OUR TRIBE

Lee Brody

Global Marketing Guru & Co-Founder

Lee has been a leader in the natural beverage space for close to a decade. During that time he has led brands like Steaz, Marley Beverage Company and Whitewave Foods on their journey to engage and attract conscious consumers to make healthier, more socially impactful buying decisions for themselves and their families. Lee’s natural products career is actually his second.

He began his working life with many of the largest and most powerful advertising and PR agencies in the world. Agencies like Ketchum, Weber Shandwick, Hill + Knowlton Strategies and Moxie have all benefited from Lee’s leadership and marketing vision. Lee’s areas of focus has been on both trade and consumer marketing, encompassing brand strategy and development, market assessment, consumer insights, communications programming, field marketing, experiential marketing, sponsorships and entertainment integrations. He has also led corporate communications, internal branding and new product launches for a variety of startup and Fortune 500 companies. Lee’s work has been recognized by Advertising Age’s Marketing 50 and Mediaweek’s Media Awards. He has served on a number of committees within the marketing community and has spoken on marketing topics to entrepreneurs throughout the country.

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Renée Loux

Sustainable Food Guru & Co-Founder

Renée Loux has been a trendsetter in the sustainable food movement and natural product sector for 20+ years. As a chef, author, restaurateur, culinary nutrition expert and educator, program and curricula developer, natural products entrepreneur, TV host, journalist, consultant, researcher and mother, she has been a leading expert in the fields with multi-media communication to a wide and varied audience.

Renée has published 4 books: the Gourmand Award-winning The Balanced Plate (the essential elements of whole foods and good health) and Living Cuisine (the art and spirit of raw foods) as well as best-selling Easy Green Living (the ultimate guide to simple, eco-friendly choices for you and your home) and The Whole Green Catalog, a modern rendition of the groundbreaking book The Whole Earth Catalogue.

As an entrepreneur, Renée has co-created, consulted for and branded some of the most well-known brands in the natural product sector and hospitality sector.

As a food pioneer, she founded one of the country’s first raw food restaurants, The Raw Experience, in 1996 and was a founding partner in Mala Wailea in Maui, Hawaii. Renee founded the Food First Institute in collaboration with the University of Hawaii and the Maui Culinary Academy in 2013. She works with Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, home of celebrated Blue Hill at Stone Barns, developing integrative programs and has been teaching and developing curricula at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC since 1999. Renee is an alumni of the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp for Food Policy and Change and has been recognized as one of “14 Chefs Revolutionizing the Way We Farm and Eat”.

Renée has worked alongside some of the best and brightest figures in Hollywood and Culinary Arts. As the host of the TV show It’s Easy Being Green, she has appeared on the Food Network, HGTV and the Cooking Channel as well as a frequent guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Extra, Insider Edition, and Fox News.

Renée is a regular contributor to Women’s Health Magazine and her articles and recipes have been featured in: Vogue, Women’s Health, Shape, Sunset, Body + Soul, Lucky, Domino, Yoga Journal, Variety, L.A. Confidential, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, HI Luxury, Travel + Leisure, Experience Life, Natural Awakenings, USA Today, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Honolulu Advertiser, Maui News, San Jose Mercury News and the Huffington Post.

Over the years, she has been active on the board of directors and advisory boards of a wide range of companies, organizations and publishers including Exhale Spas, Women’s Health Magazine, Natural Health Magazine and the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation.

Renée’s diverse background in the fields of culinary arts, media and public relations, nutrition, and environmental science offers high-caliber validity and an authentic leader as the Co-Founder at BeyondBrands spearheading the Food sector of the company. As a celebrated chef, advisor and researcher, she understands the rapidly growing natural, organic and eco-market, the science behind it, and consumer’s trends for organic and sustainable living.

A New York native transplanted to Hawaii in 1995 for 15 years, Renée now lives between Los Angeles and New York City.

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April Karr

Digital Marketing Guru & Co-Founder

April is a marketing strategist who thrives on leveraging new media to help brands integrate their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in authentically and creatively connecting brands with their audiences through the creation of thoughtful content and experiences.

April brings a wealth of experience from across a wide spectrum of industries, from beverage to fashion and beyond.

