Food For Thought sticks with you. Because of its intimacy, because of the personal nature of all your interactions - with speakers, with participants, with the conference organizers - Food For Thought attaches itself to you in ways that permanently affect your work, your outlook and your vision. This is two and a half days of total immersion with fewer than 100 participants and a group of groundbreaking, amazingly innovative, and entrepreneurial speakers who don't just talk and run, but invite further interaction and conversation.

Food for Thought is a creation of Erwin Penland, which operates offices in Greenville, New York and Detroit. Erwin Penland builds brands and businesses by seamlessly integrating strategic planning, digital development, content creation and distribution, customer experience and a host of other disciplines.

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    Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors close out the Food For Thought Conference 2014 at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC.

    Posted on Tuesday, May 6th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Joseph JaffeSocial Media Thought LeaderAuthor and Founder of Evol8tion, LLC
One of the most sought-after consultants, speakers and thought leaders on innovation, marketing, new media and social media, Joseph Jaffe is Founder & Partner of Evol8tion, LLC, an innovation agency that matches early stage startups with established brands to partner via mentoring, pilot programs, investment and/or acquisition. Evol8tion launched in January 2012 with Anheuser-Busch InBev and Kraft Foods as founding clients.
Prior to Evol8tion, Jaffe had founded and managed a strategic consultancy, crayon, servicing clients including The Coca-Cola Company, Panasonic, Kraft Foods and H&R Block. Crayon was acquired by social media agency, Powered, and the client roster grew to include Target, Verisign, Anheuser-Busch InBev and General Motors/Onstar. Before that, Joseph was Director of Interactive Media at TBWA/Chiat/Day and OMD USA, where he worked on Kmart, ABSOLUT Vodka, Embassy Suites and Samsonite.
Jaffe’s popular blog and audio podcast, “Jaffe Juice,” provides daily and weekly commentary respectively on all things new marketing. He has written several books including, Life After The 30-Second Spot: Energize Your Brand With A Bold Mix Of Alternatives To Traditional Advertising; Join the Conversation: How to Engage Marketing-weary Consumers with the Power of Community, Dialogue and Partnership; Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones; and most recently z.e.r.o.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model, a no-holds-barred call to action for corporations and marketers to adapt or die amid an increasingly turbulent, changing and dynamic media landscape.
Joseph’s impassioned, straight-shooting and honest perspectives have found their way to every major media outlet, including CBS Evening News, ABC World News, Bloomberg, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Fortune, Newsweek, Business Week, Ad Age, Adweek and more.

    Joseph Jaffe
    Social Media Thought Leader
    Author and Founder of Evol8tion, LLC

    One of the most sought-after consultants, speakers and thought leaders on innovation, marketing, new media and social media, Joseph Jaffe is Founder & Partner of Evol8tion, LLC, an innovation agency that matches early stage startups with established brands to partner via mentoring, pilot programs, investment and/or acquisition. Evol8tion launched in January 2012 with Anheuser-Busch InBev and Kraft Foods as founding clients.

    Prior to Evol8tion, Jaffe had founded and managed a strategic consultancy, crayon, servicing clients including The Coca-Cola Company, Panasonic, Kraft Foods and H&R Block. Crayon was acquired by social media agency, Powered, and the client roster grew to include Target, Verisign, Anheuser-Busch InBev and General Motors/Onstar. Before that, Joseph was Director of Interactive Media at TBWA/Chiat/Day and OMD USA, where he worked on Kmart, ABSOLUT Vodka, Embassy Suites and Samsonite.

    Jaffe’s popular blog and audio podcast, “Jaffe Juice,” provides daily and weekly commentary respectively on all things new marketing. He has written several books including, Life After The 30-Second Spot: Energize Your Brand With A Bold Mix Of Alternatives To Traditional Advertising; Join the Conversation: How to Engage Marketing-weary Consumers with the Power of Community, Dialogue and Partnership; Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones; and most recently z.e.r.o.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model, a no-holds-barred call to action for corporations and marketers to adapt or die amid an increasingly turbulent, changing and dynamic media landscape.

