tom held various positions at Donatos including President-Expansion Brands, Chief Concept & Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing.

Prior to joining Donatos in June 2000, Tom was Vice President of Marketing for Wendy’s International where he spent 12 years in various field and brand marketing positions. Before joining Wendy’s, he spent his early years in the advertising agency business including co-founder of Daly, Lewis & Krouse, a marketing communications firm.

In October 2014, Mr. Krouse was named “Executive of the Year” by Columbus Business First. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement of Central Ohio and is currently an active Board member. Tom is also a Board member of the Southside Learning & Development Center and co-chair for the American Heart Association 2015-2016 Go Red Campaign with wife, Jane Grote Abell. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Columbus Songwriters Association. Tom is a founding member and frontman for Grassinine, a popular mountain rock band in Central Ohio and the Chairman of the Columbus Music Commission. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University. Tom and his wife, Jane, reside in Bexley. Tom has 3 sons and Jane has 1 son and 2 daughters.

2017 Panelists

More to come…
Joe Deloss

Joe Deloss

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Joe DeLoss is on a mission to disrupt poverty through entrepreneurship and job-creation. He pursues this end as an entrepreneur, consultant, and small-business advisor. Currently, Joe is building Hot Chicken Takeover – a new restaurant concept earning significant acclaim in central Ohio while providing supportive employment to dozens of adults affected by homelessness, incarceration, and poverty. This business models is founded on success Joe had previously while launching Freshbox Catering for Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio. He’s also served as an adjunct instructor at the Fisher College of Business and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs (The Ohio State University) and maintains seats on local boards related to issues of workforce development.

Bob Kramer

Bob Kramer

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Bob Kramer, former Supervisor of Food Safety for Columbus Public Health Department, is now the Director of Food Services and Food Safety for the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) and the Vice President of Savour Food Safety International. Upon retirement, Kramer had over 32 years of dedicated service to the City of Columbus, serving as Supervisor of the Food Safety program for 12 years.  As Director of Food Services and Food Safety at ECDI for the past 4 years, he leads programming related to the incubation of food-based businesses. This includes the development of food safety training curriculum, HACCP plans as well as a licensed food cart/food truck commissary and commercial kitchen in conjunction with ECDI’s Growing Entrepreneurs Initiative. Bob Kramer actively participates in several committees and councils assisting local Food Entrepreneurs in Columbus, Ohio. Through his participation, he brought together local food restaurateurs and local food truck/cart operators to collectively change city ordinance allowing food truck/cart owners to operate for business on selected areas of city property. Kramer is a Registered Sanitarian in the state of Ohio and holds his Registered Environmental Health Specialist certification through the National Environmental Health Association.

Kate Djupe

Kate Djupe

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Kate Djupe is the founder and operator of The Commissary, a 16,000-square-foot maker-space for food and drink in Columbus. Kate works to make it easier for food makers and entrepreneurs to do more and chase their ideas by offering commercial kitchen, production and event space designed to be used by everyone from home cooks to aspiring entrepreneurs to professional chefs. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries. She stays active in the Columbus food scene through Franklin County Local Food Council, Columbus Knife Fight, Local Food Action Plan, the Columbus Downtown High School Advisory Board, and an eager diner.

Chas Kaplan

Chas Kaplan

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Chas Kaplan has been involved in the food and entertainment business for over 20 years. In 2012 Chas introduced the concept of a FAIR food truck scheduling system for cities and large institutions. The FAIR system uses a mathematical optimization technique the is designed to assure that food truck vendors can be assured of predictable revenue streams while providing the greatest variety of cuisine to patrons. The Ohio State University has contracted with KAG for the past 3 years to provide and manage the FAIR system. The City of Columbus initiated a contract for the same service in 2015. Chas also created and manages the Columbus Food Truck Festival with a partner, Mike Gallicchio.  Over the past five years this festival has become the largest and most successful culinary festival in Ohio. Together they created the Columbus Mobile Food Conference and Expo.

