Dr. Ricky Volpe, Ph.D.

Cal Poly

Ricky Volpe has a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. He spent four years working as an economist at the USDA Economic Research Service in Washington DC. While there he researched a variety of topics, including food price formation, competitiveness in the food industry, and the healthiness of grocery purchases in the U.S. Ricky was also responsible for forecasting retail food price inflation at the national level.

At Cal Poly since 2014, Ricky teaches courses on food retail and supply chain management, transportation and logistics, and data analysis. He also maintains an active research agenda using a variety of large scanner data sets to study issues related to market structure, firm performance, food prices, consumers’ food choices, and health outcomes. He also works closely with industry leaders in food retailing, wholesaling, and distribution to facilitate collaboration on public-private partnerships, student internships, and scholarships.

Martin Stein

Founder & Managing Director, Blackford Capital

Martin Stein is the founder and managing director of Blackford Capital, focused on dramatically transforming lower middle-market industrial enterprises through exponentially profitable growth. Since receiving his Bachelor of Arts from University of Chicago and his MBA from Harvard Business School, he has had almost two decades of private equity experience. Among other awards, Martin has been honored as the nation’s Private Equity Professional of the Year by M&A Advisor.

Michelle Krebs

Executive Analyst, Cox Automotive

Michelle Krebs is an executive analyst for Cox Automotive, based in Detroit. An award-winning automotive writer, Krebs is a frequent guest on CNN, CNBC, FOX, and other news programs. Before joining Cox Automotive, Krebs was a senior analyst and editor for Edmunds.com. She reviewed cars for The New York Times and participated in the selection of Motor Trend’s Car/Truck of the Year. She was a reporter and editor for Automotive News. She served as president of the Society of Automotive Analysts and the Automotive Press Association. She is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Scott Brave

Head of Economic Analytics , The Morning Consult

Scott A. Brave is the Head of Economic Analytics for decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where he leverages the company's high-frequency proprietary data in forecasting and predictive analytics to help clients make better business decisions.

Previously, Scott led the releases of economic activity and financial conditions indexes as a senior economist in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

His research has been published in multiple journals including the International Journal of Forecasting, the Journal of Sports Economics as well as Chicago Fed research publications.

Scott earned his bachelor's degree with honors in economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.