Champions of Food | Seattle Symposium

CenturyLink_webSpeakers | Agenda | Sponsor | Attend


Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Location: CenturyLink Field & Safeco Field
Time: 8:00am-7:00pm


The Champions of Food Symposium at CenturyLink Field will convene 200+ regional professional and collegiate sports teams and venues, concessionaires, business and public leaders, restaurant owners and chefs and athletes to explore how the industry can make plays to advance more sustainable food and healthier communities.

Increasing consumer interest in the origin and environmental impact of the food we consume is spurring an important conversation around healthier and more ecologically preferable food across North America. As food is so closely linked to athlete performance and the game day experience, this conversation is ramping up across the sports industry.

Many communities face daunting environmental and health concerns, yet the iconic sports venues they revere tend to offer unhealthy, less sustainable food options. From production, to consumption, from donation to composting, sports teams have a responsibility to support healthier food systems in the communities where they play. Just as athletes and teams are celebrated for their high performance, perseverance and commitment on game day, they can inspire entire communities to lead healthier, active and more sustainable lifestyles.

Sports provide an undeniably powerful platform to promote the value of healthy lifestyle choices for all. “De-junking” the food options and promoting healthy food, produced and disposed of in ecologically intelligent ways, inside and outside of sports venues offers a path towards high performing food systems in all communities.

Click Below to See Full Speaker ListGSAFood_Themes


Symposium Agenda

Monday, November 9

5:00-7:00pm – Pre-Symposium Happy Hour Reception at Field Roast: Burgers, Brats and Brews!

Seattle’s own Field Roast Grain Meat Company is hosting a happy hour reception to welcome Green Sports Alliance Champions of Food – Seattle Symposium attendees.  Plant tours will be available along with some libations and food fun!  Field Roast’s newly renovated food manufacturing plant is conveniently located from the airport and is just south of downtown (SODO neighborhood).  The Field Roast Grain Meat Company is the number one supplier of vegetarian sausages, burgers and frankfurters to stadiums across the US.  Elysian Brewing Company will be offering a selection of their fine, locally brewed craft beers.

Location: The Field Roast Grain Meat Company – 3901 7th Avenue South, Seattle, Washington 98108

Tuesday, November 10

8:00am – Registration, Breakfast & Exhibits

9:00am – Kicking Things Off | Welcome Remarks & Topic Framing  

Speakers Include:

  • Chuck Arnold | Chief Operating Officer, Seattle Seahawks
  • Dune Ives | Senior Director, Vulcan Philanthropy, Vulcan Inc.
  • Scott Jenkins | GM of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, AMB Sports & Entertainment Group; Chair, Green Sports Alliance

9:30am – Panel Discussion | Sports Team Executives Setting the Stage

Sports greening programs can serve as models for local stewardship, improve community relations, and strengthen local business connections. Already proven leaders in the sports greening movement, professional and collegiate sports teams throughout the Pacific Northwest are also stepping up as leaders in advancing more sustainable food at their venues. These leaders are listening to fans desires and helping to advance the trend towards healthier communities.

This panel discussion will see team executives providing a high-level look at their food programs. Panelists will discuss the launching of programs, driving motivations, involved stakeholders, successes to date and what future plans and opportunities are on the horizon.

Speakers Include:

  • Moderator: Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D. | President, Green Sports Alliance
  • Karen Baebler | Assistant AD, Sport Operations, University of Washington
  • Michael Doyle | EVP & Arena GM, Canucks Sports & Entertainment
  • Joe Myhra | VP of Ballpark Operations, Seattle Mariners
  • Chris Oxley | VP of Business Development & Government Affairs, Portland Trail Blazers
  • K.L. Wombacher | EVP & GM, Hillsboro Hops
  • David Young | VP of Operations, General Manager, CenturyLink Field

10:45am – Break & Exhibits


11:15am – Panel Discussion | Athletes Leading the Way

Athletes are held responsible for everything they put into their bodies. As athletes continue to break records, our collective interest in whether it was done within the bounds of fair competition has grown. By contrast, the guiding principles of what we put into our shared environmental ecosystem, including our food, are not as clear. The sustainable food movement is growing rapidly and athletes are beginning to issue a call to action: now is the time for teams to extend the bar of excellence.

