2016 Conference Speakers

Chopped brings together some of the best and brightest speakers to help you be your best.

Jessica Merchant is on the Chopped Podcast talking about Maintaining a Passion for your blog

Jessica Merchant

Jessica Merchant is a full-time blogger at How Sweet It Is, a site devoted to life, food, and finding the passion in it all. She is passionately in love with food, you’ll know that when you land on her site. She’s built her site from nothing to a wildly popular food blog, How Sweet It Is, since 2009, when she finally discovered a way to mesh her passion for building recipes with one of her other favorite things: writing.

Jessica is a self-proclaimed food fanatic and as such she’s shared her recipes, daily ramblings and entertaining anecdotes with millions of adoring fans. In her spare time, she loves reading, yoga, James Taylor music, and margaritas.

Emma Chapman, of the site A Beautiful Mess, is on the Chopped Podcast talking about Building a Multi-Purpose Blog. She will also be speaking at the 2016 Chopped Conference

Emma Chapman

Emma Chapman will be speaking at the 2016 Chopped Conference. Emma Chapman, along with her sister, run the blog, A Beautiful Mess, that has over a million unique visitors each month. They began monetizing the blog soon after they started it and as a result began hiring a team to help manage it. Emma will be speaking about how to persevere and adapt to the changing online environment while building your online dream. Emma has been instrumental in adding more food contributions to the site and her talk will include tips on how to monetize a site with a passion for food.

Emma says some of the best business advice she received over the years was to grow your business into 3 or 4 income streams so you are never counting on one solely. She will be sharing ideas on how you can create multiple sources of revenue for your food blog.

Lenny Ferriara will be speaking at the 2016 Chopped Conference on Food Videography

Lenny Ferreira

Lenny Ferreira and Denise Woodward are the creators behind the popular food blog, Chez Us where they share their love of life and food with easy to make at home recipes with the home chef in mind. After working in the video business for 20+ years, Lenny founded FullView Media, a boutique webcasting and video production company, that produces media for Fortune 500 companies throughout the country. Being in the video business, it only seemed natural for them to begin adding videos alongside their recipes on Chez Us.

As the demand for learning how to shoot video became more recognized as a tool to work with brands, as well as for creating content for sites, they launched Learn to Shoot Food. Featuring online workshops, tutorials and an online community, Learn to Shoot Food is for anyone interested in learning food videography. They will be presenting on the impact food videography can make for your site. You can also learn more about Denise and Lenny who were guests on the Chopped Podcast.

Picture of Cara Ansis

Cara Ansis

Cara Ansis is the brilliant and creative mind behind the site Fork and Beans. You can listen to Cara on the Chopped Podcast talk about Using Instagram to Find Your Authentic Voice. She’s also the co-host for FriChats here on the Chopped Podcast. Cara will be speaking at Chopped Con on Magic Lessons for Food Bloggers.

Bev Weidner

On Instagram, Bev’s profile reads, “Cooker, Eater, Blogger, Picture Takerer, Runner, Singer, Musicianer, and a brand-spankin’ new Mama-er.” A self-taught cook and photographer, Bev has taken her blog with its amazing recipes and photography, to a new level. Part of Bev’s outreach has included her Instagram and SnapChat accounts which can only be described as “on fire” with enthusiastic readers!

Bev will be on a Chopped Academy panel sharing about Social Media Live, sharing quirky and entertaining Instagram Story and SnapChat posts and strategies you can use to grow your “Live” presence on social media as well. You can learn more about Bev at her site Bev Cooks or follow Bev on Instagram.

Monique Volz is the next guest on the Chopped Podcast and she's talking about Developing Your Food Blog Brand

Monique Volz

Monique Volz is a healthy food blogger at Ambitious Kitchen, a site devoted to clean eating meals, better for you treats, and living an ambitious life. Monique started her blog in 2011 while working in PR, marketing and social media for both small and large-scale food brands. By 2014 Monique was ready to leave her full time job to pursue Ambitious Kitchen full time; she has never looked back and fully supports the #GirlBoss movement. In her free time, Monique travels the world, enjoys being active in any way possible, explores her love for interior design, and is always listening to Mariah Carey on repeat.