    Joseph’s impassioned, straight-shooting and honest perspectives have found their way to every major media outlet, including CBS Evening News, ABC World News, Bloomberg, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Fortune, Newsweek, Business Week, Ad Age, Adweek and more.

    Posted on Thursday, April 24th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Mitchell J. LandrieuMayor of New Orleans
Mitchell J. Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans on May 3, 2010, with a clear mandate to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the people of New Orleans. During his administration, Landrieu has delivered major victories that lay the groundwork for transformational change in critical sectors.
An overwhelming majority of residents and businesses believe the city is moving in the right direction; housing values and school test scores are on the rise. The Brookings Institution recently named New Orleans as the #1 metro area for overall economic recovery. And businesses and philanthropies from around the country are investing new money in the city and its resilient people. The city serves as an epicenter for innovation and change in America, and will continue to serve as the model for wholesale urban renewal.
Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana for six years, leading the effort to rebuild the tourism industry after Hurricane Katrina and the tens of thousands of jobs it creates. Landrieu also launched the Cultural Economy Initiative to quantify and grow jobs in Louisiana’s culture, music, food, film and art industries.

    Mitchell J. Landrieu
    Mayor of New Orleans

    Mitchell J. Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans on May 3, 2010, with a clear mandate to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the people of New Orleans. During his administration, Landrieu has delivered major victories that lay the groundwork for transformational change in critical sectors.

    An overwhelming majority of residents and businesses believe the city is moving in the right direction; housing values and school test scores are on the rise. The Brookings Institution recently named New Orleans as the #1 metro area for overall economic recovery. And businesses and philanthropies from around the country are investing new money in the city and its resilient people. The city serves as an epicenter for innovation and change in America, and will continue to serve as the model for wholesale urban renewal.

    Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana for six years, leading the effort to rebuild the tourism industry after Hurricane Katrina and the tens of thousands of jobs it creates. Landrieu also launched the Cultural Economy Initiative to quantify and grow jobs in Louisiana’s culture, music, food, film and art industries.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 9th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Can’t wait to hear Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors at the closing concert?  Then try on some “Good Light” from the band.

    Posted on Thursday, March 27th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    George Dewey20th Century Fox
After climbing the ladder at McCann to serve as its youngest Executive Creative Director, George Dewey took a leap into space – leading the communications and marketing efforts for SpaceX, a rocket company founded by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk. Today he serves as the Head of Digital Marketing for 20th Century Fox, leading digital strategy and creative across the entire slate of Fox films such as Life of Pi, The Heat, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Rio 2. His energy for difficult tasks, paired with enthusiasm for finding ideas that create competitive advantage, have allowed him to find success in multiple industries. His work has won Emmys and has been honored at Cannes.

George’s career is marked by big ideas, well-executed across all disciplines. He developed the highly successful “It’s the Network” campaign, as well as the “There’s a Map for That” campaign, for Verizon Wireless. He launched the “Army Strong” campaign for the U.S. Army and helped drive Weight Watchers stock to new heights with the highly successful “It’s a new day” campaign starring Jennifer Hudson. He built a large and loyal social community for SpaceX and helped create unexpected box office success for Life of Pi by fueling word of mouth. Most recently, he helped spawn the Devil Baby Attack for the horror movie Devil’s Due to the tune of almost 40 million YouTube views.

    George Dewey
    20th Century Fox

    After climbing the ladder at McCann to serve as its youngest Executive Creative Director, George Dewey took a leap into space – leading the communications and marketing efforts for SpaceX, a rocket company founded by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk. Today he serves as the Head of Digital Marketing for 20th Century Fox, leading digital strategy and creative across the entire slate of Fox films such as Life of Pi, The Heat, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Rio 2. His energy for difficult tasks, paired with enthusiasm for finding ideas that create competitive advantage, have allowed him to find success in multiple industries. His work has won Emmys and has been honored at Cannes.