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Jon Lapham

Biz Dev Guru & Co-Founder

Jon Lapham’s strong entrepreneurial background encircles 13 years of experience in national sales management, business strategy and development, marketing, team motivation, and an unparalleled passion to serve towards creating a healthier, happier, and sustainable existence.

Jon was introduced to the health industry in 2003 as regional manager for GNC where he quickly became the top performing region in the country. From there he worked for one of the leading telecommunications companies and was instrumental in closing over $30M in contracts, positioning himself as the top sales performer in the country during his tenure with the company. In 2013, Jon’s passion to return to the health industry introduced him to Eric Schnell and I AM Enlightened Creations where he became VP of Sales & Marketing and successfully doubled the company’s sales during his tenure.

Jon has generated strong relationships within the natural products industry and is now on a mission to help other passionate brands thrive. He is one of the proud Co-Founding members partners of BeyondBrands and serves as the Biz Development Guru.

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Errol Schweizer

Global Organic Guru & Co-Founder

Errol was the lead merchandiser and negotiator for the largest and most profitable department at Whole Foods Market for the last seven years before joining BeyondBrands. With a decade in Natural and Organic purchasing leadership, a strong operations background and almost 20 years’ natural products industry experience, Errol was selected as one of the Top 25 Retail Leaders and Game Changers of 2015, by Supermarket News.

With hundreds of supplier partners across over 80 grocery categories, Errol enabled national launches of thousands of innovative new products, as well as the development of local and regional suppliers into national partners and household names.

He has been a trend setter on Organic, and Non GMO foods, as well as Chia, Hemp, Halal and Kosher products, Fair Trade, Green cleaning products, Pastured and humanely raised animal products and more. This includes experience in all areas of product development, including packaging, ingredient sourcing, branding, pricing strategy, promotions, marketing and distribution.

Errol has also been featured in interviews in the New York Times, BevNet, CNBC, CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal and more, as well as speaking engagements at SXSW Eco, Natural Product Expos, Yale University, Chicago Ideas Fest, Let’s Talk About Food Boston and the American Muslim Consumer Conference.

His Community work Community Work and Advocacy includes:

2015- Advisory Board, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Preservation
2015- City of Austin Food Policy Board
2014- Board of Directors: Farmshare Austin/FarmerStarter (dedicated to training Organic farmers and relieving regional food insecurity)
2013- Advisory Board, Just Label It
2012-2014 Advisor and Fundraiser on GMO Labeling efforts in CA, OR, WA
2012-2015 Panelist, Specialty Foods Association Leadership Awards

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Suzanne McKenzie

Creative Guru & Co-Founder

An award-winning creative director/designer by trade, she is passionate about using design and collaboration to make the world a better place. Suzanne has spent 17 years in the advertising and design consultancy worlds for numerous national and global brands at Arnold Worldwide and Continuum.

As a Creative Director, Design and Strategy Consultant, she has worked on retail projects at MoMA, as well as projects for Tom Ford, FEED Projects, CVS Health, Supergoop with Maria Sharapova, the Olympic Games, AIGA, and Institute of Contemporary Art.

In 2015, Suzanne was selected to attend President Obama’s Global Emerging Entrepreneurs event at the White House, and also is a Sappi Ideas that Matter Grant recipient. Suzanne teaches Design and Social Entrepreneurship at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and runs the Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foundation, a nonprofit that gives city youth access top soccer and health education in collaboration with Whole Foods, MLS, CrossFit, We Got Soccer and Women’s Professional Soccer. She is also founder of Able Made, an active lifestyle brand that inspires healthy living and combines bold design with responsible manufacturing and giving back.

Suzanne’s work has been featured in Business Week, Vanity Fair, Graphic Design USA, and WWD. Her work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, the Hatch Show, The One Show, WebAwards, and Mobius Awards. Two of her designs, one for sweetriot chocolate packaging and the other for The Breakaway Foundation Poster Calendars, have been recognized by The Museum of Modern Art and sold in their retails stores in New York City. The MoMA Store also recognized and retailed the Able Made x Public School Lobo Tote as part of their Destination NY Collection. Suzanne Co-Chairs the Lifestyle Vertical at BeyondBrands as well as leads creative direction on the company’s Marketing team.

