Gooder
Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks - Sustainability is Good for the Bottom-Line

Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks - Sustainability is Good for the Bottom-Line

April 19, 2021

“Everyone has the right to a healthy home.” – Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, the President and CEO at ECOS. We discuss the innovations in ECOS and how they ensure sustainability in the company. We also learn about the trends that have come up in the natural cleaning industry, accelerated due to the pandemic. Along the way we learn the story of the transformation of a family legacy into a category champion and hear about an innovative leader who advocates for corporate social responsibility and sustainable manufacturing.

In this episode we learn:

- About the family history and legacy of ECOS. 
- How far green science has evolved and its impact on product efficacy in home cleaning and personal care.
- Reasons why consumers resist switching from traditional industrial cleaners to more people/planet/pet friendly cleaning products.
- About product innovation and trends in the natural cleaning industry.
- The behind-the-scenes efforts of developing one of the most disruptive environmentally friendly supply chains and its net-positive impact for consumers pocketbooks.
- How Kelly’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and love inspires a brand that continues to break all the rules on its way to saving the planet.

About Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks:

As President and CEO, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, leads the strategy and production environmentally friendly cleaning products at ECOS. She oversees four geographically diverse facilities across the U.S. as well as a European Manufacturing platform. She has been widely recognized for her highly effective movement, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable manufacturing.

Vlahakis-Hanks has led ECOS to become a Climate Positive company and the first company in the world to achieve the sustainability trifecta of carbon neutrality, water neutrality, and TRUE Platinum Zero Waste certification. Her sustainable business   practice has made ECOS a model for green business in the U.S. ECOS is a primary manufacture that has received many awards for its innovations in safer green chemistry, including the U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of the Year four times.

As an African American woman and the daughter of a Greek immigrant, Vlahakis-Hanks has made environmental and social justice a cornerstone of ECOS’s mission. She actively promotes a corporate culture of diversity and empowerment, ensuring that over 50% of her C-Suite and top executives are women. She supports a green economy by creating sustainable manufacturing jobs across the U.S. and offering strong employee benefits and a living minimum wage of $17 per hour, one of the highest in the industry.  She also offers financial incentives to employees who make sustainable living choices such as purchasing a low-emissions vehicle or solar panels.

Vlahakis-Hanks received her undergraduate degree at UCLA and an MBA at Chapman University Argyros School of Business and Economics. She has been featured on CNN, CBS News, FOX News, NBC News, Bloomberg and Marketwatch and in publications such as Fortune, Entrepreneur and the Los Angeles Times. She has received many awards for her sustainable leadership, including Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Powerful Women in 2020 and Conscious Company’s World-Changing Women in Conscious Business Award.

She is an active member of several boards, including the Environmental Media Association and the Chapman University Board of Governors, where she serves on the Diversity Task Force. She is active in industry councils and public policy advocacy, including the American Sustainable Business Council and the Companies for Safer Chemicals coalition, working to promote higher standards for consumer products to protect human health and the environment.  She is also a member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) and Abundance 360, Peter Diamandis’ select community of executives and entrepreneurs using exponential technologies to transform their businesses.

Vlahakis-Hanks resides in southern California with her husband, teenage daughter and rescue dog Mina.

Guests Social Media Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyvlahakishanks/  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kvlahakis?lang=en
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellyfromecos/?hl=en
Website: https://www.ecos.com  
 
Show Resources:

ECOS’ One-Step Disinfectant - Fragrance Free.

ECOSNEXT™ Liquidless Laundry Detergent - Free & Clear.

The University of California, Los Angeles is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA traces its early origins back to 1882 as the southern branch of the California State Normal School.

Brown + Dutch was founded in 1996 when Alyson Dutch and her chocolate Labrador Rocky Brown found themselves starting a PR agency, quite by accident. 

Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31, 1969.   

Sam's West, Inc. is an American chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned and operated by Walmart Inc., founded in 1983 and named after Walmart founder Sam Walton. 

Costco Wholesale Corporation is an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only big-box retail stores. As of 2020, Costco was the fifth largest retailer in the world, and the world's largest retailer of choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine as of 2016. 

