Home » FHA Seminar Speakers


Angela Er


Asian Culinary Institute

Ms Angela Er has 22 years in hospitality experience which includes aviation and hotel industry as well as 12 years of teaching experience. Her areas of expertise include customer service, restaurant operations and beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. She currently oversees the Food & Beverage and Food Hygiene related modules in Asian Culinary Institute, a CET institute of Nanyang Polytechnic .

Dr. Ritu Bhalla

Assistant Director, Agriculture Research and Innovation (AGRI) Centre, Republic Polytechnic

Panel: Enabling sustainable agriculture with innovation and technology

Marg Will

Chair, Certified Sustainable Standards Board, Australia

The role for standards in ESG and SDG claims in the F&B industry

Ms Marg Will is CEO of Organic Systems & Solutions, a global leader in organic and sustainable strategy design and implementation. Marg is the Chairperson of the Australian Certified Sustainable Standards Board

Yiren Chen

Managing Director, Genedant

Panel: APAC Outlook for Investing in Agriculture Innovation

Yiren is part of a family office that invests in multiple asset classes and leads Genedant, a venture capital firm based in Singapore. Genedant invests in emerging science and technology ventures that challenge conventional thinking and takes long-term bets and risks on ideas even when they are at an early stage. Genedant looks to build up a portfolio of synthetic biology and advanced technology companies across industry sectors, including agrifood tech. Prior to Genedant, Yiren held several strategic planning roles within A*STAR and was part of the policymaking group responsible for the $25B research and innovation programme in Singapore.

Joshua Soo


Panel: APAC Outlook for Investing in Agriculture Innovation

Melissa Ong

Group Chief Officer and Venture Partner, Impact Circle

Panel: Building a thriving agrifood innovation system

Melissa has a wealth of over 25 years of APAC regional experience in international trade, brand communications, market research, organisational development, social strategy, corporate and internal communications. She previously worked with various large organisations such as HSBC, IOI Group, KL Sentral (MRCB), and TNS (Kantar) where she was responsible for multiple portfolios covering 33 countries. She was the CEO of Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI), a non-partisan think tank governed and owned by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. She founded ASLI International Trade & Business Advisory Centre. She was instrumental in the setting up of the Malaysia-Bahrain Business Council and Malaysia-Russia Business Council. Melissa was attached to the Bahrain Economic Development Board (FDIs), INVEST Hong Kong (FDIs), and UK Department of Trade (DIT) based out of Bristol, UK responsible for business ventures of 45 UK companies in Southeast Asia. She is now the Thought for Food Regional CEO of Southeast Asia, with a mission to unlock the potential of the next generations to lead a sustainable food revolution through the development of cutting-edge, locally-relevant, science and technology-based entrepreneurial solutions. Melissa is also the Group Chief Officer of Impact Circle, an independent Agrifoodtech Ecosystem builder, and multiplier with a purpose and impact mission to connect investment and power collaborations within the Southeast Asia food ecosystem and supply chain to catalyze profitable innovation, expand sustainability and environmental awareness, and bring greater impact on food and nutrition security as well as for youth empowerment and community development focusing on women and children. Melissa received the Distinguished Australian Alumni Award in December 2019. She holds an MBA from the University of Sunshine Coast, Australia, and is a strong and passionate advocate of workplace gender equality, women empowerment, and women’s inclusion agenda.

Savan Wijewardene

Sourcing Lead, Jungle Kitchen

Fireside chat: Regenerative Agriculture: Restoring soil health

Savan Wijewardene manages sourcing and supply chain at Jungle Kitchen by identifying small scale producers growing exceptional produce and working with them to source high quality ingredients. As Jungle Kitchen works with ingredients that aren't typically grown on a large commercial - Moringa, Kohila, Ambarella - and so sourcing and selecting produce is crucial. A journalist and researcher by training, Savan maintains a wide network of both farmers and agri-forestry professionals He is currently working on Jungle Kitchen's micro credit scheme which allows us to extend financing and training to farmers who produce excellent sustainable produce.

