Team

Our Experience

Our team brings more than 400 years of collective operational experience in sales, marketing, supply chain and finance with both established and emerging brands. With this unique perspective we help early stage consumer businesses set the foundation for growth to become category creators, disruptors and leaders.

  • Big Brand Experience

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  • Small Brand Experience

    more than

    105

    small brands

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  • A Different Approach

    Cross-functional expertise to help emerging brands become category leaders

Investment Team

  • SHARON KIEFFER:MANAGING PARTNER

    Sharon Kieffer has spent the majority of her 20+ year career as a successful innovator and business builder in the consumer packaged goods industry. As an executive at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods she leveraged her strong consumer and business insights to create and build over $2 billion of new CPG businesses around the globe. Most notably she worked to launch Aquafina and Starbucks ready to drink beverages in the US and expand the Philadelphia and Kraft cheese brands into new categories internationally. Today, she is focused on working alongside entrepreneurs to help create the next generation of differentiated and high growth CPG businesses.

    Sharon began her marketing career in advertising at Leo Burnett, working on personal care and paper businesses. She spent the next 18+ years rising through the ranks in Marketing and Innovation at Kraft Foods, Fort James and PepsiCo. Most recently, Sharon was the VP of Global Innovation at PepsiCo where she led disruptive innovation efforts for the Quaker brand and Global Nutrition Group around the world.

    Sharon received both a B.B.A. and an M.B.A from the University of Wisconsin. She enjoys spending time with her husband and twin boys and pursuing her passions of athletics, the outdoors and health and wellness. She is an avid Badger and Packer fan, has completed two marathons, biked through Italy and enjoys hiking whenever possible.

  • Andy Whitman:MANAGING PARTNER

    Andy Whitman is a successful consumer products executive and investor who melds the experience of a Fortune 100 leader with the passion and resourcefulness of an entrepreneur. After a successful career with General Foods and Kraft Foods and recognizing that nurturing smaller businesses to achieve rapid growth was his passion, he focused on investing in and helping to operate small consumer products companies. Andy has been an active part of the emerging branded consumer products eco-system since founding 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners in 2001.

    Andy began his career managing icons like Kool-Aid and Tang. After years of delivering results on big brands, he jumped at the opportunity to run small, autonomous businesses within Kraft in a shirtsleeves environment. Taking charge of brands as small as $10 million that Kraft had been unable to grow or run profitably, Andy’s entrepreneurial leadership produced outstanding results. His ability to grow businesses comes from his proven general management experience built upon a diverse breadth of prior functional assignments, including marketing, sales, operations planning and corporate development.

    He currently or previously assisted pro bono by serving as a board member for the Jewish United Federation Foods & Hospitality Trade Sector, Marketing Executives Network Group (MENG), Venture Board of the Women’s Self-Employment Project and White Plains Child Day Care Association, a Head Start agency.

    Andy received a B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is an outdoor adventure traveler, an active skier, an avid college basketball fan, a Culinary Institute of America-trained cooking enthusiast and a devoted Parrothead – as a result of traveling early in his career with singer Jimmy Buffett.

  • LIZ MYSLIK:PARTNER

    Liz Myslik is driven by the desire to help mission-driven brands and the people who create them. She has spent nearly 20 years leading emerging consumer brands across the food, beverage and fitness industries. Her operating and leadership experience make Liz a valued partner to entrepreneurs, investors, and management teams. She has faced many of the same challenges they do; building and managing supply chains, running in-house and outsourced manufacturing, driving product trial and consumer loyalty, achieving distribution growth, developing new products, leading teams, improving product margins, and financing working capital and growth.

    At mind-body health company Gaiam, Liz led marketing, M&A, and international and helped the company grow to over $140 million in four years. She then founded a brand management and investment firm that served entrepreneurial brands such as Rudi’s, Eco-Products, Plum Organics, 34 Degrees, and Mix1 Beverage. Liz served as CEO of early stage consumer brands for venture firm Sandbox Industries, pioneering direct to consumer, omni channel, and functional nutrition products. Following an exit to a strategic partner and time to travel, Liz joined the ownership team at food manufacturer Fresca Foods. She forged innovation and manufacturing partnerships with General Mills, Annie’s, Epic Provisions, Cascadian Farm, Tate’s, Mondelez, and Unilever. She also led Fresca Foods’ owned portfolio of food brands.

