List of Coaches + Mentors

The following is a list of all the amazing Coaches and Mentors taking part in the Entrepreneur Clinic on Friday, April 25, 2014 from 9:00 am -12:30 pm at Food + Enterprise (Food Book Fair) at Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211:


Colin Barnhart
President, Black Ink Business Services LLC
Colin Barnhart is the founder of Black Ink Business Services which has been providing back office support and financial consulting for the Hospitality and Food Wholesale industries for over four years. Prior to starting Black Ink Colin was a COO of a hospitality group which operated four properties in two states. Colin has also owned and sold on restaurant and currently own one bar which has been open for over 7 years.

Howard Fischer
CEO, Basso Capital Management
Howard Fischer is the founder and CEO of Basso Capital Management, a hedge fund company with a focus in convertible securities. He is also an angel and venture capital investor and an environmentalist with an interest in regenerative agriculture and aquaculture. He is currently helping to launch a private equity fund whose mission is to prove the tenets of conscious capitalism through investments in consumer product companies.

Dave Hanold
VP and Loan Officer, NYBDC
Dave Hanold of NYBDC is a VP and Loan Officer. NYBDC uses creative underwriting and SBA loan programs to provide an alternative financing source for small businesses in New York State that are not otherwise met by traditional bank financing.
Robert C. Holderith
President and Founder, Emerging Global Advisors, LLC
Robert Holderith has founded three start-up companies including Emerging Global Advisors, LLC (EGA). EGA is an emerging and frontier markets asset manager based in NYC. Robert started his first business at age 19, a retail bicycle store he owned for 13 years.

Justin McAuliffe
Manager, CohnReznick
Justin provides high-quality accounting and tax services to a variety of small and large businesses. With nearly 10 years of diversified public accounting experience, Justin works with clients on tax planning, consulting and compliance in a variety of industries. He has experience preparing and reviewing federal, individual, corporate and partnership tax returns, and has served as full-time controller and CFO, when necessary, for key clients.

Kevin McLoughlin
Loan Consultant, Accion East
Kevin McLoughlin is a Loan Consultant at Accion East. He received his MA from NYU in Latin American Studies, focusing on international development, and has since dedicated himself to supporting the development of local economies in the US.

Lisa Williams
Associate, Imprint Capital
Prior to joining Imprint, Lisa Williams was an Associate in the Corporate Bond Research Division of Citi Investment Research. At Citi, Lisa developed investment recommendations for the Energy and Utilities sector and contributed to the initiation of positions in investment grade corporate bonds and CDS. Previous to that, she was a Research Assistant in a top-two rated Institutional Investor equity research team with oversight for $520 billion market capitalization. During this time, Lisa built databases to identify and monitor operating drivers and supported the team with the development of stock valuations, marketing presentations, and industry reports. Ms. Williams has a B.A. in Business Administration from Saint Peter’s College and earned her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Robert C. Holderith
President and Founder, Emerging Global Advisors, LLC
Robert Holderith has founded three start-up companies including Emerging Global Advisors, LLC (EGA). EGA is an emerging and frontier markets asset manager based in NYC. Robert started his first business at age 19, a retail bicycle store he owned for 13 years.

Business Development

Przemek Adolf
Chef and Owner, Saucy by Nature
Przemek Adolf is the chef and owner of Saucy By Nature a farm-to-table catering and manufacturing company as well as co-founder of Fare Trade NYC, a food artisans alliance that supports existing and start up food entrepreneurs.

Holley Atkinson
Principal, Making Food Work
Holley Atkinson supports local food + tech initiatives with digital & social media, product development, project management, strategic marketing and advisory services. She has over 25 years’ experience producing and managing content and technology in the interactive services and social media sectors, primarily in entrepreneurial settings.

Tara Berman
Managing Partner, Tara Paige
Tara Berman, CPA is a leading industry expert on business planning, conceptual development, accounting and financial management, operations and overall strategic guidance for early stage brands and growing enterprises. Tara’s background in Finance with JP Morgan Capital Markets coupled with her extensive time with The Thomas Keller Group offers her clients a distinct opportunity to combine the finance and hospitality sectors.

