Stamford – Presenters


The Stamford show will have several presenters, including food writers, authors, and Gluten Free & More editors and contributors. Meet some of our presenters below. The full lecture and demo schedule is available here.



Beth Hillson

PresentersBethHillsonGluten Free & More‘s food editor Beth Hillson is a chef and cooking instructor. She is founder of Gluten-Free Pantry, one of the first gluten-free companies in the United States, and author of Gluten-Free Makeovers( and A Complete Guide to Living Well Gluten Free:  Everything You Need to Know to go From Surviving to Thriving.

Beth speaks to groups throughout the country on baking, eating and living well on the gluten-free diet.



Anne Lee, EdD(c), RD, LD


PresentersAnneLeeAnne Lee is the Director of Nutritional Services for Schar USA.  Previously she was the nutritionist at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University where she was involved in patient care, and research.  Her research has resulted in published articles on the effect of a gluten-free diet on the quality of life, the nutritional adequacy of the gluten-free diet, the economic impact of a gluten free diet, and  on the cross contamination of inherently gluten free grains.  She has authored chapters on celiac disease in nutrition textbooks as well as co-authored a chapter in a gastroenterology text.  Anne has developed numerous educational materials on the gluten free diet for patients and both clinical and food service professionals.  Anne has been an ADA member for many years and has reviewed the chapters on celiac disease for the ADA on-line nutrition care manual. She is also a member of the ADA Gluten Intolerance Work Group who developed the Gluten Intolerance tool kit.

She completed her Doctorate in Nutrition Education this Fall from Teachers College of Columbia University.  Her dissertation topic is the impact of social support networks on quality of life in individuals with celiac disease



Jenna Drew

PresentersJennaDrewJenna Drew is a passionate advocate for Celiac Disease, the gluten free lifestyle and real food transformations, and has traveled over 10,000 miles for Celiac Awareness.

Even after eating gluten free for years however, Jenna was still exhausted all the time and experienced bloating that never seemed to go away. On top of Celiac Disease, she also has asthma that stems from chronic inflammation. She was tired of relying on her inhaler and having low energy all the time – it was time to take control of her struggling health.

Through research she discovered the many ways the body works and how mindset plays a role in our health. As a Certified Mind Body Fitness Coach and Essential Oil Expert, she helps her clients “Get that Gluten Free Glow” and transform their lives through lifestyle coaching and natural solutions like essential oils and real foods.

She invites you to grab her brand new eBook Love Your Gut: 3 Essential Steps to a Healthier Gut (it’s free!) at that includes exclusive tips and recipes she only shares with her gluten free community.



Erin Smith

Erin Smith was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1981, so she has PresentersErinSmithbeen eating gluten-free almost her entire life. Erin has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community. She is passionate about sharing her experiences and expertise with others.

Erin has been writing her gluten-free lifestyle website Gluten-Free Fun since 2007. In 2011, she launched Gluten-Free Globetrotter™ during a trip in the Czech Republic. Gluten-Free Globetrotter is a website that encourages those with celiac disease to travel the world and not be scared about eating gluten-free domestically and abroad. This website also shares gluten-free travel tips, international celiac resources, itinerary planning assistance, and positive reinforcement to those who are gluten-free and want to travel the globe. As someone living with Celiac Disease for more than thirty years, all of Erin’s travels have always been gluten-free. She’s been to 27 states, 18 countries, 3 continents, and always 100% gluten-free!

When she is not gluten-free globetrotting, Erin is the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group. This is a social community that hosts events in the New York City area and has grown to over 1,880 members in the eight years she has been organizing the group.



Melinda Dennis

PresentersMelindaDennisMelinda Dennis is an expert celiac dietitian and Nutrition Coordinator for the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.  Diagnosed with celiac disease 25 years ago, Ms. Dennis specializes in the nutritional treatment of patients with celiac disease and gluten-related disorders.  She lectures internationally, has written extensively on the nutritional management of celiac disease, including the award-winning book Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free, www.reallifewithceliacdisease.comand is lead author and editor of the comprehensive nutrition and medical website: She is on the Executive Council of the North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease and is the Founder, former Chairperson, and current Nutrition Advisor to the New England Celiac Organization (formerly the Healthy Villi).

She is the Founder/Owner of Delete the Wheat, LLC, a nutrition consulting service that offers nationwide lecturing, dietitian coaching, gluten-free wellness retreats and individual home visits for those following the gluten-free diet.



