First Bites has an accomplished group of experts and leaders who serve as members of its Advisory Board. They include:
Amanda Archibald, RD
Amanda Archibald’s contribution to food and nutrition is channeled through her nationally acclaimed company, Field to Plate®. This visionary company creates dynamic food and culinary education experiences and innovative tools for Americans, and the experts who teach Americans about food. Amanda’s unique training as an analyst and a nutritionist (RD), combined with her culinary expertise, has enabled her to develop a new lens through which we can understand the food and health conversation.
Amanda’s trailblazing work is redefining the food, nutrition and cooking education footprint in ways that are understandable, meaningful and fundamentally achievable for all Americans. Her work in mind-mapping using visual technology is literally changing how we translate the science of nutrition, via the tools of the kitchen, to put health-supportive food on America’s plate.
Amanda has been involved in lecturing, teaching and producing state of the art experiential food and nutrition learning experiences for consumers and health professionals alike since 2003. Her work has been showcased in more than 30 states and over 100 cities across the nation, and includes co-developing and producing the acclaimed 2010 Food Solutions Series at Urban Zen in New York. She has also produced three international food policy focused events in France.
Amanda was educated in the UK and the USA. She is a Registered Dietitian, a member of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier and sits on the National Advisory Board for Cooking Matters™. She believes that food and the soil it grows on are the foundations for health. Amanda is an outspoken advocate for the food as medicine movement and a passionate voice for the hungry and disadvantaged whose seat is so often vacant at our nation’s table.
Dayle Hayes, MS, RD
Dayle Hayes has 20 years of experience as a consultant to preschool programs (Head Start & WIC) across the country. She is also an award-winning author and educator. Her creativity and common-sense have made her a sought-after speaker across the USA.
As a parent and member of the School Nutrition Association, Dayle is dedicated to making school environments healthy for students and staff. She collected school success stories for Making It Happen, a joint CDC-USDA project, wrote a chapter on communicating with students in Managing Child Nutrition Programs: Leadership for Excellence, and co-authored the Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): Nutrition Guidance for Healthy Children Ages 2 to 11 Years.
In recognition of her professional and volunteer leadership, Dayle has received numerous honors, including Montana Dietitian of the Year, and an AND Excellence in Consultation and Business Practice Award. In January 2012, she received the Silver FAME Award as a Friend of Child Nutrition from the national School Nutrition Association. FoodService Director magazine recently named her as one of their “20 Most Influential” for 2012. In 2013, Dayle received the AND Medallion Award for lifetime achievement and was named the Montana School Food Service Professional of the Year by the Montana School Nutrition Association.
Hayes has served on the AND Board of Directors where she chaired the Public Initiative Team and Technology Task Force. She also is a past president of the Montana Dietetic Association and Past-Chair of the School Nutrition Services DPG. Hayes also founded School Meals that Rock to show people the positive side of school meal programs.
Dr. Steven Hirsch
Dr. Steven F. Hirsch is a native of the Washington, D.C. area. Dr. Hirsch attended Duke University, where he majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. He graduated Magna cum laude. Dr. Hirsch attended Georgetown University School of Medicine where he graduated cum laude in 2000. During his tenure at Georgetown, Dr. Hirsch taught health education in local Washington, D.C. elementary schools, volunteered as a camp counselor at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp, and studied for several months at a children's hospital in Haifa, Israel.
While engaged in his residency at Emory University, Dr. Hirsch was awarded an American Academy of Pediatrics scholarship. From 2006 - 2007, Dr. Hirsch spent 15 months developing Hirsch Pediatrics. During this time, he added to his private practice experience by working as a Clinical Associate at the nationally renowned Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hirsch's responsibilities as a hospitalist at Children’s Hospital included managing the care of children admitted to the general pediatrics service. Though extensively trained with experience in every area of pediatrics, Dr. Hirsch also has a special interest in infant and toddler behavior, developmental screening, adolescent medicine, allergy and asthma management, and patient education.
Dr. Hirsch is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is the current president of the Montgomery-PG County Pediatrics Society. He is licensed to practice medicine in Maryland and is a member of the medical staff at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
Jeffrey Mills currently runs Genuine Food Lab, a consultancy devoted to the belief that healthier bodies means healthier minds. Working nationwide with school districts, government agencies, nonprofits and food service companies – his firm provides expert counsel on a range of issues including operations, issuing and managing RFPs, menu development, procurement and advising elected officials on local and state-level policy.
Jeffrey is the former Director of Food and Nutrition Services for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). During his tenure, Mills and his team transformed the school lunch tray, proving that it’s possible to drastically improve the taste and quality of food through focused procurement, local sourcing and inventive menu planning. Mills also lead DCPS in analyzing the positive correlations between better food and student performance.
Prior to joining DCPS, Mills spent over 20 years in the food and hospitality business developing innovative service concepts for projects from Vancouver to Bombay. He also owned and operated critically acclaimed restaurant the Biltmore Room in New York City – the year it opened it received the highest review of the year from The New York Times.
Debra Shaffer Seeman, EdM
Debra Shaffer Seeman, EdM, is an Educational Consultant based in Atlanta, GA. She currently serves as the Network Weaver for RAVSAK, specializing in professional development for 130 private schools across North America. As the co-founder and supporter of multiple educational organizations around the globe, Debra understands the power of educational entrepreneurship. Her consulting business draws on her experience as a Head of School to coach non-profits and educational organizations around issues of strategic planning, change management, program evaluation, budget restructuring, faculty transitions, mentoring, lay leadership development, and network weaving. She has developed and implemented educational curricula for students of all ages.
Debra, the mother of three, is a graduate of the Lookstein Center Principal’s Program, Mandel Jerusalem Fellows, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Mauren Varnon has more than 20 years of experience in nutrition, health and wellness communications. Her diverse background has afforded her the opportunity to build brands through traditional public relations, social media, reputation management and third party engagement.
Maureen spent fourteen years with Porter Novelli working with a variety of food and nutrition clients. She led the public relations campaign and subsequently the acquisition and execution of the social media and health professional campaigns for The Laughing Cow, connecting consumers, digital influencers and health professionals with these great-tasting, portion-controlled snacks. She also managed The Laughing Cow’s reputation management campaign, leading scenario planning and creating strategies and key messages to help mitigate risk and empower clients to maintain a favorable reputation. Over the years, she worked on a variety of popular brands including Nature Made, Uncle Bens, Procter and Gamble and Purdue among others. In addition to brand work, Maureen has extensive experience in category marketing. She played a leadership role on accounts for almonds, beef and strawberries, advancing the nutritional benefits by leveraging third parties to build credibility and awareness among influencers and consumers. Maureen’s work at Porter Novelli resulted in a 2011 Addy Finalist for TheLaughingCow.com and a PRWeek Honorable Mention for Healthcare Campaign of the Year for the Almond Board of California. She started her career as marketing director for two national commodity promotion programs.
Maureen is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where she majored in psychology.