Founder and President, DC Central Kitchen & Campus Kitchens Project
Leonard D. Schaetter Executive Officer, Institute of Medicine
Co-Founder and CEO, Two Degrees Food
Entering its seventh year, the Aspen Ideas Festival will gather some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large. FORA.tv is pleased to present Festival programs taking place at the Aspen Institute's Paepcke Auditorium.
Leslie A. Dach
Leslie Dach is executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart. He is a member of the company’s executive council, and is responsible for public policy, reputation management, corporate communications, philanthropy, government relations, and the company's social responsibility and sustainability initiatives. He also manages the company’s global security, aviation, and travel departments. Dach has been responsible for the development of initiatives such as Walmart's partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama to make food healthier by dramatically reducing sugar and salt content, and to make healthy food more affordable by reducing prices on fresh fruits and vegetables; its $2 billion commitment to fight hunger; its pledge to remove 20 million metric tons of carbon from its global supply chain; and Walmart's overall corporate giving which reached $800 million last year. Leslie serves on the board of directors of the World Resources Institute and the United Negro College Fund.
Robert is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, which will open in early 2014. The L.A. Kitchen will professionally recover fresh food, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, which it will use to fuel a culinary arts job training program for men and women coming out of foster care, or older men and women returning from incarceration.
Robert pioneered this model during his 24 year tenure as the President of the DC Central Kitchen, the country’s first “community kitchen”, where food donated by hospitality businesses and farms is used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary arts job training program. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen (which is a $10 million a year, self-sustaining, social enterprise) has produced over 26 million meals and helped 1,000 men and women gain full time employment. The Kitchen operates its own revenue generating business, Fresh Start Catering, as well as the Campus Kitchens Project, which coordinates similar recycling/meal programs in 33 colleges or high school based kitchens.
In addition, Robert is the Founder and President of CForward, an advocacy organization that rallies employees of nonprofits to educate candidates about the economic role that nonprofits play in every community, and to support candidates who have detailed plans to strengthen the economy that includes nonprofits.
In Washington D.C., Robert was the founding Chair of both the Mayor’s Commission on Nutrition and Street Sense, Washington’s “homeless” newspaper. He was also the Co-Convener of the first Nonprofit Congress, held in Washington DC in 2006. Currently, Robert serves on the Board of the national addiction recovery program, Back On My Feet, the Philanthropic Collaborative, and Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen.
Robert’s book on the non-profit sector, Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding For All, was released in 2004 by HarperCollins. It received the 2005 McAdam Book Award for “Best Nonprofit Management Book” by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.
Robert was included in the NonProfit Times list of the “50 Most Powerful and Influential” nonprofit leaders from 2006-2009. He was the recipient of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s 2007 “Lifetime Achievement” award and the 2004 James Beard Foundation “Humanitarian of the Year” award. He has been named an Oprah Angel, a Washingtonian of the Year, a Point of Light and one of the Ten Most Caring People in America, by the Caring Institute. He is also a 15-gallon blood donor to the American Red Cross.
Robert speaks throughout the country and internationally on the subjects of hunger, sustainability, nonprofit political engagement and social enterprise. He writes blogs and editorials to share his ideas about the nonprofit sector and the future of America.
Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America."
Judith A. Salerno is the Leonard D. Schaeffer executive officer of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, where she is responsible for managing the IOM's research programs and guiding the institute's work on a daily basis. Prior to coming to the IOM, Salerno was deputy director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. She oversaw more than $1 billion in aging research conducted and supported annually by the institute, including research on Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases; frailty and function in late life; and the social, behavioral, and demographic aspects of aging. Before joining the NIA, Salerno directed the continuum of Geriatrics and Extended Care programs across the country for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Earlier in her career, Salerno was a senior clinical investigator at the NIA.
Lauren Walters is co-founder and CEO of Two Degrees Food. Having seen firsthand the problems and consequences associated with poverty, especially in the lives of children, the idea that a new food company in the US could leverage everyday consumer buying decisions to change the lives of hungry children emerged as a viable concept, and one that connected many of Walter's important personal networks.
With the energy and interest of long-time family friend Will Hauser, Walters fused the one-for-one business model behind Tom's Shoes with the problems of malnutrition in children and developed a solution with the goal of giving back to the global community through business. With career stops in politics, public service, business, and entrepreneurship, Walters believes strongly in the power of the right networks of individuals to do amazing things collectively.
Walmart's Leslie Dach explains how the often-criticized retailer has taken steps towards being a "better company" by subtly improving shoppers' access to healthier foods. If you walk into these Walmart stores the first thing you'll see is the 'fresh' aisle," says Dach. "We think that's good for the business, but it's also good for the customer."