Director Robert Kenner has won an array of awards and garnered rave reviews for his documentary work exposing some of today’s least talked of, but most impactful, social and environmental issues. Considered a craftsman of documentaries, Kenner is also a public speaker on environmental, social, health, and political issues. His documentary, Food, Inc. was nominated for an Academy Award and won two Emmys. Variety said Food, Inc. "does for the supermarket what Jaws did for the beach.”
Prior to his work on Food, Inc., Kenner received a Peabody, Emmy, and Grierson Award for his film, Two Days in October, an insightful examination of two key events during the Vietnam Conflict and how they shaped Americans’ views of the war. Kenner was co-filmmaker with Richard Pearce on The Road to Memphis for Martin Scorsese's series, The Blues. Newsweek called The Road to Memphis “as fine a film ever made about American music” and “the unadulterated gem of the Scorsese Series.” In addition, Kenner has directed a number of specials for The American Experience and National Geographic, including the award-winning and inspirational Don’t Say Goodbye. Kenner has also filmed an award-winning public history of Hewlett Packard and numerous commercials.
Ali Partovi is an angel investor, startup advisor, and serial entrepreneur based in San Francisco. He co-founded and sold two high-profile startups: iLike, acquired by MySpace in 2009, and LinkExchange, acquired by Microsoft in 1998. His portfolio as an investor/advisor has included such successes as Zappos, Ironport, and Facebook, as well as newer ventures such as DropBox and OPOWER. As a visionary, he was among the first people to see the potential of the Facebook Platform (in 2007), and among the earliest to grasp the business opportunity of search (in 1997). His interests include a passion for sustainable food and agriculture, including his recent article in TechCrunch, Food is the New Frontier in Green Tech.
Naomi Starkman is a Founder and the Editor-in-Chief of Civil Eats.com, a Web site which promotes critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems. She is a food policy consultant to Consumers Union and others, as well as a founding board member and the Strategic Communications Advisor to the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Naomi co-produces Kitchen Table Talks, a local food forum in San Francisco, is a board member of 18 Reasons, a nonprofit connecting community through food, and is on the Circle of Friends Council for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. She served as the Director of Communications & Policy at Slow Food Nation ’08 and has worked as a media consultant at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ and WIRED magazines. She was previously a senior publicist at Newsweek magazine and was the Director of Communications for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). From 1997 to 2000, she served as Deputy Executive Director of the S.F. Ethics Commission. Naomi works with various clients on food policy and advocacy and is an aspiring organic grower, having worked on several farms.
Maria Rodale is the CEO and Chairman of Rodale Inc., the world's leading multimedia company with a focus on health, wellness, and the environment, as well as the largest independent book publisher in the United States. She is Editor-in-Chief of the company's newest online venture, Rodale.com, which features the latest news and information about healthy living on a healthy planet, as well as her blog, Maria's Farm Country Kitchen. Rodale is the author of three books and has won numerous awards, including, in 2004, the National Audubon Society's "Rachel Carson Award" and, in 2007, the United Nations Population Fund's "Award for the Health and Dignity of Women." In 2009 she was named to Pennsylvania's "Best 50 Women in Business" List.
Marland Buckner is the founder and Principal of Global Strategic Partners, a public affairs and business development consultancy located in Washington, DC. Prior to founding GSP, Buckner served for seven years as Director of Federal Government Affairs for Microsoft Corporation. During his tenure at Microsoft, Buckner worked closely with senior leadership and executive staff to integrate Microsoft's philanthropic, policy, and political efforts. Active in the local community, Buckner serves on the board of the Washington, DC Coalition for the Homeless and the advisory board of the DC Project, a program to train the homeless for localized green jobs, such as weatherization.
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