Ben Giardullo
Food Systems Consultant
Ben is a business leader who has helped to develop and grow organizations throughout his career. He currently works with Hudson Valley Harvest, Hawthorne Valley Farm, Field Goods, and Sovereign Cider, and recently with companies such as Brooklyn Bouillon, Drink More Good, and Good Eggs. He is a founder of the Beacon Food Cooperative, as well as a new retail company to be launched in 2014. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Common Ground Farm, a community farm project focused on food accessibility and food education. Previously, Ben held pivotal leadership positions in the global expansion of American Apparel, where he was responsible for growing the company’s most profitable region to $80M revenue, leading a team of 750 employees, and developing the company’s global operations and inventory systems.

Christine Rico
Founder, President, Waste to Wealth
Christine Rico is a social entrepreneur and business growth consultant. Christine works with business owners to develop growth plans, increase profitability, improve team dynamics, and strengthen operating systems. Clients include Beth’s Farm Kitchen; Food Karma Projects; and Black & Blanco. Christine has worked on building businesses with social impact for over 25 years. Previously, Christine was an organizational change consulting practice for long term care providers and director of business development for a network of worker-owned home care businesses. Christine is also co-founder of Green Rabbits Projects which produces special events to promote sustainable food systems in the NYC foodshed.

Peter Strugatz
Peter Strugatz is an early member of the mission-driven business community as an entrepreneur and invested early in Stonyfield Farm Yogurt and Zipcar. Founding Strugatz Ventures, the first New York State Benefit Corporation he advises social entrepreneurs and impact investors. Peter served as Co-founder and Co-CEO of IceStone, which secured $20 million in mission-aligned capital, grew to 65 employees, built out 55,000 square feet of manufacturing at the Bklyn Navy Yard, and was among the first to achieve Cradle to Cradle Gold certification, becoming a founding member of B Corp, and being named as one of the first Inc. Magazine’s “50 Greenest Companies”. The company also became a model for its innovative corporate culture of inclusiveness, diversity and collaboration.

Philip Teverow
Solid Brands
At Solid Brands, Philip helps entrepreneurs turn their food ideas into businesses. He advises and executes in all facets of starting and growing a food business, from brand creation to product development, business planning, operations, distribution and promotion. Philip brings to the table deep industry knowledge and contacts, extensive food production and distribution expertise, and an analytic mindset.


Guillaume Gauthereau
CEO, Sequoia Lab
Guillaume Gauthereau has been doing private strategic advising of CEO & entrepreneurs for the past 15 years in multiple industries. E&Y 2012 Finalist Entrepreneur of the Year NYC Venture Fellow Winner 2012 Always On 2012 Top 100 Start-up Forbes 2012 Most Promising Company Winner Member of the Young Entrepreneurship Council Member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum Member of Clinton Global Initiative ( Advisory Board of GRAMEEN BANK America Foreign Trade Advisor for the French government Member of e2 ( Member of NRDC NY Council.

Rachna Govani
Project Lead, Foodstand
Rachna Govani is on the founding team of Foodstand, the new venture from the folks at Purpose. Foodstand aims to reconnect people to their food communities in order to mobilize consumer demand to support a more resilient, regional food system — all through a mobile app. Rachna brings 8 years of experience building new digital products and campaigns, rebuilding brands, and developing and optimizing cross-channel targeted marketing strategies. She is passionate about and well versed in loyalty and behavior change strategies. Twitter: @govani

Julia Heyer
Managing director, Heyer Performance
Julia Heyer is the founder and principal of Heyer Performance (HPI), is a boutique restaurant consultancy with over 75 years of combined experience in operations, development and optimization. We help clients balance vision, guest experience, operational functionality and financials into a well-calibrated business that works for all: guests, team, owners and investors. Julia’s extensive varied international restaurant experience – from working in operations to controller to corporate officer – has sharpened her skills and insights for concept development and brand management. Prior to founding Heyer Performance in 2009, Julia, among others, has worked with Alain Ducasse, Sushi Samba restaurants and Richard Sandoval’s Modern Mexican Restaurant Group in executive management positions. She has been involved in the business structuring, optimization, concept development, brand management and opening of more than thirty restaurants and re-vitalizations.

Mike Lee
CEO, Studio Industries
CEO & Founder of Studio Industries, a food design and innovation agency. Innovation Director of AccelFoods, an early-stage packaged food startup accelerator. Past/Other experience: Innovation & Product Development at Chobani, Director of Strategy at Bond Strategy, and Founder of Studiofeast, an underground dining collective.


