Amanda Congdon Bio
Amanda Congdon is a California based on-camera personality, new media pioneer and healthy food entrepreneur.
Upon graduating Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University, and after a brief stint at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Amanda entered the nascent world of video blogging. Her career was launched writing and hosting the independent daily internet culture show, Rocketboom. This first online "show" received intense media coverage in national and international, new and traditional media.
Next, she zigzagged across the country producing Amanda Across America, an environmentally-focused video project sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ford Escape Hybrid. Subsequently, AC on ABC, made Amanda the first video blogger for a major network, ABC News. It covered a lot of ground, from politics to tech, internet memes to eco concerns. In 2009, she went on to executive produce and host her own mobile TV series: Sometimesdaily. Sometimesdaily focused on some of the same topics, tech and the green issues, but added The New Economy and profiles of innovative entrepreneurs to the mix, all with a side of sketch comedy. Sometimesdaily aired four times weekly on Flo TV Mobile Television, and was an official selection of the Independent Television Festival of 2010.
By October 2010, all this stopped when a health crisis took Amanda to the Cleveland Clinic. When conventional medicine could not solve the problem, and after much reading and discussion, she and her husband Mario Librandi, dramatically changed their diet. The illness vanished in weeks, and a new opportunity emerged: a wellness oriented healthy food venture based on Mario's unique Italian-influenced vegan creations. Chef Vegan Mario was born.
The new business leased a shared commercial space in downtown Santa Barbara to function as a test kitchen. The word spread, and soon articles appeared in local papers. When well-known Los Angeles based vegan blogger Quarrygirl called Vegan Mario's™ SCHMICKEN™ her "new favorite product" saying it is "better than the mass produced corporate vegan meats on the market" they knew they had something.
By early 2012, Amanda and Mario decided to go "all in", and with investors, secured a location for their kitchen in California's Ojai Valley. Mario, who holds an architecture degree from Pratt Institute, then designed the building that will soon house Vegan Mario's™. The structure is expected to be complete in 2014 and Amanda, armed with a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, is looking forward to using her extensive experience in video production to promote Vegan Mario's™.
Throughout her career, Amanda has interviewed thousands of people from celebrities such as Will Smith, Diddy, Gene Simmons and Ludacris, to senior political and media figures such as Dan Rather, Mike Huckabee and Tom Vilsack. But perhaps her favorite people to chat with on-camera are those she meets during her trademark man-on-the-street segments. She plans to incorporate these candid interviews with real people in her newest project.
Amanda's career has been documented in The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, The CBS Evening News, The Washington Post, The LA Times, The Hollywood Reporter, WIRED, People Magazine, Interview Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and on countless blogs. She has appeared on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation playing herself, and has written for WIRED, PopularScience.com, USNews.com, Forbes.com and SXSW Magazine.