2023 Women Transforming Food & Finance

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Women Transforming Food & Finance
Thanks to everyone who made our inaugural event such a success!
An RFSI Event in partnership with Sirona Ventures
stock photo - copy - copy
Women Transforming Food & Finance
Thanks to everyone who made our inaugural event such a success!
An RFSI Event in partnership with Sirona Ventures

Our food and finance systems are broken, designed over decades to be extractive.

  • Agriculture and food are responsible for one-third of global green house gases (GHGs)
  • Biodiversity, water, and soil resources are being degraded by intensive practices
  • Prescriptive conventional agriculture systems are leaving farmers ecologically and economically vulnerable
  • The quality and nutritional density of our food has declined and is contributing to health epidemics

AND… Our financial systems are designed to perpetuate these trends.

We need new systems and we need diverse leaders who are equipped to lead through transformation…that’s where women come in.

We can change that.

A New Kind of Convergence.

RFSI, in partnership with Robyn O’Brien of Sirona Ventures, is launching Women Transforming Food & Finance – a truly unique gathering that is part conference, part mastermind, and all about activating collaboration and solutions. When you join us, you will be part of a high-caliber room full of influential female leaders from agriculture, food, and finance ready to engage in dialogue and activities geared toward action and outcomes.

Event Goals:

  • Collaboratively learn and build solutions for new food and finance systems
  • Drive change that will increase diverse leadership
  • Activate processes and relationships to increase funding to female founders
  • Develop fruitful and lasting connections across sectors that are critically important to each other and the planet



The 1.5 day program will include time for peer learning, professional development, and deep, authentic dialogue between leaders in agriculture, food, and finance. The result will be fruitful insight and connections that can serve your goals long into the future.

Women Transforming Food & Finance Agenda
DAY 1 | November 14, 2023
Doors open at 8:30 am
2:00 p.m. ET
2:10 p.m. ET
The Imperative for Diverse Leadership in Food Systems Transformation
2:20 p.m. ET
Stories of Transformation in Progress Across the System
Sara Delaney, Sarilla & Sarela Herrada, Simpli
2:50 p.m. ET
Workshop: From Radical to Practical
Annalyn Lavey, Kinneret Group
3:55 p.m. ET
Keynote Panel
Collaborative Relationships to Advance Change
Seanicaa Edwards Herron, Freedmen Heirs Foundation; Donna Isaacs, DeLaTerre Permaculture Farm; Kat Taylor, TomKat Foundation; Mark Watson, Potlikker Capital

Explore the funding journey of Louisiana farmer, Donna Isaacs, and how her path can serve as a replicable and scalable model for transformative investment across agriculture. This panel of inspiring experts will address:
– The diverse capital needs of farmers on the ground and how different types of capital can serve these needs
– How collaborative capital relationships are built and fostered
– The powerful role of intermediaries in supporting private capital and corporate stakeholders to grow their impact
– The role each of us must play in creating new approaches for alternative outcomes
4:45 p.m. ET
Closing Comments
Seanicaa Edwards Herron, Freedmen Heirs Foundation; Donna Isaacs, DeLaTerre Permaculture Farm; Kat Taylor, TomKat Foundation
RECEPTION | 5:00-6:30 p.m. ET

DAY 2 | November 15, 2023
Doors open at 8:30 am
9:00 a.m. ET
9:10 a.m. ET
Own Your Story, Own Your Pitch: Tips for Confidently Engaging Investors
Moderated by: Mindy Barker, Barker Associates
9:25 a.m. ET
Female Founders & Fundraisers Panel
Teju Adisa-Farrar, The Fiber Fund; Beth Robertson-Martin, Merge Impact; Meghan Rowe, White Leaf Provisions
Moderated by: Mindy Barker, Barker Associates

Women founders and fundraisers are dramatically underfunded compared to their male counterparts, yet their stories are often ones of strong leadership and successful outcomes. Listen, learn and engage as we dig in with three women working to raise capital to transform the food and fiber system.
10:10 a.m. ET
Keynote Address
Atomic Courage: How to Use Your Voice to Drive Change
Robyn O’Brien, Sirona Ventures

When one person is brave enough to stand up and speak truth to power, it inspires others to do the same. Over the course of Robyn’s career, she is often asked: How can I be braver in my work? How can I use my voice for good?

