FASS provides all levels and roles of Food Service professionals a forum where they are able to listen to experts, ask questions, and discuss the best practices with their counterparts. Previous participants particularly value the opportunity to collaborate with peers and pool their collective efforts to keep food allergic people safe while improving their daily lives.

FASS features subject matter experts in the food allergy food service space, educators from the FDA, our countries highly respected food allergy lawyers, experienced chefs, technology thought leaders, and much more. The FASS4H education sessions are scheduled conveniently in one location, with parking close and food and beverage onsite and in a neighboring building on campus.

There will be an option “Field Trip” on Tuesday March 19th for those that wish to see other dining areas, allergy free bakeries and food service solutions in the DMV (DC, Maryland Northern Virginia) area. This will take place in a passenger van going from location to location so seating is limited and it is first come first serve. MAKE SURE TO CONFIRM YOUR DESIRE TO BE INCLUDED ON YOUR REGISTRATION FORM.

FASS Schedule:

Tuesday 3/19/24

Prior to Conference “field trip” to sites and locations around the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia area) First come first in on this OPTIONAL EVENT Make sure to indicate on your registration of you wish to be included in seeing food allergy areas in food service in person.

Wednesday 3/20/24

8:30 am to 5 pm EST, on the campus of the University of Maryland College, Park

Thursday 3/21/24

8:30 am to 4:30 pm EST, on the campus of the University of Maryland College, Park

Note for those Chefs seeking continuing education credits for ACF please attend all learning sessions for full credits hours.

Note for those seeking continuing education credits for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics you are asked to attend all learning sessions for full credits hours.

We will have approximately 30 presenters at this event. Below is just the beginning of who will be at FASS this year. Keep checking back for updated names and a session overview.
Speakers are being confirmed but below, in alphabetical order, are a few who have been confirmed as on 1/16/24

Lisa Carlson

Lisa is a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist with Chartwells, a division of the Compass Group. She primarily works with college students to help them navigate their campus food choices. Her passion is working with students and young people with food allergies, helping them speak up, advocate your themselves and find safe choices on and off campus. Lisa has extensive experience in nutrition and wellness counseling with students, staff, and faculty at several universities around the country, including Northwestern University and Colgate University. Prior to working with universities, Lisa worked in professional marketing and public relations for iconic brands such as Quaker Oats and Gatorade.

Betsy Craig

Betsy Craig is the nation’s leading expert on food allergies, menu labeling, and certifying products and facilities as free from food allergens.  As CEO and founder of MenuTrinfo®, LLC, she and her team are dedicated to helping foodservice operators protect lives and health every day.  MenuTrinfo’s crew is responsible for menu nutritional information affecting over 100K restaurants, allergy training for hundreds of thousands throughout the US and Canada with well over 1,000 colleges and Universities using her ANAB accredited program, and recently providing product transparency to today’s food allergic consumer through ISO 17065 certification of spaces and products.

Doug Davis

Douglas Davis is a 35-year veteran with Marriott International. He is currently the Senior Director of Global Food Safety for all 30 brands, including over 7200 hotels and more than 10 thousand restaurants. 

Doug is a member of Marriott’s Global Cleanliness Council and COVID-19 Task Force, guiding the company during the pandemic. He is a leader in the development of Marriott’s Commitment to Clean initiative and oversees the execution in hotels across the globe.  

Doug is a member of the Conference for Food Protection and participates on the committee level. He is a certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Educator and Certified Professional – Food Safety (CP-FS) with the National Environmental Health Association and a film and television COVID Compliance Officer. Doug is on the Coordinating Council for the Department of Homeland Security’s Food and Agriculture Sector and lectures frequently on the mitigation of foodborne outbreaks with a focus on Norovirus prevention.

Megan Simon Dudczak

Megan Simon Dudczak is the National Director of Nutrition for Chartwells Higher Education Dining services, a division of the Compass Group. In this role, she supports and facilitates training and enhancements to the menu and recipe platform used throughout the company. She is responsible for leading and communicating sector specific allergen management training and strategies and for developing wellness initiatives and supporting campus registered dietitians and culinarians.

Megan has worked for the Compass Group for 10 years — three years in senior living and the last seven at Chartwells in the higher education dining division. Her career passion is in bringing innovative solutions around wellness and allergen management to our colleges and universities with the goal of helping students feel safe and well supported.

She leads a network of nearly 50 registered dietitian nutritionists. Megan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Fontbonne University and a Master of Arts degree in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University. She is registered dietitian nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Caryn Foster Durham

Caryn Foster Durham strives to make the world a little better through creativity,communication and, of course, fun! Caryn is a seasoned leader with a proven track record of developing and implementing successful communication strategies, improving brand reputation, and building strong relationships.