Ali Ebright is speaking at the 2016 Chopped Conference

Ali Ebright

Ali Ebright is the creator of the food blog, Gimme Some Oven, where she is all about encouraging people to celebrate life around the table, nourished by simple, healthier, and delicious recipes.  She created the blog as a hobby back in 2009, and now enjoys working on it full-time to support the millions of readers tuning in for new content each month.  She’s also a big believer in work-life balance, and spends as much time as possible volunteering, traveling, Barre 3-ing, and spending time with the stellar people in her life.

Amber Bracegirdle is the next guest on the Chopped Podcast talking about SEO Hacks for Food Bloggers

Amber Bracegirdle

Amber is co-founder of the MediaVine Publisher Network, managing editor for FoodFanatic.com and author behind BluebonnetBaker. Amber specializes in progressive ad placement, viewability of ads, SEO, creating outstanding content, building social media presence, and developing exceptional recipes. She’s a favorite, reliable, and supportive voice within the food blogging community and we’re thrilled to have her as a speaker at the 2016 Chopped Conference!

Hana Bieliauskas will participate on a panel at the 2016 Chopped Conference

Hana Bieliauskas

Hana Bieliauskas is an experienced public relations professional with a background in digital, social media and blogger engagement. She leads the digital practice for Inspire PR Group, based in Columbus, Ohio. She primarily works with food, restaurant, agriculture, tourism and nonprofit clients to integrate digital strategies into PR outreach.

She helps clients build, grow and expand their social media and marketing efforts through managing content, messaging and advertising. Hana’s clients experience increases in social media engagement and her projects have won regional and national public relations awards.

A regular speaker at BlogHer Food, Hana works closely with prominent national food, lifestyle and family bloggers. Bloggers have demonstrated increasing influence on beliefs, decision-making and purchasing behavior for their audiences. Hana will participate in a panel discussion on how bloggers can better understand their value when it comes to working with brands.

Kristen Doyle of Dine & Dish is a speaker for Chopped Conferenc

Kristen Doyle

Kristen Doyle is the creator, writer, and photographer for the award-winning blog, Dine & Dish. Kristen has been sharing delicious recipes, beautiful photography and inspired living posts on Dine & Dish to a growing audience of engaged readers since 2006.

Kristen’s work has included projects with major brands and writing/editorial projects with national print publications and websites. Her freelance writing career spans working with both local and national magazines. Kristen has made providing resources for other food bloggers an important part of her career, including hosting regular get-togethers for food bloggers in the Kansas City area.

Kristen is a busy mom of 4 young kids, loves to entertain, has a passion for photography, and believes in keeping things simple. An avid reader, an almost runner, a horrible gardener, and the wife of an outstanding man, Kristen’s goal is to connect and create meaningful relationships with others. Follow Kristen on Twitter, dineanddish.net and Facebook.

Phil Kelnhofer of the site SweetPhi is speaking at the 2016 Chopped Conference!

Philia Kelnhofer

Philia Kelnhofer (aka ‘Phi’) is the blogger behind sweetphi.com and is going to be speaking at Chopped Academy about her favorite social media platform: SnapChat (username: sweetphi). Phi has been on SnapChat since before it was cool, and will share tips and tricks on how to use SnapChat to grow your online influence and connect with your audience.

A native of Chicago, Phi attended graduate school at Cornell University in New York, has lived in North Carolina, and now calls Milwaukee, WI home where she lives with her husband and their dog.

Although she works full time, her passion is cooking and showing people that delicious food doesn’t have to have a bazillion ingredients or be intimidating to make. She knows the true meaning of being busy yet still wanting to make a delicious meal, and is author to the cookbook Fast & Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook For Busy People.