Sophia Brittan graduated from Georgetown University in 2005, after which she moved to New York City in pursuit of a culinary education. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute in 2006, followed by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. In 2007, Sophia founded KitchenCaravan.com, a healthy online cooking show, where she developed recipes and hosted the program. Four years later, she opened Victory Garden, where she serves goat milk soft serve ice cream made with local ingredients and an exotic flair. Sophia’s love of cooking, strong belief in healthy eating, and passion for travel, have all shaped Victory Garden into a place that blends local and foreign cultures.
Celebrated jeweler Daria de Koning formally trained as an artist and graphic designer at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America, and cut her teeth with a world-renown Italian jeweler before launching her eponymous collection in 2006. Ms. de Koning’s refined designs are known for being both striking and graceful. Her eye for the unusual and her extensive resources for high-quality and unconventional gemstones are manifest in her sophisticated jewelry, including hand-rendered, one-of-a-kind creations. In addition to bespoke pieces and custom commissions, Daria de Koning designs and creates her eponymous fine jewelry collection, which has been featured in numerous publications, including The Financial Times How to Spend It, The Huffington Post, Brides, Elite Traveler, Lucky magazine, Marie Claire, Martha Stewart Weddings, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country Weddings, Veranda and Women's Wear Daily.
Francisco Moya was elected to represent New York State’s 39th Assembly District in 2010, earning him the honor of being the first Ecuadorian-American ever elected to public office in the United States. A lifelong resident of Corona, Queens, Francisco began organizing in his community at age 15, when he and a group of concerned neighbors started the Corona Gardens Neighborhood Association. Francisco worked for the Queens Health Network at Elmhurst Hospital, where he was the Associate Director of Business Development. In this role, helped develop three new community-based health clinics, including a cutting-edge wellness center for seniors and the first clinic in Queens solely dedicated to women’s health. In 2003, Francisco was named Secretary to the Senate for Senate Minority Leader David A. Paterson, and became the highest-ranking Latino in state government. Francisco has successfully passed 5 bills in the New York State Assembly during his first term including the New York State DREAM Fund to provide private scholarships for children of immigrants to attend college.
The sap from evergreen bushes found on the Greek island of Chios is known as “mastiha” and has been used since ancient times for numerous purposes, from medicine to cooking. In the US, Artemis Kohas, Owner of Mastihashop NY has become Chios Mastiha’s Ambassador. With both parents hailing from Chios, Artemis has spent every summer on the island surrounded by mastiha. Coming from a lineage of mastiha growers, she was always passionate about the sap and its healing qualities. Artemis felt it her ancestral calling to be a mastiha advocate. In 2006, Artemis and her sister became partners in the Mastihashop on Mykonos and in December 2007 opened the first Mastihashop in the Americas, a lifestyle boutique on the Lower East Side of New York City where a variety of mastiha products can be found. Mastihashop has received recognition from from the New York Times and Vogue, and won the British Airways Face of Opportunity contest for small businesses in 2011. Artemis earned her BS from Lafayette College and an MA from New York University, both in psychology. She is a licensed mental health counselor, and worked with children and families affected by 9/11 at P.S. 150 in Tribeca.