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How Safe and Transparent is Your Food-sourcing Process?

Brands that are transparent about where and how they source their food will have the most loyal customers, according to a recent study. That’s easier said than done, however, considering most brands work with a variety of food vendors all over the country. This panel will discuss what’s driving the trend of increased transparency and how restaurateurs can meet customer needs without losing money.


John LeBel | CEO | Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta

From politics to pizza, John Lebel, has always taken his New York roots very seriously. Lebel started his career in Washington D.C with a passion for community and helping others. He combined that passion with his love of authentic New York style pizza and help found Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta. Lebel and his team have expanded Anthony’s from a single downtown Denver storefront to more than 25 restaurants. He has also continued to grow his commitment to community. Anthony’s supports several organizations, from feeding volunteers and catering fundraisers to supporting youth organizations and struggling families.

Linda Appel Lipsius | Co-Founder and CEO | Teatulia

Linda Appel Lipsius is the Co-Founder & CEO of Teatulia Organic Teas. Since 2006, she’s been working with her partners in Bangladesh to bring premium-quality, sustainably-sourced teas from a previously-unknown growing region to the United States and the United Kingdom. The sustainably packaged teas are sold through natural, specialty, conventional and mass grocery as well as foodservice channels ranging from fine dining to college & university to fast casual. Teatulia also runs an innovative Tea Bar in its home town of Denver that serves as a lab for the branded lineup as well as a community gathering spot. Prior to Teatulia, Linda was the VP of International, for Orange Glo International (makers of OxiClean, Orange Glo and Kaboom).

Josh Morgan | Operating Partner | Melt Shop

Josh Morgan discovered a passion for the restaurant industry while working for Hillstone Restaurant Group. In January 2010, Josh opened his own restaurant in NYC called Choptank. In June 2013, Josh joined Aurify Brands as an operating partner of Melt Shop, an American sandwich concept. By 2015, Josh became Operating Partner of Aurify Brands in which he oversaw operations of 35 restaurants across 6 different brands–Five Guys, Melt Shop, The Little Beet, Little Beet Table, Fields Good Chicken & Make Sandwich. Currently Josh is overseeing the licensing and franchising efforts to grow the Melt Shop brand both domestically and internationally.

Chad Newton | Culinary Director | Asian Box

Seasoned Chef Chad Newton started Asian Box with Partner Frank Klein in 2012 to bring Palo Alto authentic, healthy Asian street food in a fine-casual environment. Since opening, Newton has helped grow the brand from a single unit to seven with plans to grow to 12 by the end of 2017. Responsible for oversight of the menu with wife and Executive Chef Grace Nguyen, Newton also oversees quality and consistency at all five locations and is responsible for opening and training staff. Newton has also played a large role in expanding the catering arm of the Asian Box business.


Doug Sutton | President | Steritech

As president of Steritech, Doug Sutton uses his unique combination of skills, experience and insight to help industry partners rethink delivering a strong and consistent customer experience. Ever the marketer at heart, Doug also brings broad experience in sales, operations and general management. Since joining Steritech in 2014, Doug has championed shifting the status quo of the industry’s expectations on the audit experience through a consultative and programmatic philosophy. His ardent belief in the importance of a stellar customer experience continually drives his approach with industry partners.

Michelle Strong | CMO | Long Range Systems

As Chief Marketing Officer for Long Range Systems, Michelle Strong is responsible for LRS’ product strategy, marketing programs, client services, corporate communications, and sales support. Joining LRS in 2012, Michelle assumed oversight of LRS’ marketing, branding, and product development to enhance LRS’ repertoire of messaging and tracking solutions. Today, Michelle works closely with LRS’ clients, business partners, and operating units to assess market needs, uncover emerging trends, understand competitive offerings, and recommend product strategies that best position LRS to address on-site communication and tracking needs with integrated hardware and software offerings.

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