Arlin Wasserman, Founder & Partner
Arlin Wasserman is a principal and the founder of Changing Tastes. He has helped identify and catalyze some of the most significant shifts in the way business and consumers think about food. This includes working with General Mills to develop one of the first sustainability management programs in the food industry, developing an industry-wide initiative to link organic farming and personal health for the Organic Trade Association, developing the strategic plan that underpins the National Farm to School Network, bringing together the foodservice industry around common standards for sustainable seafood, and working with the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to create the Menus of Change™ initiative and serve as the inaugural chair the Sustainable Business Leadership Council from 2012-2018..
Arlin also previously served as Vice President of Sustainability at Sodexo, the world’s largest institutional foodservice company, and as the executive champion for culinary and health and wellness efforts in the North American market. While at Sodexo, Arlin developed the company’s Better Tomorrow™ program. His work included the first food waste training program in the foodservice industry, reaching chefs and culinary professionals in more than 12,000 dining operations. During his tenure, Dow Jones and the Financial Times recognized Sodexo as having best sustainability performance among all publicly traded hospitality companies.
He also has been awarded a Food and Society Fellowship by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and a “First Movers” Fellowship for business leadership and innovation by the Aspen Institute. Arlin holds Master’s Degrees in Natural Resources and Public Health, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, all from the University of Michigan.
Marc Zammit, Partner
Marc Zammit is a partner at Changing Tastes. Until recently, he served as Vice President of Corporate Sustainability Initiatives at Compass Group North America, overseeing the development and implementation of their national sustainability platform including all food purchasing and product development programs. In this role, Marc developed sustainability training programs for food waste reduction that served chefs and culinary professionals in more than 6,000 dining operations.
Prior to this role as Director of Culinary Development at Bon Appétit Management Company, he was pivotal in shaping their emergence as the industry leader in food-related social responsibility, including helping Bon Appétit become the first restaurant company of significance to recognize and reduce antibiotic use in its supply chain.
More recently, his efforts to engage the industry in climate change related issues is allowing him to emerge as an industry subject matter expert. Marc’s culinary leadership at Compass included the development of innovative food concepts and campaigns with emphasis on authenticity, wellness and sustainability influenced menus. His passion in sustainability is anchored in the preservation of flavors for future generations.
Russell Walker, Ph.D., Advising Partner
Russell Walker is an advising partner at Changing Tastes and is Clinical Associate Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University where he founded and now teaches very popular experiential learning classes at the Kellogg School of Management focused on data and strategy. Russ has led many studies with leading food, beverage, and agribusiness firms, such as RxBar, Element Bars, Cargill, Land O’ Lakes, Kraft, Morton Salt, major food retailers and grocery store chains, and a host of winery, distillery, and food service start-ups.
His most recent book, From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics is published by Oxford University Press (2015), explores how firms can best monetize Big Data and focuses on the strategic use of digital assets. He has also authored many business cases through Harvard Business School Publishing, and his cases have been recognized for excellence in teaching by Harvard Business School Publishing, the Aspen Institute, and the Bank of England including on Chipotle and another on the horse meat scandal in Europe that have received international praise.
Russ also serves on the Scientific and Technical Council for the Menus of Change and is part of the Cuba Study Group, a non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing prosperity to the poor of Cuba, by examining the best agricultural investments for protein production. Russell was also a food and wine critic, authoring many pieces on restaurants scored wines in multiple competitions.
Steve Petusevsky, Culinary Strategist
Steve Petusevsky is a culinary strategist at Changing Tastes and a pioneer of flavor-first, plant-forward cooking. Chef Steven Petusevsky is driven by the desire to make healthier cuisine more creative, accessible, and understood. Dedicated to transforming the way people shop and eat, his early culinary studies took him across the globe in search of innovative and authentic cooking techniques. As a result, Steve was one of the first chefs to bring quinoa directly from Peru during a time when people still struggled to pronounce it, and to raise kale’s profile from uninspired seafood garnish to delicious star of the show.
As an early leader of vibrant, healthful cooking, Steve created foundational recipes for Whole Foods Market—many of which continue to brighten the shelves and deli counter in stores throughout the country. As the retailer’s National Director of Creative Food Development, Steve quite literally wrote the book on natural foods, authoring The Whole Foods Market Cookbook—A Guide to Natural Foods with 350 Recipes.Over the years, he has continued to influence modern diets and dinner tables, reaching millions of readers as a celebrated cookbook author and columnist/contributing editor for many of the nation’s top food publications including Food & Wine, Health and Cooking Light.
Today, Steve’s deep understanding of food trends and expertise in modern, plant-centric, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine continues to be sought out by leading retail stores, restaurant chains and institutions, including Google, Lettuce Entertain You, Mariano’s, Native Foods, UCLA, Canyon Ranch, Foodland Farms, and many others. As an innovator and creator of food service programs, Steve is an in-demand outside resource, renowned for bringing a fresh perspective and global eye to help an ever-growing list of foodservice businesses craft profitable, unique food service programs.
Kyra Kristof, Consultant
Kyra Kristof is a consultant at Changing Tastes and is persistent in asking the question: What thrives here? She leads the Future of Flavor Fellows program, exploring the implications of a changing climate for food systems and culture, and teasing out an emergent place-sourced cuisine for times marked by unpredictability. As a consultant, she has helped social enterprises and non-profits build strategic collaborative relationships and effectively leverage emerging technologies, working with EarthEcho International, The InnerSpace Speciation Project, The Ocean Foundation and Validity Technologies among others. She also was a Steinbach Scholar of MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. She holds BHA and MAM degrees from Carnegie Mellon University.
Samantha Thomas, Associate
Samantha Thomas is an associate with Changing Tastes and supports our work on food, sustainability, and hospitality enterprise development and operations.
Previously an event facilitator and freelance model in the eco fashion industry in New York City, she left to pursue a career in sustainability and social justice. She went on to become the executive director of Dream Change where she spent six years working alongside NYT bestselling author John Perkins developing events and campaigns to inspire social, environmental, and economic change. It was there where she founded the Love Summit, a biannual business conference designed to demonstrate why heart-centered businesses, governments, and societies are essential to creating a socially just, environmentally sustainable, and economically stable world. The event, now under Just Choose Love, has attracted hundreds of attendees from thirty-five industries across the United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Samantha holds a Bachelor’s of Science in sustainable living and business from Maharishi University of Management, along with a Permaculture Design Certification and leadership training from the Institute for the Advancement of Human Behavior. She writes the slow food and slow lifestyle blog Samantha’s Bread & Butter.