This year’s opening keynote speaker will be Bob Allen. Bob, as the founder of I.D.E.A.S. (Innovation, Design, Entertainment, Art and Storytelling), is involved with all aspects of the company but his primary role is the Chief Storytelling Officer for the Innovation and Learning lines of business.
A nationally recognized speaker, Bob has presented to various groups that include the U.S. Air Force, Association of Travel Marketing Executives, Allied Travel Organization, National Telecommunications Conference to name a few.
Bob Allen’s “Storying” is a practical, feet-on-the-ground exploration of a useful and critical skill as important as budgeting, marketing, fresh ingredients, and creativity in the kitchen. Stories, it turns out, are how the human brain constructs reality. They are so powerful that recent studies have proven that the brain doesn’t discriminate between stories and “reality”. The root of how we create what we experience as “The Universe” is in the stories we tell ourselves and others.
Storying - the process of becoming conscious of the stories we live and work in and then beginning to be the deliberate “teller” of those stories - is an immensely powerful practice for any professional. This relaxed and entertaining presentation focuses on how “Storying” can be achieved and why it’s very likely that the most successful chefs are the best storytellers!
The one-hour talk delves into:
• The mechanisms of good storytelling
• The components of a powerful story
• Examples of how great storytelling has enabled success for professionals
• Some brain science behind the power of the story
• How you can get better at it
• Implications of good storytelling in business
His presentation on “storying” is a practical, feet-on-the-ground discipline as useful and critical a leadership skill as finance, marketing, sales and operations. Stories, it turns out, are how the human brain constructs reality. They are so powerful that recent studies have proven that the brain doesn’t discriminate between stories and “reality.”
Del’s cooking career began when he was just eight years old; creating dishes from whatever he could find in his father’s kitchen. By age of thirteen he was flaunting his culinary talents by preparing family dinners, much to his mother’s delight. After high school Del shelved his love for the kitchen and sold men’s clothing while he attended The Ohio State University School of Business. Selling suits and ties did not polish Del’s wing tipped shoes so he set out to pursue his passion, cooking. He landed a position at one of Columbus, Ohio’s premier vegetarian restaurants, The King Avenue Coffeehouse, and began to establish himself as a leader in the industy.
In 1997 Del opened his own bakery, Del’s Bread, where he created, prepared and served delicious vegan pastries, breads, potpies, calzones, smoothies and other sorted delicacies to the palate of his Columbus based clientele. In 2001, Del transitioned from his bakery business to start a vegan Personal Chef Service, preparing eclectic plant-based cuisine to his already captivated audience. During this time, he developed what became a very popular cooking class series, sharing many of the delicious recipes he had created over the years with his students.
In 2006, Del joined Wellness Forum Foods as Executive Chef, where today he continues the tradition of delivering great tasting plant-based meals to clients locally and throughout the continental United States. Del continues to teach cooking and health classes and is a keynote speaker at local venues and events around the country.
Entrepreneur, event planner, author, business consultant, wife, and mother of four, Susan Southerland, is one of the foremost experts in the event industry today. She boasts the honor of planning thousands of events, and now she helps other industry professionals achieve the same success. Susan is president of Just Events Group!, Inc., an event management company encompassing Just Marry!, which specializes in weddings, Just Right! Destination Management, which specializes in destination management services nationwide, and Just Celebrate!, which specializes in social events from intimate parties to lavish galas.
Susan’s exceptional events have been featured numerous times on The Travel Channel, Style Network, and The Learning Channel. Her cutting-edge advice has headlined national television news and radio broadcasts, and has appeared in Inc. Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and periodicals around the world. She is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Susan’s career began in weddings, where she received many accolades. Her company, Just Marry!, is the official wedding-planning partner of Universal Orlando Resort, and she is the National Wedding Expert for renowned publication and online resource, Perfect Wedding Guide. Her wedding expertise is so widely recognized and loved that she was even given the prestigious recognition as one of only 30 wedding planners worldwide as an "A-List Planner" by Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine.
Susan shares her advice at conferences such as Wedding MBA, Tents and Events, Inc. Women’s Summit, NACE and CaterSource, as well as local seminars throughout the country. She also consults one-on-one with wedding and event professionals, and entrepreneurs who want to make their businesses flourish while maintaining sane work and personal environments.
Look for Susan’s book, The Susan Southerland Secret: Personality Marketing to Today’s Bride, available at SusanSoutherland.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and Booksamillion.com. Follow her on Twitter (@susansoutherlan), Facebook (Susan Southerland Secret) and LinkedIn for inspiration, insight, and a dose of reality on business and motherhood.
Helene Dujardin & Tami Hardeman
Hélène was raised in the mountains of Provence and moved to the US in the late 1990s.
As Senior Photographer for Oxmoor House Publisher in Birmingham Alabama, and creator of the award winning site Tartelette, Helene dedicates herself to the craft of food photography.
She has photographed numerous magazine features and cookbooks to date. Clients include Ten Speed Press, Running Press, Cooking Light, Southern Living, Weight Watchers, Le Cordon Bleu, Le Creuset, One Kings Lane, and Food & Wine among others.
Her work has been praised by Elle Magazine, Martha Stewart, The Times online, and many other publications.
Her photographs reveal her passion for natural light, seasonal and fresh ingredients, a love of travel and genuine interest in people.
Tami is an Atlanta-based food stylist who has been styling food for nearly 8 years. As a former fashion stylist, she's merged her loves of food and photography to become nationally published - in both print and video.
She's also worked on several cookbooks, most recently a book with Latin chef and international television personality Ingrid Hoffmann. Clients include: Cooking Light, Southern Living, Oxmoor House Publishing, Coca-Cola, Le Creuset, Publix Supermarkets, Delta Air Lines, Bloomingdale's, Atlanta Magazine, Arthritis Today, McDonald's, Land O'Frost, Georgia-Pacific, and many more.
When not on set styling, Tami pursues her passions of food, writing and photography on her award-winning cooking blog, Running With Tweezers.
Yetunde "Yeti' Ezeanii was born in Houston, Texas and moved to Africa as a small child. She and her family lived in the West African country of Nigeria until Ezeanii returned to the United States to attend college. Ezeanii’s mother was a caterer and dietician in Nigeria, and Ezeanii spent countless hours in her mother's kitchen - essentially her office - watching her cook and juggle the day-to-day responsibilities of a business and family. Following her culinary apprenticeship in her mother's kitchen, Ezeanii returned to the US and earned her doctor of pharmacy degree from Long Island University followed by a MBA from Florida Metropolitan University. Currently, she and her husband own a pharmacy in Marietta, Georgia.
In September 2006, Ezeanii launched AfroFoodtv.com
to expose the continent's cuisine and lifestyle to a population that knows very little, if anything, about Africa. Today, Ezeanii continues to spread the word about all things epicuriously African through her AfroFood brand. She serves as chef and hostess on the website and continues to enhance the site by adding new video cooking demonstrations and recipes. Social media on Twitter and Facebook and her "The Y Blog" provide up-to-date info and keep the conversation and ideas flowing with followers and readers.
In January 2009, Ezeanii brought her love of African cuisine and culture to television. A Taste of Africa airs Sundays at 6 p.m. EST on Dish Network channel 751. It also airs internationally in over 46 African Counties, United Kingdom and several European Countries. She also has published several articles on African cuisine in such publications as Nigeria World, an online newspaper, and Munalucci, an African bridal magazine. In 2009, Ezeanii launched AfroFood Spices, a line of gourmet spices developed to bring the exotic flavors of African cuisine to American kitchens.