Most Popular Links

Advisory Board

Matthew Sheppard, Chief Operating Officer, 4food Inc.

Mr. Sheppard is the former Head of Operations for McAlister's Deli Restaurants, a successful 350+ store QSR chain based in Ridgeland, MS. Matt originally came to New York to rationalize the operations of the Original Soup Man.


Fred D. Pira, President and Chief Executive Officer, ProNex, Inc.

Mr. Pira's career spans 23 years of successful sales, sales management, marketing, business development and channel management experience.

As the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of ProNex, Inc. since 2001, his mission is to drive the company's global leadership in the IT business consulting and managed services markets with innovative offerings, including the Utility Platform and My ProConnect, a Web enabled tool for healthcare professionals, their clients and patients.

Fred is a hands-on executive, expert in analyzing existing operations and implementing the strategic processes and technologies to improve organizational performance. Fred is an aggressive problem solver with a track record of forging alliances among diverse and disparate groups and individuals.

Throughout his career, Fred has demonstrated the ability to grasp complex business issues, identify and responding to market needs, and resolving multi-level problems. He has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to understand and respond to the diverse product and service requirements of various businesses, and provides the tenacious leadership to get the job done.

Prior to launching ProNex Fred was Director of Channel Strategies at Comdisco, responsible for the origination and direction of all marketing, sales, and new business development activities for technology services. In addition, he orchestrated the ground-up build-out of an IT solutions sales channel and delivery infrastructure for a $300 million company.

He holds a Master of Management degree from North Park University, Chicago, Illinois. He also maintains certificates in Marketing of Services and Organizational Development.

MaryBeth Augustine, RD, CDN, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant, The Natural Nutritionist

MaryBeth Augustine is a Registered Dietitian and New York State Certified Nutritionist who uses medicinal foods, edible flowers, herbs and spices, therapeutic teas, vitamins, minerals, herbs and essential oils as part of her nutrition care "toolbox."

Ms. Augustine's work experiences have included: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Center providing nutrition counseling on plant-based diets for the prevention and complementary care of cancer and working on research studies for dietary supplements; cardiovascular risk-reduction research at the American Health Foundation; faculty practice at Beth Israel Center For Health & Healing; and consultant lecturer for Oxford Health Plans. Ms. Augustine’s primary specialties include oncology nutrition (she's a cancer survivor!), and management of gastrointestinal, autoimmune, and hormonal disorders.

Ms. Augustine is a sought-after speaker for the public and healthcare professionals, and speaking highlights include: The United Nations Committee on Aging, The American Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Care, Omega Institute, Center for Mind-Body Medicine, International CAM Expo, New York State Dietetic Association, and Massachusetts Dietetic Association. She has appeared on NBC Today In New York, CBS News at 4, CBS Market Watch, ABC Morning News, FOX 5 News, CNN, and Discovery Health TV.

Daniel Aronson, MBA, Strategy Consultant, International Business Machines

Mr. Aronson brings a blend of strategy, business sense, and creativity to the Bistro table. He is a consultant with over a decade of experience in strategic and operational consulting, including working with telecommunications, media, entertainment, and technology firms as well as companies in healthcare, banking, retail, and other industries. He has assisted organizations with digital strategy, helped companies launching new digital media businesses, and been part of information publishers re-thinking their processes for strategic conversations.

Mr. Aronson has also won a Top 5% of the Web award and had his articles and materials used in university-level courses on 4 continents, as well as by the US Army, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and many other organizations.