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Culinary Nutrition Conference

How Your Passion For Health and Food Can Change The World One Community At A Time

In this session, our panelists explore:

  • How to get started in not-for-profit work
  • What food security areas need support now
  • How to make a living and fulfill on a bigger purpose
  • How to create sustainable food systems
  • Surprising ways culinary nutrition knowledge can serve local communities


Alica Diehl

Alica Diehl

Alica is a change agent for a regenerative food system. After 6 years designing and leading cooking and nutrition education programming for nonprofits, she pivoted into the for-profit realm. As Hungry Harvest’s Social Impact Manager, Alica developed business models that redistributed rescued produce to people facing significant barriers to healthy food access otherwise. Throughout her professional past, she’s also been a personal chef, collective CSA manager, and urban farm volunteer. She’s now pursuing an MBA, specializing in Sustainable Business Practices, at the University of Oregon.

Katherine BoggsKatherine Boggs

After completing the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, Katherine got involved with Thrive for Good, putting the knowledge gained from the course to use in a different way. Katherine spent ten years of her childhood in Kenya so she’s thrilled to be a part of the work Thrive does and was lucky enough to visit and teach at the training centre in Kenya in January 2020.


Melissa FlynnMelissa Flynn

Melissa has been a long-time food advocate in Chicago, starting a community garden and evening farmers’ market on the north side of Chicago. For six years she was the executive director of Chicago’s Green City Market which is a nationally recognized farmers’ market. She was also named number 7 on 2020’s The 26 Most Influential People in Chicago list by Chicago Social Magazine. She now shares her love for food and getting others to learn to nourish themselves for a lifetime in the classroom at DePaul College Prep High School and in the community teaching cooking classes.

Richard BlackwoodRichard Blackwood

Richard is a community instigator, cooking-from-scratch enthusiast, and avid plant parent. He currently works for Impact Kitchen as a Restaurant Manager and Community Outreach & Diversity Coordinator. After having a life-altering accident, Richard turned to cooking to zone out and find peace. He found joy in cooking on the fly and being more mindful of the food he ate. In 2015, Richard became a Culinary Nutrition Expert and also found his passion for advocating against food inequality within marginalized communities.

Shannon MayernikShannon Mayernik

Shannon Mulligan-Mayernik is an herbalist and plant medicine maker based in Northern New Jersey and the Co-Owner of Mayernik Kitchen, a modern-day herbal apothecary. Not only is Shannon creating a community around all things local and homemade, but she is also striving to educate on growing and using medicinal herbs to enhance your everyday routines and rituals.



>>Click here to watch “Taking Your Food Product Idea to Market”<<

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