2014 Speakers


Whitney Miller

whitneyAt twenty two, Whitney won the show “Masterchef,” gaining the title of Fox’s 1st U. S. Masterchef. Soon afterward, Whitney obtained her degree, with an emphasis in nutrition, from The University of Southern Mississippi.  Whitney conducted cooking demonstrations at the 2011 Chicago Home and Housewares Show with celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri and Curtis Stone and 2012 Cape Town’s Good Food and Wine Show in South Africa with chefs such as “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro.

Whitney has been featured across the globe in Southern cuisine cooking promotions, the latest being The St. Regis Tianjin in China. In January, Whitney was featured as the opening night chef (the first Southern chef) at Chefdance 2013 within the Sundance film festival, cooking for celebrities such as Kenny Loggins.

Whitney’s professional career includes developing recipes and/or creating videos for companies such as SousVide Supreme in the U.S. and Malaysia, magazines such as Clean Eating and Southern Living. Whitney utilizes her seasoned palate as a judge for food competitions such as the 2013 World Food Championship held in Las Vegas. Whitney recently participated in Food Blog South 2014 in which she worked with California Olive Ranch and gave samples of her olive oil biscuits.

Whitney is the author of the cookbook Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm (Rodale), with foreword by Gordon Ramsay, and is currently working on her second cookbook.
She is a food writer of articles for such magazines as Flavors (Atlanta) and Southern Living. Her recipes, articles, and/or book promotions have appeared in People, Women’s Health, Masterchef, Clean Eating, and Cooking Light magazine.

Find Whitney on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

Emily Ellyn

emily ellynChef and culinary educator Emily Ellyn is the Home Economics teacher you’ve always wanted! She single handedly started the Retro Rad cooking movement and encourages everyone to dig through their mother’s recipe box, dust off their pressure cookers, and take the old and make it new. She takes the retro, remixes it, and makes it RAD.

With her quirky persona and trademark cat-eye glasses, you’ll find this retro rad diva cooking up fun and inspiring audiences at food events around the world; all while developing her culinary television career and finishing her Ph.D. in Food Service Education. Emily also donates her time helping non-profit organizations including Florida Hospital and Give Kids The World, writes for “edible” and “BAR” magazines, and lectures at the University of Central Florida. Through it all, she’s gained a loyal cult following. You’ve seen her on Food Network’s “Food Network Star,” “Cupcake Wars” and morning news shows across the country; as well as a cameo cartoon appearance on the “Simpsons!”

Emily grew up harvesting food and raising animals on a farm in rural Ohio. Eager to dive into the culinary field, she worked in Cleveland’s top restaurants and started her own catering company while still in high school. Upon leaving Ohio, Emily graduated with a degree in Restaurant Management from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. There, she worked as a teaching assistant until moving to Paris to attend graduate school at Academie Internationale de Management. Emily then went on to earn two master’s degrees in Hospitality Management; one in Paris and one from UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando.

Look for Emily judging “The World Food Championships” this summer on A&E’s new FYI Network!

Find Emily on TwitterFacebookPinterest, YouTube and Google+

Harris Rosen

harris rosenHarris Rosen is president and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts and is Florida’s largest independent hotelier. Founded in 1974, Rosen Hotels & Resorts currently features a collection of seven Central Florida hotels offering a total of more than 6,300 guest rooms, approximately six percent of the Central Florida inventory.

Among numerous accolades, Rosen was named by the Orlando Sentinel “2011 Central Floridian of the Year” and “2011 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year ” by his alma mater. He was inducted into Visit Florida’s Tourism Hall of Fame in 2010. He has received Sustainable Florida’s Legacy Award for his contributions not only for his environmental efforts, but for his contributions to the local community and has been named an Orlando Business Journal “Healthcare Hero” and featured on national media outlets for his innovative healthcare program.

In 2009, he was inducted into the Orlando Sentinel’s Culinary Hall of Fame for his works including creating the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at UCF and his Rosen’s Perfect Pizza, which was sold in schools for one year with all proceeds benefiting college scholarships, among other things.

When Mr. Rosen opened his first hotel in 1974, the now Quality Inn International, he was the jack of all trades, including chef. He still cooks meals for his family on a weekly basis.

Find out more about Harris on his website.