Lina Tan

Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Science, Nanyang Polytechnic

Food Waste Management: Upcycling of Food Waste

Ms Lina Tan is a senior lecturer with School of Applied Science, Nanyang Polytechnic providing academic training to students majoring in Food Science and Nutrition programme. Besides teaching, she also provides technical guidance and training to clients in food industry and is a coach who prepares food science students for local and international product innovation competitions. Lina has over 10 years of industrial experiences working for food industry and was leading the R&D and QA team in Lacto Asia Pte Ltd, first Japanese processed cheese company in Singapore, and Thong Siek Food Industry Pte Ltd, a leading surimi seafood manufacturer. During her tenure, she was responsible for developing the quality control procedures, training, and rolling out new food products. Prior to joining Nanyang Polytechnic, she was working in IMA Asia Pacific Pte and was responsible for setting and meeting sales goals while providing technical support to customers in the Asia Pacific region.

Karthik Bakthavathsalem

Senior Lecturer, School of Business Management, Nanyang Polytechnic

Data – The Missing Restaurant Ingredient

Mr Karthik Bakthavathsalem has has spent 20 years of his Hotel, Food & Beverage career in various organisations including Radisson Blu Hotels, Next Hotels, Outback Steakhouse, Southeast Asia, Chili’s Bar and Grill, USA and Singapore before switching to education to groom the next generation of talent. Passionate about restaurant operations, market strategy, training, mixology and establishing restaurants from ground up Karthik has been involved in various restaurants opening, hiring and establishing brand standards in the Asia market. He is a holder of Bachelors in Science, Hotel & Restaurant operations from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom and Masters in Education from Nanynag Technological University.

Mark Richards

Lead Specialist, School of Applied Science, Nanyang Polytechnic

Cultivating a Sustainable Seafood Future

Mr Mark Richards is a stem cell biologist by training. Mark completed his BSc (Hons) and PhD at the National University of Singapore. He currently leads the life sciences research team at Nanyang Polytechnic. Mark is well-trained in primary cell culture strategies, cell characterization techniques, and animal-free media development. He was responsible for developing the world's first, “Xeno-free” human embryonic stem cell lines for regenerative medicine early in his career at ES Cell International Pte Ltd. More recently, he has been working in the CellAg space, developing solutions to address cost and technical hurdles which affect the cultivated seafood industry.

Chong Nyet Chin

Director, Food Safety and Quality, NTUC Fairprice

Panel: Establishing industry standards for e-commerce food safety

Ms Chong holds a Science degree in Chemistry from National University of Singapore, and an MBA from Leicester University, UK. She has over 20 years’ experience in the areas of quality assurance and food safety, well-versed in GMP, HACCP, ISO 9001 and ISO 22000, Organic Standards, 6 Sigma and Total Quality Management. As a technical professional, she is currently the Technical Chair of food processing & distribution under Singapore food standard committee. She has been working with government authorities such as SFA and Enterprise Singapore in areas of Cold Chain Management Standards, Organic certification, FMCG standards and Food Safety Regulations. In 2017, she received the Merit award for Quality and Standards given by ESG, endorsing her contributions to the Singapore standards journey. In her current position in FairPrice, she is responsible for the overall control of the food safety and quality assurance system as well as regulatory management for the Co-operatives. Due to keen interest in quality management systems and strong belief that a strong foundation in system will build a strong brand, she has helped Fairprice in developing the risk management framework and various control measures in fulfilling the vision of assuring food safety from source to store.

Oliver Truesdale Jutras

Head Chef, Open Farm Community

Panel: Aiming for zero carbon footprint in the F&B industry

Jaeeun Jung

AVP, F&B (SEA & Australasia), Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Panel: Aiming for zero carbon footprint in the F&B industry

Jaeeun Jung (JJ) is deeply passionate when it comes to Food and Beverage in all aspects. Command as a regional head of F&B in Shangri-La Group, Jaeeun is originally hails from Korea, where she started her career back in the 2000s and worked in listed company in Korea as Marketing person. She moved to England where she started her hospitality career in many places including ANA InterContinental Hotel in Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore. Jaeeun joined the Shangri-La Group in 2019 as the Senior Manager in Regional Office Singapore, developed number of F&B leaders to next level such as Director of F&B to Director of Operations, Assistant Directors of F&B to Director of F&Bs as well Sommeliers talents in the groups. In her Role, She oversees F&B operations for 26 hotels in SEAA across 10 countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia (new development) where recognize the best F&B operator in the market across the region. Influenced by international exposure with strong academic background; Jaeeun was able to hone her F&B analytics expertise under their guidance and quickly rose up the ranks. In 2015, She was member of Hospitality revenue management association Japan 2015/2016 and trainer 2017/2018, where she oversaw the large F&B operations. Through her career, Jaeeun has gained her skillsets working with many renowned chefs including three Michelin star trained Head Chef, Sommeliers and award bartenders. Currently, one of her focus is drive F&B in suitable way not only from environmentally friendly but also eco-system approach. With over ten years of experience working in corporate office, Jaeeun has a flair for transmission of Food and Beverage services and operations in the hotels. Her role at Shangri-La International Hotels Management will not only helping finding Shangri-La from guests and colleagues, but also being a host of colourful journey in F&B.