    Liz has been named as a Kingmaker in Consumer & Retail by Forbes, one of the Most Influential Woman in Food & Drink by Fortune, and a Wonder Woman in the Natural Products Industry by New Hope Media. She received her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School and graduated cum laude with a BS in Marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She lives in Denver with her husband and 10-year-old son. She is an avid yogi, skier, runner, traveler, reader and Denver Legends (little league) baseball fan.

  • KIM ANNE STARKE:CFO/COO

    Kim Anne Starke is a successful business leader with 20+ years of experience in both financial line positions and strategic project roles within Kraft Foods, a Fortune 50 consumer packaged goods company, and Mondelēz International (a Kraft spin-off company). Kim Anne melds her business acumen with her passion to improve our bodies and planet earth through cultivation of consumer products innovations.

    Kim Anne began her career providing financial management and business counsel on the powdered soft drink portfolio, including Country Time, Crystal Light and Tang brands. She progressed through multiple facets of finance and project management, driving new product introductions, integration of acquired businesses, separation of divested businesses and margin enhancement initiatives, including an ERP implementation. Her breadth of experience covers numerous product categories in both the retail and food service distribution channels, as well as cross-functional counsel with marketing, sales, supply chain and corporate headquarter teams.

    Kim Anne received her M.B.A. from The University of South Carolina and her B.A. from DePauw University. She enjoys time together with her husband and two children and her favorite pursuits include sharing good food and wine with friends and family, cooking at home, promoting a healthy lifestyle, travel and photography.

  • ERIC HADDENHORST:Principal

    Eric Haddenhorst has 10+ years of experience as an investor and advisor to consumer products and retail companies. Prior to 2x Partners, Eric was a principal investor with Norwest Equity Partners, where he focused primarily on leveraged buyouts and growth investments in the consumer and retail industry. Eric also has significant experience as an investment banker with Harris Williams & Co.’s Food & Beverage group, advising clients on merger and acquisition and capital raising activities, and as a CPA for Ernst & Young.

    Eric holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and received both his Business Administration and Accountancy Degrees from the University of North Dakota..

  • CRAIG BARTLETT:SENIOR ASSOCIATE

    Craig Bartlett has 4+ years of experience as an investor and advisor. Prior to 2x Partners, he was an investment banker with Wells Fargo’s Financial Sponsors Group, where he advised private investment firms on acquisitions and financings. Craig’s earliest work experiences were at consumer products brands Quiksilver and Zico Coconut Water.

    Craig holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

  • Dave Bauserman:OPERATING PARTNER

    Dave Bauserman is recognized throughout the industry for his breadth of operations knowledge and ability to effectively negotiate solutions that benefit all stakeholders. The majority of his 35-year career has focused on operations and manufacturing at General Foods and Kraft. His industry experience includes processing, packaging and distribution of liquid and dry, refrigerated, frozen and ready-to-eat, boxed, pouched, bottled and canned products produced under regulations including USDA and FDA. He has held positions ranging from frontline plant operations to executive leadership.

    Dave led Kraft’s external (3rd party) manufacturing organization that managed a complex producer network of over 100 companies and 150 plant locations across the USA and Canada. He developed and executed outsourcing strategies that facilitated expeditious new product introductions, improved asset utilization, minimized capital investments and maximized continual cost savings while ensuring product safety and brand equity protection. Since leaving Kraft in 2002, Dave has been actively involved in manufacturing, co-packing, supply chain and other operational issues with many high growth emerging branded consumer products companies.

    Dave holds a B.S. degree in Business and Industrial Management from San Jose State University.

