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!
Communications and Events Coordinator . 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.
Operations and Administration 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.
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.
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.
Catherine Mangan Walsh
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 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.
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).
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 quarterly events. Paige, a native of California, grew up in the natural foods industry and is inspired by making better food accessible to more people and is currently the Marketing Director for Purely Elizabeth. Paige managed 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.
Board member focused on sustainability and philanthropy. Alyssa serves as the Executive Director of the Sustainable Food Trade Association, a membership organization that represents organic companies in North America and supports businesses in creating and implementing innovative, sustainable practices across the supply chain, from farm to retail, through education, networking, analytic modules, and leadership recognition. She previously managed Corporate Social Responsibility for three years at Justin’s, a Boulder based nut butter company with a mission rooted in sustainabilty. 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. Alyssa brings a wealth of passion and knowledge around various sustainability issues, and in her spare time enjoys hiking, biking, and distilleries.
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 ONE Brands, which is one of the fastest growing protein bar in the US. Prior to ONE, he was 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.
Julie has founded, operated and sold two companies over the past 15 years in Colorado. Her most recent venture ended in 2018 when she sold Winking Girl Foods (formerly known as White Girl Salsa) to Tres Latin Foods. Julie is currently consulting for natural products brands, specifically in the areas of operations and chargeback management.
Naturally Boulder has been a source of inspiration, resources and meaningful relationships for Julie for more than 10 years. She is honored to give back to the community through her service on the board.
San Jose, CA is Julie’s hometown and she graduated from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. Mountain biking is her biggest passion and she also snowboards, surfs, enjoys traveling and trying to keep up with her 11 year old daughter (who is a 3-time entrepreneur.)
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.
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.
Seth Grossman is an MBA student at CU Boulder. He would like to work in research and analytics after he graduates. He currently is the co-president of Net Impact, a sustainable business club, as well as a research assistant for CU’s business research division. Seth also works part time as a market research intern for Motorola Solutions. Seth began working with Naturally Boulder through a program at CU that places students on the board of various non-profits. After seeing the amazing community Naturally Boulder has created, he couldn’t get enough and now volunteers whenever possible. He loves the opportunity to help develop the natural food industry and provide as many people as possible with healthy, sustainable food.
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.
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.