Convention Panels

 1. Bumper to Bumper: How to Open a Successful Food Truck Business

Interested in starting your own food truck? Everyone knows starting something new can be a daunting and unknown. However this workshop is a great introduction that can help kick start your new business. We will go over how/where to start from permits to vending. We will be discussing the do's and don'ts as well as common mistakes new food truck owners make.

 2. Finding Funding: How and Where to Access Capital to Open and Grow Your Food Truck   Business

Funding is one of the largest barriers to entry in the food truck industry and one of the largest obstacles to expand and diversify a food truck.   Led by financial experts and food truck owners who have successfully found funding, this workshop is here to help and provide insight on how   you can overcome this obstacle.



Daniel Friedman - LEDC

Daniel was born in Takoma Park, MD, and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in Spanish Language, Literatures, and Cultures. At LEDC, Daniel has worked in both the Small Business Development and Small Business Lending Programs. In his current role as Loan Operations Manager, his responsibilities include supervising loan officers, implementing underwriting policies, developing new loan products, and more. On the weekend, you can find Daniel working for Twin Springs Fruit Farm at local farm markets, a part-time job he has held since high school.

 3. The WWW of Who, When and Why for Online and Social Media Marketing

Understanding online and social media marketing is imperative for increasing brand awareness in an increasingly technologically advanced

 and dependent society, especially for small businesses like food trucks. Join this workshop for guidance from marketing professionals and food

 truck professionals that have mastered social media marketing to become even more successful.



Kathryn Kiel - LEDC

Kathryn is president and owner of Top Shelf Design. She serves as a relationship manager and liaison between clients and the design team. She has a strong track record of helping client initiatives succeed thanks to her skill in business process and passion for customer service. Kathryn’s leadership responsibilities also ensure Top Shelf Design’s high standards of professionalism and accountability with each client project. Prior to launching Top Shelf Design, she served as senior vice president of InterSolutions, Inc. Kathryn is a graduate of James Madison University and holds an MBA from the University of Maryland.

 4. From Zero to 60: Interviewing, Hiring and Staffing Your Food Truck Business

Have a business but need employees? Attend this workshop to learn where and how to safely hire staff and all the legal work that comes with it. Hear from some of the great local employers who have years of experience in hiring successfully.


 Joe Riescher - Capital Restaurant Resources

 5. Up Your Curbside Appeal: Latest in Food and Menu Trends

What attracts customers to your food truck? Your curbside appeal. Join this workshop to learn how to maximize your curbside appeal by   understanding food and menu trends to maximize the success of your food truck.


Eric Weiner - Food Trucks In

 6. More than Just Lunch: Diversify and Maximize Your Food Truck Business through Catering,   Pop Ups, and Wholesale

Knowing how and where to sell yourself is crucial for success in this industry. Attend this workshop to learn about different strategies you can use to increase your popularity and business. 


Kirk Francis - Captain Cookie

 7. Here It Is: The 2020 and Beyond Events Calendar

Want to know what events are ahead where you can learn more or even attend with your truck? This workshop we will discuss different future events and conventions you can attend with your truck. Maximizing business and getting your business name out to the public is a great way to expand your customer pool.


Eric Weiner - Food Trucks In

Jeff Kelley - Wonky Ventures

Jeff Kelley is a Lifelong entrepreneur, investor, advisor, and creator. His professional mission is to bring ideas to life that elevate the well-being of others. He helped found the DMVFTA, the Eat Wonky food truck, Truckeroo, and countless other food truck events in the DC area. He also consulted for dozens of food truck owners and wrote the first book on launching a food truck business by an actual food truck operator. Jeff's experience as a food truck owner and influencer in the space led to his founding of Territory Foods, which provides customers with millions of healthy, ready-to-eat meals every year and collaborates with numerous food truck owners as part of its national chef network.  Jeff is an advocate for fair food truck regulations and an avid believer in the importance of food trucks in the global food landscape.   


Amy Katz - Curbside Kitchen

Amy Katz is the Founder and CEO of Curbside Kitchen, a PropTech company that creates custom food truck solutions for commercial and residential properties. As one of the few female founders in the Proptech sector, Amy oversees all aspects of the company’s operational, sales, and marketing of the business.

In 2018, Amy identified the increasing tenant demand for food amenities within the commercial and residential property markets. Property Owners and Property Managers were struggling to find a way to provide reliable and safe food trucks to their urban and suburban properties. She brought her expertise in sales and digital marketing to the commercial real estate sector and launched Curbside Kitchen. 

