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WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced his intent to appoint members of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition. The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition is a federal advisory committee that aims to promote healthy, accessible eating and physical activity for all Americans, regardless of background or ability. President Biden issued Executive Order 14048, renewing the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition, which allows for continued promotion of the National Youth Sports Strategy and provides for the work of the Council to include a focus on expanding national awareness of the importance of mental health as it pertains to physical fitness and nutrition.
In 2022, President Biden appointed José Andrés and Elena Delle Donne to serve as Co-Chairs of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition.
President Biden announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to serve as members of the Council:
Maribel Campos Rivera
Dr. Maribel Campos Rivera is a Physician scientist, Board-Certified in Pediatrics, Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine and Obesity Medicine, with degrees in Health Care Administration and Clinical Research. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Alumni with over 20 years of experience implementing diverse research designs. As Professor of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus she has mentored trainees at different stages of training and backgrounds, providing them the opportunity to meet their community and be better equipped to address the social determinants of health. Her research work focuses on the effects of fetal and early childhood exposures on health across the lifespan. Her trajectory includes community action projects fostering a culture of health through system alignment, science education, and interdisciplinary care. Her team specializes in collaborating with community-based and professional organizations towards the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions that are place-based and community informed. Her role within the Voices for Healthy Kids community supported by the American Heart Association is just one example of their contributions towards health equity. She is the founder and Director of the Center for Community Outreach for Health Across the Lifespan and member of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico College of Physicians and Surgeons as President of the Research and Technological Development Institute. Her commitment to improve the rate of adoption of healthy lifestyles fueled her transition from NICU Medical Director to Founder of Emerge, a public benefit corporation dedicated to family-based holistic healthcare.
One of the most decorated athletes of all time, Tamika Catchings has left an indelible mark at every level of the game. Catchings is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, ten-time WNBA All-Star, five-time Defensive Player of the Year, and a WNBA Champion. She helped lead the Indiana Fever to a league-record 12 consecutive playoff appearances and was 2011 league MVP and 2012 Finals MVP, leading the Fever to their first WNBA Championship. Catchings retired as the leading rebounder in WNBA history and second in all-time scoring.
In 2004, she launched the Catch the Stars Foundation, which empowers youth by providing goal setting programs that promote fitness, literacy, and youth development. In addition to the Foundation, Catchings operates the cozy Tea’s Me Café on the north side of downtown Indianapolis, and continues her engagement with basketball, serving as an ESPN/SEC Network Analyst. Catchings is the author of an autobiographical story, Catch A Star: Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion, sharing her story of overcoming hearing loss, separation from family, high expectations, and the pain of debilitating physical injuries. Catchings was routinely acknowledged for her sportsmanship and has received numerous accolades for her dedicated efforts on behalf of varied social causes, including the ESPN Sports Humanitarian of the Year, the WNBA’s Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award, the WNBA’s Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, and the Pathfinder Award by the Indiana Sports Corporation, honoring those who improve the lives of America’s youth.
Ayesha Curry is a renowned restauranteur, chef, two-time New York Times bestselling author, producer, host, entrepreneur, and was featured on the prestigious Forbes “30 Under 30” list. Her accessible approach to cooking has made her one of the most sought-after experts in food and lifestyle. Ayesha is the Founder and CEO of Sweet July, her burgeoning lifestyle brand with a focus to uplift an inclusive and eclectic array of creators through the products sold and stories shared. In 2019 Ayesha launched Sweet July, a quarterly lifestyle magazine that covers a range of topics such as wellness, fashion, fitness, beauty, entrepreneurism, and food. Following the launch of the magazine, Ayesha opened a brick-and-mortar Sweet July storefront and café in Oakland, California and its accompanying website, featuring thoughtfully-created products alongside other carefully selected items from Black-owned and female-founded companies. In 2020, Ayesha launched Sweet July Productions, which focuses on creating content centered around food, family, faith, and female empowerment. Most recently, Ayesha served as Host and Executive Producer of HBO Max’s “About Last Night.” In 2022, Ayesha announced Sweet July Books in partnership with Zando. Sweet July Books will acquire fiction and nonfiction work, with a focus on diverse authors and women’s stories. Ayesha, along with her husband Stephen, is the co-founder of Eat. Learn. Play., an organization dedicated to unleashing the potential of every child and making a positive impact for generations to come.
