CEO - Largest Medicinal Tea Company
In 1995 I made the best decision of my career by taking a 70% pay cut and trading in my brand manager position at Nestle for a business development position at a mission driven, all natural food company called Fantastic Foods. I made this move to align my skills and experience (CPA at Ernst & Young, MBA Univ. Chicago, Brand Manger at Nestle) with my passion for living a healthy lifestyle. For me, the last 20 years working for mission driven, health and wellness companies has been the highest and best use of those skills and experiences.
I have had the great fortune of working at one of the largest financial services companies in the world (Ernst & Young), the largest food company in the world (Nestle) as well as in several entrepreneurial environments. I learned a lot about how to run a business from the big companies and everything about how NOT to treat people.
After 2 years learning my way around the natural foods industry I was fortunate to advance to CEO positions. I have now been the first non-founder CEO of four companies. I’ve been able to leverage my big and small company perspectives to help smaller, well principled companies crossover from the natural foods channel to the grocery, mass, drug, and club channels enabling them to substantially expand their sales and their mission.
I am a humble, servant leader working in service to the organization. As a CEO I have learned it’s not about how smart I am, it’s about making smart decisions and providing strong leadership. I am able to make smart decisions by hiring people who are smarter than me in their areas of expertise and then listening to them, especially when we disagree.
I am passionate about helping others find their passion. I spend countless hours each year speaking at colleges and talking individually with people to help them align their passion and their skills. This is where the magic happens in one’s career.