2013 Speaker Profiles

Lynn Bliven | Cornell Cooperative Extension

Lynn Bliven is the Agriculture & Natural Resource Team Coordinator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Allegany/Cattaraugus Counties. She began her career in 4-H and currently works in Agricultural Economic Development specializing in beginning farmer outreach, local food systems and livestock production. Lynn and husband Shawn operate a 52-acre farm in Rushford, NY raising grass-fed beef and lamb. Their grassbased farming system allows them to provide quality breeding stock and humanely raised 
food products that they marketed direct to consumer.

Session Title: 'Poverty and Hunger in Our Community'
[Thursday, September 27 --- 12:00 PM ] 

Eugene Cho | One Day’s Wages & Quest Church 

Eugene ChoEugene Cho is the co-founder and visionary, together with his wife, of One Day's Wages (ODW), "a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty."   The vision of ODW is to create a collaborative movement by integrating human relationships, social media/technology, and the power of story. ODW promotes awareness, invites simple giving (one day's wages) and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions. Since its launch in October 2009, ODW has raised over $1.3 million dollars for projects to empower those living in extreme poverty. ODW has been featured in the New York Times (twice), The Seattle TimesNPR and numerous other media outlets. For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Cho was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes. Cho is also the founder and Lead Pastor of Quest Church,  an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington, as well as founder and Executive Director of the Q Café, an innovative non-profit community café and music venue. Cho and his wife, Minhee, have been married for over 16 years, have three children and live in Seattle, Washington. More of Cho's story can be found on his blog, and he is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional Resources:

Chapel: 'Global Poverty and Hunger: A Call to Action'
[Friday, September 27 - 11:30 AM]

Calenthia Dowdy | Ph.D, Eastern University

Calenthia Dowdy, Ph.D.Calenthia S. Dowdy, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology & Youth Ministry at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania.   She describes herself as “an anthropologist by training and a youth minister at heart.”  In addition to her research on the lives of global urban youth, mainly in Brazil and the U.S., Calenthia co-facilitates workshops in dismantling systemic oppressions with the Damascus Road and Roots of Justice analysis teams.   She has had a broad range of work and ministry experience including being a pastor with the Salvation Army Church.  Calenthia was born and raised in Philadelphia and completed degrees at Temple University, Westminster Seminary, the University of Pennsylvania, and American University.  She serves on the Board of Directors for Goshen College, IN.

Chapel: "The Theological Basis for Addressing Poverty and Hunger'
[Wednesday, September 25 - 11:30 AM]

Larry Hollar | Bread for the World

Larry HollarLarry Hollar is a Senior Regional Organizer with Bread for the World, working in Dayton, Ohio. Hollar provides support and resources on domestic and global hunger to enable Bread members, churches and campuses in the Northeastern U.S. (especially in PA, NY, NJ, and DE) to speak out faithfully and effectively to our nation’s leaders on key federal hunger legislation.  Hollar was educated in modern languages, law, and theological and Biblical studies, and has worked as staff counsel for a congressional committee, as attorney in a Cabinet-level federal government department, as a Washington-based government relations staff member for Bread for the World, and for the last nineteen years as a Bread grassroots organizer.

Seminar: 'Hunger 101 - Exploring the Basics, Finding our Roots, Acting in Faith'
[Friday, September 27 --- 8:30 - 11:00 AM]

Belinda Knight

Belinda Knight has worked in family-serving programs at ACCORD Corporation for over 17 years.  After 13 years in Head Start, Belinda transitioned to the agency’s Community Operations Division, where her current role involves supervising ACCORD’s Homelessness Prevention Programs, Domestic Violence Program and the ACCESS Centers, the agency’s one-stop model of supportive services and food pantry programs.

Belinda will share some highlights of the services offered through ACCORD’s ACCESS Center Food Pantries, highlighting the family support services that accompany customer visits.  Families share much information during their visits, reasons behind the rise in food pantry services throughout the last few years.  Food pantry services throughout Allegany County are helping families stretch their food dollars even further, so continued support from the community, and by volunteers, is essential.

Session Title: 'Poverty and Hunger in Our Community'
[Thursday, September 27 --- 12:00 PM ] 

Gonzalo Martinez de Vedia | Worker Justice Center

Gonzalo Martínez de Vedia is the Human Trafficking Project Specialist at the Worker Justice Center, a state-wide program based in Rochester, New York.  The Human Trafficking Project facilitates investigations into both labor and sex trafficking, focusing primarily on the restaurant, hotel, and agricultural industries.  As a member organization of the Freedom Network, the Human Trafficking Project is expanding its influence by coordinating the new North Country Human Trafficking Taskforce and through lobbying for the TVPJA (Albany), the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act (Albany) and the CIR at the federal level.   Previously Martinez  worked with Just Harvest USA, one of the ally groups of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) based in Florida.  While there, Martinez coordinated a 15-day march for Rights, Respect and Fair Food (March 2013.)  Mr. Martinez is a Political Science graduate from Cornell University, where he was the founding President of the student outreach group Immigrant Farmworker Initiative.