Stephen Curry’s on and off court legacy is underscored by transformation and innovation. Widely regarded as the greatest shooter in NBA history, Stephen is point guard for the Golden State Warriors where his 14-year career is marked by many firsts. He was the first person to be named Most Valuable Player by unanimous vote in NBA history, the first player to hit 100 3-pointers in the NBA Finals, one of a select few to win MVP awards two years in a row, remains the all-time leading scorer in Golden State Warriors history, and recently surpassed former record-holder Ray Allen for most 3-pointers made in NBA history. He holds nine NBA All-Star selections and four NBA Championships. An emerging figure in the Bay Area, the athlete’s endeavors tout a number of innovative and progressive consumer, entertainment, and non-profit entities. He is the CEO of SC30 Inc. (SC30), a purpose-driven company that focuses on the athlete’s off-court endeavors spanning brand partnerships, media, investments, and philanthropy. In 2020, he launched Curry Brand, a purpose-driven legacy brand powered by Under Armour, with a mission to open doors for underrepresented youth and increase access for sports across the country. In 2019, Stephen and Ayesha Curry launched Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, an organization dedicated to unlocking the amazing potential of every child by fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring students have access to a quality education, and providing safe places for all children to play and be active. Stephen co-founded Unanimous Media in 2018, with a goal to elevate diverse voices and shine a light on compelling narratives focused on family, sports, and faith-based content for all platforms. Additionally, he founded UNDERRATED, an inspiring lifestyle brand committed to providing equity, access, and opportunity to underrepresented communities.
Jon Feinman founded InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW) in 2010, building upon his experience in AmeriCorps and as a personal trainer. As CEO, he is focused on aligning the vision, strategy, culture, and growth of ICW to flip power dynamics, bridge social capital, and amplify the voice and agency of people at ICW. Over his 13 years at ICW, the company evolved from a weight training program, to a workforce development track, to a social justice organization. What started as a gym is now a community where people belong, together. Where people are valued as equals, and people with lived experience are listened to as the experts. It is a person-centric organization, where goals are determined by and driven by each individual. Rather than doing something “for” someone, ICW partners with and alongside each person to assist in empowering personal success.
Feinman received his MBA from Babson College in 2010 where he launched ICW. For his work, Feinman has received awards from the Boston Celtics, Year Up, Good Sports, Bostinno, and Babson College. In 2014 he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Leaders by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and in 2015 received the Ernst and Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year for Social Entrepreneurship. ICW has been featured on ESPN, CBS, NESN, and in the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and NPR.
Tina Flournoy was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She and her family – grandmother, mother, father, and four brothers – were all true sports fans. For Flournoy, it is a passion that has endured throughout a career in government, labor, and politics. She has experienced firsthand the power sports has to bring people and communities together and to help young people become confident, healthy, and focused. Flournoy served as Chief of Staff to Vice President Kamala Harris. Prior to joining the Vice President’s staff, she served as Chief of Staff to former President Bill Clinton. In that role she worked with the 42nd President to manage all of his activities with the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, the Clinton Foundation, his multiple television, digital, and written engagements and all other business, political, and personal interests. Throughout this period, President Clinton’s office worked with numerous strategic partners in the U.S. and around the globe to develop and implement projects to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire lasting civic engagement.
Previously, Flournoy oversaw public policy and political strategy for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in the office of the international union’s President. Specifically, she was responsible for political mobilization, government relations, human rights, and community development. She was also the liaison to elected officials, civic organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and advocacy groups for AFT. Flournoy clerked for The Honorable Julia Cooper Mack of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Additionally, she served as Chief Counsel in both the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and in the 1992 Presidential Transition Office. She was Counsel for the Democratic National Committee and General Counsel for the 1992 Democratic National Convention. She received her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University.
Iron Chef, father, husband, James Beard Award-winner, entrepreneur, and food innovator, Chef Jose Garces is known as a leading culinary authority of Spanish and Latin-American food. From the Spanish tapas at Amada, his first restaurant, to the rotating tasting menus at Volvér at the Kimmel Cultural Campus, Garces continually pushes the boundaries of culinary excellence. While he maintains his successful career owning and operating full-service restaurants, Garces is also looking toward the future, with an increased focus on bringing restaurant-quality experiences to the homes and businesses of culinary enthusiasts in new and interesting ways. From enhanced home delivery options and virtual online cooking demos, to live online cooking classes, Garces is excited to connect with both fans of his work on television, as well as the home cook who’d like to experience “chef life” in their own kitchen.