    George’s career is marked by big ideas, well-executed across all disciplines. He developed the highly successful “It’s the Network” campaign, as well as the “There’s a Map for That” campaign, for Verizon Wireless. He launched the “Army Strong” campaign for the U.S. Army and helped drive Weight Watchers stock to new heights with the highly successful “It’s a new day” campaign starring Jennifer Hudson. He built a large and loyal social community for SpaceX and helped create unexpected box office success for Life of Pi by fueling word of mouth. Most recently, he helped spawn the Devil Baby Attack for the horror movie Devil’s Due to the tune of almost 40 million YouTube views.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 19th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Katrina CraigwellGeneral Electric
Katrina Craigwell is Head of Global Digital Programming at General Electric. She is responsible for digital content creation and distribution strategy for GE in the U.S., as well as partnering with GE’s digital teams globally. Craigwell has spent the last three years at GE sharing the company’s technology via visual content, including the launch of GE¹s Instagram feed, two Tumblrs, a refreshed YouTube channel and re-launching GE.com.
Prior to her role at GE, she was Associate Director at social media agency Attention, working with clients including CNN, HLN, WE tv, A&E, The Guardian, and Morgans Hotel Group. Craigwell began her career in public relations at the Independent Film Channel, working on some of the network’s first social media campaigns. She was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 in Marketing & Advertising for 2014, and AdAge's Creativity 50 in 2012.

    Katrina Craigwell
    General Electric

    Katrina Craigwell is Head of Global Digital Programming at General Electric. She is responsible for digital content creation and distribution strategy for GE in the U.S., as well as partnering with GE’s digital teams globally. Craigwell has spent the last three years at GE sharing the company’s technology via visual content, including the launch of GE¹s Instagram feed, two Tumblrs, a refreshed YouTube channel and re-launching GE.com.

    Prior to her role at GE, she was Associate Director at social media agency Attention, working with clients including CNN, HLN, WE tv, A&E, The Guardian, and Morgans Hotel Group. Craigwell began her career in public relations at the Independent Film Channel, working on some of the network’s first social media campaigns. She was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 in Marketing & Advertising for 2014, and AdAge's Creativity 50 in 2012.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 19th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Patrick McLean Capital One
Patrick McLean is Vice President, Digital Brand Strategy at Capital One Financial, responsible for bringing the brand to life through social, mobile and other digital channels. He joined Capital One from Verizon Communications where he led the interactive marketing organization for the consumer and small business segments. Patrick also spent 7 years with Sympatico, Canada’s largest internet service provider where he led their marketing organization. Early in his career, he was a pioneer in the digital media industry having launched and served in senior marketing roles for a number of startup/early stage technology and media companies.
Patrick currently serves on the Microsoft Advertising Customer Advisory Board, is a member of Forrester’s Interactive Marketing Council and is a mentor for the R/GA Accelerator. He was named to the 2012 iMedia 25 list of media innovators.

    Patrick McLean
    Capital One

    Patrick McLean is Vice President, Digital Brand Strategy at Capital One Financial, responsible for bringing the brand to life through social, mobile and other digital channels. He joined Capital One from Verizon Communications where he led the interactive marketing organization for the consumer and small business segments. Patrick also spent 7 years with Sympatico, Canada’s largest internet service provider where he led their marketing organization. Early in his career, he was a pioneer in the digital media industry having launched and served in senior marketing roles for a number of startup/early stage technology and media companies.