Join us as Robyn helps you uncover your unique strengths and passions in order to help you define the impact you want to make in the world. Women, and those who love them unconditionally, are uniquely positioned to champion change. Learn how to use your voice, powerful data and your network and community to drive change.
NETWORKING BREAK | 10:45-11:15 a.m. ET
11:15 a.m. ET
Women Leading Change Within Multi National Companies
Abi Testa, McCain Foods; Tannis Thorlakson, Driscoll’s

The current large-scale food and finance systems are designed to be efficient and extractive, making them brittle and breakable. Learn how two women are creating alternatives to these models for the food supply chain and the capital ecosystem.
11:50 a.m. ET
If It’s Broke, Fix It: Creating Alternative Approaches to Food and Finance
Connie Bowen, Farmhand Ventures; Gina Nagel, Public Good Provisions

Taking on sustainable transition within large-scale CPG companies can be a daunting task. Learn first-hand how women in these transformative roles are approaching the task and creating collaborative and lasting change.
LUNCH | 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET
1:30 p.m. ET
Seeding Social & Financial Capital for New Food Systems
Alaina Sparks, Furthermore Ventures
1:45 p.m. ET
Good Governance and Securing a Board Seat
Lisa Robinson, OnBoard

Good governance is essential to the success of any business and for many companies boards play a critical role. What does it takes to shape excellent governance and how can you secure a position in an influential board role? Find out here.
2:25 p.m. ET
Women Investing in Women: Stepping into Action

Don’t miss the final session of the program where we discuss how we can activate our key learnings. We’ll address:
– How do we build the support mechanisms (infrastructure/ processes/ policies) with in the system and organizations that enable women to lead?
– How do we shift capital resources toward women more equitably?
– How do we build communities outside these walls that left each other up?
3:00 p.m. ET
Closing Thoughts


Featured Speakers


The Trolley Barn | 963 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

The Trolley Barn is nestled in the walkable, tree-lined neighborhood of Inman Park, surrounded by late 19th and early 20th century architecture. Designed in 1880 with thoughtful awareness of its residential surroundings, The Trolley Barn is an architectural gem and a graceful reminder of the past that serves today as a unique site for this event.

Places to Stay

Inman Park, where the event venue is situated, has many boutique hotels and AirBnBs and many are within walking distance of The Trolley Barn.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in supporting this powerful convening while growing brand awareness among a community of engaged and powerful leaders? Sponsorship packages offer value and flexibility for diverse types of businesses, and include:

  • Brand Awareness: Position your organization as a leader in the effort to bring increased diversity, equity, and inclusion into this sector.
  • Thought Leadership: Showcase your expertise as a leader in inclusive solutions to a healthier agriculture, food, and finance systems and increase your visibility and thought-leadership at the intersection of these critical sectors.
  • Lead Generation & Investment Pipeline: Connect with the strategic partners that drive your success -from investors, to founders, to strategic and thought-leaders and everyone in between!
For information on our exclusive sponsorship packages, please contact us here.


Food and Beverage Partners

We are proud to feature these regenerative, female owned/co-owned food and beverage brands at the event!

Sol Simple
Sol Simple
Sol Simple

Who We Are


Founded in 2019, Regenerative Food Systems Investment (RFSI) works to catalyze capital and connections for regenerative food systems. With 25 years of combined food systems event experience, this female founded team has built an unparalleled ecosystem of agriculture and food finance and investment leaders. Our events, including the successful RFSI Forum, have a track record of producing significant outcomes – including the launch of new businesses and investment funds, and the allocation of capital to food system transformation.


Sirona Ventures

Over the past 20 years, Robyn O’Brien of Sirona Ventures has been at the absolute forefront of changes in the food industry. Today, she focuses her attention on the capital markets in order to provide integrated capital solutions at scale and transition supply chains in the face of climate change and supporting female leadership in the industry.


Thanks To Our Sponsors


Kat Taylor

Kat Taylor works in service of restoring social justice and environmental well-being to build a more equitable and inclusive world. Currently, she serves as Co-Founder and Board Chair of Beneficial State Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution and certified B Corporation. Kat is a Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation, dedicated to inspiring a regenerative food system through ranching best practices, training, educational tours, scientific research, and school food and garden programs.

Further information


Miel Creative

Miel Creative is a full-service design and communications studio making beautiful sense out of a complex world for almost two decades. Our clients include B Corps, nonprofits, and other purpose-driven organizations working to create a positive impact. Recent work includes Soil Wealth (The Croatan Institute), The Fibers Roadmap (SAFSF), and the AccelerateNC community platform (NC Biotech).

Further information


Merge Impact

The most comprehensive, primary farm data company – producer impact+monetization, marketplace discovery+sourcing, Scope 3 ecosystem MMRV.

Further information


White Leaf Provisions

White Leaf Provisions is a women-led brand addressing the issue of toxicity and nutritional density for young ones and families by creating regeneratively sourced, glyphosate residue-free tested, delicious, and well-thought-out products for young ones and families.

Further information