About Us

HRN is a nonprofit storytelling community shifting the way we think about food—enlightening and entertaining listeners through food-focused podcasts; and empowering the next generation of food systems storytellers through unique education programs.

HRN produces and distributes podcasts about everything from cooking and sustainability to cocktails and regional foodways. Our podcasts help people see food through other people’s eyes. We also bring people together through events that help us deepen our relationship with food.

Our Storyteller Academy provides unique experiential audio production programs that help emerging and established storytellers build practical and strategic skills that can be used to tell more compelling stories.

HRN

Staff

Executive Director (he/him)

RJ Bee

Director of Operations & Partnerships (she/her)

Joanna Garnett Raeppold

Director of Programs (he/him)

Frank Mentesana

Education Programs Coordinator (she/her)

Taylor Early

Kelsey Juntwait
Marketing Manager (she/her)

Kelsey Juntwait

Head of Audio (he/him)

Gabriel Jean

Studio Engineer (he/him)

Armen Spendjian

Studio Engineer (he/him)

Liam Werner

Producer and Editorial Educator (they/them)

H Conley

HRN Educator- Audio Production (he/his)

Matt Patterson

Social Media Coordinator (she/her)

Lauriel Stewart

Executive Director (he/him)

RJ Bee

RJ is an entrepreneur, podcaster, storyteller and communications professional. RJ is the co-founder of Osiris Media, the largest independent podcast network focused on music. As co-founder, he led a team of audio and music industry professionals in all aspects of content creation, revenue generation, and organizational development. Under his leadership, Osiris has grown to reach hundreds of thousands of fans per month. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Hattaway Communications, a mission-driven strategic communications firm. At Hattaway, he led the day-to-day operations of the firm, and worked with clients like Rockefeller Foundation, City Year, Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and USAID. In collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, he also created the Storytelling for Good platform, a multi-year initiative to enhance the storytelling capacity of advocates working on a range of issues around the globe, including agriculture and food issues. RJ has a BA from The Ohio State University and an MA from the University of Chicago.

Director of Operations & Partnerships (she/her)

Joanna Garnett Raeppold

Growing up in San Francisco, Joanna’s love of food started at an early age and followed her across the country to Jersey City, New Jersey where she is currently the Director of Operations and Partnerships at HRN.  Joanna’s interest in food led her to a Master of Arts degree from New York University in Food Studies. Turning her final masters project into a reality, Joanna created Lucinda Burrito + Taco truck in 2005, one of the first gourmet food trucks on the East Coast. Featured in The New York Times and Food & Wine magazine, Lucinda’s set Joanna into a career of catering, food styling, event management and non-profit food literacy work with children.

Director of Programs (he/him)

Frank Mentesana

Brooklyn based Frank Mentesana has been working around food for a long time. He was the founding owner of the renowned NYC bakery/cafe Once Upon a Tart.., and co-authored and photographed the cookbook Soups, Salads, Muffins and More (Knopf). He was the Founding-Director of EcoSpaces Education, a program that brings food literacy education to children through cooking, gardening, vertical farming, and made-from-scratch school meals. He earned the 2017 Impact Award from Partnership for a Healthier America. In addition, his food styling, writing and photography have been seen in publications such as Saveur, Martha Stewart, Real Simple and The Washington Post. He is a partner in the California restaurant Locale90. Frank enjoys cooking, making pottery, gardening and spending time in the Catskills.