    Patrick currently serves on the Microsoft Advertising Customer Advisory Board, is a member of Forrester’s Interactive Marketing Council and is a mentor for the R/GA Accelerator. He was named to the 2012 iMedia 25 list of media innovators.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 19th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Jennifer SmithMichelin
A Change Management alumnae of Accenture in Northern California, Jennifer Smith worked with clients including Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, BASF, and Weyerhaeuser on large-scale change projects and ERP implementations. After several years at Accenture, Jennifer served as Director of People Development for Silicon Valley-based technology consulting firm Netigy, and worked in Corporate Development for Vision Service Plan in Rancho Cordova, California.
Since joining Michelin North America in 2007, Jennifer has been responsible for marketing communications, advertising and the digital ecosystem for the automotive replacement tire division. As the Director, Image and Brands, she now has responsibility for everything people see, hear and feel about Michelin’s brands in North America.

    Jennifer Smith
    Michelin

    A Change Management alumnae of Accenture in Northern California, Jennifer Smith worked with clients including Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, BASF, and Weyerhaeuser on large-scale change projects and ERP implementations. After several years at Accenture, Jennifer served as Director of People Development for Silicon Valley-based technology consulting firm Netigy, and worked in Corporate Development for Vision Service Plan in Rancho Cordova, California.

    Since joining Michelin North America in 2007, Jennifer has been responsible for marketing communications, advertising and the digital ecosystem for the automotive replacement tire division. As the Director, Image and Brands, she now has responsibility for everything people see, hear and feel about Michelin’s brands in North America.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 19th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Ashley CallahanCoca-Cola
Ashley Callahan is manager of digital and social media communications at The Coca-Cola Company, where she leads the global content team responsible for rethinking the company’s corporate website and transforming it into the consumer-facing, responsive, digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey. In addition to brand publishing, Callahan launched and executed Coke’s global social media program for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Prior to joining Coke, Callahan was the spokesperson and strategic communications manager at a major metro-Atlanta health system. Callahan is an award-winning journalist who reported and anchored at top-rated television stations across the country, including WSB-TV in Atlanta.

    Ashley Callahan
    Coca-Cola

    Ashley Callahan is manager of digital and social media communications at The Coca-Cola Company, where she leads the global content team responsible for rethinking the company’s corporate website and transforming it into the consumer-facing, responsive, digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey. In addition to brand publishing, Callahan launched and executed Coke’s global social media program for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    Prior to joining Coke, Callahan was the spokesperson and strategic communications manager at a major metro-Atlanta health system. Callahan is an award-winning journalist who reported and anchored at top-rated television stations across the country, including WSB-TV in Atlanta.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 19th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Joe Erwin is currently the President of Erwin Penland, one of the largest full service advertising agencies, as well as the founder of Food for Thought, an unconventional annual creativity and inspiration conference that uses food and atmosphere to spark the creativity of attendees. The Makegood recently spoke to Erwin about the conference, and what he expects for this year.
See more at: http://www.the-makegood.com/2014/02/26/food-for-thought-inspiring-leaders-creativity/#sthash.6AzbRhFn.dpuf

    Joe Erwin is currently the President of Erwin Penland, one of the largest full service advertising agencies, as well as the founder of Food for Thought, an unconventional annual creativity and inspiration conference that uses food and atmosphere to spark the creativity of attendees. The Makegood recently spoke to Erwin about the conference, and what he expects for this year.

    See more at: http://www.the-makegood.com/2014/02/26/food-for-thought-inspiring-leaders-creativity/#sthash.6AzbRhFn.dpuf

    Posted on Tuesday, March 11th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Scott MacEachernFormer Founder / General Manager of Nike Livestrong
After graduating from Michigan State University, Scott MacEachern migrated west to ski and run rivers, eventually landing in Oregon working for the world’s largest sports and fitness company. Early in his Nike career, there were two personal experiences that shaped the course of his life and that of the global cancer community – the death of his mother and the diagnosis of one of the first athletes he signed to an endorsement deal.
At Nike for 17 years, Scott is recognized as the one who signed and stuck by Lance Armstrong when others fled upon hearing of his cancer diagnosis in 1996. Eight years later, his work led to the creation of the iconic yellow wristbands and the now defunct Nike LiveStrong product collection, that resulted in catapulting both Nike and the LiveStrong Foundation into philanthropic history.
Scott currently lives in Portland Oregon with his three teenage sons and works at Nemo Design. From time to time, he reflects on the now controversial Armstrong legacy and whether his previous work was all worth it.
CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta called Scott’s experience “a great untold American story.”