Industry venture partners

  • Mark Baum:TRADE & FOODSERVICE EXPERT

    Mark currently serves as Senior Vice President of Industry Relations and Chief Collaboration Officer for the Food Marketing Institute. In this role, Mark engages retailer, manufacturer, supplier, and service provider CEOs to further trading partner collaboration, leading to operational improvements and growth opportunities across all segments of the food retail supply chain. Prior to joining FMI, Mark was a Managing Partner of MARCAT Group, LLC a consulting/advisory firm specializing in business, market, channel, and customer development.

    Mark is known for his intricate knowledge of every aspect of the food, beverage and related businesses, and is recognized among the foremost experts in the design, management, and execution of strategy, sales, marketing, and merchandising activities throughout the industry.

    Previously, Mark was a Partner & Managing Director of the CPG/Retail Practice at Diamond Management & Technology Consultants (NASDAQ: DTPI), now owned by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP (PwC). Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). Formerly, Mark was the President & CEO of the Association of Sales & Marketing Companies (ASMC). He joined GMA in 2001 after leading the merger with ASMC.

    Earlier in his career, Mark served as Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Retail Insights, a division of Maclean Hunter Media/Progressive Grocer Associates – producers of Supermarket Insights, Convenience Store Insights and Restaurant Insights – and prior to that, held significant management positions at Food Distributors International.

    Mark’s career in the food, beverage, and CPG industry spans over 30 years and began at Paragon, a snack food/candy distributor in New York.

    Mark serves on the Board of Directors of KeyImpact Sales & Systems, a national foodservice broker in the United States. He is an Industry Venture Partner (IVP) with 2X Consumer Partners, a private-equity firm, providing growth capital and industry expertise to emerging branded consumer products businesses. To promote diversity initiatives, Mark is a Founding Champion of the Network of Executive Women (NEW), a CPG/Retail industry organization dedicated to providing career opportunities for women and minorities. Mark also is a Director on the Board of the Oswego State University Foundation, his alma mater, where he is Chairman of their current Capital Campaign.

    Mark is a supporter of several conservation, and active outdoors sporting/recreation groups. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Access Fund; a Boulder, CO based climbing advocacy organization and land trust. Mark is also a member of the National Wildlife Federation’s President’s Advisory Council, and serves as a Director of Nature’s Best Photography.

    Mark and his wife, Cathy, are residents of Reston, Virginia where they are involved in and support a variety of local charities, civic, and cultural organizations. Mark received his undergraduate degree at Oswego State University (NY) where he majored in political science/economics and completed graduate course work in marketing and organizational development at Marymount University.

  • BOB BURKE:MARKETING, SALES & CHANNEL EXPERT

    As a consultant since 1998, Bob Burke provides assistance in bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market across most classes of trade. This includes work in strategic planning, growth strategies, writing sales, marketing and business plans, budgeting, pricing, building distribution, broker selection and management, organizational development, strategic options, financing, branding, trade spending management and assistance around M&A, due diligence and venture strategy groups. He is also the co-author and co-publisher of the Natural Products Field Manual, Sixth Edition, The Sales Manager’s Handbook and Staking out Space on the Supermarket Shelf. Prior to consulting, Bob was with Stonyfield Farm Yogurt for 11 years as Vice President, Sales & Corporate Development and Vice President, Marketing & Sales. He has held marketing positions with Colombo, Inc. and Sperry Top-Sider. He received an MBA from Babson College.

    Clients: Have had the privilege of working with and learning from exciting companies such as: Annie’s Homegrown, Oregon Chai, Snyder’s of Hanover, UNFI, No Pudge!, Kraft Foods, Bayer Consumer Care Division, ConAgra, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Stacy’s Pita Chips, Kettle Cuisine, Small Planet Foods, New Hope Natural Media, Bushes Beans, Equal Exchange, Stirrings, Immaculate Baking, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Dancing Deer Bakery, The Natural Dentist, Rice Select, EcoFish, PMO Wildwood, S.C. Johnson, Blake’s All Natural Foods, Megafood/BioSan, Mighty Leaf Tea, Lesser Evil Snack Co., Theo Chocolate, The Jane Goodall Institute, Kashi, Project 7, Vermont Butter and Cheese, Yoghund, Bord Bia, American Halal, Orgain, Turtle Island, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Bausch + Lomb, Boehringer Ingleheim, Harbar LLC, Rhino Foods, Popcorn Indiana, Stonehouse 27, The ProBar, Hail Merry, Mamma Chia, 479 Popcorn, Heel USA, Nature’s Path, Pfizer, E & A Industries, Dave’s Gourmet, Via Sana, Sopexa USA, Mavea, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Bob’s Red Mill, New England Natural Bakers, Quantum Health, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and others.