Education Programs Coordinator (she/her)

Taylor Early

Born and raised in New England with roots in the American South, Taylor (she/her) is a queer, mixed Black writer and creative producer. Her love of food was not passed down from her immediate family, but began young and has been nurtured through making and breaking bread with many different cultures while living in Europe for the last 5+ years. Trained in Environmental Studies (ecosystem conservation and food anthropology, B.A., Brandeis University ’15), as well as Education Design (science research development, and communication, M.Sc., Utrecht University ’19), Taylor is committed to developing storytelling through food as a culturally sustainable practice for communities of colour, and as a necessary tool for life on a changing planet. Previously roles at HRN: Julia Child Writing Fellow ’22-’23, Meat and Three Producer, Communications and Internship Coordinator

Marketing Manager (she/her)

Kelsey Juntwait

Kelsey is a former environmentalist and farmer turned digital marketer and storyteller. With an early ambition to create systemic change in our food system, she received her degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems from the University of New Hampshire. After graduating, she spent the next few years getting her hands dirty on farms across New England while simultaneously traveling, exploring, and eating her way through new countries whenever she could. It was during this time that she discovered the power of food as a universal language, and her newfound passion for using her own voice to amplify that language. She then pivoted her focus to copywriting and digital marketing, believing that systemic change can only occur when one person is loud enough to influence many. In 2020, she founded a marketing consulting company dedicated to cultivating authentic content strategies for brands making an impact. She joins HRN as the Marketing Manager, eager to vocalize the powerful narratives that define the intersection of food, culture, and community, one story at a time.

Head of Audio (he/him)

Gabriel Jean

Gabriel is a New York native and a lover of audio technology and storytelling. In his early teens, he found himself active in the Long Island Hardcore Music scene both as a performer and show runner, serving as his first foray into audio and operations. His participation built a foundational sense of community and collaboration while fully embracing individuality. Being exposed to synthesizers plunged him into the world of audio and sound design, developing a wide gamut of interests and skill sets related to bringing media ideas to life. Through the deep immersion of his passions in audio processing and production, he found that his skills were transferable across industries, leading him to produce a multitude of shows, coaching talent, and always being the audio technical lead over the years. Leading teams towards high quality completed works has become his overarching passion and speciality.

Studio Engineer (he/him)

Armen Spendjian

Armen is a native of NYC and a certified media geek. In the past five years he has delved into the post-processing world of audio and video. Mostly focusing on music, he has produced songs that have been played on radio stations such as Rinse FM. Armen’s relationship with food has taken many forms over the years, from devouring food reviews on YouTube to volunteering at Our School at Blair Grocery’s urban farm in New Orleans to learn about community organizing. Armen graduated from Ithaca College, where he studied television and radio production, along with writing. Now he is solidifying himself as an online artist in a world with an all-day, everyday appetite for content. He plans on continuing to learn about how we create a more equitable world and the role that food plays in that process.

Studio Engineer (he/him)

Liam Werner

Liam is a sound engineer, instrumentalist, and composer. He is a lover of food in all capacities, and is particularly interested in food sustainability and urban agriculture. Currently, Liam is pursuing a Master’s degree in music technology at New York University while working at HRN as an engineering intern.

Producer and Editorial Educator (they/them)

H Conley

H Conley is a former cheesemaker, turned journalist and audio maker. They studied Agriculture and Food Systems at Bard College and fell in love with radio while apprenticing in the Hawthorne Valley Farm creamery. After graduating, they spent four years making cheddar at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. H immersed themself in audio storytelling during the long hours of cheesemaking and decided to pursue radio on the side. They did an internship at HRN in 2019, where they worked on The Farm Report, Meat and Three, and Buenlimon Radio. In 2021, they left cheese production to attend the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY where they received their Master’s Degree in Health and Science reporting and Audio Production. H mainly reports on food and climate and trans health and identity. They’re the recipient of the 2023 Excellence in Food Reporting Award from The Association of LGTQ+ Journalists. They’ve had work published in STAT News, The Guardian, Bon Appétit, Edible Manhattan, City Limits, and the Embodied Podcast from WUNC.

HRN Educator- Audio Production (he/his)

Matt Patterson

Matt first learned of Heritage Radio Network while working at a small craft brewery in Southern California. In the midst of a years-long quest to brew great beer, he found a helpful podcast called Fuhmentaboudit! and listened to every episode. After several thousand more barrels of beer brewed, a World Beer Cup award won, and a stint on a New Zealand hop farm, Matt moved to NYC to pursue his second love: audio production. He joined HRN as a studio engineer in 2017.

