20th Anniversary Food Allergy Ball Honorees (Part 2)

Yesterday, we introduced many of the individuals and organizations who are being honored at the 20th Anniversary Food Allergy Ball in New York City. Today we introduce you to the other individuals, families, and organizations being recognized for their contributions to 20 years of progress in food allergy action, research, education, and advocacy.


Janet Atwater

Janet Atwater has enjoyed a multi-faceted career that has encompassed the performing arts, higher education, leadership development and non-profit management.  She has worked with executives from such diverse organizations as MTV, the NBA, Fortune 100 companies and various governmental agencies as well as consulting with a variety of non-profit organizations in the areas of leadership development, governance and strategic planning.  She has served on several leadership boards at her alma mater, the College of William and Mary, including chairing the Alumni Association and Annual Fund boards and is currently on the Foundation board.  She became a member of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (now FARE) more than 18 years ago when her son was diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. She has been a guest speaker at FARE’s educational conferences and Leaders’ Summit, sharing her story and inspiring others.


Becky Basalone

Becky Basalone is a mother on a mission to raise awareness of the severity of food allergies and anaphylaxis.  When her son was diagnosed with food allergies in 2012, she founded the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET).  FACET is a nonprofit organization and community support group for those newly diagnosed, affected by, or experienced with food allergies. Basalone successfully advocated for legislation to allow stock epinephrine in Tennessee’s schools and public entities. To further enhance community outreach efforts, she launched FACET’s Project TEAL with the assistance of FARE’s Community Outreach funding program in 2013.  The greatest success of FACET’s Project TEAL (to date) is her idea to paint pumpkins teal in recognition of food allergy awareness and provide non-food items as a safe alternative during Halloween activities.  She then gifted this awareness initiative to FARE to launch as the Teal Pumpkin Project.  She was honored to receive the Vision Award for Outstanding Community Citizen by FARE for her idea and role in the Teal Pumpkin Project®. Through the Teal Pumpkin Project, Basalone’s idea has impacted millions across the globe as a collaborative effort to promote inclusion, compassion and respect of individuals with life-threatening food allergies.  Additionally, she served as Walk Chair of the FARE Walk for Food Allergy in Knoxville from 2013-2015 and continues to fundraise for food allergy research. Basalone currently resides in Knoxville, TN, with her two children and thrives as an individual with life-threatening food allergies to tree nuts and tomatoes.


Dave Bunning

Dave Bunning is Chief Executive Officer of his investment firm, TLP Investment Partners LLC and its affiliates, which invest in a broad range of investments across asset classes in both public and private markets.

With the ultimate goal of developing a cure for life-threatening food allergies, Bunning devoted a substantial amount of his time from 2004 through 2013 supporting efforts to develop effective treatments for this disease. He and his family foundation provided funding for research and built collaborative relationships among research leaders at universities across the country, including, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Duke and Johns Hopkins.  Meeting regularly with leaders of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and with members of Congress, Bunning brought attention to the growing impact of food allergies and the need for increased federal funding for food allergy research.  Bunning helped spearhead the inaugural FARE Retreat, now an annual event, at Harvard Medical School. This event brings together thought leaders in food allergy research, the NIH, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the pharmaceutical industry, and patient advocates to develop a coordinated strategy for the treatment of life-threatening food allergies. 

A former chairman of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), Bunning was also President and co-founder of The Food Allergy Project, Inc. (FAP), a not-for-profit organization that merged with The Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) in February of 2009.  In 2012, FAI merged with FAAN, forming FARE, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on food allergies.  Reinforced by the result of his work in food allergies, Bunning continues to believe in the positive impact that philanthropy, venture philanthropy, and incubating early stage companies can have to achieve better health outcomes. 


Denise A. Bunning

Denise Bunning is an educator, support group leader and advocate who actively works to improve the lives of children with or without food allergies. In 1997, she co-founded MOCHA (Mothers of Children Having Allergies) – a support group for food-allergic families. She served on the committee tasked with authoring the guidelines for the management of life-threatening food allergies in Illinois schools.  She recently co-authored The Food Allergy Experience with Dr. Ruchi Gupta. Denise Bunning serves on the Board of Directors for FARE.  She is also on the Founders’ Board of Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and the Women’s Board of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

The Bunnings have two sons who are affected by food allergies.  Bryan (23) has life-threatening allergies to tree nuts, and also has asthma.  Daniel (21) has life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish and also has Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a digestive disorder related to food allergies, which has required a gastric tube for much of Daniel’s nourishment.


Judy and John Hannan

John J. Hannan was a Founding Member of the Food Allergy Initiative, which has since become FARE. His involvement stems from his son Max’s diagnosis of multiple food allergies at the age of 18 months. FARE has given Hannan the opportunity to take positive and concrete steps to support Max, who is now 25 and managing his own allergies, as well as other children and their families coping with the same diagnosis. Hannan is a Co-Founder of Apollo Management, LP, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Apollo Investment Corporation. His philanthropic commitments have included serving on the boards of Brown University, The Nightingale-Bamford School and Allen-Stevenson.

