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Author: Shandee Chernow

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Join CertiStar CEO, Shandee Chernow, as she explores food allergies, business, and life’s moments. Each week she will have special guests from all walks of life including chefs, restauranteurs, celebrities, food allergic innovators and other industry leaders. Feel inspired and motivated as you hear success stories and other incredible life experiences.
177 Episodes
Join us for an extraordinary journey with Betsy Craig, a true testament to the power of resilience and determination! Battling and conquering the relentless autoimmune disease scleroderma, she has emerged as an unstoppable force in the business world.Food played a pivotal role in Betsy's life, especially in the context of her illness. Scleroderma, a condition that threatened her life, made her acutely aware of the impact of nutrition on health. This realization became her driving force in founding MenuTrinfo.At the helm of MenuTrinfo, Betsy is rewriting the rules of the foodservice industry. Her mission: to ensure safe food service by providing comprehensive allergen and nutritional information, along with employee training and certification. Since its founding in 2010, MenuTrinfo has evolved into a trusted partner for food service providers and manufacturers. But Betsy's journey isn't just about business success. It's a testament to her unwavering commitment to protecting lives and health through nutrition and food safety training. Her dedication shines through in every aspect of her work, enhancing transparency and excellence in the industry. And if you're hungry for more inspiration, be sure to check out her book, "Unstoppable: A Recipe for Success in Life and Business." Inside its pages, you'll find the wisdom and insights that have propelled Betsy to where she is today. Join us in celebrating Betsy Craig's remarkable journey—a journey that serves as a beacon of hope, resilience, and unwavering determination, all fueled by her profound connection between food and health.ShandeeLand is hosted by Shandee Chernow, CEO and Founder of CertiStar.
In this compelling episode, we're joined by Lianne Mandelbaum, the Founder of The No Nut Traveler. Her journey began with a distressing airport incident while traveling with her 8-year-old son, who has severe food allergies. Shockingly, the airline's response was, "If you think he's going to die, don't fly." This experience ignited Lianne's mission to advocate for food allergy travelers' dignity and respect.Lianne, a prolific writer for publications like Allergic Living, stepped into writing because there was a void in content on this critical topic. She highlights the glaring issue of inconsistent policies across airlines, making air travel unpredictable for those with food allergies.Lianne's advocacy reached a pivotal moment when she filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation after an airline failed to follow its own food allergy policy. Her determination has sparked vital discussions about the rights and safety of food-allergic individuals when flying.Join us for an enlightening conversation with Lianne Mandelbaum as we explore the challenges and triumphs of ensuring a future where all food-allergic travelers receive the care and respect they deserve in the skies.
In this episode, we are joined by Dan Anfinson, President of Slapfish Restaurant Group and COO of Mac Haik Restaurant Group. Growing up around the restaurant business, with his father as the general manager of Jack in the Box, Dan's passion for the culinary world ignited at an early age.Starting as a dishwasher at a local pizza joint, he found himself irresistibly drawn to the exhilaration of restaurant kitchens. As he progressed in his career, he experienced moments of addictive highs, but ultimately realized that his true motivation came from forging meaningful connections with people.Dan shares insights into the restaurant industry's changing landscape, emphasizing how technology has transformed it into a tech-driven sector. He discusses his day-to-day experiences, what he enjoys, and the tasks he wishes to delegate.Opening up about his successes and vulnerabilities, he candidly reflects on the "biggest mistake of his career" and the invaluable lessons he learned from it.Beyond the restaurant realm, Dan also shares his love of music, a passion he inherited from his father and passed on to his children.Tune in to this episode to explore Dan Anfinson's inspiring journey from humble beginnings to becoming a respected leader in the restaurant industry. Discover the power of passion, people, and the lessons learned from mistakes, leaving you with newfound motivation to embrace the dynamic world of restaurants.
Dr. Julie Sweeney, a pediatrician and food allergy consultant, shares her personal journey of navigating her child's food allergy diagnosis. As the founder of ALLERGY MOM MD, Dr. Julie brings a unique perspective to the challenges faced by families in dealing with allergies and other inflammatory conditions. She discusses the process of food allergy testing and the importance of food challenges to accurately identify potential allergens. Dr. Julie also delves into the topic of doctors advising patients to avoid foods they have tested positive for, even if they haven't had a reaction, and explores the different approaches taken in such situations. Additionally, she sheds light on the connection between food allergy anxiety and the overlapping symptoms with anxiety disorders. Through her consulting services, she aims to educate and empower families, ensuring that their children thrive in the face of food allergies.
