Dynamic and inspiring speakers with fresh insights on
policy, agriculture, health and community in a changing climate.

Keynote Speaker


Frances Moore Lappé is the author or co-author of 19 books about world hunger, living democracy, and the environment, beginning with the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet in 1971. Her fall 2017 book is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want coauthored with Adam Eichen. About Daring Democracy, Booklist (the American Library Association’s book review magazine) writes,

“Countering what they call a well-entrenched ‘Anti-Democracy Movement,’ the authors offer numerous solutions for its antithesis, a democracy-proud confluence of grassroots efforts… With specific plans of action and encouraging words of support, Lappé and Eichen extend concrete hope to those who feel politically helpless.” 

​Other recent works include World Hunger: 10 Myths and EcoMind. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., describes Diet for a Small Planet as “one of the most influential political tracts of the times.” In 2008, it was selected as one of 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World by members of the Women’s National Book Association. Frances was also named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and are used widely in university courses.  Read more…

Food Policy Panel

President & CEO of North Shore Land Alliance, Panel Moderator

Lisa Ott is the President of the North Shore Land Alliance, a 15-year old land trust that works to protect the small amount of open space remaining in western Long Island, New York.  Considered one of the nation’s first mature suburbs, Long Island faces intense sprawl with the impacts of overdevelopment threatening drinking water resources as well as a rural quality of life. She currently serves as a board member of The Nature Conservancy, Long Island Chapter, a member of the New York Advisory Council for the Land Trust Alliance and Vice Chair for National Parks for the National Affairs and Legislation Committee of the Garden Club of America.


Chef and Owner of Crafted Hospitality and Founder of Food Policy Action

Tom Colicchio is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark and Temple Court; Los Angeles’ Craft Los Angeles; and Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Tom made his New York cooking debut at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern before opening Craft in 2001. Outside of the kitchen, Tom is a passionate activist for a food system that values access, affordability and nutrition over corporate interests. He and his restaurants give back to the community by serving on the boards of A Place At The Table, Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, and Wholesome Wave.

Caitlin Hodgkins
Policy Advisor to Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA)
Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Nutrition Subcommittee

Caitlin Hodgkins serves as a policy advisor to Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Nutrition Subcommittee. Caitlin is the Congressman’s lead staffer on the Nutrition Subcommittee. It that capacity, she leads policy development on hunger, food, and nutrition issues for the Congressman, and supports his work to protect and bolster federal anti-hunger programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Caitlin also supports Congressman McGovern’s work on the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms of debate on legislation. Caitlin’s work on the Rules Committee has fostered her deep interest in House procedure, and allows her to work on a broad range of issues facing Congress. Caitlin grew up in Auburn, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of American University’s School of Public Affairs in Washington, DC. Caitlin currently resides in Washington with her partner, Paul.

Michal Harrison
Axcelsior LLC President


Michael Harrison served as an advisor to two New York governors, earning high marks for assembling collaborative, issues-based coalitions with diverse advocacy groups, and forging constructive bipartisan relationships with elected officials at all levels of government. As Chair of the Governor’s Regional Council, he convened key state agencies to work cooperatively with local government, business and nonprofit organizations. A longtime advocate for Long Island, Harrison has received the LI Achievement Award from Public Relations Professionals of Long Island for promoting Long Island through events, issues and activities. He has also been recognized by the Long Island Association as its Small Business Legislative Advocate of the Year. He has been called on to generate white papers on redesigning the regional workforce development system, revitalizing regional manufacturing, and implementing sustainable and resilient energy infrastructure at Long Island’s wastewater treatment plants. He has recently been active in federal Farm Bill and SNAP policy discussions.


Community Activist, Gardener and Farmer

Karen Washington has lived in New York City all her life, and has spent decades promoting urban farming as a way for all New Yorkers to access to fresh, locally grown food. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. As a member of La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she helped launched a City Farms Market, bringing fresh vegetables to her neighbors. Karen is the Just Food board Chair and a Just FoodTrainer, leading workshops on food growing and food justice to community gardeners all over the city. Karen is a Why Hunger board member and the former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, a group that was founded to protect and preserve community gardens. She co- founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings and has been key to Farm School NYC, whose mission is to train NYC residents in urban agriculture. In 2012 Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country. In 2014 she received the James Beard Leadership Award  Since retiring from Physical Therapy in 2014, Karen is Co-owner/Farmer at Rise & Root Farm, a 3 acre farm in Chester NY.  “To grow your own food gives you power and dignity. You know exactly what you’re eating because you grew it.  It’s good, it’s nourishing and you did this for yourself, your family and your community.” Karen Washington.

Food and Climate Change Panel

Slow Food New York State Governor, Panel Moderator

Laura Luciano is a Board Member of Slow Food East End, on the National Board for Slow Food USA and since 2017 has been the Slow Food Governor for New York State, where she oversees all regional chapters and shares her unwavering passion for biodiversity, food sovereignty, and coveting culinary traditions.

