to all our team members
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.
Arron served as Executive Director through 2020. He was responsible for all strategic and operational 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!
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.
Kristine is part of the inaugural team 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.
Susan 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 has 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.
Lara Pearson has provided pro bono legal work for Naturally Boulder for many years, helping this growing nonprofit protect its branding. Lara’s company, Brand Geek® (Law Office of Lara Pearson Ltd, PBC) is a soulful, multiple-bottom-line law firm that leads from the heart. Brand Geek’s mission is to cultivate brand protection strategies for other multiple-bottom-line social enterprises, while inspiring others with curiosity, passion and creativity. Brand Geek offers intellectual property legal services, specifically, trademark and copyright strategy, protection, commercialization, transfers and enforcement.
Peter Mohr is a Regional Sales Executive of ePac Boulder serving local and regional brands with pre-media, digital printing, laminating, and pouch making services. Peter’s introduction into the natural products industry began with Naturally Boulder, where he was the organization’s second hire. Now, Peter volunteers and provides the Facebook livestreams at Naturally Boulder’s monthly events.
Executive Forum Chair, Co-VP
Susan is the Vice President, Regional Development Manager at Alpine 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 focused on monthly events and strategy.
Kyle Garner is the current CEO of Maty’s Healthy Products and former CEO of both ORGANIC INDIA USA and New Chapter. After spending 14 years at Procter & Gamble, Kyle caught the Natural Products bug when he was asked to join New Chapter following the P&G acquisition in 2012. Kyle has a passion for regenerative organic agriculture, which not only regenerates soil health and biodiversity, but also regenerates the livelihoods of small family farmers. As an active member of the B Corp community, Kyle is dedicated to using business as a force for good. He lives in Boulder with his wife (Maggie), 9-year-old son (Oscar), 9-year-old daughter (Audrey), and giant, fluffy dog (Belle).
Ben Fenton serves as the Board’s treasurer and focuses on annual events. He is currently a Partner at Boulder based BFG Partners, a food and beverage focused venture 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.
Alyssa Harding is currently the Director of Membership at Sustainable Brands, where she helps 80+ of the largest global companies make progress against their social and environmental objectives as a part of their sustainable brands journey. Alyssa continues to support OSC’s Packaging Collaborative in an advisory capacity, where she focuses on community development, stakeholder engagement, and creating scalable, market driven solutions for compostable packaging innovation. Previously Alyssa served as Executive Director for the Sustainable Food Trade Association where she developed collaborative, holistic tools to help the organic food trade shift to truly sustainable business models. She has an educational foundation in agricultural ecology, is working on her master’s degree in Environmental Policy, and holds a strong personal mission to drive institutional change through sustainability. She previously managed Corporate Responsibility at Justin’s, a Boulder-based nut butter company, where she built the company’s sustainability and philanthropic programs from the ground up, incorporating a local, state and national focus for each effort to deliver on the organization’s triple bottom line. Before Justin’s, she worked in the environmental sector for Colorado-based water conservation non-profits and also spent time in the solar industry developing renewable energy infrastructure in Colorado. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Naturally Boulder, Alyssa is also a member of the board of SustainUs, a youth-led climate advocacy non-profit. She remains committed to having a lasting positive impact on her community.
Andy Judd is an experienced marketing leader focused on building exceptional teams and go-to-market models that build brands and businesses. He has led teams across brand marketing, insights, e-commerce, digital and social media, and creative services from large strategic consumer goods enterprises to emerging high-growth brands.
He currently serves as CMO to Yasso, Inc., which produces frozen Greek yogurt bars. Prior to his role at Yasso, Inc., he was the CMO of ONE Brands, which is one of the fastest growing protein bars in the US. Before his time at ONE Brands, Prior to Yasso Bar, Judd was the VP Marketing for the Boulder Brands business unit of Pinnacle Foods leading all marketing functions of a high growing portfolio of plant-based and gluten free brands. He previously led the management of the So Delicious brand at WhiteWave, where he also spent time helping to transform the organic and non-dairy yogurt business into one of the fastest growing yogurt companies in the US. Prior to joining WhiteWave, he served as Category Director for ice cream, iced coffee, blended beverages and value added milk portfolio at Saputo Dairy Foods and Dean Foods. Andy started his career at Campbell’s Soup Company where during his seven‐year tenure at Campbell’s, he led marketing of the Campbell’s iconic R&W condensed soup brand, Campbell’s kids portfolio, the development of Hispanic marketing, and the acquisition of Wolfgang Puck Soups and Sauces.
