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Speaker Profiles


Olive Oil Maker and Olive Oil Business Consultant, Marco is leading several olive oil projects all over the world. He gained his technical experience in the field of milling olives in Tuscany since he was seventeen years old. After qualifying in economics, he has been dedicated to agriculture and his passion: olive oils. He is an extra virgin olive oil taster and a professional olive oil maker since 2001. At that time he was leading the organic production of BIOLIVE, Argentina, running an orchard of 3,700 acres and a mill of ten tons per hour capacity. In 2006 he founded SCANU OLIVICULTORI, his olive business & consulting company, creating new extra virgin olive oils such us Olivos Patagonicos, D’Isola in Argentina, and was also the quality manager in Colinas de Garzon and Olivares de Rocha, Uruguay, and General Manager in Dievole, Tuscany, Italy.


Simon Field, BA (Hons), MA (Cantab) founder and organiser of Savantes (www.savantes.com) and Olive Business (www.olivebusiness.com), is a producer of organic olive products and olive industry consultant. His tasting experience comes from travelling to growing regions worldwide and tasting thousands of olive oils at Savantes and in the company of some of the world’s leading tasters.


Hayley Stevens is a graduate from the Corso Superiore at the renowned Italian culinary school, Alma, in Parma, Italy.  She has experience in kitchens from the north to south of Italy; between Oderzo, outside of Venice under the tutelage of Alessandro Breda, to Licata, Sicily where she worked with Pino Cuttaia at La Madia. Hayley was employed on the Amalfi coast at the 2 Michelin star restaurant Don Alfonso where she first partook in the production of extra virgin olive oil and spent several years enjoying cooking with fresh products from the fertile Vesuvian land and the nearby Mediterranean sea.

Hayley was a Chef/Instructor at the International Culinary Center where she taught professional and amateur classes in the Italian Culinary Academy and French Culinary program. Most recently, she spent six months traveling throughout Western and Eastern Europe to explore regional food and production of extra virgin olive oil and wine.  She currently resides in Saratoga Springs, NY where she continues to teach classes on cooking with extra virgin olive oil, manages Saratoga Olive Oil Company and heads their restaurant program promoting extra virgin olive oil in kitchens and on tables.



Olly Rouse is one of a new breed of creative chefs who has an inspiring and original vision for modern fine-dining.

Head Chef at The Avenue in Lainston House, an Exclusive Hotel near Winchester, Hampshire, Olly has a tireless obsession for seeking out ingredients he considers special and firmly believes that a chef is a ‘custodian of nature’s larder’. Olly is keen to celebrate British and grows his own produce in the hotel’s abundant kitchen garden; his menus are completely market-led and ingredient inspired. Olly is also on a never-ending quest to learn, discover and explore global flavours and techniques.

Chef Olly Rouse


Brie Thompson is the proud co-founder of Olivelle in Bozeman, Montana. She is passionate about sharing her love for high quality extra virgin olive oils. In 2009, Olivelle started as a small retail boutique that features high quality extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars as well as herbs, spices, and fine ingredients. Since opening, Olivelle has expanded to dozens of stores across the U.S. and Canada. In 2015, Brie earned the title of Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for her success with Olivelle and its sister stores.


Host and executive producer of the Public Television cooking series “Ellie’s Real Good Food,” and well known as the host of Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite,” Ellie Krieger is the leading go-to nutritionist in the media today, helping people find the sweet spot where delicious and healthy meet.

She is a New York Times bestselling, James Beard Foundation and IACP award winning author of five cookbooks. Her most recent is You Have it Made: Delicious, Healthy Do-Ahead Meals (Jan 2016). Ellie is a weekly columnist for The Washington Post and she has been a columnist for Fine Cooking, Food Network magazine and USA Today. Ellie speaks regularly at event around the country, appears on national television shows, such as Today, Good Morning America, and The Wendy Williams Show, and has been featured in magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, People, and Self, to name a few.