Giuliano Hazan

GuilianoGiuliano is one of the foremost authorities on Italian cooking. His style is accessible and authentic, without pretense or fanfare. He shares his lifelong love of food — food that is simple, honest and incredibly flavorful — empowering his students to create impressive meals that are consistently and reliably delicious. A TODAY show regular, his cookbooks have earned him a James Beard Award nomination and the World Cookbook Award for Best Italian Cookbook in the English Language. In 2007 the International Association of Culinary Professionals named him Cooking Teacher of the Year. Together with his wife, Lael, he runs an acclaimed cooking school in northern Italy, Cooking with Giuliano Hazan at Villa Giona.

Follow him on: WebTwitter, Facebook,

Isabel Laessig

IsabelIsabel Laessig, better known as Family Foodie, is on a Mission to bring back Sunday Supper around the family table in every home.

As founder, owner and President of Sunday Supper, LLC, she quickly realized she was not alone. Isabel works with passionate fellow food bloggers to encourage families to cook together and spend time around the family table. Sunday Supper starts off as one day a week and soon becomes a way of life. The Sunday Supper Team now reaches an audience of over 2-3 million followers every week and works with brands and cookbook authors.

Isabel blogs at her own website www.familyfoodie.com and was recently nominated for Yahoo’s Women Who Shine in the Activist Category. You can also find her on facebook and twitter.

Marisa McClellan

MarisaMarisa McClellan is a food blogger, cookbook author, and canning teacher based in Center City Philadelphia. She writes a blog called Food in Jars, which is dedicated to canning, preserving and pantry staples made from scratch. She has written for publications like Vegetarian Times, USA Today, the Food Network, Serious Eats, The Kitchn, Grid Philly, Saveur, Edible Philly, and Table Matters. She is the author of, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round and Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces.

Follow her on:  twitterfacebookgoogle+pinterest and instagram

Katie Workman

Katie WorkmanKatie Workman is the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook and the creator of The Mom 100 blog. She is also the founding Editor in Chief of Cookstr.com, the website that shares tested, trusted recipes from cookbooks created by respected chefs and cookbook authors.

Katie was a kid who loved to cook, and a kid who loved cookbooks. She grew up teaching herself how to cook from the Silver Palate Cookbook, making bumpy homemade pasta following Marcella’s Hazan’s instructions in The Essentials of Italian Cooking to the letter, and asking for the entire Moosewood trilogy for holidays.

Her first job after college was with Clarkson Potter Publishers, specializing, naturally, in cookbooks, and she remained there for 12 years learning every part of the cookbook publishing world while becoming a Senior Editor. Katie worked with individual authors as well as companies—like Pillsbury and The American Heart Association—to develop their publishing programs. After a shorter stint as Associate Publisher at Workman Publishing, Katie left to help launch Cookstr.com in 2008. This was also the beginning of her career as an active food writer. She established the popular Cookstr weekly newsletter, and wrote for many websites and publications, including The Daily Beast, AOL Food, KitchenDaily.comAARP.combravo.comBoston GlobeThe Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine. Katie has appeared on The Today Show and she currently writes a bi-weekly column for The Huffington Post.

Katie sits on the board of City Harvest, New York’s leading food rescue nonprofit, and for the past 20 years has been an active supporter of Share Our Strength, a hunger relief organization dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger. Katie lives with her husband and two children in New York City, where she’s developed such an open-house reputation that all sorts of friends, neighbors, and families with kids in tow wind up at her table. Find Katie on Twitter or Facebook.

Jenny Hemmer

jennyJenny Hemmer is the Senior Manager, Corporate PR & Communications for the E. & J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest family-owned winery, located in Modesto, CA. She currently manages all internal and external public relations for the Winery, and assists with wine education for Gallo employees worldwide. Jenny has turned her passion for wine into her career aspirations, earning industry accreditation as a Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine, and Certified Specialist of Spirits.

Follow her on: LinkedIn and Twitter

Chef Dennis Littley

Chef DennisChef Dennis Littley is a Working Chef, Culinary Instructor, Photographer and Food Blogger. When he’s not cooking for his girls at the Mount, you can find him at his blog “A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis” where he shares his recipes (as he likes to put it) for “Real Food for Real People”.

Chef Dennis can also be found on Google plus where he has become the resident expert for Food Bloggers around the world on how to use G+, and as one of Google’s Top Chefs. Dennis is also the founder of the G+ Food Bloggers Community, and a Chef Instructor for ChefHangout.com, teaching live cooking classes via Google Hangouts. You might say Dennis is Google obsessed!

Dennis currently lives in the Philadelphia Area on the Jersey side of the bridge, with his wife Lisa and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Find Dennis on Twitter or Facebook or Google+.