Social Media Coordinator (she/her)

Lauriel Stewart

Lauriel is a creative consultant with a passion for storytelling. She grew up in Denver, CO and her family made their way to Atlanta, GA when she was in middle school. After high school Lauriel attended Tuskegee University in Alabama where she studied food science. Upon graduation in 2016 Lauriel navigated to State College, PA to pursue a master of science in food science from The Pennsylvania State University. Once her schooling was complete in 2018, Lauriel took a gap year to travel and spend time with her family. Her creative spark was activated during this time and she began her social media consulting business as a freelancer for food and wellness focused organizations. She made her way to New York from 2019 to 2022 where she worked as a researcher in Manhattan for 1 year with The Leak Research Group and she also spent 1 year in the Hudson Valley at Cafe Spice doing research and development at the bench top and commercial scales. While in New York she continued to develop her skills as a social media strategist and assisted food and wellness organizations with their marketing initiatives during her spare-time. In the spring of 2022 Lauriel made her way back to Atlanta, GA where she currently resides. Lauriel is passionate about sharing stories within the food system to raise awareness about equity, sustainability, and wellness initiatives. She seeks to make a difference in the world by bringing people together around the idea that food should be an equitable resource and encouraging others to look into the sustainable practices for food cultivation and processing. She enjoys working at the farmers market on the weekends and meeting the farmers and business owners who make up the framework of the food system in Atlanta.

Interns & Fellows

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Addison Austin-Lou

Julia Child Writing Fellow '24 (she/her)

Loan Nguyen

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Asha McElroy

Research and Radio Intern, HRN Educator- High School Programs (she/her)

Elizabeth Fisher

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Hannah Chouinard

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Jessica Gingrich

Research and Radio Intern (he/him)

Samuel Gerardi

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Sophia Hooper

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Danielle Flitter

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Addison Austin-Lou

Addison Austin-Lou (she/her) is a cheesemonger by day, sushi chef by night, and food writer for local publications in her spare time. An indigenous Colombian/Portuguese adoptee, she was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Addison has her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a focus on printmaking and graphic design. Her goal is to return for a Master’s Degree in 2025, crafting a career that protects heritage foodways and supports food sovereignty. Addison believes that looking with reverence to the food systems of indigenous peoples can help to cultivate a more ethical and sustainable food future for all, while bringing ancestral healing to marginalized communities.

Julia Child Writing Fellow '24 (she/her)

Loan Nguyen

Loan Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in Camden,NJ. She’s called Philly her home for the last five years. Her food career began after hosting a series of vegan banh mi popups out of her kitchen in West Philly. She was inspired to create childhood dishes she was nostalgic for since becoming a vegan. Her adventures exploring her roots continued, using food as a tool of self expression and community building. Her journey has included working on a food truck, volunteering at farms, teaching cooking classes to Youth and working with her mom in the kitchen. As the Julia Child Writing Fellow, she’s excited to experiment again, using her voice to weave together the personal narratives of our multicultural food community. Her favorite ingredients are bittermelon, tamarind, lemongrass and shiso.

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Asha McElroy

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Asha’s background is rooted in the intersectionality of urban agriculture and designing culturally sensitive nutrition education for the African American community as a future Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Asha developed her interest in studying cultural humility and sensitivity through her training in Family and Consumer Sciences (food and nutritional science, B.S., North Carolina A& T SU ‘20), as well as Public Health Science (nutritional science, and dietetics, University of Michigan ‘23). Asha is committed to improving the health outcomes of the African American community. As a culturally sensitive RDN, Asha will develop culturally appropriate recipes that center foods indigenous to African culture while highlighting the stories associated with the recipe to further develop the food history of the community. Asha lives by the following African proverb, “if you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Research and Radio Intern, HRN Educator- High School Programs (she/her)

