to all our team members
Executive Director. Arron is responsible for all operations leadership functions for Naturally Boulder and became the group’s first staff employee in 2009, after having served on the board of directors for three years. Arron founded Boulder’s Best Organics in 2006 with the vision of enhancing Boulder’s leadership in the natural products industry by offering gift boxes of organic products made exclusively in Boulder. Fun fact: Arron started his first entrepreneurial “business” when he was five years old, selling to other little kids the small toys he carved out of acorns!
Director of Operations. Peter is responsible for the operation duties of Naturally Boulder, including event planning and management, member and Sponsor communications, website updates, and strategic planning. He made the connection to Naturally Boulder through his work with the entrepreneurial community at Impact Hub Boulder and is thrilled to be a part of the Naturally Boulder team. Peter enjoys being active in the Colorado mountains as well as lakes and rivers in Wisconsin.
Susan works with the Naturally Boulder team to manage communications platforms and orchestrate events. She is inspired by the social and environmental impacts of Naturally Boulder’s member organizations, and is excited to share their stories and help them grow. Susan joins the team after years of involvement in the Boulder agricultural and natural products communities during her time as a biology student at the University of Colorado. When she’s not running through the Foothills or skiing with friends, Susan enjoys experimenting with new food products in the kitchen and creating recipes.
Board member focusing on annual events and Beyond the Slam forum. Christopher is a natural products entrepreneur whose company, Keen One Foods, was hatched in a product development class at the University of Colorado — Boulder in 2007. Keen One offers a retail line of Smart and Simple lunch items, dinner mixes and meal helpers made from organic quinoa, vegetables and specialty grains . Keen One is also now serving schools systems, restaurants, manufactures and regional grocery chains with wholesale organic bulk quinoa and custom blends for food service.
Board Vice President focusing on annual events and special opportunities. Alex Hanifin, a native of Boulder, CO, is the CEO of Alpine Start. She sits on the Executive Board of Directors for The Growe Foundation. Alex most recently was on the marketing team at Boulder Brands working on EVOL. She previously managed Rudi’s under the Hain-Celestial Group.
Board President and special opportunities chair. Carlotta Mast is the senior vice president of content and insights for Informa’s Global Health & Nutrition Network, which includes Boulder’s New Hope Network. Carlotta is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences and has been interviewed about natural products industry trends and market performance by The New York Times, NPR, ABC News, BusinessWeek and numerous other media outlets. In addition to serving as Naturally Boulder’s board president, Carlotta sits on the board of the Climate Collaborative, whose mission is to leverage the power of the natural products industry to reverse climate change. In 2013, Carlotta co-founded a paleo snack company called Wholly Bites, which hit the market well before Whole Foods Market and other retailers began adding paleo sections to their stores. Wholly Bites was sold in 2016 and is now marketed under the Thrive Tribe brand. Fun fact: A fourth generation Colorado native, Carlotta’s great grandparents emigrated from Sweden to Boulder in 1876.
Board member focused on special opperations. Adriane is with Natural Habitats Group, a company dedicated to bringing organic, Fair Trade and responsible palm oil to the market. Previously, she was director of marketing for the Earth Balance division of Boulder Brands Inc., responsible for managing brand strategy and growth, communications, digital marketing, new product development, community involvement efforts, cause marketing initiatives, and furthering the plant-based diet message. She also founded a marketing communications company focused on natural products. Fun fact: Adriane loves chocolate, and eats it every day (the 70% cacao, organic, fair-trade variety)!
Catherine Mangan Walsh
Board Vice President focusing on annual events and communications. Catherine is Director of Brand Development at Moxie Sozo, and co-founder of Yummari, an organic superfood snack company that she and her husband founded in New York City. After attending a Naturally Boulder event, Catherine and her husband decided to move their business and themselves from New York to Boulder. Fun fact: While living in Singapore, Catherine adopted a local stray there from a shipyard and brought her back to the U.S. Lady Coco has now lived both in Manhattan and Colorado.
Board Member focusing on quarterly events. Jennifer is the Director of Marketing for 34 Degrees, the light & crunchy crackers known as 34 Degrees Crisps, which are made in Boulder County, CO. and distributed throughout North America. She has been with 34 Degrees for over five years rising up in the ranks from Sales & Marketing Coordinator to her current role, Director of Marketing. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a marketing emphasis from the CU Boulder Leeds School of Business. In her free time, Jen can be found trying out a new Denver or Boulder restaurant with friends, on her yoga mat, or traveling. Fun fact: Jennifer spent a semester of her junior year of college studying abroad in Shanghai, China learning Mandarin Chinese.