As a child of immigrants and a leader in the diverse and inclusive hospitality industry, the wellbeing of his community in Philadelphia has always been dear to Garces’ heart. To help provide ongoing and actionable assistance to the immigrant community, Garces co-founded The Garces Foundation in 2011. The Garces Foundation provides services, including community health days, English language skills classes that target the restaurant industry, and most recently, an increased focus on procuring and providing food supplies to the food insecure. Garces is the author of two cookbooks, Latin Evolution and The Latin Road Home.
J. Nadine Gracia
Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public health policy, research, and advocacy organization that promotes optimal health for every person and community and makes the prevention of illness and injury a national priority. She is a national health equity leader with extensive leadership in federal government, the nonprofit sector, academia, and professional associations. Gracia served in the Obama-Biden Administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In that capacity, she directed departmental policies and programs to end health disparities, advance health equity, and provided executive leadership on administration priorities including the Affordable Care Act and My Brother’s Keeper. Previously, she served as Chief Medical Officer in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, where her portfolio included adolescent health, emergency preparedness, environmental health and climate change, global health, and the White House Council on Women and Girls. Prior to that role, she was appointed as a White House Fellow at HHS and worked in the Office of the First Lady on the development of the Let’s Move! initiative to solve childhood obesity. Passionate about service and leadership development, she is active in many professional and civic organizations.
As President of Food Lion, Meg Ham leads 82,000 associates who are dedicated to providing fresh, healthy, and affordable food to approximately ten million customers each week across ten Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. During her more than 30-year tenure at Ahold Delhaize USA, parent company of Food Lion, Ham has served in executive leadership roles in both retail operations and merchandising functions at Food Lion and its sister banner, Hannaford, and at the helm of Bottom Dollar Food, the company’s former discount banner. Ham has built her career as a food retailer, focused on the value of service to customers and associates. Being part of the community a company serves is a driving force for Ham. Since 2014, Food Lion Feeds, the company’s hunger-relief platform, has donated more than one billion meals to food-insecure neighbors across Food Lion’s ten-state operating footprint.
Ham has been recognized locally and nationally for her contributions to Food Lion and the grocery industry. She was named a 2022 Most Admired CEO by the Charlotte Business Journal and received the 2015 Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer Award. She holds a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University, where she also served as the captain of the swimming and diving team.
Kahina Haynes, Executive Director of The Dance Institute of Washington since 2016, is a passionate arts activist and the visionary architect behind one of Washington, D.C.’s leading models for advancing equity in community health, development, and achievement outcomes. Utilizing an innovative and holistic systems approach, The Dance Institute of Washington uses it platforms to educate, create, and advance practices to address longstanding disparities in the dance industry. Following the untimely passing of the Institute’s Founder Fabian Barnes, Haynes led a strategic revitalization of the organization which saw a breadth of new radical program designs, the award of a groundbreaking federal funding appropriation of $1 million from the U.S. Congress, and a multi-year facilities renovation to outfit the flagship site to expand on its 44,000 family reach.
Prior to her Executive Director role, Haynes worked in organizational development and process evaluation and strategy for a number of philanthropies and multi-laterals including the United Nations (Bureau for Development Policy at UNDP), the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, SafeKids Worldwide, the World Bank Group, and the U.S. Department of State. Haynes was recently recognized by the National Black Voices for Black Justice Fund as a 2022 awardee for work in addressing structural and systemic racism, and is also the recipient of the David Bradt Non-profit Leadership Award (2021). She holds a B.A. from Princeton University with a Minor in African American Studies and a concentration in Dance, as well as an MSC from Oxford University in Evidence-based Social Intervention.
Ryan Howard was born November 19, 1979 in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a former Major League Baseball player who spent most of his career as a first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. Howard made history in Major League Baseball when he became the fastest player to reach 100 and 200 homeruns. Known for his power, and a 58 home run season, Howard is a member of the 50 home run club. To top off numerous baseball accolades, Howard helped bring the 2008 World Series Championship to Philadelphia.