Jim Pasovich

Jim Pasovich

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Zachary Traxler

Zachary Traxler

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“Buy Local, Buy Ohio” has been Traxler Printings philosophy since CEO Zachary Traxler opened up shop in his basement in 2010. The Clintonville-based company is still manufacturing custom designed screen-printed apparel, and has grown quickly, seeing revenue of $1.8+ million in 2016, up from $40,000 in its first year. Traxler Printing sources everything to create each order from other Ohio based businesses. From ink, supplies, equipment, and apparel – it comes from Ohio to stimulate Ohio’s economy. Traxler services everyone from individuals to large corporations and universities nationwide taking the approach that they will all be worn the most given they job is completed on quality apparel with quality (and soft) prints. Traxler Printing has moved within Clintonville to suit their growth 5 times in 6 years and has created and retained 25 full time jobs. December 2016 Traxler Printing released their own line of 28 styles of apparel called Traxler Tees™ after 4 years of prototyping and sourcing.

Jeff Ballmer

Jeff Ballmer

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Jeff Ballmer, CPA is the owner of Buckeye CPA, a progressive accounting firm located in Clintonville. Jeff graduated from The Ohio State University in 1997 with a BSBA and has been working with business owners and hard working individuals ever since. Combining his love of food and business, Jeff has a focused passion and commitment to helping food entrepreneurs thrive.

Bob Kramer

Bob Kramer

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Bob Kramer, former Supervisor of Food Safety for Columbus Public Health Department, is now the Director of Food Services and Food Safety for the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) and the Vice President of Savour Food Safety International, Inc.

Upon retirement, Kramer had over 32 years of dedicated service to the City of Columbus, serving as Supervisor of the Food Safety program for 12 years. As Director of Food Services and Food Safety at ECDI for the past 4 years, he leads programming related to the incubation of food-based businesses. This includes the development of food safety training curriculum, HACCP plans as well as a licensed food cart/food truck commissary and commercial kitchen in conjunction with ECDI’s Growing Entrepreneurs Initiative.

Bob Kramer actively participates in several committees and councils, Old Worthington Business Association, Old Worthington Farmer’s Market Committee, Central Ohio Food Truck Association and the Political Action Committee for the Ohio Restaurant Association assisting local Food Entrepreneurs in Ohio. Through his participation, he brought together local food restaurateurs and local food truck/cart operators to collectively change city ordinance allowing food truck/cart owners to operate for business on selected areas of city property.

Kramer is also an active member of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), Ohio Association for Food Protection (OAFP), National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and the Conference for Food Protection (CFP). He is a Registered Sanitarian in the state of Ohio and holds his Registered Environmental Health Specialist certification through the National Environmental Health Association.

Tony Lane

Tony Lane

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Ohio native Tony Layne grew up in southern Ohio, learning to cook from his grandmothers and aunts. Coming to Columbus in his early teens he grew up in Worthington, before attending Ohio State University.
It was while pursuing a degree in Economics and a minor in Finance that he truly discovered
his love for cooking while working in Central Ohio area restaurants to pay his way through
school. Working from the bottom up, Tony worked in many corporate and individual as cook,
Chef, consultant until he had a new calling…in the winter of 2014 Por’Ketta

Adam Lehman

Adam Lehman

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Working in family businesses including his father’s farm, grandpa’s factory, and uncle’s restaurant, Adam now owns The Wonder Jam with his wife, Allie. They help tiny businesses connect with and grow their audiences. http://thewonderjam.com

Lisa Cunningham

Lisa Cunningham

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Lisa Cunningham Owner Philly Buster Food Truck March 2014 Secretary of The Central Ohio Mobile Food Truck Association Key booking consultant for Philly Buster Food Truck

Lisa’s food experience includes Corporate trainer for T.G.I. Friday’s and lead server, responsible for scheduling teams for successful lunch and dinner shifts. Scheduler, server, hostess, and buffet cook for Chi-Chi’s Mexican restaurant.

Lisa owned The Ice Cream Bar and Rootbeer Stand located in Orrville, Ohio for 2 ½ years. Small town life was not for Lisa so using the wealth of knowledge gained on her first adventure, Lisa decided to close and sell her shop, home and everything she owned to finance the building of her first mobile…Columbus, Ohio was the right move for her and Philly Buster Food Truck was launched in March 2014. While she and her husband David were building their truck, Lisa was gaining knowledge in the Columbus food truck scene working with longtime friend Walter Eguez on Tortilla Street Food.