 Dan Cristo

dan cristoDan Cristo is the Director of SEO Innovation for Catalyst Online, although you may know him best as one of the two faces of Triberr.com, a unique Blog Amplification Platform.

At Catalyst Online he is responsible for staying up to date on industry trends and provides guidance on how Catalyst can prepare for the future.

Dan is an industry veteran with 10 years of SEO experience, and has led the search strategy for numerous large brands across various industries.

Catalyst Online is a leading search engine marketing firm that delivers digital marketing solutions to Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. A WPP company, Catalyst has offices in Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Toronto. The firm is the search agency of record for many of the world’s top companies, including Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and Novartis. For more information about Catalyst Online, please visit the company’s website at www.catalystsearchmarketing.com.

Find Dan on Triberr or Twitter.

Nicole Cook

NicoleNicole Cook owns and operates Blog Consulting Services where she works with bloggers on web design, SEO practices, Social Media, PR and Marketing, among other things.  She has 20 years of web experience and works hard to stay up to date on current news, trends and other issues relating to bloggers in particular.

She is also a campaign manager, community manager and provides tech support over at Triberr.com.

Her main passion is food and Nicole is the voice behind Daily Dish Recipes, a food blog dedicated to family style meals and feeding hungry teenagers, of which she has 5.  She talks about saving money, growing your own food, fantastic recipes, menu planning and more. She also owns and manages CrazedMom.com.

She got involved with SundaySupper back in February 2012, because of her own mission to eat dinner every night with her family of 7. Within a few months she was fully involved in the SundaySupper operations and is now the technical support and designer for the website and forums, as well as many administration duties. Her passion comes through and is obvious as she see’s her own teenagers telling their friends about it and making sure that they eat meals with the family as frequently as possible.

Find her on: twitter, Google +facebookpinterest or instagram.

Janet Keeler

Janet KeelerJanet K. Keeler is the award-winning food and travel editor for the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times) in St. Petersburg, Fl. She is the author of “Cookielicious: 150 Fabulous Recipes to Bake & Share,” which was published in 2010 by Seaside Publishing. Her newspaper work has been recognized by the Association of Food Journalists, the Society of American Travel Writers, Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, the Society of Newspaper Design, the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. She is an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Janet’s story, “The Crock-Pot That Saved Dinner Time,” appears in an anthology of work by American writers, “Best Food Writing 2001.

Twitter: @keelerstircrazy or @roadeats | Facebook: facebook.com/janet.keeler

Maggie Battista

maggie battistaMaggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie’s also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie’s writing her first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in fall 2015.

Michele Northrup

michelle northrupMichele Northrup, aka Saucy Queen has been burning down the competition within the fiery food industry. Her all-natural gourmet hot sauce company has won more than 50 national awards within five years.

Michele was named Tampa Bay Business Woman of the Year in Manufacturing & Business Leader’s Woman Extraordinaire, she is on fire!

Visit her website or check her out on twitter.

Jackie Gordon

Jackie GordonJackie Gordon is an international award-winning singing chef as well as a songwriter, speaker and event producer who creates multi-sensory “eatertainment” shows where she combines food, music and humor to delight audiences and make tasting and learning about food a ton of fun and yum.

Her “eatertainment” repertoire includes: The Fried Chicken Theory According to Jackie Gordon: a soul food and soul music dinner show and Say Cheese: A tongue-titillating tasting of artisan cheeses, wines and the songs they inspire. She’s currently producing “Chocabaret: a tasting of New York artisan chocolates set to music” which will debut in New York in October 2013.

Jackie loves connecting people who love food. She creates food community events where food bloggers and food professionals come together and network over food they’ve made, like Chinese New Year Potluck, Pie Party Potluck LIVE!, and the upcoming Tea Party – Dance Party.

Jackie has spoken and led workshops that help food professionals sharpen their business skills for the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, the American Personal Chefs Association, Tech Munch, Cookbook Conference, and more.

Jackie has owned Divalicious Chocolate Events, Fountain Rentals and Tastings in New York City for ten years.

Jackie shares her recipes and more on her  The Diva That Ate New York Blog. Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @divathatateny. Her websites are JackieGordon.comChocabaret.com and DivaliciousChocolate.com.

Renee Dobbs

Renee Dobbs

Renee is a self-proclaimed Domestic Goddess in the South who loves to eat, drink, and dig in the dirt. When not cooking, baking, sipping wine, and gardening, she is blogging about her adventures on Magnolia Days. Her goal is to taste the world with wines and foods from all countries. She believes a balanced diet comes from moderation, enjoyment of all foods, and willingness to try new things.

