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Food Allergy Safety Summit...for Hospitality


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Lisa Carlson

Lisa Carlson, MS, RDN, LDN

Lisa is a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist with Chartwells, a division of the Compass Group. She primarily works with college students to help them navigate their campus food choices. Her passion is working with students and young people with food allergies, helping them speak up, advocate your themselves and find safe choices on and off campus. Lisa has extensive experience in nutrition and wellness counseling with students, staff, and faculty at several universities around the country, including Northwestern University and Colgate University. Prior to working with universities, Lisa worked in professional marketing and public relations for iconic brands such as Quaker Oats and Gatorade.

Douglas Davis

Douglas Davis

Douglas Davis is a 34-year veteran with Marriott International. He is currently the Senior Director-Global Food Safety for all 30 brands that includes over 7200 hotels and more than 10 thousand restaurants. Doug is a member of Marriott’s Global Cleanliness Council and COVID-19 Task Force, guiding the company during the pandemic. He is a leader in the development of Marriott’s Commitment to Clean initiative and oversees the execution in hotels across the globe. Doug is a member of the Conference for Food Protection and participates on the committee level. He is a certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Educator and Certified Professional – Food Safety with the National Environmental Health Association.

Ryan Gembala

Ryan Gembala, Esq.

Practicing law since 2005, Ryan Gembala provides legal counsel to food service businesses including restaurants, cafes, fast-food chains, food trucks, catering companies, hotels, school cafeterias, hospitals, and other establishments where food is prepared and served to customers. He is well-versed in the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, and the Packers and Stockyards Act. The takeaway for attendees is to grasp common liability issues, comply with the industry’s mandates, and to be aware of actual case law examples.

Ruchi Gupta

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Clinical Attending at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Gupta has over 20 years of experience as a board-certified pediatrician and health researcher and currently serves as the founding director of the Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research (CFAAR). She is world-renowned for her groundbreaking research in the areas of food allergy and asthma epidemiology, most notably for her research on the prevalence of pediatric and adult food allergy in the United States. She has also significantly contributed to academic research in the areas of food allergy prevention, socioeconomic disparities in care, and the daily management of these conditions. To reduce the burden of these diseases and improve health equity, she and her team develop, evaluate, and disseminate interventions for families and conduct work to inform local, national, and international health policy.

Dr. Stefano Luccioli

Stefano Luccioli, MD

Dr. Stefano Luccioli is a medical officer specializing in allergy/immunology who is currently the Allergen Coordinator in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is also on the clinical teaching faculty at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. His responsibilities include assisting and coordinating FDA activities and scientific policies to manage food allergens in regulated food products and providing subject matter expertise on health hazards and other risk assessments. His research interests are aimed at understanding the epidemiology of consumer adverse events to food allergens and assessing the health impact of allergen thresholds. Dr. Luccioli completed his medical school and residency training in internal medicine at Georgetown University medical school and his fellowship in allergy & immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Josh Miller

Joshua Miller, CP-FS, CAT

Joshua Miller, CP-FS, CAT, is the Founder & Principal of Remarkable Academic Foods, providing consultation and training support for school foodservice programs from K-12 to colleges and universities. Additionally, he hosts the 5-in-20 Podcast, where guest Subject Matter Experts provide insights on school foodservice solutions. Josh brings a valuable perspective with extensive experience as a Campus Executive Chef and Culinary Director for AVI Foodsystems, a prominent foodservice contractor, driving numerous program successes. Before reliable resources became available to aid allergy management, Josh devoted significant time to streamlining safe kitchen procedures and the R&D of allergy-friendly ingredients and recipes. His process included working closely with RDs and vendors with continuous feedback from students with allergies. This resulted in enhanced inclusivity and accommodation of students with dietary preferences and allergies.

Tessa Nguyen

Tessa Nguyen, MEd, RD

Tessa Nguyen, MEd, RD, is an internationally acclaimed chef, registered dietitian, and speaker. As the founder and principal of TN Media, her talents come to life in the form of deliciously diverse recipes, cultural auditing, bespoke content development, speaking engagements, and countless media work. Tessa’s areas of expertise include diversity, equity, inclusion & justice within the food and nutrition industries, food and agriculture connections, inclusive culinary nutrition applications, accessible and affordable cooking, and food allergies and intolerances including the low FODMAP diet. Tessa's multiethnic heritage and lived experience across multiple countries has centered her in providing inclusive services founded on cultural humility. Connect with her on Instagram @thetessanguyen.

Gary Riddle_final

Gary Riddle

Gary Riddle presently serves as the Sr. Director, Global Corporate Affairs for kaléo (a biopharmaceutical based in Richmond, Virginia). In this position, he oversees the government affairs operations for kaléo through engagement with policymakers and pertinent stakeholders throughout the U.S. (state and federal) and abroad with the aim to further awareness regarding anaphylaxis, patient access, and the company’s portfolio. Coming into this position, Gary brings over 12 years of government affairs experience within the health care sector which includes an emphasis on building relationships among key affiliates and policymakers at multiple levels of government (local, state, federal, and international). His educational background includes a Bachelors of Science in Health Policy from James Madison University followed by a Masters in Public Administration from The George Washington University.