A registered dietitian who earned her bachelors of science in clinical nutrition from Cornell and her master’s in nutrition education from Teacher’s College Columbia University, Ellie has been at the forefront of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign from the beginning when Mrs. Obama’s team invited her to head up a nutrition education initiative at the “Healthy Kids Fair” on the Whitehouse lawn.


Mother of three children, Soledad Serrano graduated from the University of Navarra in Journalism and has an MBA from IESE, Business School, Barcelona, Spain. She has worked as a journalist in Actualidad Económica and collaborated on projects for the European Commission. She started her business career at the Carrefour Distribution Company in the Head Offices in Madrid but soon moved to a smaller, family company –Cosmewax- dedicated to private label cosmetics for many international cosmetic chains worldwide.

She brought her international experience enabled to her family company and became the fourth generation in the line of olive oil producers. She started running Finca Duernas, an olive grove and mill in the South of Spain, in 2010 and prepared the company to be able to offer one of the best organic extra virgin olive oils. In 2013 she founded, together with 15 other producers, QvExtra! International Association to promote and spread the knowledge of Extra Virgin Olive Oil internationally.


Joe is the Head Chef of the up and coming Aurora Restaurant on the Ipswich Waterfront in the United Kingdom. A post held for the past 8 months, some 12 years after he started his journey at the tender age of 14.

Joe learned his craft working at some of Southern England’s finest five-star country house hotels, including teaming up with Olly Rouse at both Coworth Park and Lainston House Hotel.

More recently taking the reins at Aurora’s sleek and modern venue, Joe has explored the unique sensory effect food can have on guests, in his own words “targeting nostalgia and wonder in equal, plentiful measure.”


Graduated Kansas State University w/ a BS in Biology. Served 4 years active duty as a Nuclear Field Artillery Officer in the 3rd Infantry Division in West Germany.  I then spent 18 1/2 years in the Reserves w/ specialties in Civil Affairs & Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Warfare.  Retiring as a LT Colonel. I began my civilian career in the Plastics Industry selling all types of resins, from olefins, styrenics & engineering resins to molders & extruders for 4 years. For 12 years in the Specialty additives for Plastics. For the last 24 years working for myself in the personal care  & cosmetics industry, ink industry & industrial industry.  I represent one company in particular that manufactures olive oil into an alkyl polyglucoside, or non-hydrogenated/non-ethoxylated butter or into an emulsifier.  I have sold the oil as well.


Nikisha Horn is currently Head of Research & Development at Namaste Laboratories, LLC, a leading international cosmetic company, where she is responsible for spearheading the company’s technical development of cosmetic products from concept to commercialization. Prior to Namaste, Nikisha served as Group Leader for L’Oreal USA where she was responsible for managing the development of hair care and hair styling products for multi-cultural brands such as Dark and Lovely and Mizani. Nikisha earned a B.S. in Chemistry cum laude from Tennessee State University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. She is an inventor on 4 patents, has given international presentations on hair care technologies in countries such as Paris, France and Johannesburg, South Africa, and has had her work cited in industry publications such as HAPPI (Household and Personal Products Industry) Magazine.  Nikisha has recently launched a new STEM initiative entitled B.E.A.U.T.Y. in Science Project, Inc. (Bringing the Education, Advocacy and Understanding of Cosmetic Science to Young Girls), an innovative hands-on program that uses cosmetic science to inspire young girls to pursue careers in science and technology. Nikisha holds membership in several professional organizations, such as Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Black Women in Science and Engineering, Toastmasters International, and National Association of Parliamentarians. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and resides in Chicago, IL.


Bob Weeks has spent the last twenty-eight years of his forty years in B-to-B publishing totally immersed in the food industry. His love affair with all things food began in 1985 when he became Publisher of Dairy Record magazine at Chicago based Gorman Publishing. Shortly after assuming the leadership of Dairy Record, Bob planned and executed a very successful redesign and repositioning of the magazine into Dairy Foods magazine. The new look and restructured editorial product was well received and Dairy Foods quickly established itself as the advertising leader and the #1 editorial source and authority for dairy food manufacturing and product development. A short year and a half later, Bob was also named Publisher of Gorman's Prepared Foods magazine.