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Jeremy Adams

Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder

Jeremy is a natural food and beverage industry veteran and CMO with over 15 years experience driving growth for leading consumer products companies, and almost 10 years serving the needs of LOHAS consumers and Food Tribes.

He is an award winning CPG marketer, former strategy & innovation consultant and experienced CMO for entrepreneurial and Private Equity backed companies. He has led Marketing – and in some cases Innovation and Trade — for industry stand-outs including GT’s & Synergy Kombucha, POM Wonderful and Bossa Nova Superfruits Company.

Jeremy began his career as a management consultant for Monitor Group, where he advised leading Fortune 500 CPG companies on issues of competitive strategy, marketing and innovation at both a brand and Board of Directors level. After receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School, Jeremy joined Unilever where he launched a number of award winning innovations and marketing campaigns, which restored rapid sales growth and received significant industry recognition including a Gold Effie, Webby and Pentaward.

Since 2009, Jeremy has focused on driving organic growth for natural food and beverage companies through best-in-class marketing, brand architecture, consumer insights, innovation and trade capabilities. He is passionate about working with conscious clients who are changing the world for the better and grateful for the opportunity at BeyondBrands to play a role in supporting them along their path to success!

Jeremy holds a B.S. in Business Administration from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Veronica Park

Global Retail Guru & Co-Founder

Veronica has over 24 years’ experience growing the Starbucks brand locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on 3 continents.

She is a high-integrity, results-oriented entrepreneurial leader known for her ability to develop, replicate, strengthen and scale operations. She has a proven ability to cultivate strategic partnerships, negotiate contracts, improve efficiency & productivity, collaborate and create alignment among teams. Her passion is people and her versatile skill set has invited her to advise on multiple food and beverage startups, run a 2 year political campaign electing the Mayor of Jersey City, led the launch of a non-profit foundation focused on youth and run all the fundraising activities for those efforts as well as at her children’s school. She is extremely active, engaged and passionate about everything she does and looks forward to championing new brands as a Co-Founder at BeyondBrands.

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David Tsiang

Chief Finance Guru & Co-Founder

David has over 25 years of experience in ‘C’ level executive management, investment banking, corporate governance and consumer packaged goods brand management.

Since 2012 he has consulted to emerging growth food and beverage companies in the areas of executive & sales management, finance and operations. Notable past clients include Brad’s Raw Chips and Ulivjava Iced Coffee (a Martha Stewart affiliate). Prior to that, as a Board Member of publicly traded Baywood International, Inc (Ticker: BYWD) David engineered the acquisition and sale of Lifetime Nutraceutical, a Californian regional nutraceutical brand and acquisition of a New York regional ready-to-drink iced tea brand New Leaf Tea and rebranded as New Leaf Brand, Inc (Ticker:NLEF). He also served as its Chief Financial Officer from 2009 to 2011. Prior to that, he served as a Managing Director of Investment Banking at Northeast Securities, Inc. from 2001 to 2009, Vice President of Corporate Planning at the investment bank C.E. Unterberg, Towbin LLC from 1999 to 2001, and Finance Vice President at Ernst & Company from March 1991 to March 1998, where he helped engineer the sale of the Company.

With over 25 years of experience in strategic and sales management positions with financial service and CPG companies, he has also served on the Board of Directors of a publicly traded nutraceutical company. As a Board member, he has provided guidance and strategic oversight to management, ensuring that Best Practices of Corporate Governance are followed, while providing critical transparency to shareholders.

Mr. Tsiang is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and served as a non-commissioned officer with the New Jersey National Guard, 50th Armored Division.

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Mirran Raphaely

Conscious Beauty & Women’s Empowerment Guru & Co-Founder

In her sixteen years helping to build the renowned and forerunning Dr.Hauschka Skin Care brand specifically serving seven years as its US/Mexico Chief Executive Officer- Mirran developed methods, product offerings and teams that drove enormous consumer awareness, reached ambitious double-digit profit targets and helped establish the brand’s leading position across global markets.

Under Mirran’s leadership, Dr.Hauschka became a robust, self-financed and highly sought after ethical lifestyle brand built on sophisticated marketing and public relations strategies, and celebrated billions of media impressions.