Megan Simon Dudczak, MA, RDN

Megan Simon Dudczak is the National Director of Nutrition for Chartwells Higher Education Dining services, a division of the Compass Group. In this role, she supports and facilitates training and enhancements to the menu and recipe platform used throughout the company. She is responsible for leading and communicating sector specific allergen management training and strategies and for developing wellness initiatives and supporting campus dietitians and culinarians. Megan has worked for the Compass Group for 10 years -- three years in senior living and the last seven at Chartwells in the higher education dining division. She leads a network of nearly 50 registered dietitian nutritionists. Her career passion is in bringing innovative solutions around wellness and allergen management to our colleges and universities with the goal of helping students feel safe and well supported.

Elaine Spero

Elaine Spero

Elaine Spero boasts over 15 years of global experience, having worked in London, New York City, and presently in Washington DC, as a senior training and curriculum design specialist. Currently serving as the Global Performance Advisor at Marriott International, she focuses on the learning needs of food and beverage associates, comprising over 39% of all associates across Marriott International's managed and franchised properties worldwide. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Syracuse University, Elaine's training philosophy is deeply rooted in an understanding of human motivation. One of her notable recent projects involved spearheading the design, development, and project management of a multi-million-dollar global onboarding, culture, loyalty, and service training program, which was successfully launched across over 5,000 Marriott International properties worldwide in 2022.

Matt Thompson

Matthew Thompson, PCIII, CEC, CCA, GRAE

Chef Matthew is a highly passionate & effective chef and hospitality executive with a strong track record of driving business performance by developing high-performing, highly innovative teams. He is recognized for outstanding leadership in driving culinary artistry through creative menu development and experienced in the authentic delivery of ethnic cuisine, and a talented teacher of food safety an culinary arts. Chef Matthew is the co-founder and Chief Culinary Officer for Harvest Table Culinary Group, a dedicated team of chefs, wellness managers, and food enthusiasts who create a campus dining experience. Chef Matthew has brought progressive, sustainable, health-based dining to higher education partner sites for more than twenty-five years.

Jaq Weiss

Jacqueline Weiss, RD

Jacqueline Weiss is the registered dietitian for Hopkins Dining at Johns Hopkins University. Jacqueline earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and her Master of Science degree in Public Health in Human Nutrition from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jacqueline is a Certified AllerTrainer and provides allergen education to Hopkins Dining employees.

Allyson West

Allyson West, RD, LDN

Allyson West began her career as an inpatient clinical registered dietitian. It was when she became Registered Dietitian for Harvest Table Culinary Group at High Point University that she realized she could combine her passion for student wellness advocacy and ingredient transparency. Not long after, she became Harvest Table's first Director of Health and Wellbeing. In her role, Allyson provides nutrition leadership for all Harvest Table partner accounts, ensuring that all guests, regardless of dietary needs or preferences, can find healthy, clearly labeled options that meet their needs. She helped develop Harvest Table's innovative ingredient transparency platform that provides critical ingredient information on all digital platforms and facilitates accuracy and compliance in food production. She also directs Harvest Table's approach to allergen-related programs, including training and certification of our team and facilities. Allyson leads our campus-based registered dietitians in their efforts to engage with students wherever they are on their health journeys, so they can build healthy habits to support their academic and professional endeavors. She creates engaging educational pop-ups and events for groups such as student activities, wellness clinics and athletics, along with student groups to reach as broad a campus audience as possible. Allyson has a heart for all who struggle with stress. She developed PAUSE, a program of simple stress-relief techniques, introduced through digital and print across Harvest Table campuses in Fall 2023. Allyson earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Contemporary Dance and from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Association; and the Food and Culinary Professionals Group. She received the 2023 Allergy Advocate for Universities Award from MenuTrinfo, a leading expert in food allergy training and certification.

Allyse Wiencek 2

Allyse Wiencek, MS, RDN

Allyse Wiencek MS LDN has decades of experience supporting clients and their families in a variety of nutrition settings, however, she developed a strong interest in food allergies during her 17 years at the Berkshire North WIC program where she worked as their Senior Nutritionist and IBCLC. Recognizing the important role of identifying and managing food allergy symptoms in babies, she was inspired to pursue her Master’s Degree through Northeastern University. Her journey supporting those with food allergies continues as she now occupies the role of dining services nutritionist at Williams College. There she provides staff education in food allergy awareness as a MenuTrinfo Certified AllerTrainer, offers guidance to students with food allergies, Celiac Disease and other special dietary needs and has driven the implementation and maintenance of a Kitchens With Confidence Certified Free From kitchen and service station to create a safe and inclusive environment for students in need.

Mary Vargas

Mary Vargas

Mary Vargas is a partner with the litigation firm Stein & Vargas, LLP based in Washington, DC, where she handles nationwide impact litigation on behalf of individuals with disabilities, including individuals with food allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Vargas has won key victories in federal district and appellate courts throughout the United States on behalf of individuals with disabilities. She was awarded the 2017 FARE Vision Award for food allergy activism, the 2016 Eagle Award for groundbreaking disability rights litigation related to the representation of a deaf medical student, and the 2010 Advocacy for Persons with Pain Award. Vargas is a 1998 Skadden Fellow and a 1994 Truman Scholar. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and the College of New Jersey. Vargas is the mother of three boys, one of whom has food allergies and two of whom have Celiac Disease.

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