Advisory Board

Elana Amsterdam – founder elana’s pantry (blog), cookbook author

Wellness expert and gluten-free guru Elana Amsterdam is the New York Times bestselling author of the book Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry, and founder of the, where she shares simple, healthy recipes and lifestyle advice.

Elana has written forParents, Shape Magazine, andDelicious Livingand has been featured in a variety of media outlets including Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Live.

Her other books includeThe Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook(Random House 2009) named one of the "Best Cookbooks of the Year" by The Denver Post, and Gluten Free Cupcakes(Random House 2011), a tome of enticing, yet healthy desserts.

Elana has a BA in history from Columbia University. She now lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband of 18 years and her two teenage sons.

Geoff Bartakovics – founder and ceo, tasting table

Geoff Bartakovics is the founder of Tasting Table, the free daily email about food and drink culture. Before launching Tasting Table in 2008, Geoff was a Business Manager at UBS Investment Bank, where he was responsible for project- and program-management in the fixed income division's trading operation. Geoff ultimately oversaw the strategy, build and launch of UBS's home finance division, which originates bespoke mortgages for the bank's high-net worth clientele. He currently advises a number of other start-ups, including Trigger Media, Inside Hook, PureWow, Virtru, Herculo and Pixafy. He studied English literature at the University of Chicago, and studied comparative literature and philosophy at the University of Hamburg as a Fulbright Scholar. Geoff is an obsessive dinner party entertainer and a serious home cook.

Scott Dahnke, managing partner, catterton partners

Mr. Dahnke is a Managing Partner of Catterton Partners.  Catterton Partners has over $4.0 billion of equity capital under active management, making it one of the largest private equity firms in the United States focused on the consumer industry.

Mr. Dahnke has a broad range of business experience in private equity, consulting, management, and finance. Prior to joining Catterton more than a decade ago, he was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank Capital Partners and at AEA Investors, where he led AEA's consumer products investing efforts. Previously, Mr. Dahnke was the Chief Executive Officer of infoUSA, a leading publicly traded provider of business and consumer marketing products and services. Prior to joining infoUSA, Mr. Dahnke served clients on an array of strategic and operational issues as a Partner at McKinsey & Company. His early career also includes experience in the Merger Department of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and with General Motors.

Mr. Dahnke received a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He also received academic honors while earning an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Max Krohn – former co-founder,

Maxwell Krohn is the Co-founder and one-time CTO of, SparkNotes.Com, and  He holds a BA from Harvard University in Computer Science and Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) and a PhD from MIT in Computer Science.  Most recently, he co-founded and leads engineering for, a startup in the data security space.

Laura Lang – Managing Director, Narragansett Ventures

Laura Lang has been a Managing Director of Narragansett Ventures since January 2014 focused on digital investing and strategic digital advisory services. Through 2013 she served as the CEO of TimeInc.

Prior to joining Time Inc., she served as worldwide CEO of Digitas, the largest digital agency in the world. In addition, she headed parent company Publicis Groupe’s pure-play digital agencies, including: Denuo, Big Fuel, Razorfish and Phonevalley.

During her tenure as global CEO, Digitas achieved the two best years of new business growth in its history, expanded its global footprint with new offices in Australia, Brazil, India, Singapore and Sweden, became one of the leading buyers of digital media worldwide and was recognized on Advertising Ages A-List and as Agency of the Year by Adweek. Lang was also instrumental in the creation of the “New Front,” a digital content showcase for advertisers similar to television UpFronts.

Over 20-plus years in the marketing industry, Lang has garnered experience in brand management, corporate strategy and strategic consulting. Prior to joining Digitas in 1999, she served as president of the Marketing Corporation of America, and led the consulting practice at Yankelovich Clancy Shulman. Lang also worked in strategic planning for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, as well as product management at Bristol Myers and the Quaker Oats Company.

She serves on the Board of Directors of VF Corporation, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)

Dawn Lepore – former ceo and chairman,

Dawn Lepore is the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of, inc., a leading online retailer of health, beauty, and wellness products, which she led from 2004 until the successful sale to Walgreens in 2011. During her tenure, Dawn repositioned the company to focus on the over-the-counter, beauty, and vision businesses and led the company to record revenues, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow. operated a wide variety of sites, including,,,,, and In addition, drugstore operate private label sites for Luxottica Retail North America Inc. and Medco CHP, LLC.

