Meet our Team: MasterClassCEO and Ready Set Food! Advisor
"Motivated by our own experiences, we set out to make it easy and safe for families to prepare their babies for food." - Andrew Leitner, M.D., Co-Founder
We are a group of physicians, scientists, and parents who are passionate about early allergen introduction. Meet the team behind our mission to help families give their babies the freedom to eat!
Why are you so passionate about early allergen introduction?
I’ve suffered from a severe peanut allergy my entire life. Staying safe is something that I have to think about every day. It’s not just carrying an Epi-Pen with me (which I do), or making sure to warn every restaurant I eat at that I’m deathly allergic to peanuts and peanut oil, or letting airlines know before I travel -- but it’s also stressful to have a constant thought that the food I might eat could send me to the hospital. When I saw the research on sustained allergen introduction, I was really excited that Ready, Set, Food! could do something about it for future generations.
What tips do you have for managing a food allergy for food allergic families?
As the CEO and Co-Founder of MasterClass, I travel a lot for work. One trick I learned was I bring a translated food allergy “chef card” explaining the severity of my peanut allergy to the chef or manager at a restaurant in any country where I don’t speak the language. This allows me to accurately communicate my allergy to ensure the restaurant can meet my needs and minimize the risk of an accidental exposure. I made my own cards, but Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) offers resources for “chef card” translations here.
I also put my Epi-Pen on the restaurant table as a visual reminder to waiters that this is serious. It might come off as dramatic, but it’s worth it. It definitely helps signify how serious my allergy is.
What motivated you to become involved with Ready, Set, Food!?
I deal with the stress, risk, and reactions from having a food allergy -- I don’t want other people to have to deal with that. I’m passionate about early allergen introduction. Ready, Set, Food! is the best product I’ve found that brings the benefits of new research home and makes it easy for all families introduce some of the biggest food allergens. Ready, Set, Food! also has an amazing team of doctors, parents, and leaders who want to make the world better. I’m proud to work with Ready, Set, Food!
How do you see Ready, Set, Food! advancing its mission of food freedom in the next 10 years?
Although peanut, egg, and milk combined represent over 80% of the most common childhood food allergies, I know the Ready, Set, Food! team is working on their innovation pipeline to introduce a new product launching later this year with more allergens. This will help us advance our goal of helping to give more children food freedom.
About David Rogier: David grew up in Los Angeles, California where he became known for two things: entrepreneurship (he sold his first company, an Internet search engine, while still in middle school), and asking too many questions in class. At Washington University in St. Louis, David majored in Political Science and Political Economy, and produced a popular interview show on a college network called 23 Minutes (although it often ran longer). David was recruited by British retailer Tesco to launch their first stores in the U.S., and worked in supply chain management where he focused on increasing the flow of healthy food to lower income neighborhoods. After Tesco, David attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he met renowned tech investor Michael Dearing (Harrison Metal), whom he went to work for after graduation. David decided what he really wanted to do was rekindle his two favorite pastimes from his youth: entrepreneurship and question-asking, by starting MasterClass (Harrison Metal became his first investor). The mission of MasterClass is to make it possible for anyone to learn from the best. In addition to his role as Co-Founder and CEO of MasterClass, David is also an active advocate for the food allergic community and serves on the board of advisors for Ready, Set, Food!
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.