The Sustainable Food Lab is led by an Advisory Board drawn from the Food Lab member organizations and provides oversight to the Lab, establishes budget priorities, assists with fundraising, and shares the Food Lab stories with a broader audience.
The Food Lab Advisory Board:
Jan Kees Vis
Co-Chair Sustainable Food Lab Advisory Board
Global Director Sustainable Sourcing Development, Unilever
Jan Kees Vis was trained as a chemist and received a PhD in Heterogeneous Catalysis in 1984. He joined Unilever in 1985, at the Unilever Research Laboratory in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands. He held several positions there, then moved to the foods business. For more than 10 years he worked on Environmental Life Cycle Analysis, Environmental Management Systems, environmental auditing and standard setting, environmental training, environmental reporting and preparation of policy proposals on environmental issues.
Since beginning of 2001, he is Global Supply Chain Director Sustainable Agriculture for Unilever.
Jan Kees has been involved in, and holds or has held board positions in, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform, Sustainable Food Laboratory and the Roundtable for Responsible Soy.
Tensie Whelan, President Rainforest Alliance
Co-Chair Sustainable Food Lab Advisory Board
Tensie Whelan serves as president of the Rainforest Alliance. She has been involved with the organization since 1990, first as a board member, and then later as a consultant, becoming the executive director in 2000.
Whelan has been working in the environmental field for more than 25 years, during which time she served as the vice president of conservation information at the National Audubon Society and executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. Whelan also worked as a journalist and environmental communications consultant in Costa Rica, and was the managing editor of Ambio - an international environmental journal based in Stockholm.
Whelan serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition and Social Accountability International, is a member of the advisory board for corporate social responsibility at Fortis, as well as the sustainable agriculture advisory board for Unilever, sits on the governing body of the U.N. Foundation’s World Heritage Alliance, and is the co-chair of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Food Lab. She holds an M.A. in International Communication from American University's School of International Service and a B.A. in Political Science from New York University. Whelan's published work includes one of the first books on ecofriendly tourism, Nature Tourism: Managing for the Environment (1991, Island Press).
Ben & Jerry's
Manager of Natural Resources
Andrea Asch leads the environmental program for Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. Ben & Jerry’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever. Andrea has been responsible for guiding Ben & Jerry's environmental well-being since the company first created the position in 1992. She has fostered a wide range of environmental initiatives and projects that include waste minimization programs at the manufacturing plants, major packaging innovation endeavors, global climate change initiatives and campaigns and the development of Caring Dairy a global sustainable agriculture initiative for dairy farmers.
Ms. Asch holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental conservation and environmental education from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in environmental science and hazardous waste management from Indiana University.
Senior Adviser and Team Manager, Business and Markets.
David has over 10 year’s experience of international trade, agricultural and SME development focusing on rural enterprise and market development to overcome poverty. Working across Africa, Asia and Latin America, David’s current work encompasses many of Oxfam’s engagements with Business, whether as SME’s or multi-national companies. Currently leading on new strategic engagements related to agriculture, such as developing smallholder based supply chains, brokering corporate partnerships and developing the Enterprise development programme that invests a mix of intelligent finance in poverty reducing rural enterprises globally. A regular speaker on the private sector’s role in sustainable development, authoring various publications, the most recent being “Think Big. Go Small”, co-written with SFL. As well as being an adviser to SFL, is an executive director of a sustainable cotton consultancy, having previously worked on business development for 12 year’s in the commercial sector, for British and French companies.
Senior Director, Environment Sustainability, oversees enterprise-wide environmental programs
Working across business units and functional areas, Kathy leads the development of environmental initiatives that drive operational excellence, employee engagement, and client and customer satisfaction. Through recent animal welfare commitments, on-going external stakeholder engagement, and ARAMARK’s innovative Sustainability Internship Program, in partnership with the Student Conservation Association, Kathy directs ARAMARK’s overall commitment to environmental sustainability. Kathy has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia’s (UVA) School of Architecture; worked at the University's Office of the Architect, managing UVA’s first Sustainability Assessment Report; and previously worked at the National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers, and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Sodexo North America
Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
Deborah joined Sodexo in 1991 as a District Manager in Healthcare and progressed into roles with increasing responsibility including Director of Strategic Marketing, Senior Director of Strategic Planning, Vice President of Strategic Planning for Healthcare and most recently, Senior Vice President of Planning and Strategy for the Healthcare Market. In addition, she held an international position as Vice President of Sodexo Group Planning, based in France, and started and led Sodexo’s wellness initiative in the U.S.
In May of 2012, Deborah assumed responsibility for the Office of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility for Sodexo North America. With a team of seven subject matter experts, the Office is responsible for championing and deploying Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan, its roadmap for sustainability and CSR. Prior to joining Sodexo, Deborah spent several years in the US textile industry, holding management positions with a small manufacturer of upholstery fabrics. Deborah also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil. She is a graduate of Vassar College. Deborah resides with her husband in Doylestown, PA. When not involved in Sodexo activities, Deborah enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren, traveling, restoring old houses, and being outdoors.