Anthony Fassio
CEO, Natural Gourmet Institute
Anthony Fassio joined the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) as CEO in August 2013 with expansive knowledge of the food and culinary industries, drawing on experiences that range from serving as Chair of Slow Food New York City to graduating second in his class at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Anthony’s areas of expertise include sustainable and healthy foods as well as consumer food goods, restaurant and private catering, family agriculture, non-profit management, supply chain distribution, and food safety. As Chair of Slow Food NYC (SFNYC), Anthony works to correct issues in the food supply chain through sustainable innovation, while expanding the delivery of healthful, whole foods from area farms to city food purveyors. As an entrepreneur, he founded AJ Food Consulting, which helps promote regional growth by facilitating the business development of local, nutritious products in the food, farm and restaurant industries. And in addition to working with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group he has collaborated with such prominent organizations as Frito-Lay, Pepsi, and the entrepreneur incubator Hot Bread Kitchen Incubates. Anthony began his career on his family’s fourth generation egg farm where he spearheaded the effort to change from conventional to organic, cage-free eggs.

Claire Hartten
Green Rabbits
Claire Hartten, co-founder of Green Rabbits, is an integrative sitopian designer, educator and special projects developer. She is a founding faculty member of the new program, MFA Products of Design, at SVA in New York City where she teaches on Designing for Sustainability and Resilience, a course for developing an understanding of how integrative designers can support living systems and relate their work to food, agriculture, society and place. The Rye Bread Project and the film about it was the first Green Rabbits project that Claire co-produced. She has collaborated for the past four years on an annual seminar discussion over a thematic lunch about regional food systems with Carolyn Steel and Michael Conard for his Prefigurations course for the Masters program on Urban Planning at Columbia University. She earned an Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts with a major in Art HIstory from Swarthmore College and a graduate degree from MFA Applied Imagination (formerly MA Design Studies) at Central St Martins College of Art & Design in London, a program to which she returned to teach after graduating and working for the UK government’s Design Council.

Cerise Mayo
Founder, Nutshell Projects
Cerise Mayo is the Director of Nutshell Projects. She established the consulting firm in 2011. Cerise began working in the field of sustainable food and agriculture in 2002 at the U.S. office of Slow Food. As the Director of Special Projects, she led national education and advocacy campaigns that championed dynamic models of small-scale food production, distribution, and procurement. Clients include: She Wolf Bakery, Marlow and Sons, Edgemere Farm, Saipua/World’s End Farm, Hot Bread Kitchen Incubates, Good Eggs Brooklyn, La Cocina, and New Amsterdam Market.


Jason Foscolo
Partner, Foscolo & Handel PLLC
Jason is the Managing Partner at Foscolo & Handel PLLC, a general practice law firm specializing in the farming and food industries.

John K. Friedman, Esq.
Attorney, JKF Law
John Friedman is a lawyer specializing in governance and fundraising projects for businesses in the Hudson Valley and environs whose owners are dedicated to place and community, primarily in the ag/food/alcohol sectors but also interested in clean energy.

Cari Rincker
Owner, Rincker Law, PLLC
Cari Rincker is the owner of Rincker Law, PLLC, a national general practice law firm concentrating in food and agriculture law. She is licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington D.C. She is currently the Chair of the American Bar Association’s General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division’s Agriculture Law Committee and serves on the New York State Bar Association’s Agriculture & Rural Issues Committee. She is a prolific writer and blogger on a myriad of food and agriculture law topics and has been recognized as an author of a Top 100 Blawg from the American Bar Association. She recently co-authored a book with Pat Dillon titled “Field Manual: Legal Guide for New York Farmers & Food Entrepreneurs.”

Operations, Distribution, Product Sourcing & Sales

Emily J. Cantor
East Coast Sales Manager, Multiple Organics
Emily has 7+ years in wholesale ingredient supply, with an expertise on organic ingredients. She can offer advice around inventory and contract planning, scale-up, ingredient sourcing & vetting new suppliers. Focus on understanding harvest/crop year to reduce costs. She also has extensive experience with B2B sales.

Erin Firmat
Corporate Accounts & Customer Service Manager, Rainforest Distribution
Erin has worked in the natural food products industry for nearly eight years, covering marketing and sales. Her last 3 years in distribution gives her full-scope insight into buying and selling – consumer trends, buyers’ decision-making strategies, and production requirements and capabilities. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge with you!

