Monica Bhide is an expert in social media, self-promotion, and marketing. She has taught social media for entrepreneurs at the Smithsonian, and was the Coach in Residence for a large organization of journalists. She is also an internationally renowned writer known for sharing food, culture, love, and life with a lyrical voice and universal appeal. She has built a diverse and solid audience through the publication of three cookbooks, her collection of short stories, her website, MonicaBhide.com, and articles in top-tier media, including Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur, The Washington Post, Health, The New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, AARP The Magazine, Parents, and many others. The Chicago Tribune named Bhide one of the seven food writers to watch in 2012. In April 2012, Mashable.com picked her as one of the top ten food writers on Twitter. Monica is a frequent presence on NPR, and serves as a speaker and teacher for organizations such as Georgetown University, the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ), London Food Blogger’s Connect, and the Smithsonian Institution. Her seventh book, Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken, was released in 2016. Monica was just profiled in “Those Immigrants: Indians In America, A psychological exploration of achievement,” by James Beard award-winning Dr. Scott Haas.
Lauren Chelec Cafritz, TBF, IBF
Lauren Chelec Cafritz, TBF, IBF is the founder of ExperienceBreath.com. She is a DC-based professional Breathwork therapist who is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health, mental clarity, and joy using the power of breath. She is trained and certified in Integrative Breathwork, Transformational Breathing™ and has studied many other breathing modalities. In addition to her private practice, Lauren leads group breathwork classes and workshops at The Mindfulness Center in Bethesda, MD and has conducted breathwork retreats and workshops throughout the U.S. Lauren brings a passion to her work and clients through her life experience as a Breathwork therapist, businessperson, wife, mother, photojournalist, nonprofit advocate, and a past sufferer of chronic pain. In addition to 10 years of breathwork training, Lauren holds an MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri and a BA in Business from Syracuse University.
Amy is a fourth generation Californian, with deep roots in Sonoma County. After spending 12 years coordinating women’s health and violence prevention projects throughout California, Amy discovered digital storytelling and launched StoryCenter’s Silence Speaks initiative, which since 2000 has used oral history, participatory media, and popular education strategies to support people in countries around the world as they’ve shared personal stories of gender, health, and human rights. She lives in Berkeley, where she continues to lead Silence Speaks and guide much of StoryCenter’s communication and outreach work. BA, British and American Literature, Scripps College; MA, Gender Studies, Stanford University.
Justin’s career began as a news anchor and feature producer for NPR, where he learned that every story is a human story, and that even the most complex problems are, at their core, human problems. He was thrilled to find out that the business world had a place where you could not only tell the stories of complex human issues, but actually innovate to solve them. Chronic pediatric disease became a part of Justin’s life story when his daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on her fifth birthday. Since then, he has turned his attention to innovating in health care, focusing on system design and quality improvement that puts the human story at the center of health care systems.