Sharon Kane

PresentersSharonKaneSharon A. Kane owns Gluten-Free Sourdough Company and is the author of The Art of Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking. In her thirties, Sharon developed many debilitating health problems. She worked her way through various conventional and alternative practitioners for 6 years and was finally diagnosed with systemic candida and leaky gut syndrome.

Her health slightly improved but she was unable to completely recover her health until 10 years later, when food allergy tests showed she had gluten as well as many other food sensitivities including dairy, egg, soy and commercial yeast. She worked through much trial and error to develop a healthy and delicious gluten-free sourdough bread. Her cookbooks, bread products and sprouted power cookies are available at her online store:



Laurel Francoeur

PresentersLaurelFrancoeurLaurel Francoeur, Esq. is a graduate of M.I.T. and Suffolk Law School and co-founder of Greenlaurel Documents, an online source for food allergy tools.  She has drafted legislation in Massachusetts, where she is based, which now gives students easier access to life-saving medication.  She has also testified at the state and federal level about food allergy issues. Francoeur is the author of “How to Advocate for Your Food Allergic Child: A Manual for Getting What Your Child Needs at School,” “Flying With Food Allergies” and co-author of the “Preschool Food Allergy Handbook”. She has also been a national speaker and has appeared in the Boston Globe, ABC News, Fox News, National Public Radio, Allergic Living Magazine, among other media outlets. She co-founded Allergy Law Project which is an online blog about issues related to the law and allergies. She has celiac disease and has a son with life-threatening food allergies.



Gina Mennett Lee

PresentersGinaMennettLeeGina Mennett Lee, M.Ed. is a nationally recognized food allergy educator, advocate, and consultant who specializes in the management of food allergies in the school setting. She is widely known for her common sense, fact-based approach to food allergy management and education. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and B.S. degrees in both Elementary and Special Education. She is an experienced special education, elementary, and middle school teacher. She is the Founder and President of Food Allergy Education Network, and the Co-Founder and Director of the National Allergy & Anaphylaxis Council.

Gina has provided education, workshops, and/or consulting services to the food service industry, PTA leaders, school principals and administrators, BOE members, nurses, teachers, paraprofessionals, preschool providers, daycare and home care providers, parents, and caretakers. She is also proud to be a contributor to the well-respected AllergyHome website and recently served as an expert witness for a landmark food allergy case in Iowa.

As a mother who witnessed her daughter’s near-fatal allergic reaction, she brings real world experience to the field of food allergies. Through her consulting firm, Mennett Lee, LLC, she helps families, schools, businesses, and organizations create safe and inclusive environments for those with food allergies.



Sueson Vess


PresentersSuesonVessSueson Vess is a professional chef, author/food writer and educator helping people eat healthier, especially those with celiac disease, autism spectrum disorders including ADD and ADHD, food intolerances and others with chronic illnesses. Sueson’s focus is on “Foods with Benefits” — learning to increase delicious beneficial foods in your daily life.

Special Eats provides educational presentations and cooking classes and is available for individual consultations. Sueson’s cookbooks include “Special Eats: Simple Delicious Solutions for Gluten & Dairy Free Cooking”, now in its 6th edition and “Living Without Magazine’s Best Gluten-Free Cookbook”. She is a contributing writer for “Gluten-Free & More”, formerly, “Gluten Free & More”, “The Autism File”, “City View Fayetteville” and “Sandhills Naturally” magazines and host/chef of educational and cooking DVDs., Phone 800-981-5029, Facebook page: Special Eats



Jaquy Yngvason

PresentersJaquyYngvason2Jaquy Yngvason is an authority on allergy free travel, stress free living, a food allergy expert, and nutritional counselor. She is professionally trained at Le Cordon Bleu as a Chef and Holistic Food Therapy Coach that specializes in transformational coaching programs. She shares her greatest tips on how to use the mind, body and spirit as tools for rejuvenation and health. She’ll help you understand how to use meditative, intentional eating to identify ‘triggers’ and more importantly how to rid them from your life, with a focus on plant-based whole foods and self care activities. Learn more about Jaquy at her website.




Cora Ragaini

PresentersCoraRagainiAs a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Cora is experienced in healthcare, nutrition education, and school nutrition. She has managed the nutritional care of patients with various conditions in the clinical setting, and has developed healthy menus for a number of school lunch programs. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.