TerraCycle is a private U.S. recycling business headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey. It primarily runs a volunteer-based recycling platform to collect non-recyclable pre-consumer and post-consumer waste on behalf of corporate donors or municipalities to turn it into raw material to be used in new products. 

Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, which sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A USDA Certified Organic grocer in the United States, the chain is popularly known for its organic selections.

The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970; it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order.

Safer Choice helps consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that perform and contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment.

Green For All is an organization whose stated goal is to build a green economy while simultaneously lifting citizens out of poverty. It is a DC-based group that brings unions and environmentalists together to push for anti-poverty measures and a clean-energy economy.

The Environmental Media Awards have been awarded by the Environmental Media Association since 1991 to the best television episode or film with an environmental message.

YPO is a global leadership community of chief executives with approximately 29,000 members in more than 130 countries, according to the organization's 2019 YPO international fact sheet.

Women's History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
Daniel Pink’s Master Class: Teaches Sales and Persuasion.

Kellogg Garden has operated as a family-owned and operated company. Established in 1925, they have remained a stable, steadfast family business guided by the core values of their founder, H. Clay Kellogg: integrity, innovation, loyalty, experience, commitment, and generosity.

Beyond Green is a Certified B Corp making positive change easier by inspiring everyone to create a sustainable world.

Rivian is an American automaker and automotive technology company founded in 2009. The company develops vehicles, products and services related to sustainable transportation.

Publix was founded in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida, by George W. Jenkins. Their mission is to be the premier quality food retailer in the world.

Episode Sponsor - Retail Voodoo:

A creative marketing firm specializing in growing, fixing and reinventing brands in the food, beverage, wellness and fitness industry. If your natural brand is in need of positioning, package design or marketing activation, we’re here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com

Maggie Sadowsky - How the Naturals Industry Can Architect and Create Products to Better Serve Consumers’ Needs

Maggie Sadowsky - How the Naturals Industry Can Architect and Create Products to Better Serve Consumers’ Needs

April 12, 2021

“For the longest time we used the term vegan and vegetarian, and that really only describes about three to five percent of our population.” – Maggie Sadowsky

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Maggie Sadowsky, the President of 8 Track Foods. We discuss how the term plant-based has replaced the word vegan, at least from marketing and consumer facing format. We learn about beans – one of 8 Track Foods’ main products, and the benefits that it has to the consumers and the planet. And we get to meet one of the people responsible for some of the most significant innovations in Better-For-You food tech.

In this episode we learn:
- A little background about 8 Track Foods and the reason it exists.
- Beans relationship with the American diet, affordability, accessibility and its inclusion in every type of cultural diet.
- How vegan turned into plant-based and the related impact of food tech.
- About responsibility in the naturals industry to make sure that people do the right thing when it comes to producing BFY products.
- The importance of utilizing your pantry to help control food waste.

About Maggie Sadowsky:

Maggie Seng Sadowsky, the President of 8 Track Foods, is considered a thought leader in Natural Foods and a subject matter expert in plant-based proteins. Maggie graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS in Food Science. She is a Certified Food Scientist (CFS) from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and holds advisory positions with the Good Food Institute (GFI) and US Dry Bean Council (USDBC)Innovation Group. Before launching 8 Track Foods, Maggie owned the consulting firm The Culinary Architects, with clients including Conagra, Kellogg and Beyond Meat.

Guests Social Media Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maggiesadowsky/
Email: maggie@8trackfoods.com

Company Website: http://www.theculinaryarchitects.com/
Website: https://8trackfoods.com/
 
Shows Mentioned:

Conagra Brands, Inc. is an American packaged foods company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Conagra makes and sells products under various brand names that are available in supermarkets, restaurants, and food service establishments.

The Kellogg Company, doing business as Kellogg's, is an American multinational food manufacturing company headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States.
Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. The company's initial products were launched in the United States in 2012. The company has products designed to emulate beef, meatballs, ground meat, and pork sausage links and patties. 

The Wicked Witch of the West is a fictional character who appears in the classic children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, created by American author L. Frank
Baum.

The United States Department of Agriculture, also known as the Agriculture Department, is the federal executive department responsible for developing and
executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and food.

