Keynotes

Kirsten Saenz Tobey, Revolution Foods

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Kirsten Saenz Tobey founded Revolution Foods in 2006 with Kristin Groos Richmond, while they were classmates at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Kirsten continues to steward the mission and drive the brand vision and impact strategy for the company. Kirsten’s work centers around developing innovative, attainable solutions for providing access to healthy food and education to families across the US.   Revolution Foods was named by Fast Company as one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies in 2015. Kristin and Kirsten were named by the Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum as Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2015. They were also co-named Entrepreneur of the Year by NewSchools Venture Fund in 2010, identified as Time Magazine’s Education Activists of 2011, and listed among Fortune’s 40 under 40 for 2013.

Prior to founding Revolution Foods, Kirsten’s career spanned from leading experiential education programs in the US and Ecuador to evaluating the scalability of school feeding programs with the United Nations Hunger Task Force in Ghana. Kirsten is an Ashoka Fellow, an Aspen Institute Catto Fellow, a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Sustainable Business Council. She currently is a member of the Board of Directors for Mercaris, Net Impact and People’s Community Market.

Cheryl Queen, Compass Group USA

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Cheryl Queen is responsible for communication and corporate affairs for Compass Group, the largest food and support services company in the US and North America, with 2015 annual revenue of $14.5 billion and 240,000 associates. Compass was recently named to Fortune’s Companies that Change the World.

Cheryl is former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a partnership between NC State University, NC A&T University and the NC  Department of Agriculture; and is a member of the Farm Foundation Roundtable.

In 2010 she received the Cesar Estrada Chavez Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action for work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to craft a Code of Conduct for Suppliers and an agreement to pay farmworkers a premium. She is a board member of the Fair Food Standards Council.

She has spoken at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, COMMIT Forum, Humane Society of the US TAFA Conference, SXSW and often speaks on behalf of Fair Food including at the White House, Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations Conference on Human Rights.

A native of Atlanta, Cheryl graduated from Oglethorpe University and did post-graduate work at the University of Georgia and University of North Carolina.

Lucas Benitez, Coalition of Immokalee Workers

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Lucas Benitez, Co-Founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, is a key organizational leader and member of the Fair Food Program worker education team. In addition to being one of the earliest farmworker leaders in the Fair Food movement, he played a critical role in the investigation of several slavery cases, helping to free over 700 workers in one case alone.  He also works with consumer allies to organize national actions — renowned for their creativity and effectiveness — designed to bring pressure on the large retail purchasers of Florida produce to join the Fair Food Program.  For his work with the CIW, Lucas has been called “one of the most visible farmworker leaders in the US” (Los Angeles Times). On behalf of the Fair Food Program, Mr. Benitez accepted the 2015 Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts in Combatting Human Trafficking at the White House, the 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award, the 2016 James Beard Leadership Award.  He has also won numerous national and international awards, including: the Rolling Stone Magazine Brick Award for “America’s Best Young Community Leader”; the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award; and, along with two co-workers, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

Scott Marlow, Executive Director at Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA will lead a moderated discussion between Cheryl Queen and Lucas Benitez about their experience working together to improve farmworker conditions in Florida.