Lisa is responsible for tirelessly booking Phillybuster with quality gigs. In the short period of time since the launch, Lisa has booked and worked nearly 600 shifts, helped other trucks with useful advice, and has gained the respect of the mobile community and booking agencies.

Lisa’s other experience includes AFLAC State Sales Trainer, Disc Jockey and Entertainment coordinator for DJ Dave Inc. and The Inflatables.

You can find and meet Lisa on her truck by using these links ColsMFVSuccess, StreetfoodFinder, OhioFoodTruckFinder.com. Facebook.com/PhillyBusterFoodTruck Instagram.com/PhillyBusterFoodTruck Twitter.com/PhillyBusterFT.

Angela Olejnicek

Angela Olejnicek

Mikey Sorboro

Mikey Sorboro

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William Michael Sorboro was born on November 18th of 1980 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1999 and moved to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University in 2000, where he’s lived ever since. After traveling extensively throughout his twenties, he settled back in Columbus in 2007. Late that year, he started ECT Pedicab – a human-powered bike taxi service – in the Short North district of Columbus. ECT Pedicab quickly became the most popular form of alternative transportation in the area winning award after award. Restless, but still hyper-focused on making Columbus a better place to live and play, Mikey started Late Night Slice in July of 2009.    Using only the money he made from pedaling folks around on his pedicab, he built LNS one piece at a time. Later that year, with partners Bryce Ungerott and Jason Biundo, the first PizzaAssult Truck was purchased and LNS Mobile Operations was born. Quickly rising to the top of the Food Truck game, now three trucks strong, the LNS pizza trucks continues to delight crowds and win countless awards – most recently “Best Food Truck in Ohio” by Ohio Magazine. After the purchase of the food truck, the crew continued to grow LNS into more locations over the years, now totaling 8 “brick and mortar” locations and 3 food trucks for a total of 11 outlets. Most recently, the crew opened Oddfellows Liquor Bar right next to the original LNS Shack in the Short North. With its eclectic atmosphere and award-winning service, Oddfellows Liquor Bar is quickly becoming the not-to-miss spot for drinking and dining in Columbus.

Katie Marks

Katie Marks

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Katie Marks is the founder and co-owner of The Wicked ‘Wich of Dayton, a mobile food operation specializing in fresh, made-to-order gourmet sandwiches with eclectic flavor combinations.  With over 10 years in high-volume food production and management experience, Katie set out with business partner Stephanie Gordon to bring one-of-a-kind sandwiches to the streets of Dayton, all grilled to perfection in a timely manner.  After only a year, The Wicked ‘Wich of Dayton has gained a following and won Best Food Truck in the dayton.com Best of Dayton contest.  With the addition of a commissary location, The Wicked ‘Wich of Dayton is planning on covering far more ground in the Dayton area in 2016 and several years to come!

Izzy Schachner

Izzy Schachner

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Izzy Schachner was trained in culinary arts at Tri-C Culinary Program in Cleveland, and holds a bachelor’s degree in business from The Ohio State University. He started his career in food service in 1998, opening restaurants in downtown Cleveland office buildings and providing corporate catering. In 2010 he purchased a food truck with the purpose of supplying catering and craft services to film crews working in Ohio. Luckily, it coincided with the beginning of the food truck movement in NE Ohio.    This allowed him to have a thriving food truck business when there were no movies being filmed. Izzy was among the people who helped shape food truck legislation in the city of Cleveland. He also helped organize a food truck group that has become the foundation for the North East Ohio Food Truck Association. He focuses on well sourced foods, from scratch cooking, and using local sustainable business practices.

Michael S. Brown

Michael S. Brown

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As the Vice President of Strategic Development for Experience Columbus, Michael S. Brown is an advocate for building the community’s authentic brand and tourism economy.  Brown is focused on leveraging collaborations with private and public partners that raise Columbus’ national image as a smart/open community to harness the economic power of tourism, sports, conventions, conferences and events. Mike joined Experience Columbus in 2010 after serving 11 years in the administration of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman as Communications Director and Policy Advisor.  He currently serves as a member of the City of Columbus Downtown Commission, Independents’ Day Festival Board, Columbus Vehicle for Hire Board, United Way of Central Ohio Marketing Advisory Group and Jazz Arts Group Board.  Brown is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs Masters program.