Prior to joining, Dawn held leadership positions at The Charles Schwab Company where she played a key role launching, and then building Schwab's highly successful e-commerce business. In her 21 years with Schwab, she held a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. She served as vice chairman of technology, operations, administration, strategy and active trader, was chief information officer, a member of Schwab's Executive Committee and a trustee of SchwabFunds. Currently Dawn serves on the boards of AOL, Inc., Real Networks,, and TJX Company. She previously served on the boards of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. eBay, Inc. and The New York Times Company. Dawn has been honored by Fortune Magazine four times as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business, by the National Organization for Women at their Aiming High Conference, was named one of InformationWeek's Chiefs of the Year, and was listed as one of the Ten Hottest CIOs by Future Banker Magazine. Dawn graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Sheila Lirio Marcelo, founder and ceo,

Sheila's inspiration to found came from her own life experiences. A mother embarking on a career in technology with two small children and ailing parents who all needed care, Sheila was challenged to find quality care solutions. She knew this problem plagued others and that technology was the answer. Sheila founded in 2006 and today, the company is publicly traded on the NYSE and is the largest online care destination in the world, with more than 9.7 million members across 16 countries.

Sheila’s early career included management consulting and a teaching fellowship at Harvard Business School. Drawn to mission-driven businesses, Sheila joined Upromise, helping families save for college, and later moved to executive search engine, Subsequently, she was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Matrix Partners.

As has evolved, Sheila has been honored by the media with numerous accolades. She is a Henry Crown Fellow (Aspen Institute, Class of 2012); was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship (2011); and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (2011).

Sheila is a Board Trustee of the Philippine Development Foundation, a judge for Harvard Business School's annual Business Plan Competition, an advisor for the Harvard Business School Rock 100 Entrepreneurs Summit, and an advisor to several start-up companies. She is a frequent speaker on female entrepreneurship, women in technology, and female leadership.

Sheila graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her M.B.A. and J.D. from Harvard University. She and her family reside in the Boston, MA area.

Angelo Moratti, chairman and ceo, angellab ventures

Mr Moratti studied at Columbia University in New York City. He is currently Vice-Chairman of Saras SpA, the largest refinery company in the Mediterranean. He sits on the Board of Inter Milan Football Club. He is member of the Executive Committee of Special Olympics International and Chairman of Special Olympics Italy. Mr. Moratti was Chairman of Sarlux – a company that built and managed an electrical power station with capacity of 550 MW (1996/2002). He was Board Member of basketball club Armani Jeans (2003/2008) and Chairman of Associazione Dino Ferrari, which focuses on research for neurological diseases (2000/2005). He has been involved in Venture Capital investing since 1996, when he founded telecom company ePlanet, which went public in 2000.

Liz Neumark, founder & ceo, great performances

Liz Neumark is CEO and founder of Great Performances, rated Zagat's top catering company in New York City. Originally intended as a staffing service for women in the arts, Great Performances has evolved into one of the nation's most recognized and trend-setting catering companies. Liz's commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture and good earth practices led her to establish Katchkie Farm, her 60-acre organic farm in Upstate New York, in 2006.  As well as providing fresh produce for catering events, Katchkie Farm is home of the Sylvia Center, a garden-to-table culinary based program that inspires young people to discover good food and flavors on the farm and in the kitchen. Liz's experience in the food world has shaped her advocacy efforts: she serves on the boards of several groups on food policy and the food system, such as Just Food and GrowNYC, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including Food Arts Silver Spoon Award and Crain's 100 Most Influential Women. In her spare time, Liz can be found exploring farm stands and food shops, and spending time with her husband and three grown children. Learn more at or follow Liz on her blog

Andy Appelbaum, managing partner, riverpark ventures

Andy is the Managing Partner of RiverPark Ventures, a Venture Capital Firm focusing on high growth, early stage businesses. RiverPark Ventures is part of the RiverPark family of funds, a multi-strategy portfolio management firm.

Andy is a career entrepreneur with a focus on creating marketplaces and disrupting inefficient supply chains. The companies he has co-founded have spanned a broad diversity of industries, including technology, energy, food services, e-commerce, media and real estate. Andy is the co-founder of Seamless (formerly Seamless Web), Cleaner Options, mdenergy, Blue Ribbon Partners and domino Media Group. Prior to founding RiverPark Ventures, Andy was an active angel investor.

Andy received a BA in Philosophy and Political Science, summa cum laude from SUNY Binghamton in 1988 and a JD from New York University School of Law in 1991. From 1991 through 1992, he was an associate with the New York office of Latham & Watkins, specializing in corporate transactions and restructuring.