Johanna Kolodny
Since 2001, Johanna Kolodny has held a wide range of positions in the food world, including but not limited to distribution sales and product sourcing for restaurants. Johanna is currently a food systems consultant in New York City. I earned my B.A. from Williams College and my M.A. in Food Studies from New York University.


Annemieke Beemster Leverenz
Graphic Designer
Annemieke Beemster Leverenz is a graphic designer based in Brooklyn, specializing in logo and icon design, custom lettering and typography. She has worked with the fine folks at Martha Stewart, Nickelodeon, HarperCollins Publishers, Victoria’s Secret, and GrowNYC, among others.

Natalie Gourvitch
Business Development Manager
Natalie is Business Development Manager at Squarespace– an intuitive web publishing platform that makes it easy to create beautiful, responsively designed websites without ever touching a line of code. She leads strategy and partnerships for both Squarespace’s commerce platform and the food industry.

Ulla Kjarval
Partner, Sheepdog Print and Design, LLC
Ulla Kjarval is a New York-based photographer, social media consultant and food writer. Ulla’s childhood on a farm in upstate New York sparked her life-long interest and advocacy on behalf of family farms. Ulla believes that the Internet holds many opportunities for farmers to promote their product and engage with the current food movement.

Kat Popiel
Social Media Director, Anomaly
Kat Popiel is currently at Anomaly working on Renaissance Hotels & Autograph Collection. In the past she’s launched a shipping container market, produced food videos, written for various publications and more.

Ben Schmerler
Partner, First Press Public Relations
Before co-founding First Press in 2004, Ben was a Senior Editor at Zagat Survey for more than seven years. During his time at the company he worked on all its guides and was the editor of ZagatWire (now Buzz), its online restaurant news content. Ben is a member of City Harvest’s Food Council and has appeared on the Leonard Lopate Show and as a judge on Iron Chef America. Previously, he worked in government as a press officer.

Winnie Wong
Digital Strategist,
Winnie Wong is the founder of Seismologik, an award winning progressive blog and social media feed. As a core organizer of the Occupy Movement, Wong was part of the historic occupation of Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17th, 2011. She is an in-demand digital strategist and has pioneered social media trends during the 2012 election in her work designing the political hot button site, The Message.

Natalie Gourvitch Business
Development Manager
Natalie is Business Development Manager at Squarespace– an intuitive web publishing platform that makes it easy to create beautiful, responsively designed websites without ever touching a line of code. She leads strategy and partnerships for both Squarespace’s commerce platform and the food industry.

Product Development

Beth Linskey
Owner, Beth’s Farm Kitchen
Beth Linskey has over 30 years experience running a small but ever growing jam &chutney business. Beth began her business as a Greenmarket vendor and used the market to expand the business into co-packing, private labeling and restaurant sales.

Robin Puskas
Culinary Product Development, NY Kitchen Co
Robin Puskas, owner of NYKitchenCO, is an expert at creating scalable recipes, whether it’s transforming the seed of an idea into a production-ready prototype or taking a small batch artisanal product to the next level of production, ready to become a nationally distributed product line.


Jeni Britton Bauer
Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni Britton Bauer, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio, is the author of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts and the James Beard Award-winning Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Time called Jeni’s ice creams “America’s best,” while Food & Wine proclaimed, “No one makes ice creams like Jeni.”

Mary Cleaver
Owner, The Cleaver Co. and The Green Table
Mary is one of the country’s foremost authorities on sustainable food and local sourcing and is the founder and owner of The Cleaver Co. and The Green Table in New York City. The Cleaver Co. is a full-service event planning and catering operation with a large roster of private, non-profit and corporate clients, and a full-time staff of 50. The Green Table is a farm-to-table restaurant in the Chelsea Market where guests enjoy delicious dishes that demonstrate a commitment to seasonal cuisine. As Mary’s businesses have grown, so has her reputation for providing sumptuous, seasonally-driven food, attentive service, excellent event planning – and for helping create a sustainable, humane and delicious food system.

Taylor Cocalis Suarez
Co-Founder, Good Food Jobs
Taylor co-founded Good Food Jobs with fellow Cornell alum Dorothy Neagle. GFJ is the first online job search engine devoted to finding meaningful food work. Since 2010 they’ve posted over 13,000 jobs and brought together over 50,000 food lovers. Their goal is to build community around the desire to find fulfillment through one’s day-to-day work.

Keith Cohen
President Oven Artisans Inc. DBA Orwashers Bakery
After being in the bread business for 14 years Keith Cohen took over Orwashers Bakery in 2007. He has worked hard to bring back its long standing reputation of being true to old world standards.