On this panel, we’ll hear from current and former athletes who are championing more sustainable food in their communities. Panelists will discuss how better food leads to better performance, and the importance of teams and venues promoting more sustainable food practices inside and outside of their stadiums and arenas.

Speakers Include:

  • Moderator: Joe Khirallah | CEO, Green Bear Group
  • Brendan Brazier | Former Professional Ironman Triathlete, Vega Formulator, Author
  • Paul Johns | Former Player & Director of Youth Football & Alumni Programs, Seattle Seahawks
  • Roger Levesque | Former Player & Director of Community Outreach, Seattle Sounders FC
  • Will Witherspoon | Former NFL Linebacker, Sustainable Farmer & Reporter for Rams Radio Network

12:00pm – Keynote Address – Carl Mittleman | President, Aramark Sports and Entertainment


12:30pm – Break & Exhibits


12:45pm – Lunch & Panel Discussion | Sourcing the Best: Increasing the Demand for Sustainable Products

Attending a sports event promises each guest excitement, anticipation and pleasure. Guests view their day at a ballpark, arena, stadium or track as a treat. Research suggests that food consumption plays a significant role in the level of satisfaction spectators receive from the live sports experience. However, the food options at many venues consistently lack nutritional value and are proving damaging to fan health and the environment.

Sports events allow many in the food industry to engage with guests who have an inherent interest in sustainability and the environment. By telling positive stories about responsible food sourcing and production practices, the food industry is opening up new ways to attract consumers. With growing evidence that nutrient rich, locally sourced, and organically produced foods are environmentally preferable choices, the environmental and health agendas are beginning to merge.

Focusing on F&B sourcing, this panel will highlight the great opportunity to unite athletic performance on the field with fans’ health in the stands. Panelists will discuss the importance of embedding local identity back into venues by incorporating the use of organic food products, local suppliers, and sustainably sourced food.

Speakers Include:

  • Moderator: Justin Zeulner | Chief Operating Officer, Green Sports Alliance
  • Dan Johnston| Division Manager, Hospitality, Canucks Sports & Entertainment
  • David Lee | President & Founder, The Field Roast Grain Meat Company
  • Gary Mortenson | President, Stoller Family Estate
  • Raechel Waters | Senior Program Officer, Ocean Health, Vulcan Philanthropy


1:45pm –  Panel Discussion | Concessionaires Serving It Up

Concessionaires have a unique opportunity to embrace better practices and raise awareness about environmentally preferable decisions that promote more sustainable food systems. More sustainable game day food allows venues to meet evolving dietary needs of fans and showcase regional culture to help strengthen their community connection. Concessionaires are responding to fan desires and community expectations and are focusing on smarter menu design and planning, food and beverage procurement, food preparation efficiency programs, serviceware and packaging and food donation, waste diversion and composting.

Narrowing in on the topics of menu design and procurement, this panel will have leading concessionaires discussing how they are implementing greener food programs in the region and across the country.

Speakers Include:

  • Moderator: Gabriel Krenza | Senior Advisor – Food Policy at Green Sports Alliance
  • Chef Robert Bartley | Executive Chef, Canucks Sports & Entertainment
  • Steve Dominguez | GM, Centerplate, Safeco Field
  • Debbie FriedelDirector of Sustainability, Delaware North
  • Jami Leveen | Director of Marketing and Environmental Stewardship, Aramark Sports and Entertainment
  • Chef Gilbert Verdugo | West Coast Regional Executive Chef, Levy Restaurants

2:30pm – Break & Exhibits

3:00pm – Presentation & Panel Discussion | Teaming up to Eliminate Food-Waste: Donation & Composting

40% of food in the U.S. is wasted. Food donation, waste diversion and composting helps to divert economically valuable and environmentally costly materials from the landfill. Donating unsold prepared foods benefits those in need and avoids the loss of precious natural resources. Supporting composting and recycling infrastructure through partnerships, fan education and staff training helps return materials and nutrients to productive systems. With the help of supply chain partners, sports venues and concessionaires are building healthier, more sustainable food programs that are succeeding in eliminating food waste.