Lisa Gutierrez

Lisa Gutierrez

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Lisa was brought up on the East Coast in Boston, Massachusetts. She was fortunate enough to identify her passions while young which enabled her to live out her Entrepreneurial Dreams as a successful small business owner here in Columbus, OH. Her passion for food is actually what led her here to Columbus, as she was selected as part of the management team for The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant located here Columbus OH, Easton Town Center. Quickly realizing the limitless entrepreneurial possibilities here in Columbus, Lisa and her Husband Vicente decided to join the early momentum of the Mobile Food Truck Industry by purchasing a truck, which was called, Dos Hermanos Taco Truck. Wisely predicting the market trend helped in positioning Dos Hermanos Taco Truck as one of Columbus’ most favorite Food Trucks. With a recent open of a location in the Historic North Market, Lisa has taken Dos Hermanos from Food Truck to a Brick n Mortar.

Emily Frank

Emily Frank

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Emily Frank is the owner/operator of C’est Cheese Food Truck & Share Cheesebar in Cincinnati, OH. She is also the Co-Founder of the Cincinnati Food Truck Association. Emily was born and raised in Cincinnati and after graduating from the University of Cincinnati, spent 16 years in Boston & Chicago working in the print industry. It was a fateful Skype call with her sister and newborn nephew in Cincinnati where she was lovingly referred to as “auntie in the box’ that she realized it was time to move home. Emily joined Cincy’s small food truck population in Spring 2012 and her following quickly grew. With a population of over 70 trucks in Cincinnati, C’est Cheese has proudly won Best Food Truck in Cincinnati the last 3 years and has received national press in Esquire Magazine, Culture Magazine, The Weather Channel and USA Today. Her new venture, Share Cheesebar combines her love of cheese, bread & wine in a different format than the grilled cheese sandwich while maintaining her loyal customer base.

Walter Eguez

Walter Eguez

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Hailing from Santa Cruz Bolivia, Walter Eguez relocated to the U.S. in 2000 and immediately began laying the foundation for a successful career. He worked his way up the ranks in the restaurant industry and earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Dominican University. After years of running a Mexican restaurant, Walter decided to branch out with a new concept that would allow people all over the city access to a unique Mexican food experience. Tortilla Street Food took the road in 2013.  The fast friendly service and build your own entrees with endless amount fresh toppings became an immediate success with the people of Columbus. In 2015 the company expanded introducing a second food truck and seasonal brick and mortar location at  Columbus Commons. Walter takes pride in everything he does and stays visible on the front lines because a key to his success is knowing his customers and their needs. Innovation and growth are a part of everyday for Walter so keep your eyes on Tortilla, there is always something new and exciting in the works!

Zachary Woodruff

Zachary Woodruff

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Zach Woodruff currently serves as the Director of Development and Public Service for the City of Whitehall. Having grown up in Whitehall, Zach has dedicated the last 15 years of his professional career to improving the community. Upon being appointed Director of Development, Zach worked with city leaders to create a unique, community based event centered around the mobile food industry. Today, The annual Whitehall Food Truck Festival is one of central Ohio’s largest festivals focused on this growing industry and Zach continues to explore new and innovative ways to tie the mobile food scene with the redevelopment efforts going on throughout the City.

Nile Woodson

Nile Woodson

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Nile Woodson was born and raised in New York City with three older sisters and parents who all loved to cook. Nile began his cooking career at home with his family and quickly grew his love and talent for creating dynamic flavor combinations. At the age of 20, Nile came to Columbus for a four month internship at Trident Design. It sparked Nile’s creativity for business and he quickly fell in love with Columbus’s charm and community driven mentality. Nile chose to make Columbus his permanent home and got a job serving tables at Rigsby’s Kitchen while finishing his degree from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. As head waiter Nile found an immense love of the restaurant industry and creating memorable experiences for people through taste, joy, and connection. Pairing his passion with his marketing degree, it only made sense that upon graduating from OSU he would open a restaurant of his own. And thus the story of Hai Poké began…

Matt Cover

Matt Cover

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Matt Cover, Relationship Manager at Economic & Community Development Institute, has a history of lending to food-based entrepreneurs. Since July 2015, he has deployed over $450,000 to Central Ohio entrepreneurs that include BBQ sauce aficionados, Coffee creators, and most importantly, mobile food truck owners. With over four years experience in lending, Cover works with business owners to make them loan ready, utilizing ECDI’s comprehensive suite of services that supports both small businesses and start-ups. Get your financing questions answered and discover how ECDI can make your business dreams a reality at the Columbus Mobile Food Conference & Expo!

