2018 Summit Sessions

At PHA, we’re making it part of our mission to drive and showcase innovation with the intent to accelerate change. See below for 2018 Summit plenary and breakout session information. Please be sure to check back for new speaker and session announcements during the last week of March.

View pricing for the 2018 Summit, or register for the event by clicking the button below.

2018 Plenary Sessions

Beyond the Brand

Ido Leffler, Co-Founder, Brandless

"Better stuff, fewer dollars" is a phrase Brandless lives by. Ido Leffler, Co-Founder and Chairman, will speak at Partnership for a Healthier America's 2018 Innovating a Healthier Future Summit, May 2-4 in Washington, DC.


What’s in a brand? According to Brandless co-founder Ido Leffler, a sneaky “brand tax” – the extra money you pay for a product’s slick advertising and marketing.

From olive oil to kitchen essentials, Brandless made news headlines by charging $3 for all its products, offering a new twist in online retailing and private labeling.

Hailed as the “Procter & Gamble of Millennials,” hear from Leffler on how Brandless is making waves in the consumer packaged goods industry, how the company is addressing food access and his predictions for the future of retail and food.

The Future is Fresh

David McInerney, Co-Founder and Chief Food Adventurer at FreshDirect

Headshot for David McInerney, Co-Founder and Chief Food Adventurer at FreshDirect, and a speaker at Partnership for a Healthier America's 2018 Innovating a Healthier Future Summit.

To say David McInerney is obsessed with food is an understatement. For 15 years, David worked as a chef alongside top restaurateurs, including the late Bernard Loiseau in Burgundy, and David Bouley in New York.

Today, as co-founder and “Chief Food Adventurer” for FreshDirect, David and his team spend more than half the year travelling around the globe to learn, investigate and explore, as part of a mission to find the very best food. In David’s view, understanding what we’re eating and who’s growing it are the most important—yet often forgotten—details when it comes to what we feed our families.

Hear from McInerney on why he believes that kids will eat better if their food tastes amazing and how being educated on where our food comes from can change how we all eat.

The Future of Food

Mike Lee, Founder, The Future Market

This session provides an overview of some of the innovations and trends disrupting our food system today, with insights on how we can shape the food system for a better, healthier population and planet.

Mike Lee, founder of the Future Market and Alpha Food Labs, will share his thoughts and observations on the state of the industry and how we might need work to build a better food future.

Image from The Future Market.

The Future Market

Fit for Business

Sponsored physical activity break at the 2016 Building a Healthier Future Summit.


Surveys find that 75% of consumers want employers to offer incentives to support and improve their health. Why aren’t companies seeing results? It’s time to start thinking differently about employee wellness. From employee satisfaction to job functions, what contributes to effective employee wellness initiatives and most importantly, what’s missing? Learn from leading companies as they share their individualized approach to encouraging employees to take charge of their personal health, as well as inspiring stories of impact.

Big Food’s Big Bets

From plant-forward products and artisanal, small-batch snacks to purpose-driven start-ups, a wave of niche brands have entered the marketplace, and established brands are investing, incubating and accelerating these new players. Can the two co-exist? From ROI to sustainability, learn how and why organizations are investing and building the better-for-you brands of tomorrow, embracing entrepreneurship and adapting for future growth.

Food is Medicine

The old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” may be more prescriptive than we think. Research shows positive social and economic impacts of healthy food systems, including lower healthcare costs, greater sustainability, reduced disparities, and improved economic competitiveness. Hear from leading experts in research, policy, and practice as they explain how this bipartisan, cross-cutting issue is currently being addressed and the critical priorities to move legislation and policies forward. 

Braeden Mannering of 3B.

Braeden Mannering of 3B: Brae’s Brown Bags

Kids’ Secrets on Impacting Kids

When it comes to health, happiness and the latest YouTube sensation, no one has more impact on kids’ opinions and actions than… kids. This session uncovers how and why kids listen and are inspired by other kids and creative ways to communicate and motivate them.

We’ll gather influential kid leaders in non-profit and health to get their advice on how industry professionals can best help kids encourage their generation to be their healthiest, best selves.


Thursday, May 3, 10:45 a.m–11:45 a.m.

Community Spotlight: Hagerstown, MD

Logo for One for Good Initiative.

Consumer Goods Forum

There’s a clear opportunity for local businesses to create a culture of health in their city or town. In Hagerstown, Maryland four leading retailers and nine manufacturers partnered to work collaboratively with public health authorities to educate and inspire residents to adopt a healthier lifestyle by eating better and moving more. Leaders of the One for Good initiative will share how it was developed, its goals, successes and promising practices.