Prof Boh Wai Fong

Co-Director, Singapore Agri-Food Innovation Lab (SAIL)

Panel: Building a secure food future with agrifood innovation

Wai Fong Boh is President’s Chair and Professor of Information Systems at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. She is currently the Deputy Dean of Nanyang Business School (NBS), Director of Information Management Research Centre at NBS, and she serves as co-Director for both Singapore Agri-Food Innovation Lab (SAIL @ NTU) and NTU Centre in Computational Technologies for Finance (CCTF). She received her PhD from the Tepper School of Business at the Carnegie Mellon University. She conducts research in the areas of knowledge and innovation management and blockchain. She has published many articles in top management journals including Management Science, MIS Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management Information Systems, and Research Policy. She has also won multiple awards, including awards for best papers in journals, conferences, and as a best IS professor in Asia. Professor Boh is a seasoned and versatile instructor who teaches at both undergraduate and graduate levels. She has spoken in multiple industry conferences, and specializes in research and conducting training for entrepreneurs, managers and employees in areas related to innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology management. Professor Boh is also sought after by private organizations as well as government agencies to conduct training programs. She is often cited and interviewed in the media. Prof Boh has written a book titled “Identifying Business Opportunities through Innovation” that is due to launch in May 2023.

Erika Balzarelli

Vice President, Olam Ventures

Fireside chat: Regenerative Agriculture: Restoring soil health

Erika is a purpose driven leader in the agriculture space, ex-marketeer and currently working with Olam Ventures building start-ups on the intersection of digital and sustainability. With over 20 years’ experience in agriculture & rural development, Erika worked in corporates, NGOs, governments, consultancy, and start-ups across Europe, Africa and Asia implementing impactful projects in climate smart agriculture. Erika holds an MBA (Netherlands) and an MPA from Harvard University (USA). Erika is passionate about regenerative and sustainable agriculture, food security and making a difference in the lives of small holder farmers. Prior to joining Olam, Erika was leading her own business called ‘The Sustainable Smallholder’. She has previously worked in Corteva, Nufarm, Dalberg and Syngenta across different locations in Asia and Europe, interspersed with roles at IFAD and Agricultural Transformation Agency in Ethiopia.    

Claire Pribula

Managing Director, The Yield Lab Asia Pacific

Panel: APAC Outlook for Investing in Agriculture Innovation

Claire has over 30 years’ experience in Asia and the USA creating and leading new, and emerging lines of business for global Fortune 500 technology companies driving revenue of over US$300M. And was a founding partner of an Asian based start-up, resulting in a successful exit. Claire has responsibility for overseeing and managing investments, fundraising, portfolio, and company operations for this $50m USD target Fund and the Accelerator. Claire also represents YLAP on the Global Board of The Yield Lab.

Preston Wong

CEO & Co-Founder, treatsure

Panel: Aiming for zero carbon footprint in the F&B industry

Preston WONG is the CEO & Cofounder of treatsure, Singapore's leading app company offering surplus and sustainable food from hotels and grocers, and sustainability experiences. A graduate of NUS Law Faculty and Business School, and a current Masters in Environmental Management candidate, Preston also serves as an adjunct faculty for Sustainability Law at SMU's Yong Pung How School of Law and Yale-NUS College.. Preston has been featured in various media and conferences for his sustainability perspectives, and is a 2022 recipient of the NEA EcoFriend Awards for his contributions to the sustainability field. (2) Credentials ● CEO & Cofounder, treatsure ● Adjunct Faculty, Sustainability Law, Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University ● Lecturer, Sustainability Law and Policy, Yale-NUS College ● Master of Science for Environmental Management candidate, College of Design and Engineering, National University of Singapore ● Graduate Law Programme, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore ● Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy), NUS Business School, National University of Singapore

Anton Wibowo

CEO, Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre

Panel: Building a secure food future with agrifood innovation

Anton Wibowo has over nine years’ of diverse business, management, and investment experience in the Singaporean biotechnology and agribusiness communities. Prior to joining Trendlines, Anton was operations director and former business development director at Biomax. Anton holds a Masters of International Business from Central Queensland University and a Bachelor of Engineering (first-class honours) from Nanyang Technological University.