Elizabeth Fisher

Born and raised in Southern California, Elizabeth (she/her) moved to New York City in 2018 to study Journalism and Design and Food Studies at The New School (‘22). Since she was a child, Elizabeth has been passionate about cooking, food media, and food’s ability to catalyze stories and human connection. Her studies at The New School focused on food access and emerging technologies in the food space. While in school, she co-hosted and produced the podcast for Diversify Our Narrative, an educational justice non-profit, and contributed to WNSR, The New School’s student-run public radio. After graduating, she traveled through Europe, volunteered on two organic permaculture farms in Upstate New York, and helped open a neighborhood cafe and wine bar in East Williamsburg. Now based in Brooklyn, she works within New York’s restaurant industry. In her free time, she enjoys reading, creative writing, yoga, working with children, and trying new restaurants.

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Hannah Chouinard

Hannah Chouinard (she/her) is a Midwest expat living in Brooklyn. Her professional food journey began while pursuing an undergraduate degree in Sociology from University of Wisconsin and she has since spent more than ten years in the restaurant industry. Between petting chickens and writing, she is finding time to complete her Master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University focusing on equity in food service.

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Jessica Gingrich

Jessica is an independent writer and researcher focused on the intersection of food, history, culture, and memory. Her writing has appeared in Gastro Obscura, Narratively, Smithsonian Magazine and beyond. Outside of HRN, Jessica conducts oral history interviews for the Queens Memory Project and works as a docent at the Museum of Food and Drink. She’s passionate about food justice and using the power of storytelling to seed a more equitable and sustainable future.

Research and Radio Intern (he/him)

Samuel Gerardi

Sam is an audio engineer, composer, and food enjoyer from Arlington, Virginia. After graduating from University of Virginia with a biology/music double major, Sam fell in love with audio storytelling as an intern at WTJU, UVA’s official radio station. A highly experienced music and audio producer, Sam is excited to use his abilities to build community and to advocate for equitable food systems. In his free time, Sam writes/performs music under the alias OL!VES, swing dances (under no alias), and conducts amateur herpetological surveys (looks for salamanders).

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Sophia Hooper

Sophia’s Puerto Rican and Italian roots guaranteed she was thinking about food from a young age. Born in Los Angeles but now living in New England, Sophia has worked in restaurants, bars, farmers’ markets and organic farms on both coasts, learning everything she can about small food operations. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from Northeastern University, where she studied security and terrorism before deciding to focus on her real passion: the intersection of food, culture, and politics. Sophia spends her free time making clothes, cooking for friends and family, and researching her ever-growing travel list.

Research and Radio Intern (she/her)

Danielle Flitter

Danielle Flitter (she/her), a passionate plant-based chef hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is dedicated to instilling a love for veggies in everyone’s diet. With a culinary journey rooted in her family kitchen, Danielle has honed her skills through global travels and diverse personal chef roles. Armed with an M.A. in Food and Culture Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, she values food’s role in personal identity and community connections. Since March 2023, Danielle has immersed herself in Mexico City’s culinary scene after a three-month culinary residency. There, she explores the rich gastronomy, ingredients, and history of the region. Danielle is eager to embark on her journey of storytelling through food, considering it a cornerstone of cultural preservation, community building, and interpersonal relationships.

Contributing Artists

Contributing Artist (he/him)

Salu Binahtabor

Contributing Artist (she/her)

Jashua Larose

Contributing Artist (he/him)

Salu Binahtabor

Born and raised in Brandon, MS, where he lives on a farm, he has developed a love for nature and animals. His rural upbringing greatly influenced his passion for sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation. He’s an 18-year-old artist, entrepreneur, and baker. He also wrote a book about conservation entitled “Be Bugged: Beneficial Insects for Farmers and Gardeners.” Salu hopes to inspire others to take action towards a more sustainable future through his various creative pursuits. In addition to his book, he also runs a small business selling homemade vegan doughnuts. He discovered his passion for baking at a young age and started his own bakery business, VegoneTreats, at 16. Salu’s unique artistic style is also reflected in both his baked creations and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Contributing Artist (she/her)

Jashua Larose

Jashua was born in Nagoya, Japan, and flew back and forth from Nagoya to NYC throughout her childhood. She officially moved to Inwood, Manhattan for Middle School and now calls Brooklyn her home. A corporate girlie Monday through Friday, and a freelance illustrator during her free time. She also hosts figure-drawing sessions at her apartment.