    Scott MacEachern
    Former Founder / General Manager of Nike Livestrong

    After graduating from Michigan State University, Scott MacEachern migrated west to ski and run rivers, eventually landing in Oregon working for the world’s largest sports and fitness company. Early in his Nike career, there were two personal experiences that shaped the course of his life and that of the global cancer community – the death of his mother and the diagnosis of one of the first athletes he signed to an endorsement deal.

    At Nike for 17 years, Scott is recognized as the one who signed and stuck by Lance Armstrong when others fled upon hearing of his cancer diagnosis in 1996. Eight years later, his work led to the creation of the iconic yellow wristbands and the now defunct Nike LiveStrong product collection, that resulted in catapulting both Nike and the LiveStrong Foundation into philanthropic history.

    Scott currently lives in Portland Oregon with his three teenage sons and works at Nemo Design. From time to time, he reflects on the now controversial Armstrong legacy and whether his previous work was all worth it.

    CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta called Scott’s experience “a great untold American story.”

    Posted on Wednesday, February 19th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Rachael ChongFounder and CEOCatchafire 
As the leader of the world’s leading skills-based volunteer platform, Rachael has been named one of Fast Company’s Most 100 Creative People in Business, received the NYC Venture Fellowship, the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award and has presented at two TEDx events. Catchafire has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Mashable, NPR, FOX Business, CNN Money, Forbes, Fast Company, TechCrunch, and facilitated two series in partnership with Fast Company on The Future of Service in America and The Most Generous People in Business.

Prior to Catchafire, Rachael helped to start up BRAC USA, the US affiliate of the BRAC, a poverty alleviation organization and the largest nonprofit in the world. To build her business chops, Rachael worked at UBS Investment Bank after graduating from Barnard College at Columbia University. She also has a Masters of Public Policy from Duke University.

    Rachael Chong
    Founder and CEO
    Catchafire 

    As the leader of the world’s leading skills-based volunteer platform, Rachael has been named one of Fast Company’s Most 100 Creative People in Business, received the NYC Venture Fellowship, the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award and has presented at two TEDx events. Catchafire has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Mashable, NPR, FOX Business, CNN Money, Forbes, Fast Company, TechCrunch, and facilitated two series in partnership with Fast Company on The Future of Service in America and The Most Generous People in Business.

    Prior to Catchafire, Rachael helped to start up BRAC USA, the US affiliate of the BRAC, a poverty alleviation organization and the largest nonprofit in the world. To build her business chops, Rachael worked at UBS Investment Bank after graduating from Barnard College at Columbia University. She also has a Masters of Public Policy from Duke University.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    The seventh annual Food For Thought conference will be held in Greenville, South Carolina from April 29 to May 1, 2014. This conference is limited in size, and puts attendees in a much more personal and up-close context with some of the world’s most innovative and unusual thinkers. Food For Thought is for creative thinkers and leaders looking to be inspired by some of the most accomplished trail blazers of our time. Indeed, the 2014 conference promises to be even more stimulating, exciting and informative than the hugely successful events of the previous six years.
Unlike many conferences, the cost for this event is all inclusive. Your registration fee includes:
A three-night stay at the historic Westin Poinsett Hotel
Three days of exquisite meals 
Attendance at all special events, including transportation to/from these events
And much, much more…
Most importantly, you will be one of a relatively small group of creative entrepreneurial thinkers from across the country that will have the opportunity to engage and inspire, as well as be inspired by, our exceptional speakers and fellow attendees. 
Conference Registration: $1,375 before February 21, 2014$1,575 after February 22, 2014

    The seventh annual Food For Thought conference will be held in Greenville, South Carolina from April 29 to May 1, 2014. This conference is limited in size, and puts attendees in a much more personal and up-close context with some of the world’s most innovative and unusual thinkers. Food For Thought is for creative thinkers and leaders looking to be inspired by some of the most accomplished trail blazers of our time. Indeed, the 2014 conference promises to be even more stimulating, exciting and informative than the hugely successful events of the previous six years.