Innovative Partnerships Shifting Cultural Norms

Mercedes-Benz USA and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation youth program in New Orleans.

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation/Mercedes-Benz USA

Using sport as an intentional tool to address critical challenges facing children and youth from historically marginalized communities is game changing, but it requires multi-faceted, sustainable, and innovative partnerships. This session will highlight Laureus USA’s collective impact model, which identifies key partnership areas required to drive community-led, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable change.

Image of the Fresh EBT app, produced by Propel.

Propel/Fresh EBT

Make Vegetables Great Again

The CDC reports that only one in 10 Americans eats the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. And, yet, consumers know they should be eating more. Can cultural barriers be getting in the way? And, if so, how can we turn this around?

Learn from the latest research on consumer attitudes toward fruit and vegetable consumption, and hear from the marketing experts about how to make fruits and vegetables a first choice for consumers.

Thursday, May 3, 2:15 p.m–3:15 p.m.

Image of three children playing a Blue Goji virtual reality game.

Blue Goji

The Future of Technology for Better Health

Technology is often perceived as contributing to an increase in obesity rates for both children and adults. Video games and screen time often get a bad rap. But, what if they are the secret weapons to motivate movement in Americans to create long-term behavior changes? Hear from PHA partners and innovators who are using technology to create better health for American families.

  • Coleman Fung, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Goji
  • Andrea Muscadin, Senior Director, Partnership for a Healthier America (Moderator)
  • Kapil Parakh, Senior Program Manager, GoogleFit
  • Rick Stollmeyer, Chief Executive Officer, MINDBODY

Keep it Local: Innovations in Food Retail Growth and Distribution

A shift in consumer behaviors towards healthier choices has led to an explosion of growth in the food retail market, with produce leading the charge. Increased interests in local, sustainable options are driving innovations in growth and distribution.  From shortening the supply chain to expanding access to affordable, locally grown fruits and vegetables, these organizations are giving greater insight into how food is grown and delivered to consumers.

This Just In: The Evolution of Journalism and Technology in Civic Health

Technology continues to shape the way we work, live and play, but also how we stay informed about current events, policies and health news. In the U.S. 9 in 10 adults get their news online. The gap between online news sources and television is narrowing, legacy news organizations are reshaping their strategies, and social media sites are adapting to their newfound responsibilities as a news source.   This panel will dive into the power of technology in journalism and civic health, how professionals can cut through the noise to influence behavior change, and why there’s still a place for traditional media.

Who Runs the World? Girls!

Image from Girls on the Run International.

Girls on the Run International

Studies show that girls’ confidence and physical activity levels sharply decline beginning at nine years old. But, not all girls have equal access to after school programming and the demand in communities of concentrated poverty is much higher than the national average. In this session, representatives from Target Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and Girls on the Run, an evidence-based after school program, will discuss how they are using their unique assets to comprehensively address access for girls through marketing campaigns, human capital, philanthropic funding, life-changing programming and more.

Friday, May 4, 9 a.m.–10 a.m.

Child’s Play: The Building Blocks of Physical Literacy

We’ve all heard of physical activity, but what do you know about physical literacy?  In this session, PHA partners uncover how to foster physical literacy throughout a child’s life - from their earliest days in child care to their newfound independence on a college campus.  Speakers will also tackle compounding challenges of access, financial investments and self-confidence.

Now Trending: Happy, Healthy Eating

Studies show Americans by and large know what they should eat. Yet, obesity rates continue to rise. What’s the disconnect between knowledge and action? This insightful discussion focuses on how nutrition education often backfires and why a habits-approach is a better model for producing happy, healthy eaters with tangible examples and proven practices from the Delicious Nutritious Adventures program and Everytable.

Photo of Binghamton University students holding pamphlets at a campus health fair. The school is a PHA partner participating in the Healthier Campus Initiative.

Binghamton University

Partners Ending Commitments – Reflecting Back & Lessons Learned

Over the past eight years, PHA partners have made bold commitments to improve the food supply, foster physical activity and create healthier environments. These commitments are not easy, to say the least, and while they have led to many successes, PHA and our partners have also learned many lessons along the way. Hear from various PHA partners as they share first-hand experiences, challenges and key learnings in completing their commitments.

What’s Next In CPG?

Representing some of the largest corporations in the world, consumer packaged goods executives will discuss their company’s efforts to address consumer demand for healthier products and their respective changes to marketing practices toward children and low-income families. Topics will also include reformulation strategies, new product category creation and portion control initiatives. Panelists will also touch on opportunities for their company to enhance its efforts and future plans related to nutrition, health and wellness.

View pricing for the 2018 PHA Summit, or register for the event by clicking the button below.