Major articles about the brand were published, including Fast Company, The New York Times and across all fashion/lifestyle publications, including and placements on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Martha Stewart Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, to name a few.

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Inc., under Mirran’s leadership, also became a recognized contributor within the socially responsible business sector. Through targeted co-branding initiatives, Mirran raised large gifts for Heifer International and supported a number of other progressive NGOS. In addition to presenting at various conferences and media events, Mirran has also won two prestigious international Cicero Awards for ‘vital speeches/presentations’.

Mirran celebrates the spirit of human striving, our sacred natural world and the power of organizations working passionately to make a difference for the planet and her inhabitants.

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Derek Sarno

Whole Foods Culinary Guru & Co-Founder

Derek Sarno is a plant pushing consultant, innovator, creative resource, brand builder, chef, caterer, cookbook author and co-founder of Wicked Healthy, LLC.

As the former Global Executive Chef for Whole Foods Market, Derek’s team was responsible for launching and developing the company’s Healthy Eating directive & standards between 2009 – 2016.  His experience in extensive recipe development and concepts with plant-based innovation was charged with being integrated with supplier partnership collaborations. He oversaw national product R&D for the $3 billion dollar prep foods department with a main focus on healthier, plant-centric sustainable foods and methods.  Additionally, as Catering Director for the WFM Academy of Conscious leadership, he launched WFM’s internal catering platform to showcase and promote the company’s progressive vision while upholding financial standards and operational excellence.  Derek also served as a culinary resource to all the leadership teams.

Derek’s experience includes 10 years as chef/consultant for a Tibetan Buddhist monastery where he learned how to sit quietly to better deal with industry drama.  He has owned several food service establishments, restaurants, a vegan-organic farm and is a consultant and educator of vegan, vegetarian and plant-forward, healthier cuisines.

Derek and his brother Chad are the co-founders and culinary minds behind the Wicked Healthy brand.

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Chad Sarno

Plant-Based Formulation Guru & Co-Founder

Chad’s experience within the plant-based culinary space with formulation, consultancy and education expands over 20 years. As the VP of Plant-Based Wellness at Rouxbe Cooking School, Chad shares his passion for culinary education and mission of health inspired plant-based eating with students around the globe.

Over the years Chad has partnered with numerous physicians to bring culinary education into the forefront of the wellness and prevention conversation.

Following the opening of 6 plant-based restaurants in Istanbul, Munich and London, Chad served as the Global Health and Wellness Coordinator, Media Spokesperson and R&D Chef for Whole Foods Market’s Healthy Eating Program.

Chad has been contributing chef to numerous recipe books, including New York Times Best seller Crazy Sexy Kitchen with Kris Carr. He has been featured in many national publications and a guest on dozens of morning shows and food-focused programs on television and radio internationally over the years. Through the intersection of clean food and culinary education, Chad continues to share his passion for helping others achieve their health goals, starting in the kitchen.

Chad and his brother Derek are the co-founders and culinary minds behind the Wicked Healthy brand.

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Doc Rob Streisfeld

Natural Health & Cannabis Guru & Co-Founder

Dr. Rob Streisfeld is a passionate consumer advocate and educator with over 12 years of Natural Health & Natural Products Industry experience. A Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and Certified Natural Food Chef, “Doc Rob” as he is widely known, provides an informed and innovative perspective to support branding, marketing, PR, and other business development needs with a focus on education and community.

Over the past decade, Doc Rob has helped to identify and expand key health categories such as probiotics, enzymes, whey protein, fermented foods, whole food supplements, and more. His most recent passion is rooted in cannabis, cannabinoids, and the benefits they offer and will be working closely with clients on both the dietary supplement and medicinal cannabis sectors in his role as a Co-Founder at BeyondBrands.

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Kara Rubin

Retail Grocery Guru & Co-Founder

Kara is a food and retail industry veteran, having spent a decade leading one of the largest regional business units for Whole Foods Market in the United States. She brings to BeyondBrands a fascination with food and how it is grown, raised and distributed; a deeply held desire to bring better, cleaner food to more and more people; and nearly 15 years of strategic and operational food retail experience.