    He currently serves as an outside director for EcoFish, American Halal, Orgain, and King Arthur Flour. He serves on the advisory boards of Go Veggie!, Runa LLC, Soapbox Soaps, Smart Flour Foods, Exo and Accel Foods. He is a former director of Stonyfield Farm, Equal Exchange, Stirrings, Wildwood, Nutrabella, FoodState Inc. and the Specialty Food Association. He is on the Selection Committee at Nutrition Capital Network. He is the Co-Chair of the Specialty Food Association’s Natural and Organic Council. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Nutrition Business Journal. He is also on the board of directors of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

    Bob was named one of the “Top 25 Business Builders of the Natural Products Industry for the last 25 years” by Natural Foods Merchandiser Magazine.

    He has been qualified as an expert witness in federal court on the subject of the sales and marketing of natural, organic and specialty products.

    Bob has delivered presentations, seminars and moderated panels at leading trade shows and conferences such as Natural Products Expo East & West, The Specialty Food Association’s Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, OTA’s “All Things Organic Trade Show and Conference”, Nutrition Capital Network, International Keynote speaker at Innovest in Auckland, New Zealand, Natural Products Europe in London, Bord Bia in Dublin, Canadian Consulates in Boston and Chicago, Quebec Delegation in Boston, Kosherfest in New York, The Soyfoods Conference, Agrifood Trade Services in Nova Scotia, Saskatoon and Quebec, the CHFA Expo East in Toronto, BevNet Live and BevNet’s FBU in New York and Santa Monica, the Global Access Advisors conference in Melbourne, Australia, the National Health Store Conference in London, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise educational programs throughout New Zealand, and has been a featured trainer and speaker at Management Venture Institute forums. He is also a presenter and panelist at the Stonyfield Entrepreneurial Institute Boot Camp. He authored the NASFT’s White Paper on Trade Promotion.

    He also runs full day seminars and networking events on “Becoming a more Effective Sales Manager in the Natural and Specialty Channel”, “Financing your Natural and Specialty Products Company” and “Making Your Supply Chain a Business Strength”.

    Bob lives in Andover, MA with his wife, Kathy and four children: Conor, Caitlin, Devin and Rory.

  • STEVE HILL:Outdoor Products & Big Box Expert

    Currently, Steve is President and CEO of Thermacell Repellents, Inc., a high-growth, global, CPG company that sells devices that create a 15′ by 15′ zone of protection from mosquitoes. Steve also serves as an outside director at Pacon Corporation (the US leader in arts and crafts papers).

    Steve was most recently and for nine years President of Black Flag Brands, a fast growing, CPG company providing household pest solutions. Steve created Black Flag Brands when he engineered the acquisition and financing of the insect control brand Black Flag from Clorox. In late 2011, Black Flag was sold to Spectrum Brands (SPB) in a transaction that represented a six-fold increase in enterprise value during Steve’s leadership.

    Prior to Black Flag, Steve spent five years with The Scotts Company where he was recruited to help Scott’s develop and execute a strategy to enter insect and weed control markets. With the successful completion of the Ortho acquisition and Roundup Agency agreements in 1998, Steve assumed marketing and, subsequently, sales responsibility for the $500 Million Ortho Business Group. As part of his role, Steve was instrumental in managing the full integration of the Ortho and Roundup into Scotts’ operations in Ohio.

    Prior to Scotts, Steve worked five years in a highly entrepreneurial environment at United Industries where he held positions of increasing responsibility in marketing, sales planning and general management. During those years Steve helped the company triple in size and become the clear #1 or #2 in all of its defined markets.

