Chef Matt Haley has experienced remarkable success in the restaurant industry. A member of the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Matt currently owns eight restaurants in Delaware beach resort towns: Fish On, Lupo di Mare, Matt’s Fish Camp, Bluecoast Seafood Grill, Northeast Seafood Kitchen, Catch 54 and Papa Grande’s in Fenwick and Rehoboth. His passion for cooking began in a habitational facility where he was recovering from alcohol and drug abuse.
Along with the culinary arts, Haley is very passionate about charity and the ideal of helping others, most recently named the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year. He is the founder of The Global Delaware Fund and is president of the board of directors of La Esperanza. Through his culinary ventures, he holds farm-table dinners that benefit local charities, and works with the Delaware Restaurant Association to teach culinary skills to those who have been incarcerated so they can transition to the outside with a trade. Throughout his career, Haley has been given several awards: the Cornerstone Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2012, the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2014, the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year award by the International Association of Culinary Professional and the 2014 Cornerstone Award by the National Restaurant Association.
Mary Beth Minton
Mary Beth Minton is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zylie & Friends, an innovative children’s toy company with the mission of inspiring kids to get off the couch and into the world of adventure and play as a means of building their creative confidence. Mary Beth founded Zylie & Friends in 2010 with her son, Matt McCarty, and the two have built the brand into a collection of award-winning products and books that includes a co-branded line with FAO Schwarz that is carried in over 600 Toys”R”Us stores. Her products have been featured on the TODAY Show, in the Wall Street Journal, and on QVC. Before founding Zylie & Friends, Mary Beth was the Executive Director of the Red Ribbon Foundation. She got her MBA from Wharton Business School and currently lives in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City where she is constantly thinking up new projects to try and inspire children to give creativity a go.
John A. Moore has been a director and Chief Executive Officer of Acorn Energy since March 2006. He also served as a director of Voltaix, a leading producer of specialty gases used in the production of solar cells and semiconductors. He was previously a director of Comverge where he served on the IPO committee. He is on the Advisory Council of EnerTech Capital, a $350 million energy technology fund. Mr. Moore is the co-founder and former president of Edson Moore Healthcare Ventures. He also co-founded Optimer Inc., a specialty materials company where he also served as CEO. John is currently on the board of nonprofit organizations, “Leadership Delaware” and the “Caesar Rodney Institute.”
Chef Otto is an accomplished chef whose impressive career includes world class establishments such as the Bellagio Hotel, Charlie Trotters, the Atlantis and Mardan Palace, and, most notable, the Culinary Institute of America. He started his career by volunteering as a cook in the United States Navy Submarine Force, feeding men stationed on the USS Patrick Henry in Pearl Harbor. Since then, he has cooked around the globe for Kings, Queens, Moguls, Titans, Rockstars, and World Class Athletes, yet one of his biggest thrills remains catering his 25th high school reunion. Chef Otto is an International Culinary Ambassador who finds that travel, adventure and spreading the gospel of all things food is the marrow of his soul. His passion to help feed the hungry sparked him to initiate Childhood Hunger Day in Washington, D.C. where he organized a 3-day symposium on hunger and poverty legislation on Capitol Hill. His role as a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef provides notoriety defining his status as a champion against hunger. With hair too high for a ten gallon hat and yet to buy his first pair of cowboy boots, Chef Otto is now digging his heels in the Lone Star landscape as an adopted son. Taste the Freedom!
Dr. Lani Nelson-Zlupko
Dr. Lani Nelson-Zlupko is the founder of LNZ Consulting and an Adjunct Associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and her master's and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Lani is a solution-oriented therapist, consultant and researcher who specializes in transition management. Her treatment strategies have become a training model for mental health professionals across the country. Her research has been published in several leading psychiatric and social work journals. In addition to mental health counseling for individuals, couples, and families, Lani provides coaching and training to individuals and corporations regionally and nationally. She helps Fortune 500 companies as well as struggling non-profit associations to manage crises, plan for and effect transitions, manage and redirect difficult people, and effectively lead the people they serve. Dr. Nelson-Zlupko works as a bridge between scientific findings and real life people. She resists the notion that people’s problems are rooted in personal flaws, or that standard talk therapy is sufficient for change. She believes skills can and do transform mood, behavior, relationships, and organizations. She is passionate about her work and believes that well-adjusted, confident people are the backbone of each generation.
Yasser Arafat Payne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware. He is the organizer of a street ethnographic research program centered on exploring notions of resilience and resiliency with the streets of Black and Brown America using an unconventional methodological framework entitled: Street Participatory Action Research (Street PAR)—the involvement of street-identified persons in the research process and neighborhood-based activism. Challenging the dominant arguments in the literature, Dr. Payne asserts that all of the streets of Black and Brown America are resilient. He aims to break down stereotypical barriers and images of black and brown people in the criminal justice system, so that transition back in the community and opportunities for upward mobility are successful. Dr. Payne’s work is centered on humanizing those in the criminal justice system and getting undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty, service providers and/or everyday residents to work more closely with those in the criminal justice system.