Throughout his baseball career and currently, Howard dedicates his time off the field to numerous philanthropic endeavors. Since retiring from Major League Baseball, Howard has become an entrepreneur. He spent time with ESPN as an analyst for Baseball Tonight and co-authored six children’s books, published by Scholastic. Howard enjoys spending time with his wife and four kids. In the past few years, Howard has found his way back to the baseball field, as a coach to his daughter’s softball team. In his spare time, Howard enjoys playing golf.
Martin E. Ingelsby
Martin E. Ingelsby is currently the head basketball coach at the University of Delaware and just finished his seventh season leading the Blue Hens. His tenure in Newark is highlighted by Delaware winning the 2022 CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and was a captain and three-year starter on the Men’s Basketball team from 1997-2001. After graduation, he spent 13 years on Mike Brey’s coaching staff at Notre Dame helping the Irish to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back Elite 8’s in 2015 and 2016. Ingelsby and his wife Colleen have four children, Will, Kate, Jack, and Ben, and reside in Wilmington, Delaware.
Barbie Izquierdo is the Director of Advocacy, Neighbors Engagement at Feeding America, and founder of Community Driven Consulting LLC. For more than a decade, Izquierdo has dedicated her life to fighting the exploitation of people with lived experience who have been affected by public policy. She has served as a global, bilingual spokesperson, speaking at the White House under the Obama-Biden administration on behalf of Witnesses to Hunger and has been featured in outlets like the Associated Press, CNN, the Washington Post, BBC World News, and People Magazine, as well as in conferences, podcasts, and more. As an Afro-Latina born and raised in North Philadelphia, Izquierdo felt the impacts of food insecurity and other social justice issues firsthand and is now an advocate, organizer, and consultant providing technical support regarding the engagement and inclusion of people with lived experience. In 2022, she was awarded the 2022 Citizen Award by Global Citizen, which celebrates remarkable changemakers who are taking exceptional actions to end extreme poverty now. Izquierdo understands the power of storytelling and has used her lived experience and advocacy journey as a catalyst for policy change. She was featured in the call-to-action documentary “A Place at the Table,” highlighting the implications U.S. hunger has on the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of the country and the solutions required to solve it once and for all. Izquierdo’s mission is to help bring dignity and equity into the frameworks used by non-profit organizations and government entities.
Ben Jacobs, a tribal member of the Osage Nation of northeast Oklahoma, is co-founder of Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery and Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace based in Denver, Colorado. Tocabe restaurant first opened its doors in December 2008, adding a second location in 2015 and food truck in 2016. In 2021, with his business partner, Jacobs helped launch Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace. Tocabe’s marketplace is an online resource helping further advance the Native food system and develop a Native specific supply chain. The marketplace is designed as a multifaceted concept supporting both the Native and Indigenous food system while maintaining economic growth for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged communities.
For over a decade on a national level, Jacobs has worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). While advocating for feeding Native peoples, his work with FDPIR has included traveling to tribal communities supporting how best to incorporate local and traditional ingredients in collaboration with commodity ingredients to support better individual health and nutrition. Within Colorado, Jacobs is in his second term as a member of the Minority Business Office Advisory Council appointed by Governor Jared Polis (D-CO). He is also a board member of the Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce.
The 2022 Winter Olympics cemented Chloe Kim as the female face of both snowboarding and action sports when she became the first female in history to win back-to-back Olympic Gold Medals in halfpipe snowboarding. After being accepted to Princeton University, Kim took the 2019-20 season off from competing to focus on her education. Returning in January 2021 after a 20-month hiatus from snowboarding competition, Kim continued her dominance of the sport, winning all four women’s superpipe events in the 2020-21 season including her sixth X Games gold medal and her second World Championship.
Kim has had just as much success off the mountain as she’s had on it. She has been featured on Forbes 30 under 30 list, TIME’s 100 list, and TIME’s 30 Most Influential Teens list (three years in a row), as well as the cover of Time Magazine, Shape Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids, and ESPN Magazine. She also had an appearance in a Maroon 5 video and the Charlie’s Angels reboot. Additionally, Kim has taken home five ESPY Awards, was honored with the “Daring to Disrupt” award at the 2022 Glamour Women of the Year Awards, has received three Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Awards and two Laureus World Sports Awards, and has been recognized for her positive impact in the Asian American community. Kim, whose parents emigrated from Korea, now lives in Los Angeles.