"Jack and the Beanstalk" is an English fairy tale. It appeared as "The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean" in 1734 and as Benjamin Tabart's moralized "The
History of Jack and the Bean-Stalk" in 1807.

The Good Food Institute is an international 501 nonprofit that promotes plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs as well as cultivated meat, as alternatives to the
products of conventional animal agriculture.

PepsiCo, Inc. is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Harrison, New York, in the hamlet of Purchase. PepsiCo has interests
in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products.

TerraCycle is a private U.S. recycling business headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey. It primarily runs a volunteer-based recycling platform to collect non-recyclable pre-
consumer and post-consumer waste on behalf of corporate donors or municipalities to turn it into raw material to be used in new products.

https://hilaryseatwell.com/
https://www.facebook.com/nytcooking/
https://rebellyous.com/

https://www.detroitdirt.org/

Episode Sponsor - Retail Voodoo:

A creative marketing firm specializing in growing, fixing and reinventing brands in the food, beverage, wellness and fitness industry. If your natural brand is in need of
positioning, package design or marketing activation, we’re here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com

Paula Reichel - How Food and Beverage Brands Can Better Serve Consumers Nutrition Needs

Paula Reichel - How Food and Beverage Brands Can Better Serve Consumers Nutrition Needs

April 2, 2021

“When you eat the foods that are good for your health, it's also good for the planet.” – Paula Reichel

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Paula Reichel, the Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Senior Advisor at Partnership for a Healthier America. We discuss the importance of improving food equity, cultural relevancy and cultural competency in our society. We also learn about the positive impacts and changes the food industry has had on the average American diet, especially through the pandemic. Along the way we hear the story of an innovative leader who helps set the flame on entrepreneurism in the food space.

In this episode we learn:

- A little background about Partnership for a Healthier America.
- How the CPG or consumer packaged goods relationships fit into the conversation in Partnership for a Healthier America.
- About health washing, what it is and its implications on the food that people are eating and the food that people are also producing.
- How the lack of diet and cultural representation in the manufactured goods exacerbate the health divide.
- Opportunities in the naturals food industry that investors need to know about.

About Paula Reichel:

Paula Reichel serves as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Senior Advisor to the CEO at Partnership for a Healthier America. Partnership for a Healthier America is a national nonprofit founded alongside Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity so that all children grow up healthy and free from obesity, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

Paula grew up in the Midwest and experienced the effects of the toxic food environment on her, her family, and her community’s health and quality of life. Her passion propelled her to identify new ways to create access to good, nutritious food for economically disadvantaged communities through innovative programs, partnerships, and entrepreneurial ventures and systems, policy, and practice change. She has deep experience working with the private sector, the charitable food sector, and public schools and consults on organizational strategy and business development. Paula is a frequent guest lecturer and holds a Master’s degree from Cornell University where she studied education and inequality and a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Butler University.

Guests Social Media Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-reichel/  
Email: preichel@ahealthieramerica.org 
Website: https://www.ahealthieramerica.org/  
Twitter: https://twitter.com/paulaereichel?lang=en  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/preichel/?hl=en  
 
Show Mentioned:

Let's Move Initiative - was a public health campaign in the United States, led by then-First Lady, Michelle Obama. The campaign aimed to reduce childhood obesity and encourage a healthy lifestyle in children.

Through Veggies Early & Often, PHA is convening leaders in industry, health professionals and early childhood education to consolidate evidence and outline an action agenda with the goal to raise a generation of veggie lovers. 

Darden Restaurants, Inc. - is an American multi-brand restaurant operator headquartered in Orlando.  

Mars, Incorporated - is an American multinational manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products and a provider of animal care services, with US$33 billion in annual sales in 2015. It was ranked as the 6th largest privately held company in the United States by Forbes.
 
PepsiCo, Inc. - is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Harrison, New York, in the hamlet of Purchase. PepsiCo has interests in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. 

Frito-Lay - is an American subsidiary of PepsiCo that manufactures, markets, and sells corn chips, potato chips, and other snack foods. 

Mondelez International, Inc. - often stylized as Mondelez, is an American multinational confectionery, food, holding and beverage and snack food company based in Chicago, Illinois. Mondelez has annual revenue of about $26 billion and operates in approximately 160 countries.