David Cunningham

David Cunningham

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David’s food experience include: Line cook at Olive Tree Family Restaurant, dishwasher/busser at Palmers Ribeye Steakhouse, line cook at Judds BBQ, server at Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurant.

David was the co-owner of The Ice Cream Bar and Rootbeer Stand located in Orrville, Ohio for 2 ½ years. Small town life was not for David so using the wealth of knowledge gained in his first adventure, David decided to break the bricks and hit the streets…Columbus, Ohio was the right move for him and Philly Buster Food Truck was launched in March 2014. While David’s wife Lisa was gaining knowledge in the Columbus food truck scene working with longtime friend Walter Eguez on Tortilla Street Food. David was doing homework on how to build a truck and perfecting the recipes that would be used. When the financing for the truck came together it was time to build. It took 3 months to do the build and PhillyBuster Food Truck was launched.

David is responsible for cooking food on the truck. By creatively using the appliances and equipment in the truck David was able to create a diverse menu that is appealing to all people. David’s other tasks are maintainence of the equipment and the truck itself as well as doing the dishes.

Life experience that has helped David to succeed in the food truck business include. HVAC installer, electrician helper, mechanics helper, automotive detail technician, Disc Jockey, production director, bounce house installer, BBQ fanatic and Husband of 19 years to the same girl that works side by side with me in the truck that we named “Phyllis”…and we love her!

Charlie Cox

Charlie Cox

Michael Gallicchio

Michael Gallicchio

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I started in the entertainment industry in 1988 DJing and doing marketing for multiple bars on The Ohio State University campus. In 1992 I progressed to the Downtown area of Columbus and was the main DJ and ran the marketing for many popular downtown nightclubs, including 700 High, Paradigm and Mekka. From 1996 – 1998 I ran and produced the highly successful radio simulcast “The Edge”, a DJ Mix show on WBWR (105.7).
 
In 1998 I opened my first club, the highly successful Redzone. I then helped formed Corso & Gallicchio ventures and proceeded to open Fabric Lounge, Long Street Entertainment District, Standard Lounge, Spice Bar & Lounge and Park Street Patio & Cantina.
Corso & Gallicchio Ventures currently owns and operates the Short North Pint House (www.shortnorthpinthouse.com), and more bar and restaurant concepts in the Columbus, Ohio Short North area (www.shortnorth.org) are on the way. 
 
We just opened our 2nd venue in the Short North, Forno www.fornoshortnorth.com
 
A major force in the Columbus nightlife scene focusing on development and marketing, we helped create the Park Street District and put on major events such as the Park Street Festival (www.parkstreetfestival.com), which has grown to become one of the major Columbus summer festivals.
 
After seeing how food trucks were flourishing and the growth of the mobile food movement in Columbus, I helped create the Columbus Food Truck Fest (www.columbusfoodtruckfest.com) at the Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus, Ohio (www.columbuscommons.org).I also partnered with other cities in Ohio to implement their own food truck events including the Whitehall Food Truck & Fun Fest (www.whitehall.oh.us). I also coordinate the Food Truck Food Court which is a weekly lunchtime event that takes place May – October at the Columbus Commons.
 
2015 I helped create the Ohio Bacon Fest and the Columbus Mobile Food Conference and Expo. 
 
 
Jim Comyns

Jim Comyns

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Jim has been the general manager of Loops for 5 years which has included having a food truck for the past 2. He’s overseen and worked on the food truck operating on city street parking for the last year and the OSU medical rotation.

Neil Hertenstein

Neil Hertenstein

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Neil Hertenstein is no stranger to the Mobile Food game. The owner of power house Food Trucks Hungry Monkey, Melty Crue, Juniors Tacos and the recently opened Fowl Mood, Neil isn’t stopping and has more on the way. If you want to know anything about how to get into the mobile food business there is no one better than Neil!

