Morning Mingle: Prepare Your Perfect Pitch – How to Craft a Compelling, Concise Story of Your Company

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 7:45 AM- 8:45 AM
networking nights/other event

From the center of the natural products industry comes
Naturally Boulder’s Morning Mingle!


September 26 , 7:45-8:45 AM


Impact Hub Boulder (1877 Broadway #100)


On the last Wednesday of every other month, Naturally Boulder’s Morning Mingles are THE place to learn with 80-90 natural products professionals and network around a timely, hot topic.

September’s Theme:

Prepare Your Perfect Pitch – How to Craft a Compelling, Concise Story of Your Company

“Tell me about your business….”
It’s something entrepreneurs hear frequently, yet it can make even the most eloquent business owner stumble. Whether you are pitching for the first time or have lots of experience, this session will deliver something new and valuable to you. Honing your pitching skills will improve the quality of your pitch to audiences of all kinds!

Learn from the Experts:

Joan Boykin – Owner/President, Boykin Consulting
Mark Retzloff – Co-Founder of Horizon Organic Dairy,
Aurora Organic Dairy, and Alfalfa’s Markets
Alexandra Carone – Founder & President, The Honest Stand (2017 Pitch Slam Winner)
Jim Lamancusa – Founder & CEO, Cusa Tea (2017 Runner Up)


Members: FREE
Non-members: $10

Panelist Bio’s

Joan Boykin
Joan has +40 years of experience in the natural/organic products industry in consumer package goods, retail, publishing and nonprofit management. Her expertise includes: public and industry relations; brand and marketing strategy; new products and businesses; research; organizational structure; vision, mission and values development; and executive coaching. Joan’s passion for natural foods began in the 70s working for industry legends, Hass Hassan and Mark Retzloff, on one of Denver’s earliest natural foods stores, and later when they created Alfalfa’s Markets, she continued to work with and learn from them. She went on to do likewise for other industry leaders including Doug Greene, Mo Siegel, and Steve Hughes.

Boykin has held leadership positions at The Organic Center, The Hain Celestial Group, New Hope Network, Alfalfa’s Markets, and Wild Oat Markets. She’s a Senior Consultant to leading brands such as WhiteWave Foods, Celestial Seasonings, Way Better Snacks, 1908 Brands, Nourish Organic, Mineral Fusion, The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and many other well-known brands.

Joan was a founding member of The Organic Center, dedicated to sustainable and secure food systems, and Naturally Boulder, committed to a world made healthier through the power of sustainable business. She has offered her knowledge as a Board Member and Advisor to: Love Grown Foods, Just Label It, Organic Voices, Naturally Boulder, The Organic Center, Alfalfa’s Market, Under the Canopy EcoFashion, CU/The Deming Center’s Organic Business Initiative, Leeds Natural/Organic Advisor Group, and CORE/P3 Colorado.

Joan won Naturally Boulder’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2014 and “Local Hero Award” in 2012. She was honored as an industry legend and inducted into the “Hall of Legends,” Natural Products Expo West 2017. Boykin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology/Organizational Development from Regis Jesuit University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Studies/Communication Arts, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Behavior, and numerous professional certifications.

On a personal note, Joan is devoted to her family–four generations strong in Colorado–and especially her little grandchildren. Today, Joan remains committed to shaping the industry and helping future generations carry the torch. In her spare time, she fosters productive collisions, coaches young career professionals, speaks to businesspeople about the power of collaboration and encouragement in the workplace, and practices random acts of kindness. Her desire to be generative drives her, as she wants to leave the world a little better for having lived in it; hence, she continues to give back to the natural and organic products industry in which she feels deeply privileged to have been involved.

Mark Retzloff
Mr. Retzloff is a pioneer in the organic and natural foods industry with a 49-year career starting and managing successful companies. He is co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Alfalfa’s Markets, Boulder-based natural foods stores. He also co-founded Aurora Organic Dairy in 2003, and currently acts as a senior advisor to the company. He was the University of Michigan’s School for the Environment And Sustainability, (SEAS), Practitioner in Residence for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Natural Habitats Group, a Netherlands based, fully integrated leader in organic sustainable palm oil production, processing, and distribution. Mark currently mentors, counsels, consults and advises numerous leaders and companies in the Natural, Organic, Local and Sustainable food sector.

