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Thursday, October 11 • 7:30am - 12:00pm
You Are What You Eat: The Nexus of Food & Health - Morning Session *External Ticket Required*

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Limited Capacity seats available

The Nexus of Food and Health sessions focus on how nutrition plays a role in achieving optimal health through disease prevention and treatment. This event brings together experts from multiple industries to share insights and personal stories on the space shared by food and health. In addition, this event showcases local Executive Chefs to demonstrate the preparation of nutritious and delicious foods for a tasting lunch followed by a keynote on how to bring Functional Foods into our daily lives. Later, a moderated panel session brings together food scientists, physicians, and founders of local food companies utilizing Functional Foods to discuss the obstacles and opportunities they’ve faced. In the afternoon, hear from health insurance executives about the future of food as medicine. Attendees will leave with an in-depth understanding of what Functional Foods are, as well as how individuals can leverage food in their restaurants, businesses, and daily lives to promote health.

Tickets are required to attend:

  • Morning session only - $45.00 
  • Afternoon session only - $45.00 
  • All day Tickets - $75

Morning Session Agenda  



  • 9:45-10:45 - Disease Management Through Food: How the Prevention and Treatment Landscape is Being Reshaped. "Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food" -Hippocrates Diet has re-entered the consumer consciousness as a viable, and perhaps preferable, disease management therapy. Jen Wagner-LahrAURI, moderates an expert panel with Ed RogersBonomuseDr. Elizabeth KlodasStep One Foods, Gail Dennison, Hormel Institute and Dr. Sonja NodlandWellmune





avatar for Jen Wagner-Lahr (Moderator)

Jen Wagner-Lahr (Moderator)

Senior Director of Innovation & Commercialization, AURI
As Senior Director of Innovation & Commercialization, Jennifer Wagner-Lahr oversees projects in partnership with Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) staff members, commodity groups, state and federal agencies, and other collaborators and stakeholders that fulfill the... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Baechler

Andrew Baechler

Founder/CEO, Eniva
Andrew Baechler is co-owner of Eniva Corporation and serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Baechler is personally responsible for determining and overseeing strategic initiatives. He directs Eniva's "values-based" charitable activities - where significant impact has... Read More →
avatar for Brian Beutner

Brian Beutner

General Counsel, Bright Health
Brian K. Beutner, JD, is General Counsel of Bright Health, an innovative connected healthcare experience. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of MNSure, Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Executive Officer... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Breen

Jennifer Breen

Culinary Nutritionist, The Earl Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing
Jennifer Breen is a culinary nutritionist. She uses cooking education to address the issues of sustainability, justice, well being, and public and personal health. Breen is both a professional chef with over 20 years in the food industry and a Public Health nutrition educator (MPH... Read More →
avatar for Rick Brimacomb

Rick Brimacomb

CEO, Brimacomb & Associates
Rick has been a venture capitalist, advising and investing in hundreds of emerging companies, for 25+ years. He founded the Brimacomb Capital venture fund and co-founded the Sherpa Partners venture capital fund, both early-stage venture capital firms. His earlier experience includes... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Kate Shafto, MD, CTropMed

Dr. Kate Shafto, MD, CTropMed

Integrative Medicine Fellow, University of Minnesota
Dr. Kate Shafto is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and is currently pursuing a fellowship in Integrative Medicine (Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Class of 2017). She has various roles in Undergraduate Medical Education and Global Health Education at... Read More →
avatar for Alex Danzberger

Alex Danzberger

President, MyFormulary
Alex Danzberger brings over 30 years of leadership success across a variety of industries as well as international assignments in Asia Pacific with a focus on finance, business operations, strategy, and business development. He has a proven history of thriving in an environment of... Read More →
avatar for Damon Johnson

Damon Johnson

Board Member, CocoKefir LLC
Damon Johnson serves as the vice president of Enterprise Strategic Growth within Global Enterprise Solutions (GES) for Cox Automotive. Before joining Cox Automotive, Johnson started a digital agency in 1994 called DeemJay Consulting and in 2001, Johnson co-founded CDM data and CDM... Read More →
avatar for Mark Kaster

Mark Kaster

Partner, Dorsey and Whitney LLP
Mark Kaster is a nationally recognized lawyer with over 25 years of experience helping clients resolve regulatory compliance matters. Mark’s practice emphasizes complex matters involving federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. The increasing body of rules and regulations... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Elizabeth Klodas