Diving in to the topic of food waste, this session will feature sports industry partners who are helping create solutions for sports teams and venues to enhance donation, waste diversion and composting programs. Presenters and panelists will highlight program development, successes to date, challenges and future opportunities.


  • Domenic Calabro | Materials Management and Stewardship Team Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics (OAWT), U.S. EPA, Region 10
  • Dani Turk | Director of Community Programs Agency Relations, Food Lifeline

Panel Speakers Include:

  • Moderator: Domenic Calabro | Materials Management and Stewardship Team Office of Air, Waste, and Toxics (OAWT), U.S. EPA, Region 10
  • Charlie Burke | Business Manager, Cedar Grove Organic Recycling 
  • Buzz Chandler | President, Asean Corporation
  • Steve Davies | Director – Public Affairs & Communications, NatureWorks
  • Charlene Wall-Warren | Sustainability Director, BASF


4:00pm – Closing Keynote – Brian Grant | Retired NBA Player; Brian Grant Foundation


4:15pm – Networking Hour with Sponsors featuring Gotham Project wine tastings & Chelsea Farms Oysters

5:30pm – Happy Hour at Safeco Field featuring Stoller wine tastings

BASFEcoProducts_vertMariners logo

7:00pm – Symposium Concludes

Sponsorship Opportunities Are Available

Explore the various levels and learn more here.

Register to Attend


Volunteer at the Symposium and in exchange, receive a complimentary registration! Spaces are limited, apply here.

The Eat Well Guide® is a curated directory of over 25,000 hand-picked restaurants, farms, markets and other sources of local, sustainable food throughout the US. Find out more here.

Hotel Accommodations

seaps_phototour44Courtyard Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square

Group rate – 169.00 USD  per night

Start date: 11.9.15
End date: 11.11.15
Last day to book: 10/19/15

Book your group rate for Green Sports Alliance Room Block here.

Or call (800) 321-2211 and ask for the ” Green Sports Alliance Room Block”

Directions & Transportation

  • Take Public Transit!
    The Link Light Rail service runs from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to midnight on Sundays. Trains arrive and depart every 7.5 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day.
  • Via Car
    From the North and South
    I-5 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct both have exits near CenturyLink Field & CenturyLink Field Event Center. From I-5 there are exits at James Street, 4th Avenue, and Airport Way that will all place visitors in close proximity to the facility.From the East
    CenturyLink Field & CenturyLink Field Event Center can be reached by both I-90 and SR 520 from the east. From I-90, follow the signs to Fourth Avenue South and turn right. Turn right onto South Royal Brougham Way. From SR 520, take I-5 South, then take either the James Street, 4th Avenue, or Airport Way exits to place you in proximity to the facility.

Parking & Venue

Parking will be available in the CenturyLink Field Garage off of Royal Brougham Way. Entrance is on the ramp that leads over the train tracks between Occidental Ave S and 4th Ave S. Cost will be $7 per vehicle. 

Venue Entrance
Guests Using Public Transportation:
Enter through the SW VIP Entrance off of Occidental Ave. This entrance is tucked between CenturyLink Field and CenturyLink Field Event Center located at 1000 Occidental Ave. S.

From Parking Garage:
Enter the stadium from the 5th floor of the CenturyLink Field Garage, entrance will be next to the North elevators.

Staff will direct all guests towards the West Club Lounge once in the stadium.


Symposium Sponsors

ARAMARKNatureWorks_tagline-web_outlinesBASFEcoProducts_vertMariners logo CenterplatestalkmarketFGIDelawareNorthRepublicServices_StackedCenturyLinkField_HorizCedarGroveCLIFBAR_LOGO_HORZDrive_SustainabilityPrintesr-logo (2)