    Steve began his career with Clorox where he spent seven years in positions of increasing responsibility in brand management. Steve worked on a number of top Clorox brands including Kingsford and Match light Charcoals, Combat insect control and Brita Water Filters. Steve also led the Barbecue New Products group at Kingsford where he managed two national launches and three market tests.

  • BETSY MCGINN:E-Commerce & AMAZON Expert

    Betsy is the Founder of McGinn eComm and co-author of The Amazon Roadmap: How Innovative Brands are Reinventing the Path to Market, the quintessential start-to-finish guide for brands who want to launch, recalibrate, or optimize their Amazon business in order to thrive on this powerful platform.

    As Seventh Generation’s first eCommerce channel director, Betsy pioneered the company’s innovative strategy and created a thriving multimillion-dollar partnership with Amazon and other key online retailers. This laid the groundwork for Betsy’s broad and deep knowledge of “all things eCommerce” from sales and marketing to product development, operations and finance in order to provide a comprehensive approach for online success. With roots in Brick-and-Mortar retail strategy for Tazo Tea and The Hain-Celestial Group, Betsy helps brands manage the challenges and complexities of embracing the transformation to online retail while balancing the needs of all their sales channels.

    Since founding McGinn eComm in 2014, Betsy has worked with hundreds of natural and specialty brands to establish and strengthen their strategic direction on Amazon and their own Direct-to-Consumer eCommerce. From product development and profitability analysis to guiding organizational change, McGinn eComm leads clients through every step of this complex channel, helping to ensure successful and profitable online businesses.

    Betsy is a thought-leader and regular speaker at workshops and conferences globally, including Natural Products Expo West and East, Specialty Food Association Fancy Food Shows, NatchCom, BevNet and Project Nosh Live and The Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute in both the US and New Zealand. Additionally, Betsy works with a wide variety of international brands and trade organizations who recognize eCommerce provides a unique path to enter the US market. This valuable experience includes work with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Consulate General of Canada, Business Sweden, Business Finland, Quebec Delegation and Trade & Investment Queensland Australia.

    Betsy lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and pups.

    Visit Betsy at mcginnecomm.com

  • SHEKHAR MITRA:R&D & INNOVATION Expert

    Shekhar Mitra currently serves as Premium Consulting Partner at YourEncore, Inc. and President of Innopreneur LLC. He is on the Board of Directors of Orabrush, Inc. and Industry Venture Partner for 2 X Consumer Growth. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for Vyome Biosciences, Additive Advantage (TAA breakthrough encapsulation and platform creation) and Silicon Arts Laboratories. Shekhar is an Innovation Consultant focused on enabling development of innovation strategies, breakthrough ideation and capabilities, organization development several Fortune 100 companies and high-profile new ventures. Prior to joining YourEncore, Shekhar served as Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Research & Development, Salon Professional, Prestige and New Business Creation for Procter & Gamble. He was a member of P&G’s top Global Leadership Council and part of the 17-member Innovation Team for the Company to create renewed innovation strategies and a pipeline of ideas for New Business Development.

    Throughout Shekhar’s career he has led the creation and development of technology platforms and disruptive innovation strategies that have resulted in well-known consumer products winners like Crest Whitestrips, Crest Prohealth, Aleve Analgesic, Prilosec, Olay Regenerist, Olay PROx Skin Care, Hugo Boss and Gucci Fragrances, Gillette and Old Spice Clinical Strength, and Metamucil (cholesterol lowering) to name a few. Several of these, including Crest Whitening Expressions, Whitestrips, Olay Regenerist, Prilosec, and Secret Clinical Strength, were named among the top ten consumer product innovations in the year in which they were released. These innovations have created and grown major P&G brands and their equities with meaningful benefits that fulfilled the unmet needs of consumers around the world.

    Through his global leadership role, Shekhar has created strategic partnerships in many countries and with leading institutions, developing key open-innovation initiatives for the Company. He was on the ground in China starting P&G’s well-recognized global innovation center in Beijing, and led the start of the strategic partnership with Government of India’s Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). He also led the integration of Beauty & Grooming R&D following the P&G acquisition of The Gillette Company.

