Morning Keynote - Ellie Kay
Ellie Kay is the best-selling author of fourteen books including The Sixty Minute Money Workout, Living Rich for Less as well as The Little Book of Big Savings (all with Waterbrook/Random House). She is a popular international speaker, presenting at arena events with 8,000 people. As a media veteran, she has appeared on over 600 radio/tv stations including CNBC, CNN and Fox News. Ellie is currently seen regularly on ABC NEWS NOW as one of their experts. She is an international radio commentator for Money Matters and Focus on the Family. As a popular columnist she writes for six national magazines. She has been the subject matter expert or writer for hundreds of national periodicals including The Wall Street Journal The New York Times, The Washington Post, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World, Redbook, Consumer Reports, Cosmopolitan and Life Beautiful.
Ellie and her team have taken the “Heroes at Home World Tour” from coast to coast in the United States and to China, Germany, France, Italy and England. In all these venues, they are helping military families with key issues including finances.
Ellie Kay graduated from CCU with an MA in HR and is married to Bob, a current test pilot and retired USAF fighter pilot. They have seven children. She is the daughter of a Air Force Reserve Chief, the mom of a Naval Academy graduate, Marine, and a son at the Air Force Academy. Their youngest son wants to go to Westpoint. To read Ellie’s blog or to sign up for a free newsletter, go to www.elliekay.com . The Kays live in Palmdale, CA, which is in Los Angeles county.
Afternoon Keynote - Amy Finley
Amy Finley is a traveler, cook, and writer living in Southern California. As a child, she learned to cook by playing in the kitchen with her grandmother, a woman from rural Louisiana who insisted on from-scratch cooking. The second eldest of eight children, Amy took responsibility for organizing family meals early in life, supplementing the skills and recipes she learned from her grandmother with others gleaned from her harried home-economics teacher mother's (untouched) stash of cookbooks. A move to Sun Valley, Idaho, in the late 1990’s engendered a career change as Amy became the assistant editor of Appellation Wine Country Living and Sun Valley Magazine. Working with acclaimed chefs and food writers like Patricia Wells and Alec Lobrano, Amy recognized her own ambitions in food and publishing. In 2000, after meeting her French-American husband, Greg, she moved to Paris and enrolled at Grégoire-Ferrandi's École Supérieure de Cuisine Française, training in classical French cooking and pastry, with side classes in bread baking and the art of charcuterie. During school, Amy developed a profound love for and respect of French regional dishes, traveling with her classmates through the regions around Lyon and Bordeaux, meeting purveyors and tasting native dishes in their natural environments. Over the next several years she divided her time between San Diego and Europe, raising a family, working as a pastry chef with trendsetters Rose and Jean-Charles Carrarini (and new Paris food darlings Alice Quillet and Anna Trattles, now of Le Bal) at Rose Bakery in Paris's 9th arrondissement, and making an initial foray into publishing, authoring a guidebook on the Italian Riviera, including its rich culture of gastronomy. In 2007, Amy was named the winner of the third season of The Next Food Network Star, the hit reality program of the Food Network. Her show The Gourmet Next Door premiered to strong ratings later that year and was picked up for additional episodes, but citing the family pressures that became the basis for her 2011 memoir, How to Eat a Small Country: A Family's Pursuit of Happiness One Meal at a Time, Amy declined and instead moved her family to a farm in rural Burgundy, France, returning to California in late 2008. She has been a regular contributor to Bon Appétit and her writing and recipes have appeared in Good Housekeeping, People, and numerous regional publications. She cooks regularly on CW6 "San Diego Living" and is a noted speaker, with recent appearances at the Junior League of San Diego, UCLA, and the Idyllwild Author's Series.
Today Amy is known around San Diego as a food writer for Edible San Diego and Riviera Magazine. An advocate for and ardent believer in the transformative power of cooking she is working on promoting the French village model to see how communities could and should embrace expert "hubs" rather than pursuing individual cooking autonomy. She lives with her husband, two children, dog, and two chickens in San Diego, California.