Chaunte Lowe is an Olympic high jumper who competed in four Olympic Games, making her fourth team as a mother of three. The 12-time U.S. National Champion has earned permanent places in three separate Halls of Fame. Lowe touched the nation’s heart when she trained for her fifth Olympic Games while undergoing chemotherapy and a double mastectomy to advocate for breast cancer awareness. Her accolades include winning an Olympic bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic Games and three medals at the World Championship of gold, silver, and bronze. Now retired after dedicating over 20 years to professional sports, Lowe commits her time to inspiring audiences through professional speaking, serving as a spokesperson for several organizations committed to doing good in the community, and advocating health and wellness in the fight against breast cancer. She is an accomplished motivational speaker and children’s book author, engaging audiences worldwide with her dynamic storytelling on resilience, leadership, teamwork, overcoming obstacles, and sharing her journey as an Olympian and breast cancer thriver.
Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP is a family doctor, associate professor, and Director for Health Equity at Duke University’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She is co-founder and Co-Director of LATIN-19, the Latinx Advocacy Team and Interdisciplinary Network for COVID-19, a multi-sector group addressing Hispanic health during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. At the state level, Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC) appointed her in July 2020 to the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force, and she served as a Latinx Health advisor for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services during the pandemic response. Nationally, she chaired the Health Equity Team for Family Medicine for America’s Health. Internationally, Martinez-Bianchi was an Executive Member-at-Large of the World Organization of Family Doctors and its liaison to the World Health Organization from 2016 to 2021. Martinez-Bianchi has been the recipient of many awards, including the 2021 Marian Bishop Leadership Award by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Foundation, North Carolina’s 2021 Family Physician of the Year by the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, and the 2022 Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation Community Achievement award.
Martinez-Bianchi sees patients at the Duke Family Medicine Center in Durham, North Carolina, and newborn health rounds at Duke Regional Hospital. Her work includes the full spectrum of ambulatory family medicine with an emphasis on prevention, chronic disease management, women’s health, prenatal care, addressing social determinants of health, and promoting an understanding of health equity.
Elana Meyers Taylor
Elana Meyers Taylor is the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympic history, winning five Olympic medals in four Olympic Games for Team USA in the sport of bobsled. She graduated from the George Washington University with a Bachelor’s in exercise science and a Master’s in sports management, where she was a five-time team captain and MVP for the softball team. Additionally, she was an Academic All-American and then went on to earn an MBA in finance from the Keller Graduate School. In 2019, Meyers Taylor served as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the Board of Trustees for the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the Georgia Council for Developmental Disabilities. She is married to Nic Taylor and mother to Nico (3 years) and Noah (3 months).
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist, Jean Mayer Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Professor of Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine, and an attending physician at Tufts Medical Center. His work aims to create the science and translation for a food system that is nutritious, equitable, and sustainable. Mozaffarian has authored more than 500 scientific publications on dietary priorities for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and on evidence-based policy approaches and innovations to reduce diet-related diseases and improve health equity in the U.S. and globally. Some of his areas of interest include healthy diet patterns, nutritional biomarkers, Food is Medicine interventions in healthcare, nutrition innovation and entrepreneurship, and food policy. He is one of the top cited researchers in medicine globally, he has served in numerous advisory roles, and his work has been featured in an array of media outlets. Mozaffarian received his B.S. in biological sciences from Stanford University, M.D. from Columbia University, and Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University, and additional clinical training in internal medicine at Stanford University and in cardiology at the University of Washington. He is married, has three children, and actively trains as a Fourth Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.
Kim Ng is the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations among the 30 MLB teams and was the first woman hired to the General Manager position by any of the professional men’s sports teams in the North American Major Leagues. Ng owns nearly 35 years in Major League Baseball, including a combined 21 years of previous experience in the front offices for the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers. She has been an integral part of eight postseason appearances, including six League Championship series and three World Championships with the Yankees.