    Shekhar has been awarded over 50 patents to date with 15 more on file in various fields. He is a highly sought after speaker on topics ranging from game-changing innovation approaches to organization development. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the U.S. Congress and is listed in the Congressional Record for his contributions to touching and improving lives through his impact on consumer meaningful innovations and community service.

    Before joining P&G in 1984 as a staff scientist, Shekhar received his undergraduate degree in Biophysical Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology; his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Life Sciences from Columbia University in New York; and was a Jane Coffin Medical Research Fellow at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

    He is passionate about enabling younger generations of scientists and engineers across all cultures, companies, and businesses to achieve their full potential as professionals. Consistent with this, he is the Founder and President of the first North American Society for Asian Scientists & Engineers (registered as SASE – www.saseconnect.org) one of the fastest growing organizations of its kind. In addition, he and his family continue to volunteer, as they have for over 20 years, at their local soup kitchen in Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • BRUCE NIERENBERG:Sales & Broker Expert

    Bruce Nierenberg has 30+ years of experience in the organic and natural food industry. During his career, he has founded two companies, and has been involved in numerous investments and projects within the food and beverage industry.

    Bruce began his food career in the late 1970s selling organic cookies, brownies, and desserts to natural and specialty food stores in the New York City area. In 1984, he founded B.I.N. Sales and Marketing Inc.

    B.I.N. represented brand leading natural product companies as well as start-up brands. Clients including Amy’s, Green & Blacks, Health Valley, Organic Valley, and Newman’s Own, among others. B.I.N. quickly became the leading natural products sales & marketing agency on the East Coast. With over 185 employees, B.I.N. was selected twice as “One of the 50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work For in America” by the Society for Human Resource Management. In 2006, B.I.N. was purchased by Advantage Sales and Marketing, a leading national sales and marketing company.

    In addition to B.I.N., Bruce co-founded Organic Brands LLC in 1998. Organic Brands developed the Mediterranean Organic brand, a line of certified organic specialty food products imported from Mediterranean countries. In 2007, Organic Brands was purchased by United Natural Foods (NYSE: UNFI), the leading distributor of natural products in the U.S.

    Bruce was a broker, investor, board member, and Chairman of the Compensation committee for Glaceau Vitamin Water.

    Currently, Bruce advises many consumer product companies and private equity funds, including 2X Partners. Bruce specializes in the green, natural, and organic sectors. He is actively involved with City Harvest, the original charitable food rescue organization in New York City.

    Bruce resides in New York City with his wife and two children.

  • DON ROLAND:Direct Marketing & Communications Expert

    Donald E. Roland has spent his entire career in printing, advertising and direct marketing. While now retired, he continues an active consultancy in those areas. From 2011 to 2013, Don was Vice Chairman of the Board of Hess Printing Solutions, Inc. Don served as Chairman of the Vertis, Inc. Board of Directors from April 2001 to November 2006. He also served as President and CEO of Vertis from June 2000 (when TC Advertising, Laser Tech Color and Webcraft were merged to create Vertis, Inc.) through March 2006.

    Don joined TC Advertising in 1983 as Senior Vice President of Operations and became Executive Vice President in 1993. In 1995 he was named President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to 1983, he served as an executive at Times Mirror in Los Angeles. He was with Times Mirror for 17 years (1966 to 1983).

    When Don joined TC Advertising it was a $350 million printing company. Building upon a commitment to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of customers’ advertising programs, Don worked closely with the management team to transform TC Advertising, The LTC Group and Webcraft Technologies into the $1.8 billion Vertis, Inc., a full-service advertising solutions provider. In 2005 Fortune Magazine named Vertis as the one of America’s “Most Admired Companies” in Advertising and Marketing.

    Don is on the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, the Board of Trustees of the Hammond-Harwood House, and is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Anne Arundel County (MD) Library System as well as its Foundation.

    Don has been part of the printing and advertising industry since childhood, working with his father at newspapers and commercial printing plants in Texas. He was a Times Mirror Scholar, earning his undergraduate degree in Printing Management from California State University at Los Angeles (1964). He received his Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of California at Riverside (1967) and has Certificates in Executive Management from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University (1973) and the Anderson School of Management at UCLA (1979).