Talent Development Consultant
Mary’s interest in the dynamics of humans at work started while working on her family’s farm in southern Indiana. As the principal of her own business, Artemis Path, Inc., Mary is a coach, trainer, and consultant specializing in talent development, change management, and workplace interactions. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and local businesses. Mary has a Master's degree in HR, and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). Previously, she was a corporate employee at DuPont as an HR Manager where she worked for 20 years. While at DuPont Mary was the recipient of The Crystal Award, designed to recognize “champions of people.” Mary applies her fierce idealism to create work cultures where organizations and human beings can both thrive. She publishes on this topic and more at maryschaefer.com and leadchangegroup.com. Mary is the co-author of the book, "The Character-Based Leader."
Topic: Some Thoughts on Immigration and Why It's Always a Problem, a Controversy, and a Political Issue
Jan C. Ting is Professor of Law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty of law in 1977, and teaches in the areas of citizenship and immigration law and tax law. He has provided commentary to the media including the PBS News Hour and National Public Radio, and has been interviewed and quoted often in the print media. He has testified before the 9/11 Commission and the Judiciary Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives, most recently in February of 2014, and the U.S. Senate, most recently in March of 2013. Professor Ting was Assistant Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. from 1990 to 1993. Professor Ting serves on the board of directors of the Center for Immigration Studies, and Blogs.
Psychotherapist, Consultant, Trainer
Dr. Vicky Kelly has over 35 years of experience as a psychotherapist, administrator, consultant and trainer. She is a nationally known trainer in the areas of trauma and attachment. Her career has included positions in a variety of human service, mental health, and child welfare organizations. She currently serves as the Director of the Delaware Division of Family Services . The common thread across her career has been helping victims of trauma heal. She has been an early advocate for human services to adopt “trauma-informed care,” an approach that calls for a focus not just on someone’s behavior, but, more importantly, on what drives behavior.
Topic: Happiness Education
Anthony “Tony” Armstrong has been a full-time professor of political science at Wesley College in Delaware for 23 years. He teaches “to make a difference in the lives of students, and the greatest difference [he] can make is to empower their pursuit of happiness."Dr. Armstrong received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington, his M.A. in political science from Philipps University in Germany and his B.A. in psychology from Boise State University. He has also written several books including "Breaking the Ice: Rapprochement between East and West Germany, the United States and China, and Israel and Egypt" and "The Lovestar: A Philosophy of Love." His latest book is Educating Angels: Teaching for the Pursuit of Happiness. He says he has become a “happiness education crusader.”
Sadhana Pasricha is the Founder and President of Social Capital Consultants LLC, an international research, training and consulting firm. She partners with CEOs and senior leadership to diagnose, design and create inclusive, innovative and high engagement corporate cultures. A University of Chicago trained sociologist and business professor for over twenty five years, Sadhana offers practical strategies to organizations for enhancing diversity and shared leadership to achieve competitive advantage for business success. Sadhana is Delaware’s Delegate at Vision2020, a national initiative working towards shared leadership through women’s economic and social equality. Currently she is working on two initiatives: increasing the number of women in leadership roles and on corporate boards and encouraging girls and women to succeed in STEM professions. Sadhana uses her personal experiences as a first generation immigrant to encourage minorities, women, and girls to strive for educational achievement and hone their leadership skills by performing community service. She has served as the Chair of Hockessin Montessori School Board and as a board member of the ACE-Delaware Women in Higher education and the YWCA of Delaware. The Delaware Division of Family Services has recognized Sadhana with the “Building a Village Award” for her work in youth health and leadership. The YWCA of Delaware recently recognized her for her leadership initiatives and inducted her into the Academy of Women Leaders.
Since becoming the President and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware in 2004, Paul has worked alongside local, national, and international partners to catalyze policy changes, invest in innovative strategies, and build and maintain momentum for improving Delaware’s public schools. He has been a leader in creating Vision 2015, a nationally-recognized plan to create a world-class education system in Delaware, led by the Vision Coalition of Delaware. He is an Aspen Institute-NewSchools Fellow in entrepreneurial leadership, and a 2010 recipient of the NewSchools Venture Fund “Change Agent of the Year” award. Prior to joining the foundation in 2004, Paul was a senior manager at New American Schools, a national nonprofit, where he provided support to states, districts, and charter schools. He also conducted research for organizations such as the Brookings Institution, RAND, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and The World Bank. He co-founded a highly successful school-within-a-school based on an Outward Bound model in one of the largest high schools in New York City. In the 1990s, he served in the Secretary of Education’s office for two governors in Massachusetts. Paul received his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Delaware and his master's degree and doctorate in education administration and planning from Harvard University.
