Ata (Al) Baroudi, Vice President, Food Safety & QA, The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

Dr. Ata (Al) Baroudi joined The Cheesecake Factory in 2008 with broad experience in the food industry as a quality assurance executive. He is an agricultural engineer with a MS degree in Food Science and Technology / Microbiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. He received his Ph.D. in Food Processing and Technology / Regulatory Affairs from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. He served as the head of QA and Food Safety (Snacks and Dairy) for Borden Foods Company in Columbus, OH, before moving to the west coast as Vice President, Corporate QA/Food Safety and Regulatory/Environmental Affairs for the Vons/Safeway Supermarkets, Arcadia, CA. Dr. Baroudi then served as Vice President of QA and Technical Services, Harry & David Corporation, Medford, OR., before becoming the Chief Scientific, Health and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Yum! Brands in Louisville, KY. He later founded and served as President of the Food Safety Institute, International (FSI). Dr. Baroudi has lectured around the globe in conferences as keynote speaker, conducted workshops on Food Safety, introduced HACCP program to developing countries on behalf of the US government, published White Papers on HACCP and authored many food safety articles in different food magazines.

Brett Berglund, President, Sysco Los Angeles

Brett Berglund’s positive spirit and drive set in motion a 30-year career founded in the customer facing world of hospitality, sales, distribution and marketing.  His leadership has roots beginning as a young culinarian prior to embarking his extensive career with Sysco Corporation.  His diverse multi-channel wholesale, contract, retail and foodservice backgrounds have helped him lead several Sysco companies through business transformations, acquisitions and expansions.

Brett sustains a proven ability to develop individuals and teams through a collaborative, diverse and inclusive cultural transformation focused in learning, accountability and progress.  As President of Sysco Los Angeles, Brett heads over a billion dollars of top line sales which has continued to yield double digit growth during his tenure. His ability to inspire a successful team of leaders has proven to be a valuable contribution to the success of Sysco Corporation.

Brett lives in Brea, California with his wife Meaghan and has twin daughters attending college in Northern California. He currently serves on the boards & advisory committees for California Restaurant Association Foundation and the CSU Hospitality and Tourism Alliance.  

Reverend James Anthony Boger

Since becoming a minister in 1981, Rev. James Anthony Boger has served numerous churches throughout Southern California and presently serves as the Senior Pastor of the Surf City United Methodist Church in Huntington Beach. Ca.  Rev. Boger was ordained into Christian ministry in 1986: and has worked with churches both small and large.

Rev. Boger is a graduate of Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL with a B.A. in Theology and Business Administration; he later earned a Masters of Divinity from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI with a concentration in non-profit organizational management. He is a strong social activist and community organizer who is active as an Executive Board Member of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, the 100 Black Men of Orange County and the Building & Locations Committee for the United Methodist Church. Furthermore, he serves as an Adjunct Professor teaching Introduction to Christian Ethics, World Religions, and Survey to Christianity and Philosophy.

Rev. Boger is a strong advocate for the homeless and at risk families who are affected by addiction and mental illness. Among his many gifts includes public speaking and teaching specifically on “the power of diversity through multiculturalism in an urban context”.

Joe Bonafede, Principal, Fieldsource

Joe Bonafede has spent his entire career in the Foodservice and Hospitality industry. He started JoJo’s Pizza Kitchen in 1989 at age 23 and had grown the concept over the years to be a multi-unit operation with locations in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. He assisted his wife in launching Fieldsource Food Systems, Inc. in 2011. Fieldsource operates a USDA facility as a foodservice distribution and processing company with a focus on proteins. Fieldsource processes center-of-the-plate proteins for distribution throughout the West. They also manufacture Organic – further processed items for distribution nationwide. He is active in his church – Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach, currently serving as Chairman of the Finance Council. He was the former President of the Parish Pastoral Council.

Manuel Gonzalez, Director of Business Development, Gonzalez’ Northgate Markets

Manuel Gonzalez is the Director of Business Development for Gonzalez’ Northgate Markets. The Gonzalez family is recognized throughout Southern California as an example of the American dream having built a dynamic and highly successful supermarket chain from their humble beginnings that started in a single location in Anaheim. Over the years, Northgate Markets have become synonymous with quality, value and community support. Mr. Gonzalez is an MBA graduate of the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University. In his role, Mr. Gonzalez has developed a prepared foods program that is an industry standard. We are honored to have the help, support and expertise of Manuel Gonzalez and the entire Gonzalez family.