Ng graduated from the University of Chicago, where she played softball and earned a degree in Public Policy. She has appeared on Forbes’ list of the Most Influential Minorities in Sports, Forbes’ list of the Most Influential Women in Sports, Adweek’s Most Powerful Women in Sports, included as one of InStyle Magazine’s Badass 50 Women, and included among the South Florida Business Journal’s Power Leaders. She also serves on the Anti-Defamation League’s Sports Leadership Council. In 2021, she was recognized as the Best Hire in Sports by the Sports Business Journal, the Trailblazer of the Year by Baseball America, a Game Changer by the Asia Society, and received the Billie Jean King Leadership Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation as well as the Lou Gehrig Sports Award from the ALS Association of Greater New York. Ng also took part in the 2021 Presidential Inauguration as part of the Celebrating America event.
Allison O’Toole is the proud CEO of Second Harvest Heartland, a regional food bank that’s changing the way hunger is addressed in America. Located in the heart of the Twin Cities, Second Harvest Heartland serves 59 counties in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin through partnerships with 1,500 food shelf and program partners. Committed to ending racial and geographic inequities in who is hungry, Second Harvest Heartland has introduced freshly prepared, culturally connected meals and farm partnerships to feed more people. Last year, Second Harvest Heartland distributed 113 million meals to 813,000 people.
O’Toole’s current role is the culmination of three decades working at the intersection of health and community service to help organizations, programs, and people thrive. She is credited with overhauling Minnesota’s insurance exchange program as part of the Affordable Care Act, where she oversaw a rebuild of the organization’s operations, customer service, and outreach programs, resulting in three years of record-breaking enrollment. O’Toole also served as a leader at United States of Care and a Minneapolis-based public affairs firm, and as State Director for Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Early in her career, O’Toole dedicated a decade to criminal justice as a prosecutor in the Twin Cities. O’Toole received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Art History from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, her Juris Doctor from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Franklin and Marshall College. She serves on the board of directors at UCare and the board of trustees at Breck School. O’Toole loves art, local food, and Prince.
Oluwaferanmi Oyedeji Okanlami
Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami (aka “Dr. O”) is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Urology at Michigan Medicine, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCLA, and the Director of Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services at the University of Michigan, where he oversees Services for Students with Disabilities, two Testing Accommodation Centers, and the Adaptive Sports & Fitness Program. As a former academic All-American student-athlete at Stanford, he is no stranger to the importance of sports, fitness, and nutrition. However, after experiencing a spinal cord injury during his orthopaedic surgery residency at Yale, he began to see life “from the other side of the stethoscope,” realizing how inaccessible our world is for individuals living with disabilities. He now navigates the world as a proud wheelchair user and has a catch phrase – “Disabusing Disability” – hoping to demonstrate that DISability doesn’t mean INability. He is invited to speak regularly about topics related to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, including, but not limited to, creating a health system that is accessible to and inclusive of both patients and providers with disabilities, and providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities in higher education. He is passionate about adaptive sports and fitness, striving to provide equitable access to physical fitness and inclusive recreational and competitive sports for all.
Laura Ricketts is an entrepreneur, community advocate, and co-owner of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Club. She is on the Cubs Board of Directors and is Chair of the Board of Chicago Cubs Charities, where she leads the organization’s philanthropy, sports-based youth development, and academic programming. She is the first openly LGBTQ woman to co-own an MLB franchise. Ricketts is also Co-Founder and Director of Beyond Barriers, an innovative career fitness platform designed to transform professional women into future-ready leaders and help companies unlock potential at scale by improving performance, increasing retention and diversity, and promoting engagement. Prior to her work with the Chicago Cubs and Beyond Barriers, Ricketts co-founded Ecotravel LLC, a digital ecotourism hub dedicated to educating travelers and promoting global ecotourism. She also practiced corporate and securities law at the Chicago law firm Schiff Hardin LLP.