Having honed her skills in the healthcare, manufacturing, tourism, transportation, and energy industries, Caryn has a reputation for her ability to solve high profile, complex problems with pragmatic and effective messaging across a wide range of audiences. She has facilitated national exposure through her media relationships, been recognized countless times for creative and strategic excellence, and proven steadfast in situations requiring crisis communications. Regarded as a collaborative and communicative leader, Caryn motivates and builds strong, cohesive teams. She values diversity of thought, varying perspectives, and fosters a positive and inclusive work environment.

Ryan Gembala

Practicing law since 2005, Ryan Gembala provides legal counsel to food service businesses including restaurants, cafes, fast-food chains, food trucks, catering companies, hotels, school cafeterias, hospitals, and other establishments where food is prepared and served to customers. He is well-versed in the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, and the Packers and Stockyards Act.

The takeaway for attendees is to grasp common liability issues, comply with the industry’s mandates, and to be aware of actual case law examples.

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH

Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Clinical Attending at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Gupta has over 20 years of experience as a board-certified pediatrician and health researcher and currently serves as the founding director of the Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research (CFAAR). She is world-renowned for her groundbreaking research in the areas of food allergy and asthma epidemiology, most notably for her research on the prevalence of pediatric and adult food allergy in the United States. She has also significantly contributed to academic research in the areas of food allergy prevention, socioeconomic disparities in care, and the daily management of these conditions. To reduce the burden of these diseases and improve health equity, she and her team develop, evaluate, and disseminate interventions for families and conduct work to inform local, national, and international health policy.

Dr. Stefano Luccioli

Dr. Stefano Luccioli is a medical officer specializing in allergy/immunology who is currently the Allergen Coordinator in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is also on the clinical teaching faculty at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

His responsibilities include assisting and coordinating FDA activities and scientific policies to manage food allergens in regulated food products and providing subject matter expertise on health hazards and other risk assessments. His research interests are aimed at understanding the epidemiology of consumer adverse events to food allergens and assessing the health impact of allergen thresholds.

Dr. Luccioli completed his medical school and residency training in internal medicine at Georgetown University medical school and his fellowship in allergy & immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Joshua Miller, CP-FS, CAT

Joshua Miller, CP-FS, CAT, is the Founder & Principal of Remarkable Academic Foods, providing consultation and training support for school foodservice programs from K-12 to colleges and universities. Additionally, he hosts the 5-in-20 Podcast, where guest Subject Matter Experts provide insights on school foodservice solutions. Josh brings a valuable perspective with extensive experience as a Campus Executive Chef and Culinary Director for AVI Foodsystems, a prominent foodservice contractor, driving numerous program successes. Before reliable resources became available to aid allergy management, Josh devoted significant time to streamlining safe kitchen procedures and the R&D of allergy-friendly ingredients and recipes. His process included working closely with registered dieticians and vendors with continuous feedback from students with allergies. This resulted in enhanced inclusivity and accommodation of students with dietary preferences and allergies.

Tessa Nguyen, MEd, RD

Tessa Nguyen, MEd, RD, is an internationally acclaimed chef, registered dietitian, and speaker. As the founder and principal of TN Media, her talents come to life in the form of deliciously diverse recipes, cultural auditing, bespoke content development, speaking engagements, and countless media work. Tessa’s areas of expertise include diversity, equity, inclusion & justice within the food and nutrition industries, food and agriculture connections, inclusive culinary nutrition applications, accessible and affordable cooking, and food allergies and intolerances including the low FODMAP diet.

Tessa’s multiethnic heritage and lived experience across multiple countries has centered her in providing inclusive services founded on cultural humility. Connect with her on Instagram @thetessanguyen.

Sung Poblete, PhD, RN

Sung is FARE’s CEO, joining the organization in May 2022 from Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) where she served as Chief Executive Officer since 2011. She has an extensive and varied background, receiving Bachelor and Master of Science degrees, as well as a PhD in nursing, from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She began her teaching career at Rutgers over 25 years ago and continues to serve as a visiting associate professor at their School of Nursing. In 2016, Sung was inducted into Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni, joining a select group of more than 200 honorees across Rutgers’ 256-year history who have devoted time and energy to the greater good of society.

Gary Riddle

Gary Riddle presently serves as the Sr. Director, Global Corporate Affairs for kaléo (a biopharmaceutical based in Richmond, Virginia).  In this position, he oversees the government affairs operations for kaléo through engagement with policymakers and pertinent stakeholders throughout the U.S. (state and federal) and abroad with the aim to further awareness regarding anaphylaxis, patient access, and the company’s portfolio.

Coming into this position, Gary brings over 12 years of government affairs experience within the health care sector which includes an emphasis on building relationships among key affiliates and policymakers at multiple levels of government (local, state, federal, and international).  His educational background includes a Bachelors of Science in Health Policy from James Madison University followed by a Masters in Public Administration from The George Washington University.