Advisory Cabinet Members

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Amy Currie

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Nancy Solomon

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Marion Nestle

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Tia Raiford

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Dana Cowin

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Lisa Greer

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Pamela Koch

Advisory Cabinet Member (he/his)

Diego Senior

Advisory Cabinet Member (he/his)

Stephen Zagor

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Amy Currie

Amy Currie is an award-winning executive producer, culinary producer, food stylist, and recipe developer. With a career spanning over 20 years, it’s her fearless curiosity to tell a compelling story that connects her to the narrative she’s creating.   In 2019 she co-founded HotDish Productions, a one-stop shop – creative agency and production company based in New York City. She’s worked with 100’s of the country’s best chefs including Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, Vivian Howard, Marcus Samuelsson, Nina Compton, and Andrew Zimmern to name few. She helped launch HRN’s Cooking in Mexican from A-Z and produced the first 3 seasons.     Prior to HotDish, Amy helped launch Food Network Kitchen, producing live and linear digital content and cooking videos hosted by celebrity chefs. She also worked on Food Network’s GIrl Meets Farm, Beat Bobby Flay, and Guy’s Ranch Kitchen as well as A+E’s Love at First Bite. In 2018, she received a James Beard award and an IACP award for video production.

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Nancy Solomon

Nancy Solomon is a senior reporter and the founding managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio, which won a 2014 Peabody Award for Chris Christie, White House Ambitions and the Abuse of Power.  Her latest project is the podcast, Dead End: A New Jersey Political Murder Mystery.  Solomon fell in love with radio reporting and production at KLCC in Eugene, Oregon, in 1995. She moved to New Jersey in 2001 and has been covering the state ever since. She has produced more than a hundred stories for NPR and was a 2008-09 Spencer Fellow in Education Reporting at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. During that year, Solomon produced “Mind the Gap: Why Good Schools are Failing Black Students” for which she won a Peabody Award. Long before becoming a journalist, Solomon was the first woman ever hired to work on the county road crew in Portland, Oregon.

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University. She writes books about food politics, of which the most recent is Slow Cooked: An Unexpected Life in Food Politics. She blogs at www.foodpolitics.com. Photo by Bill Hayes

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Tia Raiford

As a self-proclaimed ‘First Generation Northerner’, Tia Raiford’s exploration of food began at a young age, as she cooked alongside her mother and grandmother. Born in Albany, New York, raised in Connecticut, growing up a daughter of a musician, disconnected from the heart of the 120-acre watermelon farm of her grandparents and ancestors. However, that culture, food, and the sense of community are reminiscent of the traditions of Wetumpka, Eclectic and Tuskegee, Alabama, and the deep connection to food and farming from Alabama her family carried north during the Great Migration has manifested her passion and commitment to teaching the importance of health benefits and importance of the connection between food and the human experience throughout her career. Tia, an alumni of The Culinary Institute of America, where she met her husband Matthew, has cooked in some of the country’s top kitchens, including New York City’s Oceana and Gramercy Tavern, leading to a highpoint role in her career as Senior Executive Chef at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. In 2006, she moved to Philadelphia to serve as the Campus Executive Chef at the University of Pennsylvania, where she lived and immersed herself in the Philadelphia community for over a decade. This move ultimately led her to a career-changing role, building culinary and educational programs and experiences under the guidance of the USDA’s National School Lunch Program as Culinary Director for Vetri Community Partnership, led by James Beard Award recipient Chef Marc Vetri. During her time as Culinary Director for Elior North America’s K-12 division, Tia was able to impact over 100,000 students across the country by creating culinary programs, changing the face of school lunch from within, to bring culturally authentic meals to students to school lunch, mission focused that all children, regardless of their backgrounds have great meals. Tia and Matthew married in 2021, and started their business Strong Roots 9, which is located on Gilliard Farms, a 50-acre Centennial Georgia farm that has been in Matthew’s family since 1874. Strong Roots 9 is the first wellness omni brand for black and brown people. As stewards of 50 acres purchased by Jupiter in 1874, we grow, cultivate and curate products, services and experiences that nourish the body, mind and soul.

