DR. NEIL SCOTT

DR. NEIL SCOTT

Dr. Neil Scott – Founder, The Makery Hilo

In 2003, Dr. Neil Scott joined the University of Hawai`i with support from the National Science Foundation to continue the research and design he began at Stanford University in 1992, focusing on creative problem solving to improve human/computer interaction strategies and technologies in education and disability access.

In January 2000, Neil was recognized as one of fifteen Bay Area futurists who would shape the way people live, think, work, and play in the new millennium. He was named a Lifetime Tech Laureate in 2002 by the International Tech Museum, San Jose for his commitment to creating innovative technologies that promote equal opportunity and diversity for people around the world.  Neil is committed to helping people in Hawai`i develop technological skills and careers and has developed a unique concept, called The Makery that provides individuals with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources to transform their own ideas into real functioning products.

Dr. Scott’s experience and documentation has convinced him that coping with our complex technology-based world requires:

 

  • an understanding of how things work
  • knowledge of how things are made, and
  • acquisition of the skills required to make needed products.

 

He established a training program for people with disabilities entitled Technology for Untapped Talent (TUT) in 2011 to empower individuals with disabilities to become  participants and leaders in creating computer-based design and manufacturing in Hawai`i.  

In 2013, Dr. Scott founded The Makery Hilo, to provide individuals throughout the community with unique opportunities to learn computer aided design (CAD) and computer assisted  manufacturing (CAM), and how to use these to tools create and market valuable wooden products from invasive species such as albizia and eucalyptus,  and traditional Hawaiian hardwoods such as koa, monkeypod and mango. The Makery is ecologically challenged to create valuable products from reclaimed wood.

The Makery works with public and private schools to develop curriculum that engages students in art, mathematics science, engineering,and technology (AMSET).  Dr. Scott is working closely with Connections Public Charter School, Hilo, to provide students with hands-on Makery experiences, both in-school and out-of-school.

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CHRIS AMENDOLA

CHRIS AMENDOLA

 

Chris Amendola – Executive chef and owner, foraged. 

Chef Chris brings not only experience in the kitchen, but also a passion for seasonal ingredients to Foraged. His culinary journey began when he was just a young boy growing up in St. Augustine, Florida. Often accompanying his mother to her work, in a restaurant and he would stand in the kitchen and watch the chef prep for service. Around that time, Chris became fascinated with the dynamics of the kitchen. As part of his weekly allowance he would record shows like Great Chefs of France and Great Chefs of the World for his Dad to watch when he got home from work. It when then he fell in love with cooking.

Chef Chris received his formal training at the Southeast Institute of Culinary Arts in St. Augustine where he graduated at the top of his class. After refining his craft under Chef Todd English at BlueZoo in Orlando and with Chef Sean Brock at McCrady’s in Charleston, Chris headed north and worked in the kitchens of Café Dupont in Washington, D.C., Allium in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and the renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also staged in the kitchens of Mini Bar in Washington Dc and Eleven Madison Park in NYC.  Locally, Chris held positions at Fleet Street Kitchen and Waterfront Kitchen.

Additionally, Chef Chris is an experienced farmer and forager – having worked at Thackeray Farms on Wadmalaw Island, S.C., and in close connection with the team at Blue Hill Farm also, when Chef Chris is not behind the stove at Foraged, he is out in the woods looking for new ingredient to cook with. This agricultural and woods man knowledge allows Chris to elevate the dining experience for his guests. “I like to let the product speak for itself,” says Chris. “I believe in utilizing hyper-seasonal ingredients, allowing the natural flavors to complement one another.” His modern American style of cooking gives Foraged diners a unique culinary experience.

Foraged will be opening in early December, the restaurant is located at 3520 Chestnut Avenue in Baltimore, MD. They will be open Tuesday through Saturday 5pm-10pm. Follow their Instagram @foraged_eatery to find out more info.

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ROB BLEIFER

ROB BLEIFER

 

Rob Bleifer – Food Network Executive Chef & VP of Culinary  

Robert became interested in the food world at a very young age.  “I have very distinct memories of watching PBS with my mom and her repeatedly saying ‘help mom take notes on the cooking show and when it’s over, your shows will be on.’  I was raised on Julia Child and The Galloping Gourmet.’”

