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Opening Keynote | Tuesday Morning Keynote

 Opening Keynote Address
Monday, February 25

 Dr. Morgaine Gaye
Food Futurologist

MorgaineDr. Morgaine Gaye is a Food Futurologist and director of bellwether; Food Trends, the first food trend research compendium.  She has her own health-food product range of functional food blends called Dr. Gaye, which are sold globally on-line.

Morgaine looks at food and eating from a social, cultural, economic, trend, branding and geo-political perspective.  Her work involves running ideation sessions, consulting to food companies, developing new products and ideas; writing articles/trend reports for PR and ad agencies; giving public, university and corporate lectures on specific food trends, developing new ideas for food-related TV and radio programs and doing research on all elements of the eating experience from mouth-feel to olfactory perception.  She consults to leading blue chip food companies and manufacturers, delivering bespoke trend briefings and NPD ideation.

Morgaine is a frequent media contributor in print, radio and TV.  A number of her academic research papers have been published.  She is a guest university lecturer in UK and Sweden and is on the reviewing panel for the International Food Design Conference and yearly academic journal.  As part of the EU Commission, Morgaine was the chair at the Brussels Parliament for 2015.  As part of TED X 2016, Morgaine's talk was "It Doesn't Make Any Scents."  She is currently writing a book "A Taste of Things to Come" about food trends and why they matter.

 Tuesday Morning General Session
Tuesday, February 26

 John Frehse
Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting Group, LLC


John Frehse is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura, based in the New York office.  He has more than 20 years of experience focused on labor and operation strategy.

John has developed and implemented strategies for more than 100 companies, and he delivers to corporate leaders innovative labor solutions that incorporate solutions to employee needs.  His work has spanned a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, automotive, chemical, electronics, pharmaceuticals, power, call centers, banking/insurance, distribution, telecommunications, mining, government and healthcare.

John's professional philosophy is that people are the most valuable resource of every company.  His experience has proven that in order to create long-term success, a thoughtful and methodical approach to labor must be created.

Before joining Ankura, John was a founding partner of Core Practice LLC, an international labor strategies firm.  Prior to that he was head of Global Strategic Services Sales for Blue Pumpkin Software, now known as Verint.  His clients include the manufacturer of automoible driveline and drivetrain components and systems, a multinational food manufacturing and processing conglomerate, and a Canadian telecommunications and media company.

John sits on the board of The Workforce Institute and is a thought leader for its think tank.  He is also a member of the advisory board for's Workforce Management practice, where he educates management teams on union negotiation strategies and employee engagement methodologies.

His professional experience includes:

  • Labor strategy development for an American specialty storage and organization products retail chain, a consistent Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For," on warehouse and distribution operations.
  • Restructuring of a Canadian telecommunications and media company's contact center operations, which reduced turnover by more than half in the first year and captured over $10 million in labor savings in the first year.
  • Labor and advisory work for several multinational food manufacturing and processing conglomerates.
  • Labor strategy development for various mining operations globally.
  • Cost reduction and performance improvement for one of the largest American department store retail chain's contact center operations.


 Tom Gumpel
MDJ Baking Inc.

Gumpe_TTom Gumpel most recently (2004 - 2018) served as Vice President of Bakery Research and Development for Panera Bread, LLC.  In his role he directed the development and execution of all baked goods and breads for the 2,300 unit bakery cafe chain.  Previous, to joining Panera Bread, Tom served as Associate Dean of the Culinary Institute of America's (CIA) Baking and Pastry School.  During the decade in which Tom worked for the college, he served as Captain of the Team USA represented at Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris, France 1999.  The team garnered the country's championship win at the event in which 12 countries from around the globe competed.  During his 30 plus years in the baking industry, Tom has worked in Norway, Japan, Mexico City and cities throughout the US.  In 2010, Tom was named on of the "Top 10 Baker's in the United States".  He lives in Southwest Florida and is CEO and Founder of MDJ Baking Inc and Cocoa-Va spice company.


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