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In this session, you will hear three 15-minute, thought-provoking talks that will leave you challenged and inspired.


1) Mastering millennial minds and doing business as a millennial owner
• Psychology of Millennials
• Targeting Millennials
• Doing business as a Millennial Owner

2) How being different can fuel your rise to the top of the food service industry
• How to capitalize when you don’t fit the stereotype
• Different paths and backgrounds that can lead to the role of an executive chef
• Learn how to use the world as an inspirational playground for culinary innovation

3) What business leaders can learn from jazz musicians


Sunny Ilyas | Founder/CEO | Vale Food Co.

Sunny Ilyas is Founder & CEO for Vale Food Co, a rapidly growing healthy fast casual restaurant in Florida that offers build your own bowls; açaí bowls, and also provides meal plan delivery services. A true entrepreneur, he set out in 2014 to create a meal plan delivery company to provide people with healthy food that is delicious, convenient, affordable and has variety. In 2016, he was able to grow from a meal plan delivery business to opening up as a restaurant as well. As a dual revenue stream company, Vale Food Co in a year has been able to grow into 3 locations in prime real estate and thrive.

Maira Morales | Corporate Executive Chef | Schlotzsky’s

As Corporate Executive Chef of Schlotzsky’s, owned by FOCUS Brands, Maira leads the Research and Development (R&D) Department where creation of new menu items, limited time offers (LTO’s) and directing the department are all part of her everyday tasks. In this new role under Maira’s leadership, the team will continue developing recipes and menu offerings which will be seen in over 350 locations worldwide. Prior to her current role, Chef Maira Isabel was the Executive Chef at Disney World Golf Courses and has also been featured in numerous television shows in the United Stated, Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America.

Jayson Tipp | Former SVP Strategy & Chief Development Officer | Papa Murphy’s International

Jayson Tipp is a nationally-recognized and sought-after expert in consumer analytics, market strategy and execution with a reputation for converting insights into strategies that deliver results. Most recently he was Chief Development Officer for Papa Murphy’s International developing and executing growth strategies across franchise sales, real estate, and technology. Jayson also served as SVP, Marketing for PMI while the organization posted 14 consecutive quarters of sales growth. Prior to PMI, Jayson served in analytics and strategy roles for redbox, Potbelly Sandwich Works, and Starbucks. Jayson also has a 25 year career as a semi-professional jazz composer, performer and recording artist with his band Under The Lake.


Don Hawkins, Jr. | Group VP Emerging Chains, Government & Retail | Middleby Corporation

Don is the Group VP for Emerging Chains, Government and Retail at Middleby Corporation. His teams interface directly with Emerging and Re-Emerging Foodservice companies to increase product quality, increase operational efficiencies as well as speed of service, and to reduce labor and utility costs via foodservice equipment designed and built around their specific needs. Don has over 30 years in the industry as both an executive in foodservice equipment manufacturing and as a provider of equipment and services to restaurant chains. He’s known for providing new and creative solutions to issues and problems for customers both globally and domestically and for being on the leading edge of trends and technology within our industry.

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