Episode Sponsor - Retail Voodoo:

A creative marketing firm specializing in growing, fixing and reinventing brands in the food, beverage, wellness and fitness industry. If your natural brand is in need of positioning, package design or marketing activation, we’re here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com

Tanu Grewal - When Comfort and Innovation Collide

Tanu Grewal - When Comfort and Innovation Collide

March 29, 2021

“You have to be so progressive to be able to go against the norm.” – Tanu Grewal

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Tanu Grewal, the Vice President of Marketing, Innovation and Ecommerce for AIEn, USA. We discuss how and why a company that has traditionally targeted a conventional consumer decided to tackle green cleaning by developing the new Art of Green brand. We also learn how the brand's innovation and marketing will target some trial and conversion issues of many of the most hesitant conventional consumers. Along the way we learn
the story of a feisty and inquisitive leader who brings a contrarian view of leadership, innovation and life to every opportunity and conversation.

In this episode we learn:
- A little background about the newest green cleaning brand called Art of Green.
- About assumptions and missed opportunities that the green cleaning industry
should be tapping into related to consumer adoption.
- How the years of working in a parallel industry allows her to approach the
category and production innovation in a new way.
- Why aroma is a big driver of category success.
- How to extend the life of your job title beyond the magic 18-month timeframe.

About Tanu Grewal:

Tanu is a global brand builder and strategic marketer with over 15 years of experience working in mature and emerging markets like US, EMEA and India with companies in the CPG, durables, luxury and hospitality industries. She is passionate about using brand purpose to help drive innovation and marketing that creates real value and emotional engagement with consumers.

Reporting into the CEO, Tanu is currently the Vice President of Marketing & Innovation at AlEn USA, a growth stage division of the global ALEN Group. One of her top achievements in this role has been the launch of a natural, green cleaning brand called ‘Art of Green’ that just won the prestigious Product of the Year award. Prior to this, Tanu has worked on iconic brands like Kohler, Maytag and Whirlpool where she elevated commodity categories to lifestyle brands through a combination of award-winning
product design, disruptive innovation and experiential marketing.

Starting her career with Whirlpool North America, Tanu held a variety of marketing and product development positions over 8 years including an ex-pat stint in Italy. Tanu holds an MBA degree from Rice University in Houston.

Outside of work, Tanu is passionate about creating communities that enable people to thrive. Currently, she serves on the International Student Advisory Board at Rice University and as a board member for the South Asian Women's Professional Network.

As a public speaker, Tanu’s topics include launching and scaling a challenger brand and standing out in a crowded market through creative marketing. As an Indian woman, living in the US and working for a Mexican company (AlEn), she also speaks on navigating multicultural work and market landscapes. Tanu has been interviewed by Forbes and delivered the keynote address for Coke FEMSA's Annual D&I conference in
Mexico City, Women’s Masters Network’s Annual Meetup 2020 and the Houston AMA's Quarterly Luncheon.

An avid traveler and consummate foodie, Tanu lives in Houston with her husband and son.

Guests Social Media Links:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tanugrewal/
Website: http://www.alenusa.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tanu_Grewal
Personal Website: http://tanugrewal.com/
 
Books Mentioned:

Unfinished: A Memoir by Priyanka Chopra - From her dual-continent twenty-year-long career as an actor and producer to her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, from losing her beloved father to cancer to marrying Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s story will inspire a generation around the world to gather their courage, embrace their ambition, and commit to the hard work of following their dreams.

Show Resources:
The Art of Green -  product line offers consumers an affordable and high-performing natural cleaning alternative that is priced for everyday use.

Kohler Co. - founded in 1873 by John Michael Kohler, is an American manufacturing company based in Kohler, Wisconsin. Kohler is best known for its plumbing products, but the company also manufactures furniture, cabinetry, tile, engines, and generators.

The Maytag Corporation - is an American home and commercial appliance brand owned by Whirlpool Corporation after the April 2006 acquisition of Maytag.

The Whirlpool Corporation- is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, headquartered in Benton Charter Township, Michigan, United States.