Board Treasurer and Executive Forum chair. Susan is the Vice President, Regional Development Manager at New Resource Bank. A longtime Boulderite, she has held operations management and human resource positions in a number of area CPG companies. She also served as CEO of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce for eight years, helping to create the Innovation Center of the Rockies and Naturally Boulder. Fun fact: while guardian of the star on Flagstaff Mountain she converted it to wind power.
John is founder of Summit Venture Management based in Boulder, Colorado. Summit consults and partners with entrepreneurs and investors on brand and business growth initiatives.
John has over 30 years of experience as a marketing and strategy executive in the consumer products world. His executive leadership experience includes over 15 years in food manufacturing, multi-channel retail, and contract manufacturing. As well, he has over 15 years of experience in business and brand growth strategy consulting – most recently as Managing Partner of Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) in Boulder, Colorado. At SRG he served on the company board of directors, was a corporate officer, and ran the research, strategy, and innovation competencies. He led client growth and innovation assignments for a range of private equity owned brands, natural and organic brands as well as for global leaders in CPG including, Annie’s Homegrown, Atkins Nutritionals, Bolthouse, Bayer AG, Boulder Brands, Campbell’s, Johnson & Johnson/McNeil, Mars/Masterfood, Nestlé, and Unilever. John began his consulting career at Bain & Company
John has deep experience in health and wellness, natural, organic, and functional food and beverages. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences such as The Grocery Manufacturers Association, Natural Products Expo, Healthy Foods Europe, NBJ Summit, Food Leaders Summit, and many others.
He has extensive private company governance experience having served on many Boards. He also recently completed a 5-year term on the Board of Advisors for the Yale Center of Customer Insights. John’s MBA is from the Yale School of Management.
Board Member focusing on monthly events and special opportunities. Kyle Garner, is the CEO of ORGANIC INDIA USA, a leading mission-driven manufacturer of herb-based wellness teas and functional supplements based on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine. Kyle joined ORGANIC INDIA USA in April 2015 following 3 years as CEO of New Chapter, Inc. in Brattleboro, VT. Kyle joined New Chapter in June 2012 following the acquisition by Procter & Gamble. Under his leadership, the New Chapter brand scaled-up in all facets including sales, marketing, scientific research, certifications, and innovation. He led the process for New Chapter to achieve B Corp certification. Kyle began his career with P&G working in Consumer and Market Insights for the Fabric Care business in 1998. He served in a variety of roles on both the consumer and retail sides of the P&G business. He moved into P&G Health Care in 2009 where he played a leadership role in the development of a Joint Venture with Teva Pharmaceuticals and the acquisition of the New Chapter business. Kyle earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Kyle lives in Boulder with his wife (Maggie), 6-year-old son (Oscar), 2-year-old daughter (Audrey), and giant, fluffy dog (Belle). In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, beer, and making pickles.
Board Member focusing on annual events, special opportunities and communications. Ben Fenton, is currently a Vice President at Boulder based BFG Partners, a food and beverage focused ventured capital firm. Prior to moving to Boulder in March 2014, Ben spent nearly 10 years living in New York City where he worked for UBS, Morgan Stanley, Oak Hill Advisors and Hutchin Hill Capital. Originally from Philadelphia, Ben went to Duke University with both of his brothers, all three of whom played for the Varsity Men’s Lacrosse Team. Ben currently lives in Boulder with his dog Ellie.
Board Member focusing on annual events and special opportunities. Russ is a 15-year veteran of the Natural Products Industry. Throughout his career in the Natural Products Industry, Russ has held many roles at Hain Celestial, becoming an integral part of driving the growth from $400MM to nearly $3B in net sales today. Currently, as Senior Vice President, Analytics & Insights, Russ leads a team that provides category management expertise and consumer insights to drive the Company’s growth strategy. Russ holds positions on both the Supplier Advisory Councils at Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market. Russ also supports various corporate initiatives for HAIN including acquisition targeting and due diligence as well as investor relations support. Russ is proud to call Colorado home for 22 years and considers himself a native in the heart of the Natural Products Community. Russ lives in Boulder with his two daughters and Golden Retriever. Fun Fact: Russ moved to Boulder in 1995 to see a Phish concert at Red Rocks. He’s never regretted that decision & to date has seen over 100 Phish concerts.
