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The food industry is going through a revolution. No longer are consumers
satisfied with fast food, processed foods or irresponsible growers that are
mass producing cheaply and irresponsibly. We are calling this movement:
Our panel will explore how socially-conscious growers and restaurateurs
are changing the outlook of fast casual restaurants, one bite at a time. We
will discuss choices they made along the way and what dining guests can
do to drive awareness and change in their community.
OCCUPY YOUR MEAL
Yareli is the founder/CEO of Strategar, a marketing consultancy focused on
helping clients develop better advertising strategies and tactics.
She believes that the power of the collective is a strong force and her
company is focused in providing clients like the Texas Dept. of Agriculture
and Snappy Salads content strategies that help promote consumption of
Prior to Strategar, she spent 16 years working on some of the world’s largest
brands including: Chevrolet, Bank of America, Sprint, McDonald’s, Domino’s,
Sonic, Pizza Hut, Dell, Whataburger and Avocados From Mexico. Much of
her work on Avocados inspired her current focus and interest on the topic
of marketing healthful foods.
Yareli is a proud longhorn and holds a BBA from UT Austin. She’s passionate
about education and volunteers her time with Girl Scouts and Dallas Area
Rape and Crisis Center. As a native of Mexico, she also spends time inner
city schools motivating young Latino children to pursue higher education.
United States Healthful
Lawrence is an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to developing
public-private partnership solutions to some of the world’s most vexing
problems. Recognizing the link between dietary practices and numerous
chronic diseases, he established the non-profit, non-governmental United
States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) to improve the health of Americans.
The USHFC provides incentives, programs and tools to increase the
production and consumption of healthful and sustainable foods, such as
Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certification for
the food and foodservice industry.
Most recently, Lawrence worked with Elon Musk at SpaceX in collaboration
with NASA to develop a domestic commercial crew and cargo program to
replace the Space Shuttle. Lawrence’s government experience includes the
White House Office of Public Liaison, the U.S. Department of Commerce and
the U.S. House of Representatives.
Chris Dahlander is the founder and CEO of Snappy Salads, a fast-casual
restaurant in the Dallas-area focused on providing the best quality food
while embracing eco-friendly initiatives.
Prior to launching Snappy Salads, Chris was the Marketing Director for
Romano’s Macaroni Grill, part of Brinker International. He left the corporate
rat race to open a place that would fit his life and his needs and with that
inspiration, Snappy Salads was born.
Ten years and ten stores later, Chris continues to carry out his mission of
providing great food made from high quality ingredients in an environment
that is good for both his guests and Mother Earth.
The Texas Restaurant Association recognized Snappy Salads with the
“Restaurant Neighbor Award” for their commitment to community. They
support Movember, Days of Taste (nutritional education for underprivileged
youth) and each location recycles compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and
batteries at no cost. They also hold an electronic waste recycling roundup
twice a year.
Nectar Urban Farm
Imran Charania is the Founder and CEO of Nectar, an urban farming startup
that grows and distributes fresh produce through a weekly subscription
Imran is an experienced entrepreneur and an engineer who has been
involved with three startups. He began working with startups in 2013 when
he started Cirkyt Technologies, Inc., a wearable technology company that
designed an in-watch sensor module for the fashion industry. Later, he
joined Kubos Corporation where he designed and implemented
communication and telemetry hardware for satellites and high-altitude
When he is not working, he volunteers in the Dallas startup and technology
ecosystem. Imran has served as the Internet of Things Track Captain for
Dallas Startup Week in 2016, a mentor at two Startup Weekends, as well as
a mentor at the Hackster Hardware Weekend in 2015.