Mr. Retzloff started his career in natural foods retail, as co-founder of Eden Foods, Rainbow Grocery, and the original Alfalfa’s Market’s, which merged with Wild Oats Markets in 1996. In 1990 Mr. Retzloff was chairman of the Organic Food Alliance which was instrumental in passing the 1990 Organic Food Production Act in D.C. Mr. Retzloff went on to become the co-founder of Horizon Organic Dairy. There he served as Chairman, CEO and President International. He then became Chairman of Rudi’s Organic Bakery where he helped execute a successful turn-around. He lends his knowledge as a board member and advisor to emerging companies, which have included Blue Horizon Organic Seafood, BlueSun BioDiesel, Boulder Ice Cream, Crocs Footwear,
Evol Burritos, Goddess Garden, Haystack Mtn. Goat Cheese, Sambazon Acai, Traditional Medicinals, Tempt Hemp Milk, and Uncle Matts Organic Juice. Mr. Retzloff is a founding partner at Greenmont Capital Partners, and founder and former Chairman of The Organic Center and he is a past 11 year board member of RSF Social Finance.

Mr. Retzloff sits on the University of Michigan’s School for the Environment And Sustainability, SEAS, Dean’s Visiting Committee and is chairman of the Advisory Board for the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems, CSS. He also serves on the Board of the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, CESR, at Leeds school of business at the University of Colorado, Boulder and also is Co-chair of advisory board of CU’s Masters in the Environment school MENV. He recently joined Colorado State University School of Agriculture Deans Advisory Board. Mr. Retzloff is also Member of Blackstone Entrepreneur Network leadership group. In the greater Boulder community, he is past president of Community Food Share, Past President of Growing Gardens, current board member of Boulder Open Space Conservancy, BOSC and co-Founder of Naturally Boulder

Mr. Retzloff received his B.S. degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan and has received several awards, including the Organic Trade Association’s Lifetime Leadership award, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Entrepreneur of the Year award, Naturally Boulder’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame and New Hope Natural products Hall of Legends.

Mr. Retzloff lives outside Boulder, Colorado on a farm with his wife Terry where they raised their three children. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, golf, and visiting his home in Hanalei Kauai, Hawaii.

Alexandra Carone
Alex was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2010 and like many folks with Celiac, discovered she was also allergic to one of the main proteins in dairy. As a college kid existing off Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, she did what many of us do in a crisis- she called her mom. Together, they created a totally dairy free, gluten free cheese style dip perfect for making Mac N Cheese. When Alex discovered her friend and now co-founder, Jeremy, couldn’t tell the difference between what her and her mom created and what he remembered eating as a kid, the pair knew they were onto something.

The Honest Stand debuted in 2014 at a farmer’s market in Colorado and has since grown to national distribution with the company’s disruptive Cheese Style Dips available in over 1800 locations come the end of 2018. Alex currently manages the company’s operations at their 8,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Louisville, CO, while simultaneously utilizing her master’s degree in social work to shape the company’s impact on both the local community and the broader environment. She won The Honest Stand the People’s Choice Award at the FoodBytes! Boulder pitch competition in October 2016, followed by taking home first place in the NB Pitch Slam of October 2017. Additionally, Alex has presented on behalf of the brand at Expo West in Anaheim and at Rabobank’s yearly C-suite gathering in New York City.

Jim Lamancusa
It is a special form of childhood education to be raised by three generations of entrepreneurs, some of it good, and some of it not so much. Jim Lamancusa was indoctrinated early into the joys and pains of starting and growing a business – search for Dynamite Crafts for Special Occasions, even though the flashbacks to his 11-year old self may be a little nostalgically painful
for Lamancusa.

At 18, Lamancusa left the booming opportunities of Cleveland, Ohio for the drab and featureless landscape of Boulder, Colorado, and has never looked back. Living in Asia for two and a half years teaching English, learning meditation, and becoming steeped in tea culture was a prelude of events to come.

After working with Boulder start-ups like Eco-Products, Good Belly, and Dynafit/Salewa, Lamancusa decided to jump into the fray on his own, and followed his dreams to create the next evolution of tea, Cusa Tea. After nine months of development, Lamancusa created the first instant tea that tastes exactly like a fresh-brewed cup, complete with 21 patents. During this long trial and error process – literally hundreds and hundreds of tests – he discovered a cold- steep, vacuum-dehydration technology that allows the tea to be steeped over eight hours and then gently dehydrated without the use of high heat or extreme cold. Heat and cold can destroy the taste and benefits of tea. The process Lamancusa created ensures the tea maintains its natural flavor without the need to add any fillers, sugars or additives. In his spare time, Lamancusa enjoys mountain adventures, daily meditation, the bump of good house music and, of course, many cups of tea.

Networking as Brand Building speaker

Impact Hub Boulder (1877 Broadway #100)

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