Eric G. Handler, M.D., M.P.H., Cofounder

Dr. Handler became Health Officer for the County of Orange in August 2006. His previous experience includes serving as the Deputy Secretary for Children’s Medical Services in the Florida Department of Health (1996-2000) and Chief Medical Officer for the Florida Department of Children and Families (2000-2003). Most recently he was the Chief Medical Officer for the Boston Regional Office for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2004-2006.

During his career, Dr. Handler has held several academic appointments, including an Associate Professor at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Handler received his Medical Degree from Chicago Medical School and completed his Pediatrics training at L.A. County-U.S.C Hospital and his Master in Public Health at UCLA. He completed a pediatric rehabilitation fellowship at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital.

Jason Hatcher, Operations Manager, Sourcing & Receiving, Second Harvest Food Bank

Jason Hatcher grew up in Orange County and worked for several years at Costco Wholesale, until graduating from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in Communication. Jason volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County before joining as a staff member. He now is the Operations Manager, Sourcing & Recieving. “Stepping into Second Harvest was a natural fit as I was already deeply immersed in the mission to end hunger.” Mr. Hatcher researches, solicits, and develops strategic partnerships with food industry donors to rescue and divert food waste. Working through multiple channels of the supply chain, Mr. Hatcher and his team at Second Harvest were able to secure more than 24 million pounds of food in 2016. This is accomplished, in part, through innovative programs such as Grocery Rescue which aims to rescue fresh and nutritious food from grocers and retailers. Second Harvest has a Bold Goal to secure 30 million meals annually by 2021 through strategic partnerships and efficient receiving and distribution of donated product.

Frank Hathaway

Frank is a supply chain management executive with over 30 years of accomplishments, focusing on consumer products and biotech. Key competencies include: strategic planning, service orientation, cost/productivity focus, global operations, world-class orientation, team building, and change management.

Mr. Hathaway served as the Vice President Supply Chain/ Logistics for major divisions of several Fortune 50 companies, such as Nestle’, Unilever, Avery Dennison and ConAgra. During those 15 years, Mr. Hathaway developed and implemented the supply chain strategies and budgets, including acquisition integration, ERP (enterprise resource planning) and other technology implementation, operations streamlining. (including CLASS A) and dramatic customer service improvement programs.

Mr. Hathaway’s peers honored him with the distinction of the Presidency of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (the preeminent global supply chain professional association).

Scott Kleckner, Retail and Restaurant Director, BELCAMPO

Throughout his career, Scott Kleckner has mastered the art of feeding people, whether it’s 150,000 fans at the Kentucky Derby or a board of directors at a Mechelin-starred restaurant.  Through his work with industry giants like Patina Group, Aramark, Levy Restaurants, Intercontinental Hotels and now the Disruptive Restaurant Group, Mr. Kleckner has built an impressive reputation as the epitome of excellence and innovation in food service.  Mr. Kleckner has brought that same passion and precision to Food Waste Reduction as a means towards ending hunger.  We are fortunate to have his expertise and guidance.

Mike Learakos, Executive Director

Mike Learakos is a Foodservice professional with over 30 years of industry experience. In addition to his role as the President & co-founder of TJM, Inc. a broad spectrum foodservice company formed in 1993 which operates Katella Grill & Catering in Orange, Ca., Mr. Learakos also has a long history as a sales and marketing manager representing foodservice manufacturers, processors, facility designers and distributors.

In 2014, Mr. Learakos volunteered to head the Waste Not OC Food Recovery Pilot program becoming the full time Executive Director of Waste Not OC in September of 2016. As Executive Director of Waste Not OC, Mr. Learakos directs this public/private effort to end hunger and reduce food waste by working with healthcare providers, the foodservice industry, municipalities and waste haulers to identify and assist people suffering from food insecurity and to recover wholesome food destined for landfills and direct it to area food pantries serving those most in need.