She has been a part of Sunday Supper since its inception back in 2011. Meals enjoyed around the family table have been a major factor in her life. She wants to spread the word and encourage everyone to get back to sharing Sunday Supper and more with family and friends. She is the  Director of Events & Brand Relations for The Sunday Supper Movement along with being a regular contributor to the weekly events.

Follow her on twitter, facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

Monica Bhide

Monica Bhide

I am an engineer turned food/travel/parenting writer based out of Washington DC. I have been published in many major national and international publications, including Food & Wine, The New York Times, Parents, Cooking Light, Prevention, AARP-The magazine, Health, SELF, Bon Appetit, Saveur, and many more. I wrote a weekly syndicated for Scripps Howard Media, for a year, called Seasonings, and am a frequent contributor to NPR’s Kitchen Window. My work has garnered numerous accolades, including my food essays being included in Best Food Writing anthologies (2005, 2009 and 2010). I have published three cookbooks, the latest being: Modern Spice: Inspired Indian recipes for the contemporary Kitchen (Simon & Schuster, 2009, which Padma Lakshmi called her personal – “BESTS.BOOK.EVER” in Newsweek. I also have a spice app for Apple products. In 2012, The Chicago Tribune picked me as one of seven note-worthy food writers to watch… And Mashable recently picked me as one of the top 10 food writers on Twitter.

I am a frequent speaker at the Smithsonian and my most recent workshops for them have included a full day seminar on social media for personal branding.

Follow her on twitterfacebook and Pinterest.

Judi Knight

Judi KnightJudi is the founder and chief of New Tricks; a company dedicated to helping small businesses create branded WordPress websites.

In addition to working with clients at New Tricks, Judi is the organizer of the Atlanta WordPress Users Group with over 900 members, is a frequent national speaker and blogger and publishes Just a Digital Minute, a popular weekly newsletter with easy social media tips

Follow her on twitterfacebook, instagram and Pinterest.

Kim Vij

Kim VijKim Vij has created a platform with The Educators’ Spin On It on Pinterest with over 1.5 Million followers of parents and teachers. She’s partnered with many of the leading kid bloggers to create powerful boards for early childhood education.

In the past 2 years she has discovered trends and tips that work on most platforms.

In her presentation attendees will experience Pinterest from all aspects and how to make it work for them.

Follow her on twitterfacebookinstagram, Google+ and Pinterest.

Wendy Wofford-Garcia

WendyI started The Weekend Gourmet in August 2010. Since then, it has expanded from a recipe-only site to include product profiles, regional restaurant spotlights and culinary travelogues.

I’m an attorney/government market analyst by day and food writer nights and weekends!

I live in San Antonio with Michael (my dining out and travel photographer) and Lucy and Maggie…our very spoiled cats!

Follow her on twitter, facebook, google+ and instagram

Brianne Izzo

Brianne IzzoI am a Chemical-Engineer-turned-stay-at-home-mom-wannabe-pastry-chef. Somehow this makes sense to me.

I create recipes from healthy, everyday snacks and meals to rich, indulgent treats, because it’s all about balance, like Cupcakes & Kale Chips!

Follow her on twitterfacebookpinterest and instagram

Bridget Wasser

Bridget WasserBridget Wasser is Executive Director, Meat Science & Technology in the Department of Science & Product Solutions at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the beef checkoff program, in Centennial, CO. Her responsibilities include developing and leading the checkoff’s beef quality/taste research program, research project management, research dissemination, managing technical activities for the Beef Innovations Group, innovative cut exploration, cutting demonstrations, and product education. Bridget received a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science with a focus on Meat Science from Texas A&M University and has been on staff since November of 2005.

Stephanie Manley

StephanieStephanie Manley has been online with a recipe website since 1995. CopyKat.com was an early website to offer restaurant recreation dishes to her audience. She is the author of two cookbooks, and has spoken at Blogher Food, and Techmunch. You can find Stephanie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and for the last 2 years Stephanie has been publishing videos on Youtube, and iFoodtv.com.

A long time blogger her philosophy is to give her audience the confidence they need in cooking, and to help them create a meal that their friends and family will enjoy. Her ultimate goal is to create happiness and joy through a well cooked meal.

Dave Zino

Dave ZinoDave Zino, a member of the Consumer Marketing department works closely with the Culinary Innovations Team, providing guidance on new product concepts and recipe development for the beef checkoff.