Curbside Kitchen believes that eating is a shared experience and that every person should enjoy delicious, diverse, and accessible cuisine outside their workplace doors. With her team, Amy developed an easy-to-use technology platform that connects building owners, leasing agents, and property managers with food trucks. Curbside Kitchen has further expanded the technology platform by rolling out its new mobile app and ordering platform, which has proven to be prescient given COVID-19’s effect on the food delivery business. Curbside Kitchen also provides wrap-around services to support the tenant and residential experience, such as marketing, flyers, promotional emails, weekly reminders, and menus. Curbside Kitchen has expanded to work with universities, corporations, and cultural events to curate culinary experiences for their communities.

Since its founding in 2018, a core tenet of the mission is community outreach and charitable initiatives. Amy and her team founded Curbside Cares, the company partners with organizations to support corporate social responsibility efforts and work with national and local non-profits including, Nourish Now, March of Dimes, and Crystal City.

The company is headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and works with partners and food truck owners in the Washington, D.C metro area, Philadelphia, and Raleigh, N.C.

Amy’s previous experience includes positions in sales, marketing, and advertising at leading companies, including, Paper  and 

 Katz graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Marketing. 

 8. Three Words of Wisdom from Three Street Vendors Who Opened Brick and Mortars

Brick and Mortar stores are one way of evolving and expanding a food truck, but it seems daunting at first. Learn how you can do it with your food truck by attending this workshop led by three street vendors who opened successful brick and mortars and will help demystify the process by sharing their experiences.


Mike Lenard - TaKorean

Mike Lenard is the founder and CEO of TaKorean, a Washington DC based fast-casual restaurant chain serving Korean tacos and rice bowls.  With an appreciation for food and a background in retail operations, Mike opened TaKorean in 2010 in the back of a 1985 Ford box-truck.  Mike co-founded the DMV Food Truck Association in 2011 and served as the assistant director/treasurer until 2014.  Since 2010 TaKorean has grown to four bricks-and-mortar locations in Washington DC and Philadelphia. 

Prior to opening TaKorean, Mike worked in specialty outdoor retail stores focusing on operations and leadership.  His seven years of experience in the outdoor industry helped solidify his philosophy around the importance of the employee experience and offering the highest operations standards.  At TaKorean the average employee has worked at the company for over two and a half years, a rarity in this industry. 

Mike earned his Associates of Science in Ski and Snowboard Business at Colorado Mountain College.  He currently serves on the board of Trustees at The Field School in Washington DC, where he attended high school.  During his time off he can be found traveling, skiing, fishing, and cooking.


Kirk Francis - Captain Cookie

 9. The 66%: Not All Small Business Go As Planned, So Whats next?

What do you do now? This workshop is great for those who don't know where or what to do. Speakers that have been in the industry for years will share their experiences when profits are lower than expected and what they did to overcome it.


Al Goldberg - Mess Hall

Al Goldberg has spent over 20 years in the DC food and beverage industry. As a passionate supporter of small and local businesses, he recognized the need for legal affordable commercial kitchen space and founded Mess Hall in late 2014, a project that took 4-years to come to fruition. Mess Hall is an established culinary incubator in the Edgewood neighborhood of Washington, DC that supports food trucks and other passionate food entrepreneurs in a unique venue designed to foster a vibrant and diverse local food community. By providing mentoring and a variety of business services, Mess Hall has launched and helped accelerate over 200 businesses to date, more than 80% of which are women and/or minority-owned.

In 2015, Mess Hall won the Mayor’s Sustainability Award for its greening practices. In 2016 the SBA recognized Mess Hall as one of the nation’s Top Accelerators, accompanied by a $50,000 grant to further its mission. In 2017 The Washington Business Journal designated Mess Hall one of the Most Innovative Companies in the Washington Metropolitan area.

Al is a graduate of The George Washington University and currently resides in Northwest DC with his wife and two children.

 10. DMV Permitting Q&A

The local content you've been waiting for! Ask any and all questions regarding permitting in the DMV and get them answered by experts.

 11. Worldwide State of Trucks

Food trucks have taken the world by storm and the industry has become a worldwide phenomenon. Listen to the experiences and stories of   food truck owners across the world from the United States to the United Kingdom to Germany.  

© DMV Food Truck Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization, All rights reserved

Washington, DC 20002  | INFO@DMVFTA.ORG

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software