Keynote & Plenary Speakers
Robert is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, which will open in early 2014. The L.A. Kitchen will professionally recover fresh food, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, which it will use to fuel a culinary arts job training program for men and women coming out of foster care, or older men and women returning from incarceration.
Robert pioneered this model during his 24 year tenure as the President of the DC Central Kitchen, the country’s first “community kitchen”, where food donated by hospitality businesses and farms is used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary arts job training program. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen (which is a $10 million a year, self-sustaining, social enterprise) has produced over 26 million meals and helped 1,000 men and women gain full time employment. The Kitchen operates its own revenue generating business, Fresh Start Catering, as well as the Campus Kitchens Project, which coordinates similar recycling/meal programs in 33 colleges or high school based kitchens.
In addition, Robert is the Founder and President of CForward, an advocacy organization that rallies employees of nonprofits to educate candidates about the economic role that nonprofits play in every community, and to support candidates who have detailed plans to strengthen the economy that includes nonprofits.
In Washington DC, Robert was the founding Chair of both the Mayor’s Commission on Nutrition and Street Sense, Washington’s “homeless” newspaper. He was also the Co-Convener of the first Nonprofit Congress, held in Washington DC in 2006. Currently, Robert serves on the Board of the national addiction recovery program, Back On My Feet, the Philanthropic Collaborative, and Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen.
Robert’s book on the non-profit sector, Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding For All, was released in 2004 by HarperCollins. It received the 2005 McAdam Book Award for “Best Nonprofit Management Book” by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.
Robert was included in the NonProfit Times list of the “50 Most Powerful and Influential” nonprofit leaders from 2006-2009. He was the recipient of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s 2007 “Lifetime Achievement” award and the 2004 James Beard Foundation “Humanitarian of the Year” award. He has been named an Oprah Angel, a Washingtonian of the Year, a Point of Light and one of the Ten Most Caring People in America, by the Caring Institute. He is also a 15-gallon blood donor to the American Red Cross.
Robert speaks throughout the country and internationally on the subjects of hunger, sustainability, nonprofit political engagement, and social enterprise. He writes blogs and editorials to share his ideas about the nonprofit sector and the future of America. To check out Robert’s most recent speaking schedule, blogs, and editorials, please visit www.robertegger.org.
Cindy Jones-Nyland is the Executive Vice-President of Marketing and Resource Management at Heifer Project International. In that position, she leads the organization’s global marketing and fundraising strategy, including digital marketing, communications and branding initiatives.
Prior to joining Heifer International, Jones-Nyland served as Chief Marketing Officer for Lifeblue Media, a web design and digital engagement agency based in Dallas. Before that she worked for several years as Senior Director of Marketing & Interactive Media for Susan G. Komen For the Cure®, one of the world's leading breast cancer organizations. There, Jones-Nyland increased Komen’s overall brand awareness and led the efforts for their digital engagement strategy. Jones-Nyland has also worked with NewStep Networks, Oracle, MetaSolv Software Inc. and Southwestern Bell Corporation.
Jones-Nyland has a degree in marketing from Washburn University and was awarded her Master's in marketing from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Jones-Nyland is married to Tim Nyland and has one daughter. They live in Little Rock, Ark.
Eric is the Executive Director at FlashFood, a Phoenix-based social venture that uses mobile devices to fight hunger. Started by a team of Arizona State University students, FlashFood helps restaurants or event organizers coordinate real-time food donation deliveries to families in need. The real-time food donation and delivery platform took first place in the U.S. finals of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Software Design Competition, which encourages students to use technology to solve the world’s toughest social issues. The team has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Fast Company Magazine. Trained as a biomedical engineer, Eric believes that technical innovation and entrepreneurship, combined with a heart for the world, are among the best tools for positive social change. Eric lives in Tempe, Arizona with his wife and newborn daughter.
More at flashfoodrecovery.com.