She dedicated 10 years to leading Whole Foods Market’s grocery division in the Northeast Region, which included the company’s highest volume stores in the United States. Kara has deep roots guiding retail strategy and working with brands ranging across the category spectrum. While at Whole Foods, she worked closely with partners ranging from small, local entrepreneurs to large-scale, broadly recognized brands to build their businesses strategically in the region and nationally. Prior to her tenure at Whole Foods, Kara was a buyer at Gourmet Garage, a NYC-based grocer, and got her start in the food world at the Rogers Collection, a Portland, ME-based importer of specialty Italian, Spanish and Tunisian products.

Kara holds degrees from Duke University and the University of Michigan Business School (now the Stephen M. Ross School of Business). She serves on the Corporate Advisory Council of Just Capital, a nonprofit that measures corporate performance based on the public’s definition of just behavior. Kara speaks often at food industry conferences, including Project Nosh and Bev Net Live, and she is a guest lecturer at the NYU College of Food, Nutrition and Public Health.

Kara and her family live in New York City, and she loves nothing more than baking cookies with her two young kids. She is thrilled to be an integral part of the BeyondBrands SuperTribe and executive team.

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Jeff Wasserman

Managing Law Partner & Co-Founder

Jeff Wasserman is a Member of the Sills Cummis & Gross Corporate, Private Equity, Banking and Finance, and Life Sciences Practice Groups.

He also leads the Firm’s Venture Capital/Regulated Substances Practice Group. Mr. Wasserman provides corporate counseling to private equity and venture capital funds, and public and private companies. His experience includes the structuring and negotiating of leveraged buy-outs, investments, complex acquisitions, secured and unsecured lending, and joint ventures/collaborations, in addition to general corporate advice.

Jeff focuses on investment and regulatory issues in the legal medical and recreational cannabis-related marketplace. He has significant experience representing pharmaceutical and life sciences clients relating to acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures and collaborations, product and technology licensing, and distribution arrangements. In addition, Jeff’s experience includes licensing transactions in the entertainment industry, as well as physical and digital media distributors, and some of the largest “As Seen on TV” companies in the United States.

Prior to joining the Firm, Jeff was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of a private-equity backed company in the over-the-counter consumer health industry. He also served in senior management positions for other prescription products and medical device corporations. He was a founding general partner and served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel to a Boca Raton, Florida-based private equity/venture capital fund. Jeff started his career in the corporate and securities practice groups at Morgan Lewis and Mayer Brown & Platt in New York. In addition to serving as a Co-Founding partner of BeyondBrands, Jeff also serves on a number of public and private boards of directors and regularly counsels boards on various matters.

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Tony De Moraes

Design Guru & Co-Founder

”Just because your ad looks good is no insurance that it will get looked at. How many people do you know who are impeccably groomed…but dull?”—William Bernbach, DDB Worldwide.

I like this quote for a couple reasons. It’s our philosophy in a nutshell. And judging by the clothes I’m wearing, I’m less than impeccably groomed…and anything but dull. As the son of a music teacher and a television director, I knew at a young age I would do something creative. I couldn’t hold a note, so I decided to draw and paint. It turned out to be a good choice because I still can’t sing.

Just as in a design project, I’ve learned life is a creative process. I’ve had to adapt and evolve in both my personal and professional life. I always strive to create work that strikes a balance between timeliness and timelessness. What I love about design is it’s always different. The personality of every client and every project is unique. I believe what my clients like about working with me is my passion. I’ve never been accused of being a “yes man”. I give an opinion as easily as I receive them. But, the most important thing I’ve learned in 22 years is that nobody is always right—or wrong. If you take the time to listen and really collaborate, the result is always beautiful.

Another thing I’ve learned, now that I’m officially (about) half way through my life, is there is more to it than just work—and that creative blocks are real. To get inspired, I sometimes pick up a brush and paint (something I started again recently), snowboard, river raft, mountain bike, watch a good movie, and get together with friends and family as much as possible. I love what I do. As a partner/art director in element18 and co-founding partner in BeyondBrands, I love working with this great team every day. And above all, I’m proud of the fact that I’m anything but dull.

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