Jill Conklin is the StrategicDirector of Food for Soul, an international nonprofit organization founded by chefMassimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore empowering local communities to cultivate amore just sustainable food system by saving food from waste and reducingbarriers to food security and livelihood. Jill works in collaboration with theorganization’s global Refettorio network, to expand the cultural initiative,providing hospitality, dignity and nourishment to those most vulnerable throughconscious environmental design and zero waste food practices. Jill joined the team in 2019 after guidingthe organizations funded Rockefeller Foundation research expansion study in SanFrancisco and Oakland, California. Sheis responsible for the overall management, growth and impact of theorganization, based in the USA in New York and the Bay Area.
As a former restaurant, R&D Chefand Business Development Executive, Jill possesses a dynamic backgroundspecializing in historical cooking of the Mediterranean, culinary technology,food safety compliance and strategic sales and marketing development. As agraduate of Johnson and Wales University her culinary degree in food appliedscience and nutrition, has led to 25 + years in foodservice operations andmanagement, working in hospitality, nutrition, food safety education as a Chef,Business Development Market Manager, Product Manager and nonprofitphilanthropic advisor. Her work portfolio and projects consist of leading foodstart up culinary and produce development, food safety USDA commodity processmanagement and GAP analysis; menu development; and marketing conceptualization.Her personal passion for food and culture in her professional career has alsotranscended into 35 years of actionable work in hunger relief and food securitydomestically and abroad, nutrition and wellness development for chronic diseaseand wellness of children and adolescents, and co development, teaching andtraining of food service professionals in non-commercial domestic andinternational markets to improve food safety and food assistance.
Amongst the nonprofit philanthropicwork, she has acted as Chair of the Kids in the Kitchen Interest Section IACPand Chair of The Culinary Trust: Chef's Table Committee for the SchoolNutrition Association, a past ad-hoc member of their Industry Advisory Board;PR Co-Chair for the USDA and First Lady, Michelle Obama’s "Let's Move,Chefs Move to Schools" campaign, Chair of Awards of Excellence for theInternational Association of Culinary Professionals, Chair of the Global ChildNutrition Foundation Fundraising 2012 Forum for Ethiopia and Past NominationsCommittee Electing Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award to Marshall Matz, M/MLaw; Arlene Mitchell, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
A few of her culinary experiencesinclude: Sous Chef, Kiawah Golf and Tennis Resort, SC; Executive Chef andCulinary Educator for Walters Restaurants, RI and ICC education programs; ChefTrainer for Kids in the Kitchen and Kids First, RI; USDA Food Safety NationalTrainer; USDomestic Sales Manager forWinston Industries, a leading manufacturer of precision temperature cookingequipment; Food Development incubator and venture initiatives including, AvenirCulinary Systems, FreTek Food Group R&D Product Development, Smart Temps,LLC, umbrella of Top 1-2 Tier Food Manufacturing/Processing Companies,Hospitality and Cruise Brands.