In this episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with Elizabeth Anderlik, a remarkable advocate for food allergies and disabilities. Elizabeth shares her personal journey, highlighting the challenges she faced with multiple food allergies and the lack of proper accommodations in her school, which led to her being homeschooled.She experienced a newfound sense of belonging when she attended the FARE Summit—an event dedicated to food allergy awareness and advocacy.  At the FARE Summit, Elizabeth participated in the Innovation Tank, where she showcased her groundbreaking concept—an epi-pen that automatically calls 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Her innovative idea earned her recognition as a finalist, highlighting her exceptional problem-solving skills and dedication to improving the lives of individuals with food allergies.Elizabeth's passion for making a difference doesn't stop there. Currently majoring in Health Science and minoring in Public Policy, she will intern for Senator Tammy Duckworth this summer.  She aims to contribute to the disabled community through policy initiatives. She also works as an Outreach Coordinator with Securing Safe Food, a youth-led organization that donates allergen-friendly foods to food pantries, emphasizing the importance of accessible and safe food options for everyone.  Elizabeth also founded Teal Kids, a mentorship program designed to support children with food allergies, providing them with guidance and encouragement. Additionally, she serves as an Inclusion Aide for a non-profit, furthering her commitment to creating inclusive environments for individuals with disabilitiesJoin us in this enlightening conversation as Elizabeth shares her inspiring story, highlighting the power of advocacy, innovation, and community involvement in making a positive impact on the lives of those with food allergies and disabilities.
John Pepper is a visionary entrepreneur and advocate for socially responsible capitalism. With a strong belief in the power of capitalism to benefit hourly workers, John shares his inspiring journey and insights into creating a more inclusive economy.John's path began during his business school days, where he partnered with two fellow students to launch a restaurant as part of an entrepreneurial project. However, it was a pivotal moment when one of his employees called in sick that he had an epiphany about the untapped potential of his real purpose. This experience ignited his passion for people initiatives, leading him to prioritize livable wages, employee benefits, and providing them with skills to thrive beyond their roles in the industry.Recognizing that work matters and that good people with purpose can drive positive change, John eagerly embraced the role of a guinea pig, investing in and advising early-stage technological solutions designed to empower workers in the hourly job market.Tune in to this thought-provoking episode as John Pepper provides valuable insights on how inclusive capitalism can be achieved, highlighting the role of entrepreneurship, technology, and a deep belief in the inherent value of every individual in building a more equitable and prosperous future.
Jason Chan, an Australian-based advocate for food allergies and mental health, is also a dedicated researcher in the field of alternative medicine. Among his three children, all of whom have had food allergies, his daughter continues to grapple with them. Upon discovering her food allergy while feeding her at just 3 months old, Jason experienced overwhelming guilt. However, he managed to alleviate this guilt by connecting with other parents facing similar challenges and immersing himself in medical journal research.Beyond his professional work, Jason's passion for improving lives is evident in his commitment to food allergy and mental health advocacy. For over 18 years, he has actively raised awareness and provided support for individuals and families affected by food allergies. Recognizing the crucial role of mental health in overall well-being, Jason has dedicated himself to researching methods to enhance mental health outcomes. As a co-founder of Mental Massages, he offers accessible and effective therapies such as Apitherapy, Massage Therapy, and Virtual Reality Therapy.
Associate Professor Joey Mattingly from the University of Utah College of Pharmacy discusses his collaboration with the FDA to better understand patient and caregiver experiences in developing  therapies for food allergies. These interviews provided valuable feedback on the FDA's current practices and areas for improvement. The FDA's inclusion of patients and caregivers in the process is commendable, as it allows for a comprehensive understanding of food allergies' impact and potential treatment benefits and risks. Shifting the discussion to testing for food allergies, Joey and the host, Shandee, delve into the challenges posed by false results and the resulting uncertainty and fear. They emphasize the importance of a more reliable diagnostic process to reduce the number of individuals who mistakenly believe they have food allergies.The episode emphasizes the significance of patient perspectives and involvement in shaping drug therapies for food allergies. By actively incorporating patient experiences, as well as implementing accurate diagnostic processes, healthcare professionals can enhance care quality for individuals with food allergies.