He lives just outside of Boulder, with his wife, Kelly, and their 4 kids. When he’s not chasing his kids, he is an avid runner and loves to hike and ski.
Brandon Hernandez is a Senior Partner at Whole Brain Consulting, which operates nationally out of its two offices in Colorado and Chicago. After earning his degree in Biology from Colorado State University (Go Rams! – Please don’t hold it against me, Boulder!), Brandon began his career in food safety at Zateca Foods (now Teasdale Latin Foods). He spent a number of years working his way through the operational, research and development, supply chain, and quality assurance aspects of food manufacturing, and now plans to use those skills in the Boulder community. Brandon enjoys spending his free time with family and friends, snowboarding, and playing soccer. He looks forward to serving the Naturally Boulder community to the best of his ability for years to come.
Board member focused on monthly events and strategy.
Mike Murray is a 20 year CPG veteran with a passion for leading mission-driven food brands to the ethical definition of success. After 10 years successfully growing iconic brands like Betty Crocker, Nature Valley and LARABAR at General Mills, he transitioned to the natural side of the industry to lead So Delicious Dairy Free (SDDF) from $54 to $195 MM in 3 years. Having driven the successful SDDF exit and integration into WhiteWave Foods, Mike was recruited to leverage his proven leadership, team-building, innovation strategy and brand-building skills as CEO of high-growth free-from snacking brand free2b Foods. Now, as CEO of Teton Waters Ranch, Mike and team are working diligently against their mission to create a more regenerative, humane, healthy food system for all. Mike earned his MBA at UCLA, and lives in the Front Range with his wife, Sunshine, and three sons Sean, Kyle, and Connor. They love enjoying the CO outdoors together, from team sports to hiking, biking and skiing.
A passionate change agent, Behroze partners with business leaders in the food industry to drive product innovation by enabling teams to tackle steep challenges and get the job done. With a knack for distilling complex technical problems into actionable solutions, she designs proprietary, innovative, consumer-centric food products that deliver both core and disruptive innovation. Behroze’s candid style creates safe places for teams to push boundaries and be bold.
Behroze is a seasoned R&D and Quality Assurance executive with broad general management skills in the Food and Beverage industry, spanning almost 30 years – ranging from large CPG to start-ups, and including companies such as General Mills and Pinnacle/Boulder Brands. Her experience spans a diverse food product range including cereals, snacks, baking mixes, frosting, refrigerated dough, frozen meals and yogurt; and most recently, Health and Wellness brands. She has successfully navigated a variety of business cultures, including matrix organizations, cross-functional teams and global businesses. Behroze has in-depth experience in international markets such as the Canadian, LATAM, EU and Asian regions where she helped create go-to-market strategies for volume growth and new market expansion.
“When everybody is thinking alike, somebody isn’t thinking” – George Patton
Kelly Shea is the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Communications at Charlotte’s Web (CW), the market leader in hemp CBD extract products. In this role, Kelly has oversight of CW’s Government Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility, Communications and Customer Education departments. Her day-to-day responsibilities include: aligning the company’s business goals with both state and federal policies with the goal of continuing Charlotte’s Web’s mission; ensuring that CW products pay respect to the planet and support local and global communities; educating the media, the hemp industry, lawmakers and consumers about the vast health and wellness potential of century-old hemp.Kelly has cultivated nearly 30 years of agricultural industry experience. Her sustainability expertise is informed by the time she has spent in boots on the farm and heels on Capitol Hill. She recently transitioned her off-duty energy into starting a foundation that addresses the intersection between climate change and communities, faith and farming.
Rajesh Babu brings 15 years of strategy and operating experience to the Naturally Boulder board, along with a passion for helping fledgling natural and organic food companies prosper and grow.
After spending several years at BCG, Bain and other consulting firms, Raj followed his interest in natural food and healthy living to WhiteWave Foods, where he held a number of strategic leadership roles. There, he helped to build the company’s corporate strategy, acquire businesses, and integrate businesses post-acquisition, including Whitewave’s own acquisition by Danone in 2016.