Bleifer’s interest in food only grew over the years.  In graduate school at Rochester Institute of Technology where he pursued his MFA in Photography, he used time between classes to watch cooking shows on cable.  While working as a freelance photographer after graduation, Bleifer realized his true love was food and moved to New York City to begin his culinary education at the French Culinary Institute in 1994.  

Upon completion, Bleifer worked as a line cook at Park Avenue Café for a year.  During that time he received a tip that freelance work was available at Food Network.  When Bleifer began work for the network in 1996, it was still very new, but with his background and skill set, it was a perfect match.

As Executive Chef at Food Network, Bleifer is responsible for everything from managing kitchen of ten, to hands-on food styling and cooking for special events, to coordinating with network Production teams, Chef/Hosts, Guest Chefs, photographers, and network departments.  He oversees in-house food production, location production, photo shoots, vignettes, and food for more than 100 Food Network events annually.  Recently, he has become wine-blender on entwine, Food Network & Wente Vineyards partnered wine.  He has also had an on-air presence, judging numerous Food Network Challenges, catering the 3 Food Network Wedding specials, and many other “cameo” appearances.

He completed his undergraduate work at Union College with a BA in Economics and recently moved to the suburbs of NYC with his wife and daughters.

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MAURA RAPKIN

MAURA RAPKIN

Maura Rapkin – Dual Masters Student in Food Studies, Business Administration  

Maura is currently a student at Chatham University, where she is working towards a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Food Studies.  After graduating from University of Rochester with a Dual Bachelors degree in Film and Environmental Science, Maura decided to start cooking because she felt food was a universal and timeless career choice.  Her experience includes work in Michelin starred farm-to-table and seasonal restaurants, prominent Manhattan bakeries, as well as some earlier experience in catering companies and small restaurants. A diverse background has led her to her focus in working towards sustainable, ethical, and eco-sensitive practices with food.  She hopes working with Cocoa Compassion will bring greater awareness to the places where systems can be improved within the cocoa market, and looks forward to making a big impact in the field!

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KATA YOUNG

KATA YOUNG

 

Kata Young – Project Manager at EcoAgriculture Partners  

Katherine (Kata) Young is Project Manager of integrated landscape management portfolio at EcoAgriculture Partners. Responsible for managing project work plans/budgets; strategic organizational development; multi-stakeholder engagement, decision-making and dialogue facilitation; capacity-building training and curriculum development; development of landscape performance assessments, monitoring and evaluation frameworks; and identifying opportunities for integrative management of agricultural land use and biodiversity conservation at the landscape scale in tropical environments. Master’s of Forest Science Candidate (’17) at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She received a B.S. in International Agriculture & Rural Development from Cornell University as a non-traditional undergraduate student after working for 8 years with sustainable agriculture and community development as a tropical ethnobotanical horticulturist.

Kata has worked in humid and semi-arid tropical agroforestry projects (Belize, Nicaragua), developed two agroforestry nurseries (Nicaragua), analyzed mangrove restoration (Thailand, UK) and their aquaponic analogues (US), and conducted qualitative field research as a member of applied research teams analyzing farmer-field school programs, and adoption of conservation agriculture practices (México, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, India, and Moçambique). Her work has been conducted with indigenous and/or marginalized communities on the fringes of sensitive ecosystems, with scientists in tropical research stations and botanical gardens, and with food system activists in urban, post-industrial settings. Kata’s experiences revealed to her the pressing need for scientists, development practitioners, agricultural extensionists, eco-entrepreneurs, economists and policymakers to work closely together and with local community members to better integrate biophysical and social science at multi-levels, if we are to solve problems associated with food insecurity, forest fragmentation, and biodiversity conservation. 

Kata’s research focused on how diversification of ethnobotanical species used in tropical agroforestry systems affects soil regeneration and ecosystem functioning from a forest ecology perspective in the cacao-growing region of the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) in Bahia, Brasil – one of the world’s most treasured and endangered biodiversity hotspots. ​

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EDWIN KUO

EDWIN KUO

Edwin Kuo  – Thought Practitioner Consultant  

Edwin is a creative systems thinker who connects ideas and concepts together to design stronger and more effective communication solutions. Fundamentally, the design disciple is about creating systems. Whether it’s using visual elements or business practices, the focus is on creating a strategic system that creates a narrative or a sustainable business solution…or both.

