Keynote Speakers

Opening General Session

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Michel Nischan
Keynote Presentation: Changing the World Through Food

Michel Nischan has advocated for over 30 years for a more healthful, sustainable food system. He is Founder and CEO of Wholesome Wave, Co-Founder of the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant.

Nischan, whose parents were farmers, began his career at 19, cooking breakfast at a truck stop. He quickly realized that the ingredients coming in the back door fell far short of the farm-fresh harvests he’d grown up on, and began a life-long career championing the farm-to-table concept, decades before it had a name.

Nischan was instrumental in securing $100M for Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grants in the current Federal Farm Bill, expanding affordable access to locally grown fruits and vegetables. He’s also the author of three cookbooks on sustainable food systems and social equity through food.

A lifetime Ashoka fellow, he serves as a director on the board of the Jacques Pepin Foundation and on the advisory boards of Chef’s Collaborative, Modern Farmer, TerraVia, Good Food Media Network, and The National Young Farmers Coalition. The James Beard Foundation honored Nischan as 2015 Humanitarian of The Year.



Morning General Session

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Laura Schroff
Keynote Presentation: Adding More Meaningful Purpose to our Communities Through Sharing Acts of Kindness

Laura Schroff is a former media executive and International and #1 bestselling author.

As a keynote speaker at over 200+ events, Laura encourages her audience to look for their own invisible thread connections.  She highlights the importance of opening up our eyes and hearts to the opportunities where we can all make a difference in the lives of others and in our own communities. Laura brings to life how each of us can all live happier, more purposeful lives through sharing acts of kindness.

What Laura has discovered throughout her own journey is that when we share kindness we are often throwing lifelines that have a ripple effect throughout one’s community.

Laura is a passionate and compelling voice on the power of small acts of kindness and mentorship and she has fully committed herself to advocating and inspiring others through her books: An Invisible Thread, An Invisible Thread Christmas Story (targeting children aged 4-8 years) and Angels on Earth.



Luncheon Keynote Presentation

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Bryan Mills

Bryan Mills was appointed president and chief executive officer of Community Health Network on May 1, 2009. He had served as CEO of Visionary Enterprises Inc. (VEI), a for-profit affiliate within Community, from 1992 to 2009. Mills began his career with Community Health Network in 1985 as controller for Community Hospital North.

Besides his role with Community Health Network, Mills is very active in the local community. He serves on the boards of directors of United Way of Central Indiana, Indiana Hospital Association, Suburban Health Organization, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and serves as Chairman of the Board for the Indiana Health Information Exchange, and Primaria Health.

Mills is passionate about improving the health of Hoosiers. He has convened a cross-sector of state leaders representing healthcare organizations, providers, the insurance industry, public health and the business community to address Indiana’s low health rankings, and is known as the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana.

Mills is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Noblesville, where he is a Sunday school teacher. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Noblesville. He holds a bachelor of science in accounting from Ball State University. Bryan and his wife, Cathie (Hahn) Mills, have four sons and three grandsons.