    In 2003, Don was inducted into the Printing Industry Hall of Fame. In 2008 he was named Distinguished Graduate of the School of Business and Economics at California State University at Los Angeles.

    Don and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 51 years and live in Annapolis, Maryland.

  • CORINNE SHINDELAR:Natural Products & Channel Expert

    Corinne Shindelar, principal of All Natural Strategies, has over 38 years’ experience in the natural and organic products industry. She has the vision to see what is needed, the tenacity to fight for what is right, and the business and diplomatic skills to make it happen. Her numerous awards include being named one of NBJ’s “Most Influential People in the Industry”, and Progressive Grocers “Top Executive Woman in Grocery”. In 2019, New Hope featured her as one of the 40 Unforgettable Founders of the Natural Products Industry.

    After nearly two decades of profitable retail management, she became the Executive Director of two regional co-op grocers’ associations, CGA Midwest and TCNFC. Simultaneously, she founded the Midwest Purchasing Co-op. In 2004, she led the merger of all three into the NCGA as the founding President.

    She spent the last 15 years as founder and former CEO of INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Association). Corinne has served on numerous Boards, including MSI, (Mutual Service Insurance), Shared Capital as Chair, NC Credit Union, Cooperative Development Foundation, and Chair of the Non-GMO Project for the last 10 years. She serves on the board of Beyond Broth, the Climate Collaborate, and The Good Bean. Corinne is a member of numerous natural products leadership initiatives and provides coaching and strategic guidance to companies who wish to make a difference in the world.

  • Tom Simone:Supply Chain & Distribution Expert

    Tom is Chairman Emeritus of United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq:UNFI). For more than 15 years, Tom served as Chairman or Vice Chair & Lead Director at UNFI, the largest distributor of natural products in the industry. Tom is currently Chairman of Gluten-Free Superfoods and also Chairman of Simone & Associates, a firm that invests in and consults with healthcare and natural products companies.

    Prior to forming Simone & Associates, Tom was President of McKesson Drug Company, America’s largest Pharmaceutical and Health and Beautycare wholesaler. During his twenty year career with McKesson, Tom served as VP of Finance of McKesson Corporation, Executive VP & CFO of PCS Health Systems, Inc., and Corporate VP and Controller.

    Tom has served on the more than twenty five Boards of Directors including many private natural products companies including Lightful Foods, nSpired Natural Foods, Spectrum Organic Products, Eco-Dent International, and Bridge City Baking.

  • ROBIN VOGEL:Procurement & Supply Chain Expert

    Robin Vogel is Vice President of Global Strategic Sourcing for Mars Wrigley, the world’s favorite Treats & Snacks business. In her role, Robin leads a team responsible for managing more than $2 billion spend on direct materials for iconic brands from M&M’s® and SNICKERS® to ORBIT® and ALTIOIDS® to STARBURST® and SKITTLES®.

    Prior to assuming her current position in January 2020, Robin served as the Vice President of Commercial for the Americas region.  At first, she led a team of Associates to source the direct materials required to make Wrigley’s chewing gum, mints and fruity confections.  Following the integration of the Mars Chocolate and Wrigley business segments in July 2017, she moved into a similar role for Mars Wrigley where she managed over $1.5 billion spend in direct materials and finished goods sourcing for the Americas.

    Before joining Mars, Robin was Senior Director of Procurement for Oscar Mayer where she had responsibility to lead a team that  sourced $1.8 billion of raw materials and packaging.  Prior to Oscar Mayer, she was Senior Vice President of Center Store Procurement and Supply Chain for Topco Associates. At Topco, her five direct reports and their teams were responsible for sourcing $2.8 billion in private label finished goods for the center of the store, managing the warehousing, distribution, demand planning and replenishment for HBC items, as well as providing customer service for all 54 members.  Prior to Topco, Robin was at Sara Lee Corporation where she spent ten years in various procurement, supply chain and marketing roles.

    In 2014, Robin was named one of Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in the Grocery Industry.

    Robin holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MBA in Manufacturing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.  Robin currently resides in Chicago.

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