Kristian Campana

Kristian Campana

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Kristian Campana is the founder of OhioFestivals.net, a festival blog/website where readers can find a listing of nearly 1,400 festivals and over 400 festival reviews. Since 2009, Kristian has been driving around the state and documenting festivals with such themes as duct tape, pawpaws, twins, vikings, Dean Martin, skunks, buttercream, and food trucks. There is never a festival to big or too small and, if there’s some crazy food offered (ie calf testicles at the Testicle Festival in Tiro), he’ll make an extra effort to show up. During the week, Kristian works in an office near Cleveland and tries to eat healthy in order to balance off the funnel cakes. He lives in Oberlin with his wife and two boys

Elizabeth Romero

Elizabeth Romero

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Elizabeth Romero has her MBA from Thomas More College. She is the owner and operator of SugarSnap! Truck, Cincinnati’s sweetest food truck which has been in operation since May of 2012. SugarSnap! specializes in gourmet desserts. In her mobile bakeshop you can find the following award winning gourmet desserts: cupcakes, quarter pound cookies, salted caramel brownies, frozen cheesecakes, and more scrumptious treats. All desserts are baked fresh with the finest ingredients. In 2013, Elizabeth co-founded the Cincinnati Food Truck Association (CFTA.) The CFTA started with 11 members and has grown to over 50 members. The CFTA has worked with City Council to get the Mobile Vending Program from pilot into a permanent program. Planned Food Truck Rallied with surrounding cities and businesses in the Tri-State area. Created many resources and provided networking. Educated the media and customers by validating food trucks are safe and clean by showing the customers their food is fresh and cooked to order. Lastly, provided support to other Associations across the country that were in need of mentoring.

Mike Minnix

Mike Minnix

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Minnix has been working in the sustainability field for over nine years, initially designing and managing environmental programs at some of the nation’s largest events, including Super Bowl 43 and 44, the 2007 and 2008 American Quarter Horse Congress, the 2007-2009 Ohio State Fair, and the 2008 Good Guys Nationals.

In addition to large-scale events, minnix has worked with a variety of partners ranging in all segments of foodservice. his focus has primarily been on universities, convention centers, hospitality, quick-service, stadiums and arenas, catering operations, and healthcare.

​I​n 2009, Minnix launched the company Eartha Limited to tackle the sustainability problems facing many businesses and corporations located in the state of Ohio. His work at Eartha facilitated the passing of the Franklin County Source Separated Recycling Policy. Subsequently, Columbus Alive named Minnix as a 2010 Person to Watch, and in early 2011, Eartha Limited earned the distinction of Columbus’s Best New Business of the Year. ​

Programs developed by Minnix in the last nine years have been replicated by individuals and organizations across the country, and have advanced both local and national sustainability capabilities. For these programs and advancements, Minnix won the Ohio Environmental Council Achievement Award for Green Business and Innovation in 2009.

Kim Leddy

Kim Leddy

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Kim Leddy is a writer and educator who has called Columbus home for her entire adult life. Coming to the capital city for college, she fell in love with a town growing into a city right before her eyes. Especially the food scene– with its kind community, talented chefs, and armada of amazing food truck choices. As a food writer for more years than she’d like to count, Kim wants to let the world know about the jewel of the Midwest, but at the same time, likes keeping it a bit of a regional secret.

Gina (Nicholson) Kramer

Gina (Nicholson) Kramer

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Gina (Nicholson) Kramer, RS/REHS is the Executive Director of Savour Food Safety International, Inc.™ where she specializes in assisting companies in developing long-term food safety culture and behavior change programs starting with the top to the front line employee. She also specializes in internal and external food safety communication plans during times of crisis for food companies. She has developed a mentorship program for food safety professionals coaching them how to build a program that is a profit center not a cost center for their company. Gina works with companies on new products and technologies from ideation to commercialization that focuses on “improving food safety one GREAT idea at a time”. Miss Gina, formerly the Global Director of Retail Food Services for NSF International, lead NSF’s team of talented retail food safety experts for 3rd party auditing, consulting and technical services for major global retail brands such as Sodexo, HMS Host, T.G.I. Friday’s and Jack in the Box.