South Asian Women’s Professional Network (SAWPN) - SAWPN was created to bring together and engage women across various industries, nationally. Our goal is to build a strong networking base to support, mentor and celebrate successful, strong, and vibrant women across the country and within our communities.

HINT - an American beverage company based in San Francisco, California, as an alternative to soda and sugar beverages. It was started by former AOL employee Kara Goldin.

Amazon.com, Inc. - an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington, which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

Episode Sponsor - Retail Voodoo:
A creative marketing firm specializing in growing, fixing and reinventing brands in the food, beverage, wellness and fitness industry. If your natural brand is in need of positioning, package design or marketing activation, we’re here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com

Perteet Spencer - When Blue Ocean, the Joy of Food and Food Waste Collide

Perteet Spencer - When Blue Ocean, the Joy of Food and Food Waste Collide

March 8, 2021

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Perteet Spencer, the co-founder of AYO Foods. Using her spidey SPINS senses and her desire to create a brand that celebrates the ingredients, flavors, and culture of the West African diaspora, Perteet takes us on her journey of transition and joy. Along the way we learn how her Liberian upbringing and heritage inspires her new venture and how this cultural view naturally embraces a more inclusive food production system.

In this episode we learn:
- A little background about her brand AYO Foods.
- Why Perteet thinks North American consumers are ready for African flavors, textures, and ingredients
- What food trends shape AYO Foods innovation.
- Why she thinks Chicago has become THE place to watch for food innovation.
- How to use data as an indicator, and not simply validation, to uncover new innovation platforms and opportunities.
- Pereet’s thoughts on how to shrink pre-production food waste through product and manufacturing innovation.
 

About Pereet Spencer:
Perteet is thrilled to be able to bring all of her passions into her role as co-founder of AYO Foods. Seeking to build a more inclusive food system that reflected her experience growing up in a Liberian family, Perteet launched AYO with her husband Fred last summer with the vision of creating a platform brand that celebrated the ingredients, flavors, and culture of the West African diaspora.  

Prior launching AYO, Perteet held brand, sales, and consulting leadership roles at LEGO, General Mills, and SPINS.   

When she’s not actively working on AYO, you can usually find Perteet spending time in the kitchen with her two girls or advancing the issues of food equity through her involvement in the Food Recovery Network, a non-profit focused on eliminating food insecurity through food waste recovery.

Guests Social Media Links:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/perteet-spencer-18b3146/ 

Email: perteet@ayo-foods.com

Website: https://ayo-foods.com/  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pmcspence/?hl=en 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/perteets?lang=en 

 

Show Resources:
Moonboi Project - In Kpelle, “Moonboi” means prosperity. At AYO Foods, we believe that we have a personal responsibility to enrich the communities that inspired our products. 

 

General Mills, Inc. - is an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. It is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.

 

SPINS - transforms trillions of retailer data into performance solutions to accelerate growth, and deepen loyalty with shoppers.

 

Food Recovery Network - a nonprofit focused on eliminating food insecurity through food waste recovery.

 

Whole Foods Market, Inc. - is an American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, which sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A USDA Certified Organic grocer in the United States, the chain is popularly known for its organic selections.

 

Girl Power Africa - an organization that was founded a few years back, really in service of women who were victims of civil war and are trying to get back on their feet in Liberia. 

 

Imperfect Foods - Shop affordable groceries and exclusive items that went from unwanted to wish for. Reducing food and retail product waste, one household at a time.

 

PepsiCo - is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Harrison, New York, in the hamlet of Purchase. PepsiCo has interests in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products.

 

Betty Crocker - is a brand and fictional character used in advertising campaigns for food and recipes. The character was originally created by the Washburn-Crosby Company in 1921 following a contest in the Saturday Evening Post.

 

Lego - is a Danish toy production company based in Billund. It is best known for the manufacture of Lego-brand toys, consisting mostly of interlocking plastic bricks. The Lego Group has also built several amusement parks around the world, each known as Legoland, and operates numerous retail stores.