Chef Dave is frequently seen on television, heard on radio and quoted in print. During his appearance on the popular Food Network program “Unwrapped,” he revealed tips on how to make the perfect burger on behalf of the beef checkoff. He has made several appearances on “Healthy Flavors of America,” a public television cooking show and also travels the country telling the beef story to universities, professional organizations, dietitians, culinary schools and industry groups on behalf of the beef checkoff.

Chef Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University, three culinary certifications from Kendall College and a Certification in Menu Research and Development from the Culinary Institute of America. He is a member of the Research Chef’s Association and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Jamie Schler

Jamie-Schler-profile-picJamie Schler is an award-winning freelance writer and speaker specializing in food and culture. More storyteller than journalist, no matter her topic, she always focuses on the people, the traditions and the stories hidden behind.

After working as a culinary guide and interpreter in Paris and as assistant editor and recipe editor for Master Chef Magazine, and after a long stint as a milliner, Jamie combined her passions for food and writing when she began her blog Life’s a Feast. She gradually transformed her writing into a successful professional career.

She has been published in The Art of Eating, France Magazine, Modern Farmer, Leite’s Culinaria and American Food Roots among other publications as well as being a long-time contributor to the Huffington Post. An enthusiastic and engaged writer, Jamie loves sharing her experience and motivating others; she has spoken at numerous conferences and cultural events around the globe, created the three most important events for anglophone food bloggers, writers and photographers in Europe and is currently a writing instructor at the Plated Stories Workshop.

Jamie has been featured in ELLE Magazine France, Living France Magazine, Blogging For Creatives, and CRUSH on-line magazine. She was a proud member of the jury of the 2014 Concours du Macaron Amateur in Nantes, France among a lineup of culinary stars.

After New York, Paris and Milan, Italy, she now lives in Nantes, France with her French husband, an excellent cook, two sons and a Boston Terrier.

Jamie blogs at Life’s a Feast and the IACP award-winning Plated Stories, a collaboration with photographer Ilva Beretta.

Follow her on:  twitterfacebook, google+, pinterest and instagram

Leslie Green

leslieLeslie Green is the owner at The Hungry Housewife.com that was established in 2008.

She is a freelance recipe developer, photographer and on- air personality.

Leslie enjoys all things food and is obsessed with making people happy with food.

Follow her on:  twitterfacebookgoogle+pinterest and instagram


Lael Hazan

LaelBorn and raised in California, Lael Hazan grew up in a family that was always interested in history and food. After graduating from University of California at Santa Cruz and completing graduate school at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Lael moved to Sarasota Florida. There she met cookbook author Giuliano Hazan and married into Italian cooking royalty becoming daughter-in-law to the doyenne of Italian cooking, Marcella Hazan, and wine critic Victor Hazan.

Together they operate Cooking with Giuliano Hazan, a cooking school near Verona, Italy.   She currently lectures on Italian food history in the US,  and writes for many publications and blogs.  She has hosted a radio show, Focus on Fabulous Food on WSLR 96.5fm, and worked as a digital editor for Saveur.com. Lael writes about: Italian food, travel, bringing up children, and life within a famous family.

In 2011 Lael was stricken with a virulent form of Colon Cancer that derailed her promising career.  With the help and support of family and friends she has worked to overcome what could have been a debilitating disease.  In addition to gingerly returning to the blogging world, she also coordinates social media in English for the extraordinary Italian wine company, Allegrini.

Follow her on:  twitter, website, facebookgoogle+pinterest and instagram

Amanda Boyarshinov

amandaAmanda Boyarshinov is mom of three kids ages 1, 4, and 7. She is a hands-on, minds-on parent who makes everyday moments with her children, learning opportunities. Her kids are fond of outdoor adventures, cooking in the kitchen, and are all passionate readers. Their family has a backyard garden and is passionate about the seed to table movement.

Amanda is a National Board Certified teacher with her Master’s Degree in Reading Education for grades K-12 and a B.A. in Elementary Education. She is also a co-creator and author of the award winning blog, The Educators’ Spin on It with Kim Vij. She shares her teaching knowledge with parents everywhere through her creative, inventive blog posts and social media sites.