Workshop: 'Immigration Reform and the Rural "Poor"'
[Friday, September 27 --- 1:45 and 3:00 PM]

Captains David & Kristen Means | Salvation Army

Captains David & Kristen Means have been Salvation Army Officers for 7 years. Both grew up in TheSalvation Army as their Church, and as young adults were inspired by the ministry and work of The Salvation Army. Feeling called by God to enter into full time ministry, both became ordained Pastors within the organization. The Means have been Pastors for The Salvation Army in three different communities since their ordination and are currently stationed in Wellsville, NY.

Captains David & Kristen will talk about how the ministry of The Salvation Army carried out in Wellsville and around the world is a holistic ministry. Its mission is not only to meet the physical needs of hungry, but the emotional and spiritual needs of those who come for help as well. The Salvation Army in Wellsville is meeting the day to day needs of the marginalized. One aspect of The Salvation Army’s ministry is to operate one of the local food pantries where many who are in need visit to receive emergency food provisions. The Means will discuss their experience with those in need locally and how The Salvation Army is working to meet those needs.


Session Title: 'Poverty and Hunger in Our Community'
[Thursday, September 27 --- 12:00 PM ]

Jackie Ogega | Catholic Relief Services

Jackie OgegaJackie Ogega is a peace building and development professional with over a decade’s experience in program design and management, strategic planning, partnership and network development, women’s empowerment, and child protection.   She has helped coordinate national and international development and peace building programs, working in over 20 countries in Africa, South-East Asia, Europe and North America. Ogega is currently serving at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) headquarters in Baltimore City as the Program Officer for Child Protection. She is also the Co-founder and Director of Mpanzi, a rural nonprofit dedicated to advancing peace and development in remote villages in Africa. Ogega has worked with various agencies, most recently with Religions for Peace Headquarters in New York, where she led numerous development programs.  She established and managed the African Women of Faith Network, a groundbreaking network of women in 30 African countries which aims to promote social action through multi-religious cooperation.  Ogega serves as a trustee of the World Faiths Development Dialogue, an organization affiliated with Georgetown University and the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

Workshop: 'Rural Community-Based Livelihoods: Lessons from Remote Villages in Kisii, Kenya'
[Friday, September 27 --- 1:45 and 3:00 PM]

Kate O'Stricker | Cornell Cooperative Extension

 Kate O’Stricker is the Family Health and Well Being Issue Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension - Allegany & Cattaraugus County. Kate has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Canisius College and a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from Buffalo State College.  She has worked in this capacity for 16 years and has overseen several Chronic Disease Prevention Grant Programs in Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties, which include Heart Disease Prevention, Worksite Wellness, Tri-County Tobacco Free Program, Eat Smart NY, and Healthy Eating Active Living By Design. 

Kate will discuss the Eat Smart New Yorks (ESNY) promotes health by helping lowincome individuals establish healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle.  Poverty is a risk factor for numerous health problems including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, poor pregnancy outcomes, and obesity.  Positive changes in nutrition and physical activity are needed to avoid negative consequences of these health conditions.  Participants learn through a series of nutrition lessons how to better feed their families with less money. ESNY graduates improve their skills and knowledge about healthy eating by: Increasing vegetable and fruit consumptions, eating smaller portions, decreasing salts and fats and increasing level of physical activity.

Session Title: 'Poverty and Hunger in Our Community'
[Thursday, September 27 --- 12:00 PM ] 

Todd Post | Bread for the World

Todd PostTodd Post is a senior editor with Bread for the World Institute.  Post writes about hunger and poverty in the developing world and United States and travels widely.  He has edited the Institute’s annual Hunger Report continuously since the 2005 edition. The 2013 edition of the report, Within Reach—Global Development Goals, reviews progress on the Millennium Development Goals and argues that the U.S. government should support development of a post-MDG framework with new goals. For his research on the Hunger Report he interviewed dozens of smallholder farmers in numerous developing countries. Post is also a regular contributor to Institute Notes, Bread for the World Institute blog, commenting on domestic and international hunger.

Seminar: 'Hunger 101 - Exploring the Basics, Finding our Roots, Acting in Faith'
[Friday, September 27 --- 8:30 - 11:00 AM]

Workshop: 'Telling the Story --Effective Communication for Policy Change'
[Friday, September 27 --- 1:45 and 3:00 PM]

Jaime Sarvis | Allegany County Department of Health WIC Program

Jaime Sarvis is currently employed as a Nutritionist for Allegany County Department of Health WIC Program.  Jaime holds a Bachelors Degree in Human Services Management with a concentration in Childhood Development.  She is a proud mother of a 15-year-old daughter, Sydney.  In her “free” time Jaime coaches softball for Arkport Central School.

Jaime will discuss the ways in which Allegany County’s high poverty rate contributes toward a large drug problem that further leads to childhood malnourishment (especially among babies).  More than just malnourishment, many toddlers and school-aged children are obese and unfit due to a lack of proper nutrition, which leads to numerous health issues later on in life.  Allegany County’s WIC program seeks to stop this cycle in order to create positive change.