Dr. Elizabeth Klodas

Founder/CEO, Step One Foods
Elizabeth Klodas MD, FACC is founder and chief medical officer of Step One Foods LLC, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Step One Foods develops, manufactures and markets practical food products designed specifically to help patients reduce their reliance on prescription medications... Read More →
avatar for Dave Lenzmeier

Dave Lenzmeier

CEO, Milk Specialties
As the CEO of Milk Specialties Global (MSG), David Lenzmeier is primarily focused on expanding the Company’s capabilities within the Human Nutrition market. Lenzmeier also currently serves as a board member at the Hendrickson Foundation, working to sponsor individuals with physical/mental... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Sonja Nodland

Dr. Sonja Nodland

Senior Scientist, Wellmune
Sonja Nodland received her Masters degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and her Doctorate in Immunology and Cancer Biology from the University of Minnesota. After completing a post doctoral fellowship in human developmental immunology in... Read More →
avatar for Mike Rakun

Mike Rakun

Executive Chef, Mercy Hospitality
Executive Chef Michael Rakun believes that good food begins at the farm. His signature style eschews fat in favor of herbs, broths and food’s natural flavors, using inspiration, technique and a love of natural foods to create mouth-watering, farm-to-table, healthy dishes. Executive... Read More →
avatar for Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson

Project Development Director-Food, AURI
In his role as a Project Development Director for the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Jason Robinson works with food clients to develop their businesses to further the value-added development of Minnesota’s agricultural products. Prior to joining AURI, Jason spent 19... Read More →
avatar for Ed Rogers

Ed Rogers

Founder and CEO, Bonomuse
Mr. Rogers has more than 25 years of entrepreneurial business experience as a founder, investor, adviser and lawyer. Before co-founding Bonumose, he practiced law for 11 years, co-founded an animal food technology company based on university technology, and designed/implemented a... Read More →
avatar for Shannon Schlecht

Shannon Schlecht

Executive Director, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI)
Shannon M. Schlecht, Executive Director of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is responsible for the overall strategic and operational oversight for the organization’s staff, programs and execution of its mission. AURI provides technical services to businesses... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Kate Venable Shafto

Dr. Kate Venable Shafto

Integrative Medicine Fellow, University of Minnesota
Dr. Kate Shafto is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and is currently pursuing a fellowship in Integrative Medicine (Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Class of 2017). She has various roles in Undergraduate Medical Education and Global Health Education at... Read More →
avatar for Rohit Shukla

Rohit Shukla

Founder and CEO, Larta Institute
He founded the Larta Institute in 1993 and incorporated it as an independent non-profit organization in 1997. It is a mission based organization, focused on the transformation of ideas into enterprises working to feed the world, fuel the world and heal the world. Larta designs and... Read More →
avatar for Adam Southam

Adam Southam

Chairman, GoNo Food Finder
Adam Southam is a broad-based strategic thinker with more than 35 years of leadership, innovation, strategy, invention, business start-up, branding, and marketing excellence. He has conceived several patented inventions related to functional and preventative medicine, health, wellness... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Kevin Steele

Dr. Kevin Steele

President, PTA Global & PTontheNet
Dr. Kevin Steele is the President of PTA Global & PTontheNet, providing high quality online education for the health and fitness industry worldwide. He began his career with a private personal training business for celebrities and athletes while a faculty member at Pepperdine University... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Jaeyun Sung

Dr. Jaeyun Sung

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Mayo Clinic Ventures Microbiome Project
Jaeyun Sung, Ph.D., develops computational analytical approaches to understand the intricate relationship between commensal microbial organisms and human health. Of particular interest to Dr. Sung is characterizing the global interconnectivity within our body's microbial community... Read More →
avatar for Greg Thompson

Greg Thompson

Chief Food Law Counsel, General Mills
Greg Thompson is the Chief Food Law Counsel at General Mills where he leads the Food Law Center of Excellence and is responsible for advising the business on a wide variety of food law issues. Previously, he served as Associate Chief Counsel for Foods at the US Food & Drug Administration... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Tomas Valdivia

Dr. Tomas Valdivia

Chief Health Officer, Bright Health
Dr. Valdivia is a health care executive with more than 20 years of experience founding, building, and selling companies in the health care technology, provider accountable care services, and health consumer sectors. Having been both a primary care physician and a leader in a large... Read More →

Thursday October 11, 2018 7:30am - 12:00pm CDT
Mercy, LeMeridian Chambers Hotel 901 Hennipin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403