Edwin holds a BFA in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s degree in Design Management from Pratt Institute. He has started two design studios and spent many successful years in book and magazine publishing.

Edwin has served as the art director for The James Beard Foundation and designed books for notable publishers and brands such as Sterling Publishing, John Wiley and Sons, Readers Digest, Weight Watchers and Betty Crocker. 

Edwin is a news junkie, an avid reader and researcher. You can usually find him close to his iPad reading about the world, trends and culture. He recently launched itsdesignthinking.com, a website that seeks to change the conversation around design thinking and to promote its value towards business strategy.

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Dawn Nickman

Dawn Nickman

 

Dawn Nickman – Compassionate Innovation Guru

Dawn is an experienced design and art education professional who has held director-level positions at boutique firms and founded a firm specializing in annual report design. Her passion for working with children and art led her to the 92nd Street Y in NYC where she become a active volunteer. This led her journey to become an art educator and launch an art business which served young children who did not have access to art programs within their schools.

In addition, to her work with CocoaCompassion®, Dawn is committed to a healthy lifestyle. She can often be found developing tasty functional foods which appeal to just about everyone, especially her three girls, husband and human-like pooch. Otherwise, she is typically practicing yoga, pilates or high intensity cycling.

Dawn has a BFA in design from Kent University.

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LIZZIE REDMAN

LIZZIE REDMAN

 

Lizzie Redman –  Executive Director, Bubble Foundation 

The Bubble Foundation is a child wellness organization that provides nutrition and fitness education to underserved schools and communities across New York City. As Executive Director at Bubble, Lizzie led the expansion of the organization’s wellness curriculum, established a team and systems to bring Bubble to scale, and increased Bubble’s impact to reach more kids and families in underserved New York City communities. Over the past five years, she has taught thousands of kids and adults about the power of cooking with fresh, whole food ingredients.

Lizzie joined the Bubble Foundation from Teach For America, where she worked on national fundraising and growth strategy across the organization’s 50 regional sites. As Manager of Strategy at Teach For America, Lizzie led strategic planning and special projects across regional sites. She later took on the role of Senior Director of Research Design to manage the design and delivery trainings and learning experiences to national and regional staff. Prior to Teach For America, Lizzie worked as a strategy and operations consultant at Deloitte Consulting, where she consulted on strategic planning, change management, customer insights, and communications strategy for several federal government agencies.

Lizzie studied history and international business at the University of Texas at Austin. Trained as a small child on the secrets to a good gumbo in her grandmother’s New Orleans kitchen, Lizzie is passionate about providing all children with food access and education. When not in Bubble’s schools, she can often be found testing new recipes or doing cooking demos at local farmers markets.

Lizzie has contributed to Huffington Post and writes about the humanity of food at Eating Anthology. She is also on the Board of Advisors of Cocoa Compassion, a social enterprise that fosters the growth and consumption of responsible chocolate.

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BHAVYA MOHAN

BHAVYA MOHAN

Bhavya Mohan  –  Assistant Professor – ‎University of San Francisco 

Bhavya is an  ‎Assistant Professor at The ‎University of San Francisco. Prior, she studied the impact of firm transparency on consumer behavior. Bhavya graduated from Stanford University in 2006, where she received her BA in Economics and English with Honors. After graduating, she worked for the marketing analytics group at Google Inc, and the marketing strategy group at Safeway Inc.  Working Papers include “Lifting the Veil: The Benefits of Cost Transparency.” Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-017, September 2014. (Revised May 2015.) and Mohan, Bhavya, Michael I. Norton, and Rohit Deshpandé. “Paying Up for Fair Pay: Consumers Prefer Firms with Lower CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios.” Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-091, May 2015. 

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SAMEENA SHAH

SAMEENA SHAH

 

Sameena Shah – ‎Managing Director, Head of Data Science – ‎S&P Global Ratings  

Sameena is an award – winning scientist with a Phd in Machine Learning from IIT Delhi. Her expertise lies in bringing disparate data sets together, creating large-scale models and deriving intuitive and innovative insights. Sameena holds several patents, has published about 20 papers, and is on the review panel of major computer science journals and conferences. At CocoaCompassion, Sameena leverages her data analytics background to envision, and create analytics focused on the cocoa supply chain. 

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