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Dana Cowin

Dana Cowin is an award-winning tastemaker and innovator in media, food and branding. Her work spans advising creatives, founders and non-profits in the restaurant and CPG space and creating editorial through podcasts, social, video, zines and books. She was the Editor in Chief of Food & Wine magazine for 21 years. Cowin recently returned to print with a zine, Speaking Broadly, based on her Heritage Radio Network podcast of the same name, that shares the successes and challenges of women in hospitality. Cowin is on the board of Food Education Fund, Hot Bread Kitchen, the Food Council of City Harvest and Culinary Council of God’s Love We Deliver.

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Lisa Greer

Advisory Cabinet Member (she/her)

Pamela Koch

Dr. Pamela Koch is the Mary Swartz Rose Associate Professor of Nutrition and Education and the faculty director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy in the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University. Pam conducts research with schools and communities to give people power to demand healthy, just, sustainable food. She translates her research into curricula for school teachers, recommendations for policy makers, and resources for advocates. She has evaluated many school-based programs that improve school meals, create school gardens, conduct cooking sessions, and promote food justice. She teaches courses on sustainability of the food system, social and psychological determinants of food choice, and the process of food and nutrition education, all done through a sustainability and equity lens. She also teaches an online professional development course for educators, Teaching Food and Nutrition for All. Her work contributes to increased access to nutritious, delicious and sustainable food for all. She completed her BS and MS from Rutgers University and her EdD and RD from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Advisory Cabinet Member (he/his)

Diego Senior

Diego Senior has more than 15 years in audio journalism and television production. He has been a radio correspondent and media executive and has collaborated with several national outlets like National Geographic, CBS News, Discovery ID and NY1 Noticias. Mr. Senior has dedicated most of his work life to audio content, both in music and spoken word narratives, becoming Executive Manager for talk radio stations at Caracol Radio in Colombia, as well as content creator for various news radio networks across the world, including Mexico’s W Radio, ADN Chile and Spain’s Cadena SER. Mr. Senior has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the Universidad de la Sabana in Bogotá and a M.A. in International Affairs from The New School University in New York. He is cofounder and current CEO of a podcast production company, LA CENTRAL.

Advisory Cabinet Member (he/his)

Stephen Zagor

Stephen Zagor is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia Business School and NYU School of Nutrition and Food Studies, specializing in Food Businesses and Entrepreneurship. He is also a consultant as Steve Zagor & Associates. Steve has over 30 years of experience in various aspects of the food industry and has extensive entrepreneurial experience in the planning, development and management of a wide variety of food related enterprises. Steve’s background is diversified including owner of a multi-concept restaurant/retail/club group and, regional practice leader of food business consulting for Coopers and Lybrand. He was Dean of Culinary Business and Industry Programs at The Institute of Culinary Education. He has a Master’s from Cornell School of Hotel, and appears frequently on TV, in media, and as a panelist and speaker at industry events. Steve appeared as a guest expert on the Food Network’s Recipes for Success. He was on the Board of Directors for a restaurant company at Universal Studios Orlando, and the Advisory Board of WeWork Food Lab. He is a current Board member of Lessing’s Hospitality, a NY based multi-unit restaurant, catering and food service contractor.