Raj then served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Birch Benders, the #1 natural pancake & waffle mix brand and one of the fastest growing brands in the US. Since joining Birch Benders in 2018, Raj’s deep industry knowledge and strong leadership have helped mature the company, scaling the business to include four product lines and distribution in over 10,000 stores, including Walmart, Kroger, and other key retailers. He also
led the brand through its acquisition by Sovos Brands, where he continues to run the business today.
Originally a Chicago native, Raj earned both his B.S. and his MBA at Northwestern University. He currently lives in Denver with his wife, Laura, and their two small children. In his spare time, you can find him playing softball, tennis, running or (despite his wife continuing to tell him he is too old) playing football.
Jenna Fitch is the Community and Conference Content Director at New Hope Network. In this role she is passionate about using education and community building to empower stakeholders in the natural and organic products industry. Prior to serving in this role, Jenna led digital content production for the NEXT Accelerator, an educational platform for entrepreneurs, as well as supported exhibitors and attendees as customer and exhibitor service representative for tradeshows and conferences such as Natural Products Expo West and NBJ Summit.
Dedicated to the outdoors, conscious leadership and using business for good, Jenna has also spent time learning from and supporting organizations such as the Outdoor Industry Association, Restorative Leadership Institute, CU Leeds Professional Mentorship Program, Camber Outdoors and the Lake Champlain Committee.
Jenna earned her MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business, as well as an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies with a certificate from the Program in Community Action and Public Policy from Connecticut College.
When not obsessing about sustainable packaging and soil health, you’ll likely find her hiking in Colorado with Oscar the Black Lab, playing beach volleyball or laughing out loud to Wait Wait…Don’t Tell me!
Jennifer Rosenthal is a corporate partner in the Boulder office of KO. Jennifer’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and private equity investments, and company formations. She also serves as outside general counsel for many of her clients, acting as their first point of contact for legal assistance. Jennifer works with clients ranging from startups to public companies with industry focuses on consumer products and technology.
Jennifer has been recognized by her peers as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for multiple years, named as one of Boulder Valley’s 40 under Forty honorees and has been awarded the Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurship Supporter of the Year recognition. She has also been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado Law School where she taught Venture Capital Drafting and served on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board for the Silicon Flatirons Center.
Prior to joining KO, Jennifer practiced in the Denver, Colorado, office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, an international law firm based in Los Angeles, California. Jennifer graduated from the University of Colorado Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as an Associate Editor on the University of Colorado Law Review.
In addition to her work, Jennifer is passionate about her family, road biking, skiing, hiking and hatch green chile.
As an entrepreneur with an eye for early trends, John has a passion for creating brands and establishing new innovations that ignite previously unknown categories. In 1995, he co-founded Third Street Chai and led it through its acquisition in 2013, paving the way for sustainable supply chain standards via Fair Trade and Certified Organic ingredients. With Weller, he is once again focused on developing interesting products that can help CBD’s wellness benefits go mainstream. John himself embraces a life of living well-er as a former professional bicycle racer who lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Programming Director & Staff Manager
Julie has over 25 years of experience in the natural foods world, including stints in store management with Fresh Fields, buying for WholeFoods.com and Sutton Place Gourmet/Balducci’s, managing social media for Sprouts Farmer’s Market, and working with a number of small manufacturers and large hotel brands as a retail and marketing consultant. Today she also manages MBArk, a program for progressive-minded MBA students looking to break into the natural foods industry, and FIELD, which provides executive education for natural foods executives. Julie believes her life’s work is to bring natural and organic products to wider audiences. She is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Marketing & Community Manager
Christy brings over ten years of experience in developing and executing marketing strategies for hospitality, food and beverage, and technology companies. She has special expertise in digital, social media, community and event marketing gained by working with companies such as Columbia Hospitality and Yelp. Christy aims to develop innovative and technology-forward solutions that elevate community engagement while laying the foundation for future initiatives and growth. A recent transplant from Seattle, she and her husband revel in exploring everything Colorado has to offer, especially all things dining and outdoors!
As an avid healthy lifestyle expert, Bill works with emerging brands as well as mid-sized companies on everything from brand & sales channel strategy, finance, operational challenges and product innovation. His in-depth knowledge of the natural products industry gives him a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing todays food and beverage brands. He is a recognized expert in healthy lifestyles and go to market strategies in the natural and organic industry. Practicing what he preaches, Bill leads a vegan low-impact, conscious lifestyle and has done so in Boulder Colorado for 34 years.