As an owner and operator of her own organic bakery, to Manager of Public Health Promotions and a Registered Sanitarian at the Columbus Public Health Department, to her role as Senior Manager of Food Safety & Quality at The Kroger Co., to Global Director of Retail Food Services at NSF International, Gina (Nicholson) Kramer has spread her knowledge and innovative approach of food safety to organizations small and large. Gina’s skill in food safety education, training and systems development has already helped other national retailer’s to build ambitious perishable food process improvement projects focused on food safety & quality and successfully establish a food safety culture that now permeates these organizations.

In addition to her new role as Executive Director, she is also a very active member of several food safety committees including STOP Foodborne Illness Chair of the Board of Directors, as well as several committees with the Conference for Food Protection, the International Association for Food Protection (she is chair of the Retail Foodservice PDG) and a member of the Education Advisory Board for the Food Safety Summit and the Food Safety Consortium. She is also an active contributor and member of the Food Safety Magazine and Food Safety Tech’s Editorial Advisory Board.

Gina has presented at several state, national and international conferences on topics such as: Measuring Food Safety Success; The Cost of a Food Event; Food Trends that Impact Food Safety; Branding Your Food Safety Message; Selling Food Safety from the Top Down; Creating a Food Safety Culture within the Real World of Retail Foods; 5 Terrific Training Tools; Consumer Education – It takes a partnership; Be Food Safe Participation – from a National Supermarket’s perspective; A Deep Dive into Cold Chain Management; and Translating HACCP to Lean Six Sigma – How to speak the language of the business to build a robust Food Safety program. Gina attended Ohio-based Ashland University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology. She is also a Registered Sanitarian in the state of Ohio and a Registered Environmental Health Specialist through the National Environmental Health Association.

Jason Biundo

Jason Biundo

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Originally from Long Island, NY, Jason Biundo moved to Columbus, Ohio with his family in his early teens. Graduating from Hilliard High School in 1994, he has remained in Columbus ever since. Through the years, he gained extensive experience in the restaurant and bar industry while working his way through degrees at Columbus State and The Ohio State University, focusing on Photography, Graphic Design, Writing, and Film Production. A lifelong fan of all things pop culture, Jason found ways to infuse his interests into his work whenever he could. In 2006, he began freelancing as Beyond Photography & Design. In 2008, he helped to found ECT Pedicab, a tricycle taxi company offering alternative short haul transportation in the Short North of Columbus. In 2009, he also co-founded Mikey’s Late Night Slice with Mikey Sorboro. This is where he brought all his talents, interests, and experience together as he worked with Sorboro to manage and grow the upstart pizza shop from a small parking lot shack into a Nationally recognized chain of brick-and-mortar and mobile restaurants. Today, Biundo is the Chief Creative Officer of Late Night Slice and is the unique voice and strategist behind the company’s marketing and social media. He has also taken control of ECT Pedicab and grown it into the premiere pedicab service in the city. When not thinking about pizza or pedicabs, he spends his time with his young son Desmond, and he never misses a comic book movie premiere.

Mike Albert

Mike Albert

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Graduating from the Ohio State University with a focus on business finance, Mike has worked in Fortune 100 companies, high growth startups, and small businesses as well. Albert even co-founded, grew and navigated the successful sale of a small business. He intimately knows the struggles and unique challenges of growing brands and applies his financial wisdom in those environments. Now he consults small businesses and startups on their financial strategy. Helping owners clearly define their goals and then aligning financial and operation objectives accordingly.

Alessandro Ciaffoncini

Alessandro Ciaffoncini

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Alessandro Ciaffoncini – VP, Accounts Director At Origo Branding Company
As VP Accounts Director at Origo Branding Company, a creative agency focused on branding, marketing, and digital strategy, Alessandro has been responsible for developing the business strategy for the agency’s partnering brands which range from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit institutions that make a difference in our community.

His passion is to work closely with the client and creative team to craft powerful and effective marketing solutions through both traditional and digital touchpoints. Since joining Origo Branding Company, Alessandro has helped grow the agency to be a Top 25 Advertising Agency in Central Ohio (according to Business First), while helping to manage lead accounts, such as Cardinal Health, Nike, Elmer’s, Safelite, Abbott Nutrition, and The Ohio State University.

Aside from his business, Alessandro is also passionate in his efforts to give back to his industry and community, working on a number of nonprofit boards and committees throughout the years. He is an advocate for Columbus and is enthusiastic about working with inspired individuals and groups to help the spirit of our city continue to grow.

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