Board Members

Board Chair (she/her)

Liza Hamm

Board Member (he/him)

Brian Kenny

Board Member (he/him)

Chadwick Boyd

Board Member (he/him)

Brandon Hoy

Board Member (she/her)

Julie Shaffer

Host Representative (she/her)

Akiko Katayama

Board Member (she/her)

Esther Trakinski

Board Member (he/him)

Todd Richards

Board Member (she/her)

Lee Ann Daly

Board Treasurer (he/him)

Adam Riess

Board Chair (she/her)

Liza Hamm

Board Member (he/him)

Brian Kenny

Brian J. Kenny has excelled in a variety of industries, including software development, media and specialty food production. He is the co-founder of Pacific Sun Olive Oil, an award-winning premium brand. As the Corporate Division Manager for Hearst Ranch Beef, and he helped establish the company as the nation’s largest single-source supplier of grass-fed beef. We’re so thankful for his wise guidance and support of HRN from day one.

Board Member (he/him)

Chadwick Boyd

Chadwick Boyd is a food media entrepreneur. He started his first food business at the age of 7, selling hand crafted brownies and fresh lemonade. Today, Boyd’s company, Chadwick Boyd Lifestyle, is a multi-media enterprise that collaborates with magazines, television networks, publishing houses and consumer brands. Chadwick is a longtime fixture on daytime television and in movie theaters. He just launched a new series in collaboration with CNN.com and CNN Airport Network called “Chadwick Has it Made.” He also is the host of “Reel Food,” the first food entertainment series shown on 15,000 movie screens nationwide every month. Additionally, Chadwick is the judge on “Christmas Cookie Matchup” on Hallmark Drama. He is a regular on the Home & Family Show, The Doctor & The Diva and more. Chadwick contributes to Better Homes & Gardens, The Kitchn, Food52, Serious Eats and other publications. He has been featured in Southern Living, MyRecipes, Rachael Ray Every Day, Real Simple and many more publications. Chadwick has written and collaborated on 15 food and lifestyle books with many familiar household names, including his recipe collection, “Entertaining with Vegetables” with a foreword written by Nathalie Dupree. He is a James Beard Foundation journalism judge, sits on the Board of International Association of Culinary Professionals, and travels nationally with Chef Carla Hall teaching home cooks how to make biscuits with their “Biscuit Time” class. Chadwick has offices in New York City and Atlanta with a team of experts in brand sales and partnerships, brand communications & marketing, content creation and production. He travels frequently around the country, making appearances and studying emerging food trends.

Board Member (he/him)

Brandon Hoy

Brandon Hoy is the Co-Owner and COO of Roberta’s, the home of Heritage Radio Network. Roberta’s compound includes the casual Roberta’s—with its wood-fired pizza ovens, on-site garden, bakery, Tiki bar, take out counter, and two Michelin-starred dining destination, Blanca. Hoy also oversees Roberta’s LA, a frozen pizza business, and multiple Manhattan kiosk locations.

Board Member (she/her)

Julie Shaffer

Julie Shaffer proves it’s truly possible to move mountains! She became a member of Slow Food in 2000, and then served as the leader of its Atlanta chapter for 10 years. She went on to serve as regional governor for the SE region, before being elected to the board of directors. She is currently co-chair of the Board of Slow Food USA, a member of Chefs Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Les Dames d’Escoffier. She also owns a stake in Heritage Foods. Julie has the explorer gene, and loves to speak broken French and Italian at every opportunity.

Host Representative (she/her)

Akiko Katayama

Board Member (she/her)

Esther Trakinski

After spending more than 20 years practicing law, Esther shifted her professional focus in 2013 to help train—and hopefully inspire—a new generation of food advocates. In furtherance of this mission, Esther teaches courses about food systems, food policy, and food advocacy at NYU and Fordham Law School. She also works with New York City public school’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services, serving as their first ever Farm to School Coordinator, advises advocacy campaigns that seek legislative solutions to food systems issues, including the successful New York Grown for New York Kids (NYGFFNYK) campaign, helps shape food systems platforms for political campaigns, and serves on the advisory boards of several non-profit organizations and sustainable food start-up companies. Esther splits her time between NYC and Columbia County, where she happily supports the (delicious) local farm economy in the warm months, spends the cold months serving the community as a volunteer member of the Catamount Ski Patrol, and spends as much time as she can all year round taking long walks with her two dogs, Jake and Ben.