Follow her on:  twitterwebsitefacebookgoogle+pinterest and instagram

 Erika Kerekes 

web-erika-300x300Erika Penzer Kerekes is an award-winning food blogger and marketing consultant. In January 2014 she launched Not Ketchup, a line of gourmet tomato-free “ketchups” made from fruit like cherries, blueberries, and dates. Not Ketchup is sold at stores around Los Angeles and online, and it has been featured on ABC World News, in the Los Angeles Times, and on dozens of food blogs. Erika co-founded and runs Food Bloggers Los Angeles, the largest regional networking and education group for food bloggers in the U.S.

Follow her on:  twitterwebsitefacebookpinterest and instagram

 Merry-Jennifer Markham

5911732787_d96b86edf7_oMerry-Jennifer Markham, MD is a self-taught home cook and writer who has been blogging since 2006. She founded her food blog, The Merry Gourmet, in early 2010 after discovering that much of her creative writing was centered on food. Merry-Jennifer’s blog and food writing have been featured online in The Huffington Post, The Florida Times-Union, Gourmet Live, and Fine Cooking.

A self-described “expert multitasker,” Merry-Jennifer works full time as an oncologist at a university-affiliated center, teaches in a medical school, and writes articles for publication in the medical literature. She lives in Florida with her husband, 10-year old daughter, 7-year old son, and their three cats.

Follow her on:  twitterwebsitefacebookgoogle+pinterest and instagram

 Bess Auer

396683_461504317194009_1828779183_nBess Auer is an award-winning blogger and found of the Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference, which is a one-day gathering of the state’s largest bloggers and social media pros. A frequent guest speaker and blogger on social media issues, Bess likes to focus on helping bloggers go from hobbyist to professional blogger.

Now a full-time blogger, she works with some of the largest brands in the nation as a social media consultant. She was recently featured as one of the most influential Twitter accounts in Central Florida in the Orlando Business Journal.

Follow her on:  twitter, websitefacebookgoogle+pinterest and instagram

 Lora Amato


Lora’s passion for baking and working with the public began as a child spending time at their pizzeria and later helping out at their family restaurant. She is a passionate baker and cook. For the past four years she has been the creator and author of the blog “Cake Duchess” She is the wife of an Italian executive chef and restaurateur in south Florida. Lora’s children learn about their Italian heritage during delicious summers in Italy and at home immersed in a very Italian household. Family and work experiences have led her to developing her new project, “ Savoring Italy”. Lora is admittedly slightly obsessed with everything Italian and has a feverish fetish for social media.

Follow her on:  twitter, websitefacebook, google+pinterest and instagram

  Coryanne Etienne

coryanneA passionate home cook and advocate for food that is grown, Coryanne believes that getting dirty in the kitchen is the only way to embrace the merriment and mischief that makes life a story worth telling. A published writer, TV host, recipe developer, and social media enthusiast, Coryanne works with national iconic brands to create bespoke marketing programs that engage consumers and ignite conversations through content marketing, social media marketing, live events, cooking demonstrations and web TV programming. She has been featured in Traditional Home, Woman’s Day, More Magazine, is the host of several webTV cooking shows, including Cooking with Coryanne which celebrated a million views earlier this year. Coryanne is regular contributor to Huffington Post Live, The Daily Meal, Kitchen Daily and Celebrations.com.

Follow her on:  twitter, websitefacebook, google+pinterest and instagram

 Krayl Funch

KraylKrayl Funch is a creative entrepreneur on a mission to make the world a beatiful celebration. After growing up in Stamford, Connecticut and earning a bachelor’s degree the University of Delaware, she moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania, and developed a strong following in the community as a fine gardener and event stylist, honing her design aesthetic.
In 2002, Krayl began working at Waterford Wedgwood, traveling the US speaking about tabletop design, entertaining and the value of quality products in our lives. During this time she developed a talent for designing store and stage displays for major national retail stores and a love of exposing others to the benefits of living in a beautiful space . In 2009, she began An Appealing Plan, a lifestyle website & blog combining her passion for entertaining, gardening, DIY, cooking and design. In 2014, she launched The Creativ Hive, a company committed to blending the worlds of Lifestyle + Home design with Social Marketing, providing creative makers and retailers a place to grow and give back.

Krayl has appeared in print publications such as BUCK’S Life Magazine, Tableware Today, HFN, Tampa Bay METRO Magazine, Impart Magazine, Pete Magazine, The St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine. Her work has been featured in various partnered video segments as well as television segments including ABC Action News, Good Day Tampa Bay, 10Connects 5:00 o’clock News and is an eHow Expert Contributor.

Follow her on:  twitter, websitefacebook, google+pinterest and instagram

Brandon PalmerMusic for the event will be provided by Braden Palmer