Participant Points of View

Climate Change and Food Production: A Misunderstood Connection

Three Different Directions 

Flanboyant Eats

Real Food For Healthy Kids

My Crazy Savings

Jay Lehr
Dr. Jay Lehr is a senior fellow and science director of The Heartland Institute and in 2008 was named chief hydro-geologist for Earth Water Global, one of the world’s largest providers of water supply projects. He is an internationally renowned speaker, scientist and author who has testified before Congress on more than three dozen occasions on environmental issues.

Lehr combines five decades of expertise and experience in agricultural economics, agronomy, environmental science and business administration with the most contagious enthusiasm for the future of the American farm and ranch. His precise knowledge of the U.S. farm, energy and environment allows him to confidently predict a bright future for American farm exports, sustainable energy and for the environment.

Tammy Litke
Tammy is the founder and author of the blog Three Different Directions, which receives 20,000 views per month and currently has 2,342 Twitter followers. She also founded Play That Now, an entertainment blog featuring reviews on electronics. Additionally she runs Autism Learning Felt, a blog that is dedicated to special needs, family and education.

Tammy is a part of many online communities that help moms grow both in online social media and offline in their neighborhoods.

You can connect with Tammy at, and at her blog

Bren Herrera
Bren Herrera is a Cuban-born and Atlanta-based private chef and writer, specializing in culinary and international travel pieces. Her blog, Flanboyant Eats™, receives over 14,000 visits per month and has enjoyed over 45,000 readers worldwide. On Flanboyant Eats™, Bren documents her Latin-influenced cooking, inspired by years of family traditions, as well as offers professional restaurant reviews. Bren loves to share her personal and interactive interviews and visits with world renowned chefs like Joel Robuchon.

Helen Jensen
Helen Jensen is a professor of economics and leads the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development's Food and Nutrition Policy Division at Iowa State University. Her current research focuses on food programs and policies, including food safety. Jensen's major areas of research are food demand analysis, food assistance and nutrition policies, issues related to food security, and the economics of food safety and hazard control options.

Jensen is a current member of the World Health Organization’s Initiative to Estimate the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases, and the National Academies of Sciences Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Review Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Requirements.

Jeffrey McClure
Jeffrey McClure is an Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Services for Sodexo USA. Before joining Sodexo, Jeffrey was the executive chef at Randolph Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, which was consistently rated in the top five for best campus food in the Princeton Review during his tenure there.

In 1999, Jeffrey earned the title of Chef of the Year and soon progressed to District Executive Chef and Regional Executive Chef, supporting Sodexo chefs, production managers, frontline employees and culinary programs throughout the mid-Atlantic area. In June of 2008, Jeffrey participated in the Global Chef Program, where he visited Singapore and collaborated with Sodexo corporate services and education account teams at Siemens and INSEAD.

Jane Andrews
Jane Andrews is a nutrition and product labeling manager for Wegmans Food Markets. Her efforts include programs such as Strive for 5 and Eat Well Live Well. Jane contributes to numerous articles featured in Wegmans Menu Magazine and on

Prior to joining Wegmans in 1988, Jane was an outpatient dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the University of Rochester Medical Center. There she developed and marketed Cholesterol Countdown Workshops, which were widely used in hospital, HMO and work site wellness programs across the U.S. and Canada.

Tracey Seaman
Tracey Seaman is the test kitchen director of “Every Day with Rachael Ray” magazine. She is an accomplished pastry chef and has been a restaurant reviewer, food stylist, and recipe developer, whose credits include “Food & Wine”, “Gourmet”, “Vegetarian Times”, “Martha Stewart Living”, “Martha Stewart Kids” and other national magazines and cookbooks. Tracey co-authored “Real Food For Healthy Kids Cookbook.” You can find her recipes on, and She lives with her family in New Jersey.

Mary Lee Chin, MS., RD.
Mary Lee Chin, MS., RD. consults the media regularly on significant health and food issues and nutrition trends. Her challenge is to help people attain the pleasures of eating well while making wise food choices using science-based and realistic information.

Mary Lee serves on the Advisory Boards of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, the American Council on Nutrition and Fitness and the Community Health & Nutrition Program at University of Northern Colorado. She formerly held a six-year term as a national spokesperson for the 70,000 member American Dietetic Association.

Experienced in nutrition, diet and health communications and controversial food issues, Mary Lee speaks to businesses, professional groups and opinion leader organizations; and serves as an expert witness on food and health related issues in federal and legislative hearings. Clients have included the U.S. Department of State's Office of International Information Programs, International Food Information Council and Dairy Management Inc., Kraft and Campbell’s.

Tiffani Ponder
Tiffani is the director of the Health & Life Skills programs offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, including the Healthy Habits programs, which encourages an active lifestyle and healthy food choices.




Courtney Solstad
Courtney is a well-known, well connected blogger throughout the US, especially in Texas. She serves as a Team Mom Blogger, Pampers Baby Board Panel, Totsy Mom, HEB Beauty Blogger and is on the Collective Bias Advisory Committee. My Crazy Savings is her blog.

Abel Pulido Jr. 
Abel is a Senior Buyer - Beef for Sam’s Club.  He has over 20 years of retail and wholesale experience and 10 years of merchandise and operational experience.  Additionally, Abel has 5 years of experience in international markets, including Mexico, Brazil and Puerto Rico. 

Leah McGrath
For over a decade, Leah has been the Corporate Dietitian for Ingles Markets and is regularly active though different media outlets as a result of that role. She hosts the weekly radio show "Ingles Information Aisle" and is also a weekly guest on Asheville, NC television programs  as well as stations in Greenville, SC and Knoxville, TN, where she presents recipe and nutrition segments.  Leah is actively involved in social media for Ingles Markets and also writes for several regional publications.

Leah is a Registered Dietitian with the American Dietetic Association and completed her dietetic internship with the US Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.  She served as the Chief of Clinical Dietetics at Moncrief Army Hospital, Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.  After resigning her active duty commission in the Army, Leah worked for almost two years with the South Carolina Department of Public Health, initially as the Lead Nutritionist for the Low Country Health District but soon became the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Nutrition Director.

Dr. Keith-Thomas Ayoob
Dr. Keith-Thomas Ayoob is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York City, where he has maintained a clinical practice for over 25 years. He is also the director of nutrition services at the Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Ayoob works extensively in the fields of obesity, heart health, child nutrition, family dynamics and specializes in motivational counseling.

Dr. Ayoob was part of the developmental team for the recently announced Overall Nutrition Quality Index and he co-authored “The Uncle Sam Diet: The Four-Week Eating Plan for a Thinner, Healthier America” as well as the American Dietetic Association's position paper on food and nutrition misinformation. He is regularly sought by the media for commentary on topical health and nutrition research and in June of 2004 was invited by Congress to testify about fraudulent claims on diet pills.

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