Brendan Cooke was appointed General Director of OperaDelaware, America's 11th oldest opera company, in June 2012. Cooke joined OperaDelaware from the Baltimore Concert Opera, a company he founded in 2008 in response to the collapse of the Baltimore Opera Company. Cooke and his board of directors launched this startup opera company with $700 in personal funds. Under Cooke’s leadership, Baltimore Concert Opera has experienced exponential growth since 2009, and is entering its sixth season in 2014-2015 with much larger annual budget. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. He holds a Master’s degree in Music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he was a student of the renowned bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk. After founding the Baltimore Concert Opera, Cooke continued his career in Arts Administration as a member of the marketing department for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Chris Grundner is the president and CEO of the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement. Since his arrival in February 2012, he has enabled the organization to nearly double its membership and significantly expand its reach. Grundner, originally from Buffalo, NY, received his Bachelors in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia. He earned his MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. In 1999, Grundner moved to Wilmington to join the co-brand credit card division of First USA Bank as the Director of Business Development. Due to his significant achievements, Grundner became one of the organization’s youngest Senior Vice Presidents in early 2002. However, later that same year, his wife, Kelly, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 29. Grundner left his job at JPMorgan Chase in 2004 after her passing and started The Kelly Heinz-Grundner Brain Tumor Foundation in 2005 with the goal of bringing national attention to the disease. Through the foundation, Grundner has launched two brain tumor awareness initiatives – GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME® and Tulips Against Tumors™ – both of which became national programs when the organization merged with the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) in March 2010.
Topic: Share the Goodness
Patrick teaches local high school children architecture and admits to being a serial foodie with a penchant for research and experimentation. He earned as B.S. and M.A. at Virginia Tech, and completed a Ph.D. in education in 2004. Patrick, his wife, Lisa, and their two sons Wally and Quentin own and operate Obis One LLC, an inventive food specialty company and organic 18-acre farm at Obisquahassit in New Jersey. Their flagship product, organic black garlic, is truly making a mark in the culinary, flavoring and seasoning markets for its umami attributes and health benefits. With seven invented products within 3 years and more in their research pipeline, Patrick has already positioned Obis One as the largest “grow to market” artisan producer of organic black garlic in North America. One of his wildly popular inventions is “Black Crack”, a very versatile, flavor-packed, dehydrated, on-demand black garlic product with seemingly limitless uses as a flavor enhancer.
Jason was raised on an organic family farm and winery in New York's Finger Lakes region. After more than 15 years in the finance industry, Jason co-founded Greener Partners, a nonprofit based in the Greater Philadelphia Area whose mission is to build healthy communities through food, farms, and education. The organization also manages farm-to-school programs serving more than 50 regional schools and over 12,000 students annually. Jason is the co-founder of Closed Loop Capital, a venture fund investing in agriculture technology and food system innovation growth companies. He also serves on the boards of FarmPlate, a web-based platform connecting communities to better food; Tyler Arboretum, a 650-acre arboretum outside Philadelphia that is a leader of nature-based programming; The Hill School, an independent boarding and day school for grades 9-12 in Pottstown; The Philadelphia Zoo, the first Zoo in America that serves over 1.3 million visitors annually; and Spring Garden Pictures, a social causes non-profit film production organization based in Philadelphia.
Topic: Virtual Winemaking
Eric Miller’s lifelong career in wine has covered the spectrum from winemaker and grape grower to winery owner and wine personality. He pioneered two important East Coast wine regions, and co-founded New York State’s first farm winery, Benmarl Vineyards, and later, Pennsylvania’s largest and best known winery, Chaddsford Winery. Along the way he and his wines have been acclaimed by every major national and international wine writer and publication, and he has been awarded numerous awards and distinctions, including the American Wine Society’s prestigious “Award of Merit” – given to just one American wine professional annually. After having reaching those heights, Eric expanded his career into consulting, teaching, and writing about wine, including his recent book, “The Vintner’s Apprentice." He is also host of "Eating with Eric," a weekly radio broadcast on Brandywine Radio, and he is the founder of "Barrelheads," an advanced tasting group of regional wine aficionados. In 2013 Eric began his latest wine venture, the production of California Zinfandel (from Howell Mountain) in conjunction with his son Eric Stauffer, currently Cellar Master at Domaine Carneros in Napa Valley.
Rheumatologist, Clinical Director
Paul Rosen, MD, a pediatric rheumatologist, serves as the Clinical Director of Service and Operational Excellence at Nemours. He received a masters of public health degree from Harvard University and a masters of medical management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He was named ‘One of the First 100 Innovators’ by the U.S Federal Government Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Rosen’s interests include patient-physician communication, family-centered care, and the patient experience. He teaches medical students about improving the patient experience, and he serves as the faculty mentor for the physician executive leadership program for medical students at Jefferson Medical College. He is also a volunteer faculty member at University of Central Florida College of Medicine.