Gord Is Director of Environment at Pulse Canada. He grew up on a farm on the Canadian prairies and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied science and economics at the Universities of Manitoba and British Columbia. After graduating, Gord specialized in commodity analysis and marketing, spending 12 years in the Canadian grain industry in the areas of marketing, market analysis, quality control and market access. In 2007, Gord was recruited to develop sustainability programming for Pulse Canada, Canada’s national trade association for grain legumes, commonly referred to as pulse crops. Canada is the world’s largest international seller of pulses overall, with approximately 40% of world trade. Gord is responsible for initiatives that seek to credibly measure environmental impacts and identify opportunities for improvement.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Supply Chain Community Outreach Manager
Chris Leung is the Supply Chain Community Outreach Manager for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). The company contributes 5% of its pre-tax profits every year to support socially and environmentally responsible initiatives. Chris identifies and execute on opportunities to help supply chain stakeholders (producing organizations, farmers, workers) address key sustainability challenges in their communities.
Prior to joining GMCR, he was with the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) for eleven years and directed its programs in Asia promoting cross-sector partnership to address sustainability challenges faced by businesses and local communities including economic development, human rights, anti-corruption, climate change, natural disaster, health & safety and pandemic .
Chris was born in Indonesia, grew up in Macao, Taiwan and Hong Kong, received higher education in the United Kingdom and the United States, and have lived and worked in the United States, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Thailand.
Global Director of Sustainability
Kevin Rabinovitch, Mars. Kevin is the Global Director of Sustainability for Mars, Inc. In his role he develops and deploys strategies, goals, targets and policies relating to all aspects of sustainability for Mars’ full supply chain. He also chairs the Sustainability sub-group of the Mars Scientific Advisory Council which advises Mars on the science behind our sustainability decisions throughout our entire supply chain. Kevin has been with Mars for 19 years, 6 years in sustainability and the first 13 in R&D functions of multiple Mars business segments in the U.S. and Europe specializing in technology development, scale up and intellectual property.
Vice President, Investor Relations
Neil Russell is Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Officer of Sysco Corporation. Under Neil’s leadership, Sysco’s Investor Relations Department has a broad structure which includes Investor Relations and coordination of Sysco’s sustainability process. Neil acts as the executive liaison to Sysco’s Board of Directors on Sustainability programs including agricultural and environmental impact as well as community relations. Neil also serves on the company’s Disclosure Committee in support of the CEO/CFO financial statements certification process and meets regularly with the Board of Directors. Separately, Neil serves on the company’s Investment Committee in support of Sysco’s general corporate investments and employee benefit plan investments.
Neil earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Arizona State University and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. Neil has been a member of the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes and actively participates in Junior Achievement. Neil is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute and the National Association for Corporate Directors. He has been a speaker and roundtable discussion leader at several business conferences and University classes.
Director of Sustainability
Shauna Sadowski is the Director of Sustainability at Annie’s, Inc., an organic and natural foods company based in Berkeley, CA. In her role, she leads the company’s sustainability efforts, with a particular focus on engaging with supply chain partners to understand and improve social and environmental impacts throughout the supply chain. Her projects seek to ensure transparency and accountability from ‘farm to fork,’ with the ultimate goal of contributing to a more sustainable food system. Prior to joining Annie’s in 2010, Shauna worked on sustainability issues within the food sector at Clif Bar and Company, Fork in the Road Foods, and Business for Social Responsibility. Before transitioning to an emphasis within the consumer products sector, she worked with a variety of industries through management consulting roles at the Corporate Executive Board and Arthur Andersen. Her commitment to sustainability stems from her early years of growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Shauna received her BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a MS in Agriculture, Food and Environment from the Friedman School at Tufts University. She serves on the board of the Sustainable Food Trade Association. Shauna lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter and zany Boston Terrier.
Catholic Relief Services
Latin America and Caribbean Technical Advisor for agro-enterprise and climate change
Jefferson Shriver is the Latin America and Caribbean Technical Advisor for agro-enterprise and climate change with Catholic Relief Services, based in Managua. He has worked in rural development in Central America for the past 16 years with three different non-profit organizations. His technical experience and expertise includes sustainable agro-enterprise and payment for environmental services. He has written numerous articles for publication and is the author of Reaping Profits while Restoring the Environment: Lessons from Central America (VDM 2009). Mr. Shriver directed a Title II food security program for CRS Nicaragua from 2004-2007, and from 2007-2010, served as Chief of Party for the agricultural value chains project ACORDAR in Nicaragua. Previous to his work with CRS, Mr. Shriver worked with Lutheran World Relief (1999-2005) as Central America Director for the Hurricane Mitch response as well as Associate Director for Latin America, and from 1995-99 with the Mennonite Central Committee working in the areas of microfinance and rural livelihoods. As RTA, Mr. Shriver has helped CRS design new programming and win multiple grants in coffee, cocoa, mango, honey, banana, and passion fruit value chains. He has also supported CRS to cultivate and deepen relationships with private sector companies in the food industry for agro-enterprise and climate change collaboration. Mr. Shriver received his BA in International Studies from Whitworth University, and his MA in Global Environmental Policy from American University.
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Head Sustainable Markets Group
Bill Vorley principal researcher in the Sustainable Markets Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London. Bill is an ecologist by training, with experience in the agrifood systems, the governance of value chains, and sustainable business.His research interests center on market structure and governance, the position of small and family scale producers, the role of business in sustainable development, and the means to decouple food production and trade from the degradation of livelihoods and environment. Prior to joining IIED in 1999, Bill worked at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, and spent many years in agribusiness after post-doctoral field research in Malaysia. He has a PhD from the University of Southampton, UK.