Ryan Novak: Chocolate Pizza Company Founder

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How did you get into the industry? Chocolate has been in my blood from a very young age. As a toddler, the Chocolate Pizza Company store was across the street from my house and my mom would take me over in a stroller. They tell me I was very good at reaching up and finding the sample tray while the women talked. At the age of 15, I got my first job at the company washing dishes and mopping floors. I loved working there and learned everything I could about the business. My enthusiasm was rewarded by the founder who mentored me in how to work with chocolate. It was just a small-town chocolate shop when she retired in 2010 but I knew it could be much more so I offered to buy it and she agreed. I was 21 years-old.

Career Advice? Aspiration demands perspiration – you should work for what you want. Young entrepreneurs should not be afraid that their dreams are too big but rather that they are too small. Big dreams come with big challenges that keep you up at night. Don’t fear the work, fear being stagnant. If you are not living, breathing and sweating the pursuit of your dream, then you are not reaching far enough. If your goals are coming too easily, then your expectations are failing you. Thomas Paine once said, “What we attain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”

Aksana Samy: RaWay Chocolates Founder & Fashion Model

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My Tip of the Day: Always be grateful. Think big.

What do you love most about Your City? I enjoy my yoga practice with an ocean view each morning.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?’ A smoothie bowl is my favorite breakfast meal, and my favorite restaurant is PLANT Miami.

Kiki Aranita: Poi Dog Philly Owner

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What do you love most about Your City? The tight-knit community of chefs and restaurateurs. There’s so much collaboration between us on projects and events.

What are you doing at 10:00 AM – Weeding through catering requests and emails at my desk in the basement office of Poi Dog. I handwrite a to-do list every morning in my most beautiful penmanship and then work through it.

Where do you enjoy getting lost? Chinese wet markets, where you can buy cotton underwear, a bunny rabbit and salted duck eggs from adjacent stalls.

Heather Pelletier: Chumley's Executive Chef

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My Deed of the Day: Foster a healthy work environment where everyone is happy to come to work

What do you love most about Your City? The diversity of people and food available, and that there’s always something going on no matter what time.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? Everything bagel with cream cheese from any good bagel place where they make them on premises

Chef Chris Baber: 2016 Winner, BBC Yes Chef

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Bio:

With his simple, delicious and convenient home cooking style former athlete and model turned chef Chris Baber aims to educate everyone just how easy it is to make amazing food at home. With his refreshing back to basics, everything in moderation approach to a balanced diet staying away from trends and fads. Chris competed and went on to win BBC Yes Chef in 2016

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Heather Neary: President, Auntie Anne's

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Bio:

Heather Neary was named President of Auntie Anne’s in November 2015. Heather joined Auntie Anne’s in 2005 and has held various roles in the company in which she was responsible for the oversight of marketing, communications, the franchise business consultant team, research and development, product innovation, and the franchisee leadership team.

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Celebrity Chef Wenford Patrick Simpson: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill

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Bio:

Chef Patrick began cooking as a young child in St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica. In high school, he interned at Club Caribbean and was offered a job immediately after graduation. He worked in several resorts and then took his talents to the seas, working for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Disney Cruise lines.

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Joe Cross: Filmmaker, entrepreneur, author & wellness advocate

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Bio:

Joe Cross is a filmmaker, entrepreneur, author and wellness advocate. He directed, produced and was the subject of the award-winning documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, seen by more than 21 million people around the world, and the popular sequel Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2; authored the New York Times bestseller The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet book,

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JOEL FUHRMAN, M.D. Family Physician, Best-Selling Author, Nutritional Expert

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Bio:

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a family physician, NY Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing,

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Ilya Panchernikov: Managing Director: IP Trading LLC/Caviar Russe/Nertis Seafood

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Bio:

Ilya grew up in the world of caviar. From the time he was 7 years old, he worked alongside his father in his business learning the trade from the ground up. After attending NYU and Pace University in New York, he decided to fully commit himself to the family business where he continued to grow the Caviar Russe

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