2017 Keynote Speakers

Kurt Dammeier

A fourth generation Puget Sound native, Kurt Beecher Dammeier joined the food community in 1999 by forming Sugar Mountain, a family of food businesses including Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle and New York City, and South Lake Union steakhouse The Butcher’s Table. In 2006, Kurt launched Beecher’s Pure Food Kids Foundation, funded by the ongoing donation of 1% of all sales from Sugar Mountain companies. The Foundation operates the Pure Food Kids Workshop, which over the past decade has empowered 100,000 4th and 5th-grade students in the Puget Sound area and New York City to make healthy food choices for life. Kurt is launching a series of food system change initiatives focusing on adult education, labeling transparency, and a new vision for school food.

Dr. James C. Scott

James Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is co-Director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. His publications include The Moral Economy of the Peasant, Yale University Press, 1976, Domination and the Arts of Resistance, Yale Press, 1985, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, Yale Press 1980, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale Press, 1998; The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, Yale University Press, 2008, and Two Cheers for Anarchism, Princeton University Press, 2013 and Against the Grain: Plants, Animals, Microbes, Captives, Barbarians and a New Story of Civilization, (Forthcoming, Yale Press 2017). He is a mediocre sheep breeder and bee-keeper in Connecticut.

June Jo Lee

June Jo Lee is a food ethnographer, user/stakeholder experience designer, and strategist.

She works within the food industry to accelerate the rate of change towards higher quality food experiences and regenerative food systems. She helps clients transform their cultural infrastructure by applying the empathic design principle of foodcare — care about those we are feeding and those feeding us.

June Jo is the resident Food Ethnographer for Google Food and UMass Dining, providing user insights, multi-stakeholder design, and strategic visioning.

She is a member of Google Food Lab, and speaker at food industry conferences/summits including The Grain Gathering, Monterey Bay Aquarium, CIA/HSPH Menu of Change, Oldways, Nutritional and Health, American Heart Association, Barilla, PepsiCo.

Previously, she was VP of Strategic Insights at The Hartman Group leading qualitative research projects for Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Target, Starbucks’ Evolution Fresh, Dairy Management Inc, Kraft, Nestle, Hersey, Heinz, General Mills, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo.

In addition to her day job, June Jo is a co-founder of Readers to Eaters, an independent children’s book publisher with a mission to promote food literacy. She debuts as co-author of Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix in May 2017.

She studied food anthropology at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and started her career as a produce team member at the original Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas.


Dr. David Killilea

David Killilea is a Staff Scientist in the Nutrition & Metabolism Center at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) and Specialist at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). David is a nutritional biochemist with a particular interest in the mineral micronutrients needed for good health. Funding for David’s research has come from the National Institute of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and HarvestPlus. David has worked with Community Grains in Oakland, CA on re-establishing a local grain economy and has been interviewed in Cook’s Science, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times on the nutritional density of whole grains.

Washington State University