Check back soon as we announce the 2021 Beyond the Lunchbox Speaker lineup

Past Speakers

Here are some of the stellar speakers who made our inaugural year a huge success

William F. Carvalho

Founder and President, Wild Planet Foods, Inc.

A seafood industry veteran with 28 years of experience in nearly all areas of operations and responsibilities, William Carvalho is the founder and president of Wild Planet Foods. William is the grandson of Azorean immigrants and lives with his wife of 43 years in McKinleyville, California. All three of their children are currently employed with Wild Planet Foods.

Sophie Egan

Author, How to Be a Conscious Eater

Sophie is an author, Stanford lecturer, and New York Times contributor. Her work at The Culinary Institute of America and her own agency, Full Table Solutions, has galvanized nationwide movements to help all of us make healthier, more sustainable food choices. Her newest book is How to Be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet.

Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE

Registered Dietician, SuperKids Nutrition

Melissa is a nationally recognized nutrition expert with 20+ years of experience helping kids, adults, and communities live healthier lives. As a registered dietitian and mom, she’s passionate about making good nutrition easy, tasty, and fun. She is the founder of the first kid’s nutrition mega-site, SuperKids Nutrition, providing expert resources to help grow healthy communities.

Jessica Handy

Kiss the Ground

Jessica is a registered dietitian who serves as the partnership development lead for Kiss the Ground where she has the joy of cultivating impactful opportunities to build regenerative and meaningful partnerships that create shared value. For over ten years, Jessica worked for mission-driven organizations helping to develop and implement systems to support healthy food access for communities in need.

Jeff Tkach

Chief Impact Officer, Rodale Institute

Jeff is the chief impact officer at the Rodale Institute, the leader in organic agriculture research. Prior to this role, he was the managing director, vice president for Rodale’s Organic Life and Prevention and served in publishing roles for Organic Gardening, Yoga Journal, and Vegetarian Times.

Dr. Leonardo Trasande

Director, Environmental Pediatrics NYU School of Medicine

Dr. Trasande is the Jim G. Hendrick MD Professor, Director of the Division of Environmental Pediatrics, and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Tresande is an internationally renowned leader in environmental health and author of Sicker, Fatter, Poorer: The Urgent Threat of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals to Our Health and Future… and What We Can Do ABout It.

Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD

Author, Meals That Heal

Carolyn is a culinary nutrition expert, registered dietitian, and 2017 James Beard Journalism Award winner. Her latest cookbook, Meals That Heal: 100+ Everyday Anti-Inflammatory Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less, teaches readers how to use the healing powers of food to improve overall health in quick, family-friendly recipes.

Audrey Ross

Country Life

Dr. Ross is Country Life’s senior national educator providing product training for retailers and consumers throughout the United States. She joined the Country Life team with an extensive 30-year background in the natural products field. She possesses a PhD in naturopathy, is a master herbalist, and has her degree in marketing. Dr. Ross is a frequent guest speaker on numerous radio shows throughout the United States.

Keri Gans

Small Change Diet

Keri is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified yoga teacher, author of The Small Change Diet, Shape Magazine advisory board member, and blogger for US News & World Report. The Keri Report, her own bi-monthly podcast and newsletter, helps to convey her no-nonsense and fun approach to living a healthy lifestyle. Her expertise has been featured in media outlets such as, Glamour, Shape, Self, Women’s Health, The Dr. Oz Show, and ABC News.

Maggie Moon, MS, RD

Wild Blueberries

Maggie is a best-selling author, educator, science communications professional, and spokesperson for Wild Blueberries. Her culinary school training and clinical background has helped develop an expertise in healthy eating for brain health and successful aging. Her work is featured in numerous textbooks, books, television, print, and online media. She works closely with the Wild Blueberry Association of North America to share how eating Wild Blueberries can help cognitive function at all ages, as well as address many chronic diseases and consequent inflammation.

Dr. Dorothy L. Hitchmoth OD, FAAO, ABO, ABCMO Diplomate


Dr. Hitchmoth is a nationally-recognized award-winning professor, lecturer, and educator. She recently retired from the VA after 22 years of service to our nation’s veterans. She served as the Chief of Optometry, Director of Residency, and as a VA health systems analyst for many years. She has owned and operated a Vision Source private-practice for 25 years and recently opened a Zeiss Eye Care Center of Excellence next to a critical access hospital in rural New Hampshire. Dr. Hitchmoth is a past State President and has served in leadership roles in the American Optometric Association over the past 25 years.

Melissa Gonzales

Creative Meli

Melissa is a mother and founder of Creative Meli, a blog that shares craft, food, travel, and parenting content with her wide audience.

Dr. Jennifer Pfleghaar


Dr. Pfleghaar (Dr. Jen) works at local emergency rooms in the community and her office in Perrysburg, OH practicing integrative medicine. She is a graduate from the The University of Arizona: Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine’s two year fellowship program. Her own health history of Hashimoto’s and having children sparked her interest in integrative medicine. She is very passionate about helping patients with chronic disease and letting our body heal itself. Dr. Jen is a certified yoga instructor with Aura Wellness Center and Kids Yoga with Yogafit.

Hannah Lewis

The Beard and The Baker

Hannah Lewis is one half of the food blog, The Beard and The Baker. The other half is her bearded husband, Joel. Together, they share homemade recipes perfect for the whole family. They have a three-year-old daughter who loves to be in the kitchen, too!

Maureen Frost

KIWI magazine

Maureen is the editorial director of KIWI magazine and Moms Meet and mother to a very active toddler. She’s passionate about educating the KIWI audience on green living, environmental issues, and health and wellness. She enjoys sharing the mom experience with the loyal KIWI and Moms Meet communities while helping parents everywhere to raise happy, healthy families.

De Bolton

FaithFueled Mom

De is a quirky wife and mom of three girls. Over the last four years she has adopted a healthy lifestyle through an 85-pound weight loss journey, gained her degree in fitness and exercise science, and became a personal trainer. De now shares healthy lifestyle information through workouts, healthy eating guidelines, recipes, and informative lifestyle tips. Her faith fuels her life at faithfueledmoms.com.

Want to speak at Beyond the Lunchbox?