    Unlike many conferences, the cost for this event is all inclusive. Your registration fee includes:

    • A three-night stay at the historic Westin Poinsett Hotel
    • Three days of exquisite meals 
    • Attendance at all special events, including transportation to/from these events
    • And much, much more…

    Most importantly, you will be one of a relatively small group of creative entrepreneurial thinkers from across the country that will have the opportunity to engage and inspire, as well as be inspired by, our exceptional speakers and fellow attendees. 

    Conference Registration: 
    $1,375 before February 21, 2014
    $1,575 after February 22, 2014

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    Posted on Friday, January 10th 2014, by Erwin Penland

    Paula DisbroweEditor-In-ChiefTRIBEZA
Writer and cookbook author Paula Disbrowe is the editor-in-chief of TRIBEZA, Austin’s premiere arts and culture publication, and a contributing editor at Southern Living. Most of her career has been devoted to writing about food and travel. Her stories have taken her to vanilla plantations in French Polynesia, single malt distilleries in Scotland, olive groves in Spain, and salmon boats in Alaska. Her work has appeared in The New York Times (Dining Section and Sunday Magazine), Food & Wine, Health, Delta Sky, and Cooking Light, among other major publications, and she previously served as the food editor of Restaurant Business magazine.
Disbrowe has written five cookbooks. Her first book, “Cowgirl Cuisine,” chronicles the adventure of leaving New York City to cook on a ranch in The Texas Hill Country. She has co-written three other cookbooks, “Crescent City Cooking” with Susan Spicer, the chef at Bayona restaurant in New Orleans; The New York Times bestseller “Down Home with the Neelys” with Food Network stars Pat and Gina Neely; and “Real Cajun” with Donald Link, the acclaimed chef of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, which won the prestigious 2010 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. Her latest collaboration with Donald Link, “Down South,” was released in February.
She also served as the General Manager of Feather Down Farm Days, and launched the Europe-based farm stay concept to the U.S. market, and worked at Cowgirl Chef at Hart & Hind Fitness Ranch. She lives in Austin, Texas.

    Paula Disbrowe
    Editor-In-Chief
    TRIBEZA

    Writer and cookbook author Paula Disbrowe is the editor-in-chief of TRIBEZA, Austin’s premiere arts and culture publication, and a contributing editor at Southern Living. Most of her career has been devoted to writing about food and travel. Her stories have taken her to vanilla plantations in French Polynesia, single malt distilleries in Scotland, olive groves in Spain, and salmon boats in Alaska. Her work has appeared in The New York Times (Dining Section and Sunday Magazine), Food & Wine, Health, Delta Sky, and Cooking Light, among other major publications, and she previously served as the food editor of Restaurant Business magazine.

    Disbrowe has written five cookbooks. Her first book, “Cowgirl Cuisine,” chronicles the adventure of leaving New York City to cook on a ranch in The Texas Hill Country. She has co-written three other cookbooks, “Crescent City Cooking” with Susan Spicer, the chef at Bayona restaurant in New Orleans; The New York Times bestseller “Down Home with the Neelys” with Food Network stars Pat and Gina Neely; and “Real Cajun” with Donald Link, the acclaimed chef of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans, which won the prestigious 2010 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. Her latest collaboration with Donald Link, “Down South,” was released in February.

    She also served as the General Manager of Feather Down Farm Days, and launched the Europe-based farm stay concept to the U.S. market, and worked at Cowgirl Chef at Hart & Hind Fitness Ranch. She lives in Austin, Texas.

    Posted on Thursday, January 9th 2014, by Erwin Penland