Food allergy advocate Jessica Carrillo shares her personal journey of living with food allergies. Jessica was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at the age of 2 and has since developed additional allergies over time. At the age of 12, she experienced a traumatic allergic reaction that left her feeling anxious and triggered by food. Jessica shares how her anxiety grew as she never knew which food might cause a reaction, making her feel like nothing was safe and causing her to lose weight.However, Jessica's life changed when her mom introduced her to baking. This helped her rediscover her love for food and inspired her to help others with food allergies. She shares her journey to managing her anxiety and how it led her to become a patient at The Food Allergy Institute, where she is using program called Tolerance Induction Program (TIP) to manage her allergies.Additionally, Jessica is a Digital Marketing Intern at the institute and is using her experiences to help others. This podcast episode provides a glimpse into the life of a food allergy sufferer, the challenges they face, and the steps they take to overcome them. It's an inspiring conversation that sheds light on the importance of managing food allergies and supporting those who live with them.
In this episode of the podcast, we welcome Jonathan Pye, a renowned chef with an impressive career in the culinary world. Jonathan takes us on a journey through his culinary background, from his apprenticeship at a Victorian hotel in Manchester, England to his current role as Corporate Executive Chef - West region at American Dining Creations.Jonathan shares how his mother inspired his love for cooking and how his father's garden provided fresh produce for their meals. He also talks about his preference for catering and shares some of his experiences as a chef in various restaurants in England and the United States.Jonathan's passion for food and his commitment to excellence have earned him the Culinaire International's Executive Chef of the Year award in 2008. He tells us about his leadership role at American Dining Creations and how retention is a key focus for his team.Join us as we delve into the mind of one of the industry's most talented chefs and learn about his journey to the top of the culinary world.
Join us on this episode as we chat with Audrey Cha, a Spokin Ambassador and member of the FARE Teen Advisory Group, about her journey as a food allergy advocate. Audrey is the creator of All About Allergies, an educational allergy page that provides valuable resources to help raise awareness about food allergies.Audrey shares her personal story, starting with a wheat allergy and now managing dozens of allergies. Her passion for advocacy was ignited by her own experiences and her parents' encouragement to speak up for herself and others. We also discuss the challenges of balancing her academic workload with her advocacy work, and how her work with All About Allergies has given her a platform to share information and support the allergy community.
Thomas Silvera, Co-Founder and VP of Elijah-Alavi Foundation, delves into the foundation's mission, outlining their goals and aspirations, and discusses their efforts to drive legislative change at both state and federal levels, with a particular focus on advocating for individuals with food allergies.Thomas highlights the foundation's efforts to advocate for changes in laws and policies related to food allergies, including their work in various states and their blueprint toolkit that helps identify gaps and provides a roadmap for advocacy. He also discusses the foundation's partnership with Belay, a leading advocacy organization.Thomas reflects on the progress made since his last appearanceon the podcast, including the establishment of the Ambassador Program, whichaims to raise awareness about food allergies and promote advocacy effortswithin local communities.Throughout the podcast, Thomas shares his personal journey,challenges, and successes as an advocate for food allergy awareness andlegislative change, and the important work being done by Elijah-AlaviFoundation to make a positive impact in the lives of those affected by foodallergies.
Jennifer Jobrack, Principal of Food Allergy Pros and a long-time food allergy advocate, talks about her personal journey with food allergies, specifically her son's struggle with failure to thrive due to his allergies. Jennifer highlights the significant differences in the standard of care for food allergies across medical professionals and shares her insights on how the food allergy community can influence emergency medical practices. If you or someone you know is impacted by food allergies, this episode provides valuable information and perspectives on navigating the medical system and advocating for better care.
Nancy A. Shenker, CEO and Founder of theONswitch, is a seasoned marketing professional with years of experience in building brands, writing, and speaking on a variety of topics related to marketing, entrepreneurship, and the changing landscape of technology. One of the key trends she has observed is the shift from analog to digital in the marketing industry.  According to Nancy, the debate between quantity and quality has become increasingly important in the digital age. With so much data available, it's easy to get lost in the noise and lose sight of what's really important. She also talks about the concept of "big data, small minds," where organizations may have access to vast amounts of data but lack the ability to analyze it effectively.  Nancy also believes that AI and robotics will have a significant impact on the marketing industry. While humans may have emotional intelligence and creativity, machines can analyze data and make decisions faster and more accurately. She suggests that marketing professionals need to embrace these technologies to stay ahead of the competition. Nancy is also a strong advocate for Age Tech, which refers to technology specifically designed to meet the needs of older adults. As the population ages, Age Tech is expected to grow rapidly and reach a market value of $100 trillion by 2050. Nancy believes that Age Tech has the potential to transform the way we think about aging. is one of the Top UK allergy blogs, written by Ruth Holroyd to encourage people to question and learn about their life-affecting condition.   Ruth is an allergy and eczema expert, leaning into her passion for advocacy. During the Covid lockdown, Ruth wrote her first book, "Anaphylaxis: The Essential Guide: An Action Plan For Living With Life-Threatening Allergies." She wanted to help others living with life-threatening allergies. She followed it up with her second book, "The Shape of Skin - Sensitive, Striking and Moving Poetry for People with Eczema." A better way of healing, seeing, and treating eczema skin is her hope for the future. Ruth also used this time to withdraw from topical steroids. She used topical steroids for over 40 years to treat her eczema. They damaged her skin, immune system, and internal organs. Ruth is severely allergic to nuts, peanuts, milk, celery, and soya and has suffered numerous anaphylactic reactions. The knowledge that you could die from a severe allergic reaction can severely limit your life and has caused her crippling anxiety.   Ruth shares her stress and fear from the threat of anaphylaxis.  She shares practical tips, advice, and guidance to help you survive and thrive with severe allergies. 