Joe Hooper

Centre Director, Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development, UNDP

Panel: Building a thriving agrifood innovation system

Mr. Joe Hooper (Canada) is the newly appointed Director for the Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development - a joint initiative of the Government of Singapore and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Hooper has 22 years of experience in the United Nations. For the past five years he has been a Senior Advisor in the UNDP Executive Office, working across the organization to develop flagship initiatives in the areas of digital technologies and digital transformation of the public sector, sustainable finance and fintech, and sustainable development. He has also focused on building global partnerships with key private sector actors and academia. Prior to this Mr. Hooper worked with the UN Secretariat on core business transformation and with UN Habitat in senior leadership roles including as Head of Office in the State of Palestine, and global Branch Coordinator for Urban Legislation, Land, and Governance. Prior to this Mr. Hooper worked for UNDP at the regional level in Slovakia, as well as in the Albania and Sri Lanka Country Offices, and office for the UN Administered Territory of Kosovo. As Director Mr. Hooper will lead the Centre focusing on issues related to Sustainability and Climate Resilience, Smart Cities and Urbanisation, Digital Technologies including Digital Inclusion and Digital Public Goods, and Digital Finance and Fintech. Mr. Hooper holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Oxford, as well as Diploma in Organizational Leadership. He also holds a Master of Arts from the University of Victoria. He is married with one child

Darren Leong

Investor, VisVires New Protein

Panel: APAC Outlook for Investing in Agriculture Innovation

Darren is an investor at VisVires New Protein (VVNP), a Singapore-based venture fund which adopts a problem-focused approach in identifying transformative solutions for a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system. Since joining VVNP in 2018, Darren has been actively involved in the sourcing, due diligence and deal structuring processes for the many portfolio companies of VVNP. Darren holds a Bachelors in Banking and Finance from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Peggy Chan

Executive Director, Zero Footprint Asia

Zero Footprint Asia - Creating a transparent food system for the future

In 2012, Peggy Chan opened Grassroots Pantry (GP) in Hong Kong with a mission to raise awareness of the inequities in our food system and to share knowledge on the benefits of whole food plant-based cuisine. In 2019, GP's first sustainability report was recognized by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ESCAP as a best practice case study on sustainable sourcing and responsible management. In 2020, Peggy developed Grassroots Initiatives Consultancy to assist foodservice professionals in their transition towards best practices that meet both human and planetary health goals. Over the years Peggy has emerged as one of the region’s most authoritative voices on organic sourcing and systems thinking design. A thought leader and a natural do-er, Peggy works diligently with multiple global ngo networks and organizations to help shape future food policies designed to address human, social and ecological needs. Peggy is a two time Tedx speaker, an alumni of Global Shapers Hong Kong, World Economic Forum and a HK Environmental Excellence Awardee in the service sector. Peggy also completed a short-course via Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership on Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions

Joel Tomas

Director of Partnerships, Zero Footprint Asia

Zero Footprint Asia - Creating a transparent food system for the future

Director of Partnerships with over 25 years in hospitality operations across Australia, Joel moved to Hong Kong in the spring of 2017 for a fresh challenge. In early 2018, he joined Grassroots Pantry and one of his first tasks was to undertake a Life Cycles Assessment of the restaurant through Zero Foodprint. This allowed him to realise firsthand the impact restaurant practices can have on the environment and from there on, GP became Asia's first carbon-neutral restaurant. Since then, he's gone down a massive rabbit hole of all things climate, processing dozens of white paper journals and peer-reviewed reports to absorb as much information as he can on food-related climate solutions. With ZFPA, Joel will be looking after partnerships whether on recruiting and on-boarding restaurants and food businesses or to answer any questions you may have throughout this journe

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