Judith Hannan is a writer and teacher with a specific focus on narratives of illness. Following her son Max’s diagnosis, writing became an important vehicle to process what it means to be the parent of a child whose life is under threat. Through her Write Prescription workshops (based on her book The Write Prescription: Telling Your Story to Live With and Beyond Illness), Judith Hannan seeks to bring the healing power of writing to others. She is also a writing mentor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She currently serves on the boards of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where she is also Writer-in-Residence, and the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. A keen supporter of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, she was a recipient of the Foundation’s 2015 Humanism-in-Medicine Award.


Jaffe Family

The Jaffe family has long combined corporate citizenship with personal philanthropy. Many organizations have benefited from the Jaffe family’s generosity, commitment and leadership. Food allergy is a cause that is deeply personal to the Jaffe family, which has generously supported research advances in the field.

In 1962, Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe founded dressbarn and along with their family, built this enterprise into a leading national specialty retailer. They also collaborate in their philanthropic endeavors as Co-Founders of The Jaffe Family Foundation and as Co-Founders of the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. In addition, Elliot Jaffe is Chairman Emeritus of FARE’s Board of Directors, a former Overseer at the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, a Trustee of Teacher 's College at Columbia University and currently serves as Trustee of Lincoln Center and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Roslyn Jaffe has served on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Simmons College, where she was awarded an Honorary PhD., as well as on the boards of USDAN Center, Child Guidance Clinic of Stamford, Osteoporosis Business Coalition and Dress for Success.  They are the parents of three children, Elise, Richard and David, and the grandparents of five food-allergic grandchildren.

David Jaffe is Chairman and CEO of Ascena Retail Group, Inc., a $7 billion specialty retailer of apparel for women and girls under the Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Justice, dressbarn, maurices and Catherines brands. Jaffe is a Director of the National Retail Federation and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School. He also serves as a Trustee of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He co-founded the Food Allergy Initiative, was a long serving board member of FARE, and serves on the Board of the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. ’s wife Helen Jaffe serves on several boards including FARE, the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai, as well as Stamford Hospital, and Teachers College at Columbia University. She is on the FARE Advocacy Leadership Council, and previously chaired the local education and advocacy effort for FAI and FARE in Connecticut. In 2016 she received the Vision Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Engagement from FARE. and Helen Jaffe are parents to four young adults, Alexandra, Spencer, Russell and Laurel; three with food allergies and one who has outgrown her allergies.

Richard Jaffe has spent more than two decades on Wall Street as a research analyst following the retail sector most recently as managing director at Stifel Nicolaus. Richard Jaffe is a Trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, and Vice-Chairman of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at AMNH. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Deming Center at Columbia Business School. Lynette Jaffe is a director of Bang on a Can.  In addition, she has served on the board of several nonprofit boards in New York including Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet, The Green Guide, Family Opera Initiative.  They have a son, Byron, who has food allergies.


Rebecca and Sacha Lainovic

Volunteerism and philanthropy are a family tradition for Rebecca and Sacha Lainovic, whose whole-hearted commitment has advanced a number of important causes, including food allergy research, education, advocacy, and awareness. The Lainovics have two adult children, Stefan and Miki. Their long-standing involvement with FARE began after Stefan was diagnosed with life-threatening allergies to milk and egg.

Sacha Lainovic is co-founder and managing director of Invus Financial Advisors. In addition to his involvement with FARE, he serves on the board of Ronald McDonald House New York, which provides a temporary “home away from home” for pediatric cancer patients and their families. The entire Lainovic family, including Miki and Stefan, have volunteered for Ronald McDonald House events and activities. Mr. Lainovic is also a member of the board of trustees of the Hospital for Special Surgery and a past member of the board of trustees at Convent of the Sacred Heart.

Rebecca Lainovic is a long-term and active member of FARE’s board of directors and is a passionate advocate for the food allergy community. Together, Rebecca Lainovic and her son, Stefan have helped build awareness and understanding of food allergies by giving interviews to the media, speaking at FARE’s Teen Summit and appearing in a video about progress in food allergy research, which was shown at the 2012 FARE Food Allergy Ball. Stefan also serves on FARE’s Outcomes Research Advisory Board. In addition to her food allergy advocacy, Rebecca Lainovic serves on the board of directors of the Bedford Playhouse, a non-profit cinema and cultural hub that serves the Bedford community and surrounding areas. She is also a past board member of her alma mater, Providence College.


Lianne Mandelbaum

In 2013, Lianne Mandelbaum founded nonuttraveler.com — an advocacy website to increase awareness of the seriousness of life-threatening food allergies with an emphasis on air travel.  The site provides resources and tools so that food allergic passengers can make informed decisions in choosing airlines and mitigate their risk. The website contains an airline petition drive with more than 90,000 signatures from people all over the world urging action.