Board Member focusing on monthly events and communications. Diana is a lifelong, passionate wellness educator, serial entrepreneur, and natural and organic products expert with more than 15 years experience growing businesses in the natural, organic and better-for-you space including ForceBrands, Clementine Art, Beautycounter, Lazo Foods, and many more. Her specialties include sales, organizational design, business and team building, brand development, copywriting/blogging, content storytelling, digital marketing, social media, live and online events, webinars, and trade shows. Fun Fact: Diana was formerly a singer in Latin jazz, salsa, rock and indie bands.
Board Member focusing on monthly events and communications. Paige, a native of California, grew up in the natural foods industry and is inspired by making better food accessible to more people. Paige now manages Udi’s gluten free bakery business for Boulder Brands, where she has worked in brand management roles since 2014. A fluent Spanish speaker, Paige studied International Business at Universidad de Barcelona. She holds a BA from the University of Colorado. In 2011 and 2012, Paige volunteered for the Traditional Medicinals Foundation in the Thar Desert, India. Paige lives in Boulder with her partner Ethan and his two sons.
Board member focused on sustainability and philanthropy. Alyssa manages External Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility for Justin’s, a Boulder based nut butter company focused on creating real food products that contribute to our world in a positive and meaningful way. She has an educational foundation in Environmental Science and agricultural ecology, with an additional specialization and certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility. Before Justin’s, she worked in the environmental sector for water conservation non-profits and in the solar industry, and has published articles with PowerHouse Growers, educating readers about food security and urban agriculture. Though a fresher face to the natural products industry, Alyssa brings a wealth of passion and knowledge around various sustainability issues, and in her spare time enjoys hiking, biking, and distilleries.
Naturally Boulder Ambassador – Morning Mingle
Julia is the Director of Communications at Community Food Share, a non-profit food bank that rescues food and fights hunger in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. Before coming to Colorado – in pursuit of sunshine and mountain adventures – she managed fundraising and marketing efforts at a food bank in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She believes nutritious food is a right, not a privilege, and she is honored to be a part of feeding those who need it most. Fun fact: Julia’s first non-profit gig was at a nature center where live owls hooted at her desk.
Naturally Boulder Ambassador – Give Back Committee
Kristine is part of the inaugural team of 2017 to initiate the Naturally Boulder Give-Back Program with Metro Caring. She coordinates the summer events for Naturally Boulder members to contribute service hours at Metro Caring. The program is very engaging and rewarding allowing members to network together and be at the front-line of service and be a hunger-fighting hero.
Kristine has worked in executive marketing roles with natural companies such as Frontier Natural Brands, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Healthy Skoop and Wedderspoon Organic plus outdoor brands such as Mountainsmith, Sierra Designs and Ultimate Directions. Kristine currently has her own marketing & communications business – Brand Guide – and helps startup to mid-sized companies build engaging brand stories and 360° communication programs.
Digital Marketing Manager focusing on social media. Bryan is Senior Marketing Manager at New Hope Network where he heads the marketing strategy their brands, conferences and websites. Previously, he was an Assistant Brand Manager for Ciao Bella Gelato where he began his career in natural products as an intern doing hundreds of in-store demos and growing into a more strategic role. Bryan moved to Colorado in 2013, after completing his MBA, and received many strong recommendations to attend the Networking Nights and has not looked back since.
Joan Boykin has +40 years of experience in the natural/organic products industry in consumer package goods, retail, publishing and nonprofits. She was formerly ED of The Organic Center and held leadership positions at The Hain Celestial Group, New Hope Network and Alfalfa’s and Wild Oat Markets. She’s been a Senior Consultant to WhiteWave Foods, Celestial Seasonings, Way Better Snacks, 1908 Brands, Goddess Garden, and many others. Joan was a founding member of The Organic Center and Naturally Boulder and was the recipient of Naturally Boulder’s Local Hero and Lifetime Achievement awards. In 2017, she was inducted into the “Hall of Legends” at Expo West.
Senior partner with Boulder Farm Team, chairman of the board of Alfalfa’s Markets, co-founder and board member of Aurora Organic Dairy, co-founder and venture partner of Greenmont Capital Partners, former chairman of the board of The Organic Center and former president and co-founder of Horizon Organic Dairy. He is a recipient of Naturally Boulder’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Organic Trade Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the Boulder Esprit Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.
Owner and chief fresh officer of Fresh Ideas Group, an issues-driven specialist communications agency focused on natural, organic and health food solutions. She is a veteran natural products strategy and marketing executive and, with her husband, owns Pastures of Plenty, an organic farm in Boulder offering flowers, vegetables and CSA shares.