Circle of Advisors

The Groceryships Circle of Advisors is a group of professionals in various fields who support our mission and offer their insight and experience in the development of our programs.   

Meghan L. Butryn, Ph.D, is a clinical psychologist, is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Drexel University, and co-director of the Laboratory for Innovations in Health-Related Behavior Change. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and focuses on the development and evaluation of treatment and prevention programs for obesity. Dr. Butryn has over 40 peer-reviewed publications and presents regularly at national and international research conferences.

Alex Dorsey is the General Manager of eroots, a social enterprise committed to ensuring everyone has equal access to quality organic produce throughout Los Angeles. Responsible for the startup and development of the business as a model to increase access of sustainably grown produce in food insecure communities, Dorsey brings more than 20 years in a rich background in business development and project management from managing complex facilities and community revitalization projects in the public sector; to growing small businesses in a variety of industries. A lifelong commitment to service, she merges her skills in critical analysis and facilitation with a passion for making a difference and creating healthy and vibrant communities. She is a guest lecturer at Portland State University and the University of Southern California on the subject of social innovation, small business, and community development.

Dr. Stephanie Smooke received her Bachelor's Degree from Yale University and her M.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA in June 2006. Prior to beginning her fellowship, Dr. Smooke served as the Chief Resident for the UCLA Department of Medicine from 2006-2007. She then completed her fellowship in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at UCLA. Dr. Smooke joined the Division of Endocrinology faculty in 2009. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology.

Daniel Polk has over 10 years experience in professional kitchens, and is presently a Sous Chef at Akasha. He has worked in top restaurants and hotels in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Russia. As a chef and restaurateur, Polk understands that it is not only his responsibility to produce great tasting food, but as an expert he should help shape the way our society thinks about dining and food as a whole. This is also a personal undertaking as Daniel has struggled with food addiction and eating healthy throughout his life. He and his loving wife Lena have just moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles.

Gene Stone, a graduate of Stanford and Harvard, is a former Peace Corps volunteer, screenwriter, and journalist as well as a book, magazine, and newspaper editor for such companies as the Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and Simon & Schuster. He has also ghostwritten thirty books for a diverse lot of people, including theoretical physicist Steven Hawking, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, and TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie. Gene has written books under his own name, including The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, which has been translated into more than 20 languages, and The Watch, the definitive book on the wristwatch. Gene has also written many books on his primary interests: animal rights and plant-based nutrition, including Forks Over Knives, and, as a co-writer with Rip Esselstyn, The Engine 2 Diet and My Beef with Meat; and with Gene Baur, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life. Gene’s newest book is The Awareness, his first novel.

Dr. Robert Whitman earned his Masters in Education Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2005. He has extensive leadership experience across LAUSD as Special Education Teacher, Coordinator, Dean of Students and Small School Principal at David Starr Jordan and West Adams Preparatory High School. He is experienced at utilizing data to implement programs that enhance student achievement, particularly successful interventions designed as alternatives to suspension. As small school principal, Dr. Whitman also worked to ensure all students received access to quality standards-based instruction. He recently received his Ed.D from Long Beach State University's, which focused on Educational Leadership.