Keynote Speaker

Michael Lastoria

CEO and Co-Founder
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Session Description

The Trailblazers


Michael Lastoria is an American serial entrepreneur and co-founder of &pizza, a creatively led, mission-driven, culture carrying, pizza chain voted one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative companies in 2018 and 2019 for Social Good. Referred to by Bloomberg as “what Jesus might look like if he walked in a Yohji Yamamoto show,” Lastoria grounds &pizza in a commitment to better flavor, quality ingredients, livable wages, and real actions.

Lastoria has appeared on Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC, and Yahoo, and has been featured in Forbes, AdWeek, the New York Times, and Washington Post as a distinguished entrepreneur and thought leader in the industry. Speaking on topics including the value of design-based thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship, Lastoria has talked at Harvard Business School, George Washington University, and Georgetown to inspire the next generation of business leaders. Lastoria co-founded Innovation Ads which sold to a private equity firm in 2006, and JWALK which sold to beauty powerhouse Sheiseido in 2017 before starting &pizza.

Lastoria is a member of the advocacy network Business at a Fair Minimum Wage and promoted increases in minimum wage with both Barack Obama’s Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, and Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2017 respectively. At Lastoria’s direction, &pizza has donated thousands for local causes aligned with the company’s core values, distributed 30k free pies during the 2019 governmental shutdown of 2019 to workers affected by the shutdown and their families, and started the Hero Pie Program as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic which provided free pizza and support to hospital workers on the front line of the coronavirus crisis.

Lastoria has been identified as one of the country’s top executives, listed in QSR’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards as a Most Admired Fast-Casual Leader, on Nation’s Restaurant News' Annual Power List in 2018 and 2019, Fast Casual’s Movers and Shakers List in 2018 and 2019, in the Washington Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and was named Business Person of the Year in 2017 by the Small Business Council of America.