Below is the list of our 2021 IFBC March Virtual Summit: Monetization Speakers.
Maryam Ahmed | Maryam + Company
Maryam Ahmed is a creative entrepreneur with a focus on food and wine based in Napa, CA. She specializes in connecting brands to their community through innovative programming and curated experiences. Maryam owns Maryam + Company, a collaborative consulting firm that specializes in high impact brand initiatives through curated programs and experiences, project management, coaching, and workshops. She works independently with socially conscious entrepreneurs and organizations to implement ideas, scale, and create experiences. Most often, her work takes place at the intersection of chefs, sommeliers, activists, sustainability experts, creatives, and organizations focused on the empowerment of the BIPOC community and the advancement of women. In 2020, Maryam created and co-founded the Diversity in Wine Leadership Forum which brings together leaders of organizations with a commitment to equity and diversity in the wine industry and acts as a centralized list of ongoing initiatives.
Aaronica Cole | The Crunchy Mommy
Aaronica Cole is the creator behind the award-winning site TheCrunchyMommy.com–the family-centered, eco-friendly guide for millennial parents. In addition to this site, she also runs TheNeedleAndTheBelle.com which is a crafting and DIY site dedicated to plus-size sewists creating their own wardrobes. When she’s not writing for her own sites, she’s developing strategic marketing plans for her clients with AC|Media or helping them glow up through her Think Tank sessions. Brands that she works with include Berkey Filters, Water Wipes, Reebok, CauseBox, FabFitFun, RidgeCrest Herbals, Perdue Farms, Carters, and more.
Sally Ekus | The Lisa Ekus Group
Sally Ekus is a literary agent and co-owner of The Lisa Ekus Group, a full service culinary agency representing culinary and lifestyle talent for over 39 years. She represents a wide range of culinary, health, wellness, and lifestyle talent, from first-time cookbook authors to seasoned chefs, professional food writers to bloggers, and internet and YouTube personalities. Sally loves being the liaison between an author and their publisher, and takes great pride in guiding authors towards their dreams of publication. From concept to contract, she has brokered more than 150 book deals with the top US publishers. Sally speaks all over the country about publishing trends and agenting, and facilitates workshops called How to Write a Cookbook and the Facebook group How to be a Cookbook Author.
Jason Logsdon | Amazing Food Made Easy
Jason Logsdon is a best selling author, public speaker and passionate home cook who loves to try new things, exploring everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to blow torches, foams, spheres and infusions. He has published 14 cookbooks which have sold more than 60,000 copies, including the best selling Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide and the Official Instant Pot Sous Vide Cookbook. He runs AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com, one of the largest sous vide and modernist cooking websites, Makin’ Bacon (MakeThatBacon.com), a website dedicated to helping food bloggers succeed, and is the president of the International Sous Vide Association.
Jenny Melrose | Jenny Melrose
Jenny is a former reading specialist who “retired” from her teaching career when her blogging income far exceeded her salary. Through hard work and dedication, her lifestyle blog, The Melrose Family, became regularly sought out by nationally recognized brands such as Neutrogena, Smuckers, Glad, Costco, Stanley Steamer, Sara Lee, and many more. She is a content strategist that helps entrepreneurs better understand their messaging and unique position in the online space. Now, she’s combining her passion for teaching with her extensive experience of creating strategic content for online business owners via JennyMelrose.com and her podcast, Influencer Entrepreneurs with Jenny Melrose as well as her first book Influencer Entrepreneurs: The 4-Step Framework to Building Your Audience, Growing Your Business, and Making More Money Online.
Christina Peters | Food Photography Club
Christina Peters is an award winning photographer. She received her second degree in photography from the Art Center College of Design in California and has been shooting ever since. Concentrating in food photography for the last 15 years, Christina began teaching food photography classes at her studio in 2011. Her classes are designed for food bloggers, chefs and other culinary professionals. In 2017, she also launched her the Food Photography Club. This site is dedicated to all things food photography with video content, live webinars, and a private community to teach you how to be a professional food photographer. Her clients include Bath and Body Works, Marriott Hotels, Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt, Rubios Grill, Walmart, and Nestle, just to name a few.
Kathy Hester | Healthy Slow Cooking
Kathy Hester is a food blogger, recipe developer, food photographer, and author of 11 cookbooks. She’s sold over 150,000 books to date and does cookbook PR on the side. In addition to her blog Healthy Slow Cooking, Kathy runs the Plant Based Instant Pot and talks about online PR and video at kathyhester.com. Kathy started doing live Facebook videos a few years ago and noticed it forged a strong connection with her audience. She took those skills and started doing live online cooking classes that sell five figures a year, in addition to working with brands on live social media video. Kathy is passionate about making healthy eating accessible and delicious. Her recipes are plant based and vegan, plus she can help you with your dietary restrictions or allergies with recipe alternatives.
Sandy Sauter | PLAYTE Kitchen
Chef Sandy Sauter is an experienced chef and educator with over 20 years of experience in the Food & Beverage industry. She has a passion for food, and has a natural ability for teaching the culinary arts to home chefs, and has developed and taught 100s of classes. She is currently the VP of Culinary Creative for PLAYTE Kitchen. Sandy has also created educational food programs for large scale events, and partnerships, working with the likes of; Food and Wine Magazine, AFAR Magazine, America’s Test Kitchen, and many others. Previously, Sandy was the Executive Chef of Public Programs, California at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), along with working for several other Napa Valley institutions including Bouchon Bistro, Dean & Deluca, and Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts. She graduated at the top of her class at The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Sandy is also co-owner and managing partner at Spork Kitchens, a commercial rental kitchen in Napa, is a chef instructor for Rouxbe Online Culinary School, has a small culinary consulting business, and is on the Board of Directors of the Napa Farmers Market.
Chelsea Bennett | Lulu.com
Chelsea Bennett is the Brand Engagement Manager for Lulu.com and is constantly researching and developing new resources for authors and entrepreneurs. Her areas of expertise include self-publishing, Print-on-Demand technology, building an author brand, direct sales, and marketing. When not thinking about publishing, Chelsea can be found playing disc golf with her husband or having in-depth conversations about the universe with her cat, Batman. Stop by and say hello!