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.
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.
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.
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.
Judith Klinger – Founder, Editor in Chief at W-E Digest.org
Judith believes in eating well, laughing hard, and sharing meals with anyone who shows up at the table.
World-Eats developed out of a firm belief that our food is better when we share local knowledge on a global scale.
Judith has been a food blogger, personal chef, and cookbook author for Aroma Cucina. She was a Director and Operations Manager for the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
When not at the stove, or the computer keyboard, she likes to go outside to play.
Jeff Stoike – Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance Resources at U.S. Department of State
Jeff has experience in the non-profit, academic and private enterprise sectors. He has founded businesses centered on sustainable rural development in Latin America, worked on issues of environmental justice in urban areas in the United States, and has published multiple peer-reviewed publications on issues of conservation and development. He has worked on cacao projects in Bocas del Toro, Panama and Ilhéus, Brazil.
He holds a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, an M.S. from the University of Georgia, and a PhD from Yale University. Jeff is presently working to develop a long-term environmental training center in Brazil, support sustainable rangeland management in the Western United States and advance policy on environmental security through a fellowship with the U.S. Federal Government.
Eric Luftig – Managing Director in the Leveraged Finance Distribution & Trading Group, BMO Capital Markets
Eric’s responsibilities include primary sales and secondary trading of leveraged loans and high yield bonds. Eric has over 25 years of sales and capital markets experience. He has developed and maintains strong relationships with investors such as banks, finance companies, business development companies, credit funds and hedge funds. Prior to joining his current group in 2011, Eric was Head of Private Placements at BMO and was responsible for the structuring and distribution of private placements. Eric was previously employed at GE Capital Markets, CIBC World Markets, Bankers Trust and Drexel Burnham. Eric earned an MBA and a BA from The Wharton School of Business.
Eric is Vice Chairman of the Board of The New York Musical Theatre Festival, which nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theatre.