Whole Grains Council

about us

WGC Board of Advisors

The Whole Grains Council Board of Advisors provides valuable insight and guidance to the staff of the Whole Grains Council. Representing various grains, products, and industry segments – retail, wholesale, and foodservice – our Advisors help the WGC break down the barriers to more widespread enjoyment of whole grains.

Current Board of Advisors

Mike Holleman, WGC Chair
Director of Culinary Development, Indian Harvest

Chef Michael Holleman started his culinary career in the hotel kitchens and independent restaurants of northern Minnesota. After 10 years he moved into the manufacturer/supplier side of the business at Minnesota-based Indian Harvest.

Now Director of Culinary Development for Indian Harvest, Mike is chiefly responsible for shaping the development of new products and introducing customers to the company’s portfolio of specialty and heirloom rices, whole grains, beans and legumes from around the world, as well as Indian Harvest’s proprietary blends. He is free to indulge his passion as he seeks unusual varieties of grains and rice, and hand-selects seeds for experimental cultivation. He’s the primary image-builder with all market segments Indian Harvest serves, working closely with growers, procurers, suppliers, distributors and other partners to deliver meaningful menu solutions to the nation's foodservice operations—from casual-dining multiunits to fine-dining independents and from school campuses to U.S. military bases.

An active member of the American Culinary Federation, Chefs Collaborative and Research Chefs Association, Mike is a frequent presenter and educator on the health benefits of whole grains, and has been instrumental in promoting greater use of whole grains in foodservice. He traverses the country giving presentations on heirloom cultivation, sustainability in foodservice and whole-grain nutrition issues and trends, as well as cooking demonstrations showcasing the latest menu innovations that capitalize on the uniqueness and high quality of whole grains.

Michael Bittel, WGC Immediate Past Chair
Senior Vice President / General Manager, Flour, King Arthur Flour

Michael Bittel has worked at King Arthur® Flour since 1999, when he was first hired as Business Development Manager. He became Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 2002 and was promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager of the company’s flour divisions in 2006.

Previously, Michael worked at Quad/Graphics for twelve years in sales, printing high-quality catalogues and magazines. He is a graduate of Skidmore College. Mike is active in the Agricultural Stewardship Association and is an agricultural advisor to Congressman Chris Gibson.  He’s also active in The National Association of Flour Distributors, The Bread Bakers Guild of America and The Retail Bakers Association, and was the Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Whole Grains Council from 2009 to 2011.

Sara Baer-Sinnott, WGC Secretary
President, Oldways

Sara has been an instrumental figure at both the Whole Grains Council and Oldways since their early days, joining the staff in 1992 to work on one of the first overseas Symposiums (Food, Culture and Discovery in Spain) and the first Mediterranean Diet Conference, and being a part of the founding of the Whole Grains Council.

Sara assumed the presidency of Oldways in May 2010, on the untimely death of founder K. Dun Gifford. She now develops company strategy, oversees all Oldways projects and programs, and works closely with all members of the Oldways staff. In her years at Oldways, Sara has been an integral part of Oldways’ growth and success, helping to develop a number of its ground-breaking programs.  Sara is also co-author of the much-lauded The Oldways Table, with Oldways’ Founder, the late K. Dun Gifford.

Before joining Oldways, Sara was the Special Projects Editor at Inc. Magazine, and she's also worked for state and federal government agencies.  She has a B.A. in Economics from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and an M.A. in Regional Planinng from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Cynthia Harriman, WGC Advisor
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies, Oldways

Cynthia came to Oldways in 2003 to help manage the Whole Grains Council, then a start-up program with just six members. She managed the creation of standards and graphics for the Whole Grain Stamp, and helped it become a trusted symbol for aiding consumers in countries around the world to find thousands of whole grain products.

As Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies for Oldways, she has also been instrumental in crafting compelling nutrition communication messages for all Oldways programs, in planning international conferences, and in reviewing and updating the scientific basis for Oldways’ work. In late 2010, she was named one of Baking Management’s twenty most influential people in the baking industry.

Cynthia is the author of scores of magazine articles and five books, including the well-known Take Your Kids to Europe (a family travel guide now in its eighth edition) and Good Eats, a cookbook and nutrition guide for college students limited to six ingredients and two pans. She received her degree in French Culture and Language from Brown University.

Todd Kluger, WGC Advisor
VP Marketing, Lundberg Family Farms

Todd brings more than 15 years of marketing experience to focus on building the brand of Lundberg Family Farms. 

Previously, Todd was VP of Marketing at Roman Meal Company, introducing new organic and natural whole grain products.  Todd was also the co-founder and VP of Marketing and Product Development at The Essential Baking and Chocolate Company, in Seattle, WA.  Up to that time, Todd was a Global Brand Manager at Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Company, the world’s largest and most influential specialty coffee brand. 

Todd holds a B.A. from Washington State University and from Nihon Daigaku (Japan University) in Tokyo. 


All information on this website is © 2003-2013, Oldways Preservation Trust/Whole Grains Council, unless otherwise noted.