Elaine Spero

Elaine Spero boasts over 15 years of global experience, having worked in London, New York City, and presently in Washington DC, as a senior training and curriculum design specialist. Currently serving as the Global Performance Advisor at Marriott International, she focuses on the learning needs of food and beverage associates, comprising over 39% of all associates across Marriott International’s managed and franchised properties worldwide. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Syracuse University, Elaine’s training philosophy is deeply rooted in an understanding of human motivation. One of her notable recent projects involved spearheading the design, development, and project management of a multi-million-dollar global onboarding, culture, loyalty, and service training program, which was successfully launched across over 5,000 Marriott International properties worldwide in 2022.

What truly drives Elaine is her profound passion for aiding others, whether through her extensive volunteer work in her community or by spearheading employee engagement initiatives at work.

Tracy Stuckrath

Founder of thrive! meetings & events and the Eating at a Meeting podcast, Tracy Stuckrath has had a 30+ year career as an event professional. After being diagnosed with a food allergy, she changed her career trajectory in 2009 to work with event and culinary professionals and organizations worldwide to understand how F&B can — positively and negatively — affect risk, participant experience, and the bottom line.

Tracy has spoken to audiences on 5 continents, interviewed more than 200 F&B experts on the podcast, co-authored two books, and contributed to Allergic Living, Meetings Today, Meetings & Conventions, and MeetingsNet. She has been recognized as a meeting and event industry leader, including Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry.

A graduate of NC State University, Tracy spends her spare time at farmers markets, the beach, NC State football games, and talking to strangers.

Chef Matthew Thompson

Chef Matthew is a highly passionate & effective chef and hospitality executive with a strong track record of driving business performance by developing high-performing, highly innovative teams. He is recognized for outstanding leadership in driving culinary artistry through creative menu development and experienced in the authentic delivery of ethnic cuisine, and a talented teacher of food safety an culinary arts. Chef Matthew is the co-founder and Chief Culinary Officer for Harvest Table Culinary Group, a dedicated team of chefs, wellness managers, and food enthusiasts who create a campus dining experience. Chef Matthew has brought progressive, sustainable, health-based dining to higher education partner sites for more than twenty-five years.

Mary Vargas, Esq

Mary Vargas is a founding partner with the litigation firm Stein & Vargas, LLP, based in Washington, D.C., where she engages in nationwide impact litigation on behalf of individuals with disabilities.

Vargas has won key victories in federal courts throughout the United States on behalf of individuals with food allergies, celiac disease and other disabilities. She is a 1998 Skadden Fellow and a 1994 Truman Scholar. Vargas is the mother of three boys, one of whom has food allergies and celiac disease.

Jacqueline Weiss

Jacqueline Weiss is the registered dietitian for Hopkins Dining at Johns Hopkins University. Jacqueline earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and her Master of Science degree in Public Health in Human Nutrition from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jacqueline is a Certified AllerTrainer and provides allergen education to Hopkins Dining employees.

Allyson West, RD, LDN

Allyson began her career as an inpatient clinical registered dietitian. It was when she became Registered Dietitian for Harvest Table Culinary Group at High Point University that she realized she could combine her passion for student wellness advocacy and ingredient transparency. Not long after, she became Harvest Table’s first Director of Health and Wellbeing.

In her role, Allyson provides nutrition leadership for all Harvest Table partner accounts, ensuring that all guests, regardless of dietary needs or preferences, can find healthy, clearly labeled options that meet their needs. She helped develop Harvest Table’s innovative ingredient transparency platform that provides critical ingredient information on all digital platforms and facilitates accuracy and compliance in food production. She also directs Harvest Table’s approach to allergen-related programs, including training and certification of our team and facilities.

Allyson leads our campus-based registered dietitians in their efforts to engage with students wherever they are on their health journeys, so they can build healthy habits to support their academic and professional endeavors. She creates engaging educational pop-ups and events for groups such as student activities, wellness clinics and athletics, along with student groups to reach as broad a campus audience as possible.

Allyson has a heart for all who struggle with stress. She developed PAUSE, a program of simple stress-relief techniques, introduced through digital and print across Harvest Table campuses in Fall 2023.

Allyson earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Contemporary Dance and from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Association; and the Food and Culinary Professionals Group. She received the 2023 Allergy Advocate for Universities Award from MenuTrinfo, a leading expert in food allergy training and certification.

Allyse Wiencek, MS, LDN

Allyse Wiencek, MS, LDN has decades of experience supporting clients and their families in a variety of nutrition settings, however, she developed a strong interest in food allergies during her 17 years at the Berkshire North WIC program where she worked as their Senior Nutritionist and IBCLC. Recognizing the important role of identifying and managing food allergy symptoms in babies, she was inspired to pursue her Master’s Degree through Northeastern University.

Her journey supporting those with food allergies continues as she now occupies the role of dining services nutritionist at Williams College. There she provides staff education in food allergy awareness as a MenuTrinfo Certified AllerTrainer, offers guidance to students with food allergies, Celiac Disease and other special dietary needs and has driven the implementation and maintenance of a Kitchens With Confidence Certified Free From kitchen and service station to create a safe and inclusive environment for students in need.