Mariana Cotlear
Marketing Strategist, Chipotle
As Chipotle’s Marketing Strategist for New York, Mariana oversees the company’s marketing efforts in New York City and the Tri-State area. Her role includes developing area-wide brand building initiatives, partnerships, and events, as well as supporting in-store marketing and sales building promotions for 100 area locations. She is a passionate advocate for the company’s Food with Integrity efforts and its mission to improve the way people think about and eat fast food.

Taylor Erkkinen
Owner, the Brooklyn Kitchen
Taylor Erkkinen came from a world of Engineering and Construction before starting the Brooklyn Kitchen with her husband in 2006. Since then, the Brooklyn Kitchen has become the preeminent destination for equipment, ingredients and education, with stores in Williamsburg and Hell’s Kitchen, USA.

Dan Horan
CEO, Five Acre Farms
Dan Horan has been creating and building food and farming businesses for 25 years. He founded Five Acre Farms to make high-quality, healthy food more broadly available and to keep farmers farming.

Liz Neumark
CEO and Founder, Great Performances
Liz Neumark is CEO and founder of Great Performances, rated Zagat’s top catering company in New York City. Originally intended as a staffing service for women in the arts, Great Performances has evolved into one of the nation’s most recognized and trendsetting catering companies. Liz’s commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture and good earth practices led her to establish Katchkie Farm, her sixty-acre organic farm in upstate New York, in 2006. As well as providing fresh produce for catering events, Katchkie Farm is home of the Sylvia Center, a garden-to-table culinary-based program that inspires young people to discover good food and flavors on the farm and in the kitchen. Liz’s experience in the food world has shaped her advocacy efforts: she serves on the boards of several groups on food policy and the food system, such as Just Food and GrowNYC, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including Food Arts Silver Spoon Award and Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women. In her spare time, Liz can be found exploring farm stands and food shops, and spending time with her husband and three grown children.

Terry Romero
Food Project Specialist, Kickstarter
In addition to being the food project specialist on Kickstarter, Terry is author and co-author of numerous bestselling cookbooks, including Viva Vegan!: Authentic Vegan Latina American Recipes. She has presented at food festivals and conferences the world over. Terry holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University.

Vera Chang
PR and Marketing
Vera is the Public Relations and Marketing Director for Shelburne Farms, where she oversees media and messaging for its 1,400-acre organic farm and forest, leading-edge educational programs, award-winning farmstead cheese, and internationally-recognized farm to table restaurant and inn. Previously, Vera was a Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation Fellow, where she worked with top management to support the company’s initiatives for large-scale food systems change. She writes often on food and agriculture and has been featured in Bitch magazine, Civil Eats, and Triple Pundit to name a few.

Nicole Reed
Communications and Special Projects Manager
In her capacity as Communications Manager for Down to Earth Markets, Nicole writes the company’s press releases, weekly topical emails, and social media messages. She also profiles the market vendors. In doing so, she interviews farmers and food makers to capture their history and vision.

Emma Frelinghuysen
Sr Director, Private Brands
Emma Frelinghuysen has more than 10 years of experience in consumer-facing food and beverage. She is currently at FreshDirect, the leading on-line grocer, spearheading the launch of the private label organization. Previous roles at FreshDirect included merchandising and market expansion. Prior to FreshDirect, she worked at both Diageo and Williams-Sonoma in marketing roles. She has a BA from Trinity College and an MBA from Stanford University.

Jason Lepes
Category Merchant
Jason Lepes is the Prepared Foods Merchant for FreshDirect, a leading online grocer in the U.S. Jason is responsible for the strategy, pricing, sourcing, product development, assortment planning and partnership development for the Bakery, Kitchen, Pastry and Catering departments. Since 2007, Jason has helped bring some of FreshDirect’s most innovative and popular products to enthusiastic FreshDirect customers everywhere. He holds an A.B. Philosophy from Brown University.

Taylor Cocalis Suarez
Co-Founder, Good Food Jobs
Taylor co-founded Good Food Jobs with fellow Cornell alum Dorothy Neagle. GFJ is the
first online job search engine devoted to finding meaningful food work. Since 2010
they’ve posted over 13,000 jobs and brought together over 50,000 food lovers. Their
goal is to build community around the desire to find fulfillment through one’s day-to-day