Laura lives in Hampton Bays in a sustainable house she and her architect husband designed, that has a rooftop garden filled with heirlooms and Ark of taste varieties, where she hosts potlucks and dinner parties for people to come together to talk and enjoy amazing food and drink and share inspiration in a great space.

Laura’s blog — Out East Foodie — shares the edible stories of the North and South forks of Long Island. She contributes to Edible East End and Edible Long Island Magazines for her What’s in Season column, and is one of the founders and coordinator for the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project, a squash that is on the Ark of Taste.

Mike Hoffmann
Executive Director, Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions

Mike Hoffmann is the executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, which was created to help raise the profile of the challenges posed by a rapidly warming climate and to help those who grow our food adapt to the changing conditions as well as reduce their carbon footprint. As executive director he provides visionary leadership, communicates to a wide range of audiences the challenges and opportunities that come with a changing climate, and builds partnerships among public and private organizations. Previous positions he has held at Cornell include Director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, associate director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. He is a professor in the Department of Entomology. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University Wisconsin, Masters from the University of Arizona and PhD from the University of California, Davis.

Executive Director, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY)


Andrianna Natsoulas has been a social and environmental activist for over two decades. She has created and implemented programs at several organizations, including Greenpeace, Food & Water Watch and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. Andrianna has coordinated with the global food sovereignty movements and has served on national and international boards and steering committees to protect fishing rights, fight trade agreements and build alliances. She has developed policy initiatives at the federal and regional levels to ensure farmers and fishermen can provide local and culturally appropriate food to their communities. She also wrote the book, Food Voices, Stories from the People Who Feed Us, which tells the stories of farmers and fishermen across five countries. In August of 2016, Andrianna joined NOFA-NY as the Executive Director and now lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley.

Founder of Feedback

Tristram Stuart is an international award-winning author, speaker, campaigner and expert on the environmental and social impacts of food waste. His books have been described as “a genuinely revelatory contribution to the history of human ideas” (The Times) and his TED talk has been watched over a million times. The environmental campaigning organization he founded, Feedback, has spread its work into dozens of countries worldwide to change society’s attitude towards wasting food. He is also the founder of Toast Ale, a beer launched in the UK in 2016 that is made using fresh, surplus bread

Food As Medicine Panel

Bhavani Jaroff
M.Ed.- Natural Food Chef & Founder; iEat Green, LLC, LLC, Panel Moderator

Bhavani Jaroff is the founder of iEat Green, LLC, a multi-faceted organization providing chef services, and educational demos. She is the host of iEat Green with Bhavani, a weekly radio show on the Progressive Radio Network, and chaired Slow Food North Shore for the past 8 years.

Ms. Jaroff has a Masters in Education, along with Waldorf Teacher Certification, which brought together her passion for cooking, teaching, nutrition, gardening and bio-dynamics. Ms. Jaroff transformed the cafeteria at The Waldorf School in Garden City into a holistic, educational, food service program, with a community service component.  She has over thirty years experience cooking and teaching about nutrition and natural foods.



Robert is a Harvard trained physician, board certified in both Internal and Integrative Medicine, a public health scientist and Chef. Dr. Graham received his medical degree from the School of Medicine at Stony Brook, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital. He earned a Masters of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health while completing three fellowships in General Internal Medicine, Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies and Medical Education at Harvard Medical School. One of less than twenty doctor/chefs worldwide, he obtained his culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute.

Dr. Graham has prescribed “food as medicine” for over 10 years, has taught over 500 healthcare workers, mostly doctors, how to cook whole food plant-based meals, created the first edible rooftop garden on a hospital in NYC and is the co-founder of FRESH Med, an integrative health and wellness center. FRESH is an acronym for their five ingredients for health: Food, Relaxation, Exercise, Sleep and Happiness.  @freshmednyc  www.freshmednyc.com


The Natural Nurse®, attended Rutgers and Cornell Universities, sat on the Panel of Traditional Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical School, is a Medical School Instructor , and teaches Botanical Pharmacology.   She is a registered professional member of the American Herbalist Guild (AHG), and is nationally board certified as a Holistic Nurse (AHN-BC). She offers online and onground Herbal Certification Programs, teaches Career Paths in Natural Medicine, and leads EcotoursForCures.com to study with indigenous healers.  As a leader in the nutraceutical industry, Ellen has advanced credentials and experience as a formulator, product developer and regulatory consultant. Author of many books including Supplements for Pain, and Arthritis, The Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide, Dr. Kamhi educates professionals and consumers about evidence based natural therapeutics.
www.naturalnurse.com,   www.Facebook.com/NaturalNurse  800-829-0918.