Lianne Mandelbaum is a prolific food allergy writer. She has written for Huffington Post, Kevin Pho MD and Allergic Living, and her advocacy has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Condé Nast Traveler, Allergic Living, Yahoo!, Mashable, The Gate and on Fox News, NBC Nightly News, and CBS News. 

Mandelbaum is personally committed to raising awareness amongst airlines as well as consumers.  In 2014, she presented at the Universal Access in Airports conference sponsored by Open Doors.  She subsequently designed a training module that Open Doors now uses in all its CRO (complaint resolution officers) classes specific to the food allergic passenger. She is also a member of a FARE-led airline coalition formed to present a unified voice regarding the steps that the airline industry can implement to better accommodate passengers with food allergies. 

She was the recipient of the FARE 2013 Leadership Award and 2017 FARE Vision Award.


Drew Nieporent

Drew Nieporent, one of America's most respected restaurateurs, is the founder and inspiration behind the Myriad Restaurant Group, which operates Tribeca Grill, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu Downtown, Nobu London, Bâtard, the Porsche Grille at Citi Field (home of the NY Mets), Daily Burger at Madison Square Garden, and Crush Wine & Spirits. Over the last 32 years, Myriad has opened and operated over 40 restaurants around the world including San Francisco, Seattle, Louisville, Martha’s Vineyard, Boca Raton, London and Moscow.

His restaurants have received countless accolades. Nieporent donates his time to dozens of charities. He is on the board of Citymeals on Wheels and Garden of Dreams, an Honorary Chair of the City Harvest Food Council, and Culinary Director of the Jackson Hole Wine Auction. He has been honored by Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (2009), the American Heart Association (1999), the Tourette Syndrome Association (2000), the Food Allergy Initiative (2001), the American Liver Foundation (2003), the Cancer Research & Treatment Fund (2005), and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund (2006).

Nieporent’s many personal honors include induction into “Who’s Who of Cooking in America” (1992) by the James Beard Foundation. He was named the Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur (2009) and Humanitarian of the Year (2000). Other recognition includes 2011 Hospitality Innovator by the Cornell Hotel School (from which he graduated in 1977). He is the first New Yorker to receive the TORCH award (2016).


Judy and Todd Slotkin

When Judy and Todd Slotkin  first learned of their twin sons’ fatal food allergies to peanuts and tree nuts in 1995, food allergies were  not a well known or well understand malady. Judy Slotkin had to devise her own tactics to keep the twins safe at home, school, camp, on play dates, family vacations, etc.

In 1998 the Slotkins joined five other families - the Hannans, the Jaffes, the Manns, the Silvermans and the Sosins - to found the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), now Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), and with the tireless efforts of members and staff, raised over $125 million over the years for education, awareness, legislative initiatives, clinical care and, most importantly, to find a cure.

While there remains a great deal to do, the Slotkins raised awareness nationally and worldwide. FAI was the impetus behind the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act. The Food Allergy Project (FAP), founded by David and Denise Bunning, and Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), founded by Anne Muñoz-Furlong, merged into FAI to create FARE.


Gwen Smith and Peter Wilmshurst, Allergic Living

In the spring of 2011, Allergic Living magazine launched nationally across the United States. Today, it has more than one million readers per issue, and one of the largest food allergy websites.

Allergic Living is known for insightful coverage, in areas such as quality of life issues, research and investigative news. The magazine and website were developed by co-owners Gwen Smith and Peter Wilmshurst. Smith, who is the editor, has a senior-level background in newspapers, national magazines and broadcasting. Wilmshurst, the publisher, has been an executive in packaged goods marketing, TV and print advertising and the magazine industry. 

Smith relates closely to her readers as she manages multiple food allergies herself. As scientific studies first indicated the sharp rise in food allergy prevalence in the 2000s, she became highly aware of the many societal challenges facing at-risk families – from school halls to traveling and dining out. It was from this emerging need that Allergic Living was born.

Allergic Living is a labor of love and community commitment, and the magazine and website have remained true to the early vision of science-based journalism that informs, educates and engages.


Joel Warady, Enjoy Life Foods

Joel Warady is Interim GM, and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Enjoy Life Foods, the leading food brand in the North American Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly category. Enjoy Life Foods has experienced 10 consecutive years of growth under his guidance. He has been involved with Enjoy Life since its inception over 16 years ago, and over the years has become an advocate for the food allergy community throughout North America. He has been ranked as one of the Top 50 CMOs on Twitter by Social Media Marketing Magazine, one of the Top 50 Most Influential CMOs on Social Media by Forbes.com and was included in Brand Quarterly magazine’s list of 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50.

Please join us in thanking these incredible individuals and organizations for all their work to make a difference for the food allergy community!

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