Melissa Brown is COO of Concierge Elite and podcast host of “Understaffed”.  She has a passion for organizational management, training and development.  She enjoys assisting businesses in putting processes in place to have a solid foundation to grow from.Businesses need to rethink how they hire.  Employees want different jobs or benefits.  Today's workforce wants flexibility and work-life balance.  The pandemic taught many in the workforce that working remotely can and does work.  Melissa shares the benefits of remote work, addresses the obstacles, and offers solutions. Melissa provides advice for interviewing potential employees and how open-ended questions can serve you.  She talks about the importance of reviewing and reevaluating your company’s core values in driving your internal culture.
Court Allam is the Founder and CEO and Founder of Restaurant Marketing University and Go Explore Local. His backstory begins as a teacher and coach, and he leaned into those superpowers to launch his business.  If you are intrigued about earning passive, recurring revenue, but unsure how it works, Court offers that service and provides advice in this week’s episode.  By ditching the old-school VIP club in favor of a subscription model, restaurants can generate passive, recurring revenue that can be used to hire and retain top talent, offset rising costs, and offer health benefits.  He also founded Go Explore Local, whose mission is to promote locally-owned restaurants.   Court and Shandee also chat about using artificial intelligence, Chat GPT, and other AI tools, to create content.  Court also reveals what he thinks is next for the restaurant industry.Additional information can be found here: you can find Court on YouTube:
Zidaan Kapoor is an awe-inspiring guest. At 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, this impressive young man is an activist and entrepreneur. Also an advocate for the food allergy community, he is the founder of Fight Fears, an app that helps children overcome anxiety and mental health issues through individualized challenges. He shares his food allergy journey and how he was influenced by his mental health challenges. Zidaan discusses how his business idea came to fruition and the significant ways he is making it happen. He is making his mark in the world and will affect and excite you at every turn of this conversation.  Add your name to the app’s waitlist: to Zidaan’s TEDx talk: his photography here:
Gabrielle Zimmerman is a passionate wellness warrior on the path to becoming an esteemed Registered Dietitian. She already has impressive accomplishments, such as authoring "When Food Can Kill You: What the World Needs to Know”. After facing difficulty with medical professionals that dismissed, misdiagnosed and were disinclined to take action, it was through sheer determination and the investigative abilities of her mom that a diagnosis was finally achieved.   At 13, Gabrielle’s life changed when she got back her test results. As if being confronted with the results wasn’t hard enough, learning to cope with new reality was even harder. The experience left a lasting impact on her young heart and mind.  She realized that food has an incredible ability to shape our identities and relationships. Not only can it bring people together, but having a food allergy or intolerance can make its presence felt in all aspects of life - emotionally, physically and psychologically.  Gabrielle’s mission enlightens us all to how we can better support those with food allergies: through understanding the anxieties they face every day; by creating a world that is healthier for everyone - not just restricted to those who suffer from them directly. In her debut book, Gabrielle's words concisely capture these realities of living with allergens in our lives – fueling an inclusive conversation which will serve as steps towards bringing healthy change.
In this episode of ShandeeLand, Shandee interviews Rev Ciancio, the Cofounder and CMO of Handcraft Burgers & Brews. Together, they discuss Rev's upcoming Restaurant Growth Summit, his extensive experience in marketing for hospitality and technology companies, and some lighthearted stories from his time in the music industry. Rev shares his top tips for marketing in the hospitality industry, as well as some key things to keep in mind when launching a restaurant business. This episode offers great insights into the hospitality marketing world, as well as the fascinating stories and experiences of a veteran behind the scenes.
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