Ricketts’ advocacy work is largely focused on increasing the empowerment, engagement, and representation of the queer and intersectional women’s communities. She is Co-Founder and Board Chair of LPAC and serves on the Obama Foundation Inclusion Council as well as the Board of Advisors for Opportunity Education. She is a past member of the Board of Trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and has served on the Board of Directors of EMILY’s List, Lambda Legal, and Housing Opportunities for Women. Ricketts earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Stefany Shaheen is an advocate, entrepreneur, and business leader. She co-founded and is currently President of Good Measures. Harnessing the power of food as medicine, the company was awarded a suite of patents by the U.S Patent Office and Shaheen is a named inventor. She was inspired to launch Good Measures following her eldest daughter’s diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes and has dedicated herself to making life better for people living with chronic conditions. Shaheen authored a New York Times bestseller, Elle & Coach, about this experience, which also led her to serve on the Board of Trustees for Joslin Diabetes Center, the world’s preeminent diabetes research, clinical care, and education organization. Shaheen served on the Portsmouth, New Hampshire City Council and is currently Chair of the Police Commission. Governor John Lynch (D-NH) appointed her to serve, and she became Chair of the State’s Commission on the Status of Women. A graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Shaheen was also a Division I Scholarship Athlete. Shaheen and her husband live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire where they raised four children, and she had the distinct pleasure of coaching one as part of the Portsmouth High School Girls Varsity Volleyball Team.
Billy Shore is the founder and executive chair of Share Our Strength, which through campaigns like No Kid Hungry and Cooking Matters, has reduced childhood hunger across the United States. Before founding Share Our Strength, Shore served on the senatorial and presidential campaign staffs for former Senator Gary Hart (D-CO) and as Chief of Staff to former Senator Robert Kerrey (D-NE). In 2014, congressional leaders appointed him to the National Commission on Hunger, a group tasked with finding innovative ways to end hunger and improve nutrition in America. In addition to his work with Share Our Strength, Shore is a leading voice in the national conversation on hunger and poverty. He is the author of four books focused on social change, including The Cathedral Within and The Light of Conscience. He also hosts Add Passion and Stir, a podcast that brings together high-profile chefs and change-makers to talk about the central role food plays in social justice. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Shore earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC. U.S. News and World Report named him one of America’s Best Leaders.
Mike Solomonov is a beloved champion of Israel’s extraordinarily diverse culinary landscape, and the chef widely recognized for bringing Israeli cuisine to diners across the U.S. and around the world. He is co-owner of CookNSolo Restaurants with hospitality entrepreneur Steve Cook, and Chef of the trailblazing restaurant Zahav which has put the rich melting pot of Israeli cuisine at the forefront of dining in America today. Solomonov is the co-author of three cookbooks, and the recipient of the following James Beard awards: 2011 “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic”, 2016 “Best International Cookbook” and “Book of the Year” for his and Steve Cook’s best-selling Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, and the 2017 “Outstanding Chef.” In May of 2019, Zahav was awarded “Outstanding Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation, making Zahav the first Israeli-American restaurant to be awarded this great honor. In addition to his work at Zahav, Solomonov co-owns Philadelphia’s Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher, Goldie, K’Far, Merkaz, and Laser Wolf as well as Lilah, an event venue bringing together 15 years of culinary and hospitality wizardry. In 2022, CookNSolo expanded to Brooklyn with much acclaim, bringing grill house sensation Laser Wolf, as well as Israeli bakery and café K’Far, to The Hoxton hotel in Williamsburg. Outside of the restaurants, you can often find Mike with Steve at Pho 75 in South Philly, working out the kinks in their Israeli village.
Melissa Stockwell was the first female American Soldier to lose a limb in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb on April 13, 2004, resulting in the loss of her left leg, above the knee. She was honored with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for her service. Four years later she represented the USA again, this time as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Swim Team where she was the first Iraq War veteran to qualify for the Paralympic Games. She would return to the Paralympic Games twice more, in 2016 and 2020, this time in triathlon. She has remained one of the world’s most elite Para-triathletes, winning three World Championship titles and the 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist. She is both a World Record-holding marathon runner and an Ironman.
Away from the field of play, in 2011 she co-founded the non-profit organization Dare2tri Paratriathlon club, which serves youth and adults with physical disabilities along with injured service members. Dare2tri provides adaptive equipment, training, coaching, and support in triathlon. In 2019, Stockwell and her husband, Brian Tolsma, opened the doors to Tolsma Stockwell Prosthetics, providing state of the art, custom-made orthotics and prosthetics to the amputee community, including some of the top adaptive athletes in the world. Stockwell is one of the most critically acclaimed inspirational speakers in the country, and the author of The Power of Choice. Stockwell is the proud mother of Dallas (2014) and Mille (2017) and lives with her family near the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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