Mark Lowry, Director, OC Food Bank

Cofounder of Waste Not OC, Mark Lowry is director of the OC Food Bank. During his tenure, the quantity of food distributed by the Food Bank has grown from two million pounds per year to over twenty-one million pounds annually. Over 150,000 vulnerable people now receive food from the OC Food Bank each month. As an advocate, Mr. Lowry works closely with elected officials on the local, state and federal levels, on issues related to social and economic justice. He works specifically on agriculture and tax policy and improving access to federal nutrition programs.

Mr. Lowry has served on the Board of Directors and as an officer of several local, state-wide and national groups, including having served as President of the California Association of Food Banks. Under his leadership, the Food Bank has, on two occasions, received the annual Hunger Fighter Award from the California Hunger Action Coalition. Mr. Lowry was identified by the Orange County Register as one of Orange County’s 100 Most Influential People, 2015. In 2016 Mark was honored by CLUE with the Architects of Justice, Building a Just and Sacred Society Award and received the Sister Regina Fox Quiet Achiever Award from the Orange County Funders Roundtable.

Tania Ragland, Recycling Representative, Republic Services

Tania Ragland is a Recycling Representative at Republic Services. She specializes in developing organic waste diversion programs and food recovery partnerships in Los Angeles County. Her work with partner food recovery agencies has resulted in over 1,000,000 pounds of food that would have been landfilled, to be redistributed to local families in need. Tania received national recognition as an up-and-coming innovative leader by Waste 360’s 40 Under 40 2019 Awards. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Business and Sustainability from ASU, and a certificate of Recycling and Resource Management from Santa Monica College. She speaks fluent Spanish and has been with Republic Services for 5 years.

Larry A. Sallinger

Mr. Larry A. Sallinger (Retiree at California United Bank). In addition to founding and serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Community BanCorp, Mr. Sallinger has also served as an Executive Vice President of Grandpoint Bank and Senior Vice President of Orange National Bank in a banking career that spanned over 50 years. In addition to serving as a director for Waste Not OC, Mr. Sallinger has been actively involved in a number of professional, civic and nonprofit organizations, including the City of Orange Investment Advisory Board, City of Orange Public Library Foundation, Orange Senior Center, Orange Chamber of Commerce Accreditation Committee, Orange Housing Development Corporation, Orange Rotary Club and California Independent Bankers.

Jeff Snow, Vice President at CR&R Environmental Services

Jeff Snow is the former President of Rainbow Environmental Services and Municipal Services Director for Republic Services, now serves as the Vice President of CR&R Environmental Services. Jeff is a recognized environmental thought leader and is noted for his leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility. His recent honors include Huntington Beach Businessperson of the Year 2015/2016 and the coveted Peacemaker Award from Interfaith Council. Jeff also became a Guinness World Record holder in 2015.

Jeff is passionate about his company’s pursuit of the triple bottom line – embracing People, Planet and Performance equally – resulting in a better world for all stakeholders.
Jeff also enjoys helping to shape the ethics and values of future leaders as an Adjunct Professor in the Business Administration Leadership School of Concordia University and at Santa Monica College.

Jonathan Stone, Co- founder, Sababa Beverages LLC

Stone’s life changed in 2014 when he learned about food insecurity in the United States. He co-founded Sababa Beverages, a products company that is a one into one program. Every product you buy a meal is donated to a child in need right there in that community. Sababa has aligned with pro-active partners, and in 2017 they financially funded 200,000 meals, and with their food recovery partners, they helped distribute over 12,500,000 meals. Sababa works with most leading grocers on the West Coast and is expanding into more products and states.
Jonathan Stone works with some of the top rated Motivational speakers, authors and conscious companies of our time. Jonathan is the co-founder of Real Wisdom TV. Jonathan has also produced and performed for many years in the entertainment industry. For television, Jonathan was a Show Creator for The Ringmaster and a fitness TV series for kids, which brought him to Capitol Hill as an advocate against childhood obesity. He also co-executive produced World’s Greatest Athlete for Fox Sports. Jonathan executive produced the film The 72 Names of God with people such as Guy Richie and Madonna. He has owned and funded multiple tech companies. Jonathan has been fortunate to have worked with and become friends with many well-known individuals in the entertainment and Fortune 500 business arenas. He loves sharing his knowledge and experience with others to make a difference in people’s lives. Jonathan is and has been on the board of many highly successful Non-profits.