Creating successful, sustainable food ventures

Who We Are

Arlin Wasserman

is the founder and partner at Changing Tastes. Arlin has helped identify and catalyze some of the most significant shifts in the way business and consumers think about food including 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 public health for the Organic Trade Association, creating the first sustainability strategy for a major foodservice company that combined both environmental and nutrition priorities, 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 and realize Menus of Change.

Arlin now chairs of the Sustainable Business Leadership Council for Menus of Change. 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. 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.

Marc Zammit

is a partner with 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. 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. His area of expertise in the sustainability arena is centered on building operational and marketing strategies that are anchored in consumer environmental, health and ethical values and can be adapted to a variety of food service business models. 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. 

Lauren Nischan

is a consultant at Changing Tastes who specializes in foodservice strategy and engagement. She has served as Marketing Specialist at Niman Ranch, building consumer and trade awareness around the importance of responsibly sourced products on a national scale, and previously worked in a similar role at Organic Valley. Her work has focused primarily on developing partnerships and navigating trends within foodservice channels. She has also worked on the local level to build viable markets for family farmers in the Midwest. Her passion for creating a more responsible food system was instilled in her at a young age by her father Michel Nischan, professional chef and sustainable food pioneer.

Cynthia Pansing

is a consultant with Changing Tastes and also serves as the Executive Director of the Berkshire Agricultural Ventures. Her areas of practice include sustainability planning and policy, strategic planning, facilitation, organizational management, community organizing, communications, evaluation, and fundraising. Cynthia has worked with farmers, business associations, corporations, foundations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, universities and communities to identify and develop sustainable solutions. She holds Masters degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles in environmental planning and anthropology. Cynthia is a recipient of both a Policy Fellowship from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellowship from Vermont’s Sustainability Institute. 

Russell Walker, Ph.D.

is an advising partner with Changing Tastes who specializes in risk management, economics, and big data analysis. He also serves as the Clinical Associate Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Russell teaches courses in the application of Analytics, Risk Management, and International Business. He is also the author of Winning with Risk Management (2013) and Operational Risk in the Insurance Industry (2013), a book chapter in Risk Management in Financial Institutions. He has authored or co-authored 60 novel case studies for use in MBA courses. Russell served as a corporate strategist at Capital One Financial, where he led the research on new analytical techniques. Russ advises for the environmental movement and food industry with Changing Tastes.