Session Title: 'Poverty and Hunger in Our Community
'[Thursday, September 27 --- 12:00 PM ] 

Chiho Suzuki | UNICEF

Chiho Suzuki

Chiho Suzuki is an international development professional, with over 15 years of health and social sector development program and research experiences in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.  She has worked with multilateral and bilateral aid agencies as well as non-profit organizations, with in-country public health experiences in Pakistan, Honduras, and Nigeria.  In her current position at UNICEF, she serves as the Statistics and Monitoring Specialist, providing technical leadership in collaboration with key units in UNICEF HQ’s Program Division, Regional Offices and partners from the UN system, multilateral and bilateral agencies, as well as research community in the following areas of work: (1) technical inputs and support to national M&E system strengthening; (2) improvement in measurements and estimates; and (3) analysis and use of data related to HIV/AIDS programs and associated program areas including child protection and social protection.

Suzuki holds PhD in International Health and Development from Tulane University (US), MPH with concentration in international health from Tulane University (US), MPS in Communication from Cornell University (US), and BA in Law from Waseda University (Japan).

 Suzuki has keen interest and passion in arts and textiles across time and space.

Workshop: 'A Circle of Protection Around the Most Vulnerable -- Children'
[Friday, September 27 --- 1:45 and 3:00 PM]

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy | Bread for the World 

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy leads Bread for the World’s national level engagement with evangelical churches and institutions.  Her work led Bread for the World to co-host an historic consultation at Wheaton College in 2010 entitled Government, Foreign Assistance, and God’s Mission in the World.  Her collaboration with well-known theologians and biblical scholars guided the development of a theological framework for advocacy and the website: evangelicaladvocacy.org that is used in Christian ethics, intercultural and missiology courses today. Currently, Murphy chairs the Advisory Council for Micah Challenge USA, a global Christian campaign to end extreme poverty.  She is also adjunct teaching faculty at the Campolo College for Graduate and Professional Studies at Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania.

Seminar: 'Hunger 101 - Exploring the Basics, Finding our Roots, Acting in Faith'
[Friday, September 27 --- 8:30 - 11:00 AM]

Norbert Wilson | PhD., Auburn University

Norbert WilsonDr. Norbert Wilson is an associate professor of agricultural economics at Auburn University, where he has been on faculty since 1999.  While at Auburn University, Wilson has worked at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France.  While at OECD, he analyzed international trade and food safety and structural adjustment.  As a faculty member at Auburn, Wilson teaches courses in international trade, price analysis and sustainability.  For three years he has taught a course in Ecuador, alongside Dr. Ndunge Kiiti of Houghton College, on food security. 

Wilson’s research portfolio includes agricultural trade and hunger domestically and aboard. He received a bachelor of science in agriculture in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia, a masters of science in agricultural economics from the University of London, Wye College, and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis.  Additionally, Wilson is an ordained clergy in the Episcopal Church and serves as deacon at St. Dunstan’s the Episcopal Student Center at Auburn University.

Workshop: 'GMOs and Food Aid--Effective Solutions to Food Insecurity?'
[Friday, September 27 --- 1:45 and 3:00 PM]

Tracy Howe Wispelwey | Restoration Village Arts 

Tracy Howe Wispelwey

Tracy Howe Wispelwey is a songwriter and composer with a heart for connecting and peacemaking.  Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, she leads Restoration Village Arts (RVA) by building a foundation of community and partnership and curating the work and international collaboration. She has also been contracted to serve as the director of art and liturgy for several global ecumenical events through the Boston Theological Institute, the Latin American Theological Fellowship and the Micah Network, among others.  She has produced many albums, including “Hold On To Love”, a world fusion project that has been used by Sojourners, Occupy Boston, the Latin American Theological Fellowship, Micah Network, and Christian Peacemaker Teams.  Wispelwey was artist-in-residence for New York Faith and Justice and has played concerts on over 100 university campuses and in prisons, churches, and living rooms throughout North, Central and South America. Wispelwey studied religion and music composition at The Colorado College and has a Masters of Divinity from Harvard.

Coffee House: 'Engaging The Arts'
[Thursday, September 26 --- 7 - 9:00 PM]

Workshop: 'Art and Advocacy'
[Friday, September 27 --- 1:45 and 3:00 PM]

Derek Schwabe | Bread for the World

Derek Schwabe is the Hunger Report Fellow at Bread for the World Institute. He is a recent graduate of Houghton College where he studied political science/international relations and Spanish. During his time at Houghton, he was part of a supply chains research team led by Dr. Ron Oakerson for World Hope International’s Mango Outgrowers Project. Prior to Bread for the World Institute, Derek worked at USAID and the Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission where he focused on issues of climate change and the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa. At Bread, he assists the editor with the production process for the Hunger Report print and web editions, writes regularly on Hunger Report issues, and coordinates readership outreach through events and social media. 

Seminar: 'Hunger 101 - Exploring the Basics, Finding our Roots, Acting in Faith'
[Friday, September 27 --- 8:30 - 11:00 AM]