Sally Fallon Morell is founding president of The Weston A. Price Foundation (westonaprice.org), a non-profit nutrition education foundation dedicated to returning nutrient-dense food to American tables. She is also the founder of A Campaign for Real Milk (realmilk.com), which has as its goal universal access to clean raw milk from pasture-fed animals.  She is the author of the best-selling cookbook Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD); The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (with Thomas S. Cowan, MD); Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN); and Nourishing Fats and Nourishing Diets. Visit her blog at nourishingtraditions.com.

Growing Food Panel

Fox Hollow Farm, Panel Moderator

Heather Forest, PhD, is a storyteller, author, educator, and farmer. For the past 35 years she has lived and worked on a small family farm in Huntington Station, NY. Heather is one of the founders of LICAN, the Long Island Community Agricultural Network, and directed its Educational Mural Project at Gateway Community Garden. As co-owner of Fox Hollow Farm Inc., of Huntington Station, she and her husband Larry Foglia, provide agricultural consulting, offer organic gardening education, and for several years managed a 100 member CSA on their family farm. Heather holds a master’s degree in storytelling from East Tennessee State University and a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. She is founder and Executive Director of Story Arts Inc., a Huntington NY based, not-for-profit cultural arts organization that is dedicated to the art of storytelling and its educational applications.


Senior Research Support Specialist
School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Stonybrook University

Michael Doall is a marine biologist, ocean farmer, and aquaculture advocate.  Since 1990, Michael has held research positions in the School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences and the Department of Ecology & Evolution at Stony Brook University, seeking solutions to a variety of marine environmental problems both locally and abroad.  For the past 15 years Michael’s research has centered on bivalve (oysters and clams) ecology and restoration in New York waters.  This research inspired Michael’s passion for bivalve aquaculture, both as a means for sustainable seafood production as well as a tool for improving water quality and restoring natural populations, and in 2009 Michael co-founded Montauk Shellfish Company, a commercial oyster farm located in Montauk, NY.  Today, Michael brings his aquaculture expertise and industry experience to marine restoration science at Stony Brook University, where he currently serves as the bivalve restoration specialist for the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program.  In addition, Michael is working with Long Island oyster farmers to help advance and diversify aquaculture in NY, investigating the feasibility of incorporating kelp and other seaweeds into existing oyster farms.


Sang Lee Farms

Fred Lee, farmer and proprietor of Sang Lee Farms, Peconic Long Island, is a second generation vegetable farmer who grew up working on his family’s farm, which was established in Huntington, Long Island, around 1944. The farm operation moved first to East Moriches where, for decades, it provided year round vegetables to the Asian markets along the East Coast, from Montreal to Miami, Florida. It then moved to Peconic, Long Island, where Sang Lee Farm became NOFA-NY certified as organic in 2007.  In the last decade, Fred Lee, his wife Karen, and his son Will, have focused their distribution of specialty certified organic vegetables direct to consumers via a large scale CSA program, an “on site” farm stand retail outlet, and four farmer’s markets in the Long Island area.  Fred holds a BA degree from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Boston University.  Fred has and continues to serve on many farm and community related organizations and boards. His son, Will, represents the third generation of Sang Lee Farmers to operate on Long Island. https://www.sangleefarms.com/


Stefan Oberman is Innovation & Public-Private Partnerships Manager at AeroFarms, a high-tech, data driven vertical farming company that is revolutionizing agriculture. A passionate advocate for all things ag-tech, Stefan brings with him a background in agriculture, technology, government relations and international affairs. Since joining AeroFarms in 2015, Stefan has worked closely with strategic partners from the public and private sectors in the US and overseas to support AeroFarms’ mission of “growing locally, globally”.  AeroFarms has been recognized as a Circular Economy 100 company, was listed on Fast Company’s 2018 global list of Most Innovative Companies and Inc. Magazine’s list of the 25 Most Disruptive Companies. AeroFarms also received the New Jersey Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and was voted as the Best Growth Company to invest in at the Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference in addition to being a finalist for The Circular Awards at The World Economic Forum.

Before joining AeroFarms, Stefan served as Global Innovations Coordinator for AUSVEG – Australia’s premier agriculture industry body for vegetable and potato growers. Stefan holds a Bachelor of Commerce (International Business) from Swinburne University.


Journalist, Community Garden Organizer, Social Justice Worker

Frances Whittelsey, is one of the founders of the Long Island Community Agriculture Network (LICAN). She has worked for many years with members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington on affordable housing, justice for immigrants, racism and food equity. A member of the board of the Huntington Housing Coalition, she helped organize the Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative, which shelters people in houses of worship during the winter months. As an investigative reporter for the New York Times and Newsday, subjects of her journalism have included alternative energy, the environmental costs of eating meat, the dangers of liquid natural gas, and  the adverse health effects of food additives and processed food. She is an author and editor of two consumer books and has written for the Smithsonian and Sierra Magazines. Her work has been recognized by a Polk Award for Public Service. In 2010, she was honored by The Times of Huntington as Woman of the Year for the Environment because of her work on Gateway Park Community Garden.