Board Member (he/him)

Todd Richards

Chef Todd Richards is an award-winning chef known for his contemporary cooking style rooted in Soul and Southern cuisine. A native of Chicago and based in Atlanta since the early 1990s, Richards is a self-taught chef and two-time semifinalist for James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Southeast. Chef Todd is the chef/co-owner of Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ in Atlanta and previously helmed the kitchens of prestigious hotels and restaurants including White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, The Ritz-Carlton (Atlanta, Buckhead and West Palm Beach) and the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, which garnered the prestigious AAA 5 Diamond Award for restaurant excellence under his tenure. Chef Richards’ debut cookbook, SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes (TIME Inc., Meredith Corporation), was released to rave reviews in May 2018. Within the book, Chef Todd shares his personal culinary exploration of soul food. The book has been named the winner for the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ 2019 Cookbook Awards while Chef Todd is the 2019 IACP Award winning recipient in the American Cooking Category. Chef Richards is an active Board Member of Wholesome Wave Georgia SFA, and a founding council member of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. He resides in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta with his wife, one of three sons, and beloved dog, Cinnamon.

Board Member (she/her)

Lee Ann Daly

Lee Ann Daly is a globally recognized American marketing and media executive. She provides strategic, trans-media, creative advice and action plans to a broad range of early-stage and established private and public companies. At ESPN, Reuters and Thomson Reuters Markets and Pressed Juicery she was a member of the executive committee, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer; leading global marketing and communications teams. She was North American Chairman of The Talent Business, a UK based executive search firm. She is a member of the Dean’s Board of Advisors at The Media School at Indiana University where she graduated with a BA in Journalism. She is a Distinguished Alumni Fellow at The Kelley School of Business at Indiana and is graduate Chef de Cuisine, of The French Culinary Institute and University of Santa Monica. She has been a member of the board at Avenues For Justice in New York City, President and Chairman of the Board of The American Marketing Association and is a special advisor to the founder of MFK: Haiti. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and sons.

Board Treasurer (he/him)

Adam Riess

Adam Riess has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry from dishwashing at an early age to restaurant ownership mid-career to partnerships, ownership, investments and consulting currently. Particularly formative roles include front-of-house work at Restaurant La Terrasse in Philadelphia; opening and running Doc’s in New Preston, CT; working for Clark Wolf Company in NYC; and Union Square Hospitality Group for seven years. In 2010 Adam formed Pro Management Co where he managed restaurant openings, including North End Grill, Alder, Giovani Rana and Marta. While Adam continues to work with the Pro Management Co team, his focus is now strategic financial consulting, business plans, openings and industry investments. Adam is a partner in Itani Ramen in Oakland, CA, and Kru in Brooklyn, NY.

Values

Collaboration. We work collaboratively with our teams, hosts, partners and communities—helping to bring out the best in others as we bring out the best in ourselves.

Curiosity. We celebrate the value of new insights, giving our audiences the resources and opportunities to help shape the future of food by educating and empowering generations of eaters, growers, makers and storytellers. We grow by constantly exploring how our work serves our mission.

Inclusion. We work to create an inclusive and diverse organization—including our team, programs, and content—that embraces different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas.

Passion. We are all making the world a better place. We bring enthusiasm, dedication, and a strong work ethic to everything we do.

History

We’ve been serving up thought-provoking conversations ever since Heritage Foods founder Patrick Martins and an intrepid group of visionary thinkers banded together to build a recording studio out of two recycled shipping containers in the backyard of Roberta’s Pizza, a restaurant at the forefront of Brooklyn’s culinary renaissance. We pass the mic and give the farmers, chefs, servers, activists, and entrepreneurs working to improve the food system a megaphone.