CMTSFeb
February 24, 2011 Webinar Speaker Biographies

 
Sam Kass
White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor

Janey Thornton

 

 

Sam Kass serves as Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives at the White House. A Chicago native, Sam graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in U.S. History. During college, he took a job cooking at the restaurant 312 Chicago under Chef Dean Zanella, an experience that set him on his current path. While finishing his final college year abroad Sam was trained as a chef by one of Austria's greatest chefs, Chef Christian Domschitz in Vienna.

In 2009, Sam joined the White House Kitchen staff under Executive Chef Cris Comerford's leadership as Assistant Chef and, in 2010, became a Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives. In this role, he advises the Let's Move! initiative on food policy issues and overall program strategy.

In 2009, Sam joined the White House Kitchen staff under Executive Chef Cris Comerford's leadership as Assistant Chef and, in 2010, became a Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives. In this role, he advises the Let's Move! initiative on food policy issues and overall program strategy. Sam has had a long interest in sustainable and nutritious ingredients and helped First Lady Michelle Obama create the first major vegetable garden at the White House since the 1890s. To date, the garden has yielded nearly 2,000 pounds of produce that has been used to feed event guests, staff and the First Family at the White House, with further harvests donated to local food shelters.

     
Janey Thornton, PhD
USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS)
Janey Thornton   Dr. Janey Thornton was appointed by President Barack Obama as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services on April 1, 2009. In this position, Dr. Thornton is responsible for improving the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting science-based dietary guidance and administering USDA's 15 nutrition assistance programs.

Prior to joining USDA, Dr. Thornton served as President of the School Nutrition Association during the 2006-2007 school year. She has also previously served as School Nutrition Director for Hardin County Schools in Elizabethtown, Kentucky for over twenty-five years, during which time the district doubled in size to over 15,000 students.

     
Chef Timothy Cipriano
Chef and Executive Director of Food Services for New Haven Public Schools
Timothy Cipriano   Chef Timothy Cipriano is Executive Director of Food Services for the New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) in Connecticut. One of Chef Cipriano's most valuable achievements to date has been introducing more local produce into the school meals program and working to educate New Haven's urban students about fresh, healthy and great tasting food choices; this effort led for him to receive the moniker, “Local Food Dude”, from a fellow Chef. NHPS has 46 schools with roughly 20,000 students. Chef Cipriano has over 20 years of culinary experience having worked in school food service for the last 6 years and at several restaurants in the Northeast.

     
Lora Gilbert, MS, RD, FADA, SNS
Senior Director of Food & Nutrition Services for Orange County Public Schools
Lora Gilbert   Lora Gilbert is Senior Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Orange County Public Schools, in Orlando, Florida, where she oversees the serving of more than 147,000 breakfasts and lunches a day for the nation’s 10th largest school food service program.  With a customer service approach that focused on student satisfaction, the program has experienced a 51% increase in reimbursable meals in the past 7 years.  Her program received the USDA’s Best Practices Award in 2010, and was named a 2010 District of Excellence by the School Nutrition Association.  Gilbert was recently named the 2011 Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year, an award given as part of the National Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Award program.

     
Rochelle Davis
President and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign
Rochelle Davis   Rochelle Davis is the President and CEO of the Healthy Schools Campaign a national not-for-profit organization that advocates for healthy school environments and has been working to improve the school food and fitness environment in Chicago for more than 7 years.  Davis served as the Principal Investigator for the NIEHS-funded Partnership to Reduce Disparities in Asthma and Obesity in Latino Schools, which worked closely with community organizing for environmental justice around children’s health disparities.   She is co-author of Fresh Choices, a cookbook published by Rodale Press and is the recipient of the Chicago Tribune’s 2007 Good Eating Award.

     
Audrey Rowe
Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service
Audrey Rowe   Audrey Rowe is Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs in the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the USDA. She brings to the Federal government over 20 years of experience in human services policy development, fiscal management, program design, service delivery and marketing with a particular focus on vulnerable populations, low income women, children and youth.  She has extensive experience working at the state level and in the private sector on issues related to FNS programs.  She served tenures as Deputy Mayor for Human Resources in New Haven, Connecticut and social services Commissioner for the State of Connecticut and for Washington, DC.  She also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Urban League and ran for Lieutenant Governor in Connecticut.

In the private sector, Rowe served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the Children and Family Services division for Affiliated Computer Service, where she spearheaded industry leadership in the realms of child support payment processing and enforcement and the electronic dissemination of public assistance benefits, including implementing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) programs in over 20 states.  Audrey is a graduate of Federal City College and was a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

     
http://healthymeals.nal.usda.gov/chefs.html