Emel Shaikh - Transitioning from Sundance to the Food and Beverage Industry

Emel Shaikh - Transitioning from Sundance to the Food and Beverage Industry

March 1, 2021

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Emel Shaikh, a PR and communications strategist with more than 10 years of experience leading publicity efforts, both in-house at the renowned Sundance Institute and as well as boutique agencies across multiple disciplines. Join us as we discuss how growing up as an immigrant and a woman of color, Emel is particularly interested in amplifying the untold stories of fellow BIPAC and other minority groups.

In this episode we learn:

- How the pandemic has affected PR, what brands are doing differently that they weren’t doing before and how they are planning for the change. 

- About what it means to be an outsider and especially in the lines of her work and if it has benefits.

- What made Emel decide to start her own firm on her own and work with minority owned brands rather than bigger ones and the challenges that these brands are facing. 

- About cancel culture and explains why she is not a fan and why she thinks it doesn’t hold people accountable.

- Which women leaders she has her eyes on that she’d like to elevate or want people to see.

About Emel Shaikh:
Prior to starting her freelance journey, Emel worked in various PR roles, developing campaigns for Better-for-You food and beverage, wellness and lifestyle startups and CPG brands. The experience gave her a firsthand look into what it takes to launch and grow an innovative product and ignited a passion for mission driven brands. Emel did four years in-house, where she led the charge on publicity efforts around the annual Sundance Film Festival in Utah, built awareness of Sundance NEXT FEST, a new film and music festival in Los Angeles to reach a new demographic, and introduce tastemakers to the Sundance brand and pitched stories surrounding the institute's year round artists support labs and programs.

Guests Social Media Links:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emelshaikh/ 
Website: http://www.sundance.org/ 
Personal website: http://littlecakeshop.tumblr.com/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emelshaikh/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/emelshaikh 

Show Resources:
Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization founded by Robert Redford committed to the growth of independent artists. The institute is driven by its programs that discover and support independent filmmakers, theatre artists and composers from all over the world. 
 
BIPAC is a bi-partisan, membership-supported, mission-driven, organization working to improve the political climate in America for the business community and help employers and employees play a more active role in public policy and the political process.

Fast-moving consumer goods, also known as consumer packaged goods, are products that are sold quickly and at a relatively low cost. 

Clubhouse is an invitation-only audio-chat social networking app launched in April 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth of Alpha Exploration Co. In May 2020, it was valued at nearly $100 million. On January 21, 2021, the valuation reached $1 billion. 

Tik Tok, known in China as Douyin, is a video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The social media platform is used to make a variety of short-form videos, from genres like dance, comedy, and education, that have a duration from fifteen seconds to one minute.

One Stripe Chai: Hand-crafted chai that actually tastes like chai. Black tea brewed with organic spices and made with love in Portland.

Wayne Enterprises, Inc., also known as WayneCorp, is a fictional company appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with the superhero Batman. 

Amazon.com, Inc. is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington, which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

Vivi Mullen - Creating Space for Women in the Male-Dominated Energy Drink Industry

Vivi Mullen - Creating Space for Women in the Male-Dominated Energy Drink Industry

February 22, 2021

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Vivi Mullen, the co-founder and Co-CEO of GO BIG, a natural energy and wellness shot. In this episode we talk about how Vivi’s career as a female executive in male-dominated corporate cultures stoked and shaped her ambition to make a difference in the lives of women. Join us as we discuss how Vivi has staked a claim in the energy drink industry and used her self-described outsider title to prove there is more than one way to do things. 

In this episode we learn:

- A little background about her company GO BIG and why it exists especially outside of the idea of the business.

- The intricacies of the energy drink industry from a personal perspective as well as who the major players in this industry are.

- That gender inclusivity and branding are an integral part of understanding how the energy drink industry markets their products. 

- The way culture affects how she does her business now, how she builds relationships today, and her leadership.

- Vivi’s advice to women who focus on what others say and lowers their self-esteem leading to wasted mental space. How to refocus self-esteem draining inputs and stop spending time in wasted mental space.

- What Vivi is doing through her leadership and brand to be a champion for women and women of color.

About Vivi Mullen:

Vivi Mullen is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of GO BIG, and the only female CEO in the energy drink industry. Born and raised in Brazil, Mullen’s career as a female executive in the largely male-dominated corporate culture, both stoked, and shaped her ambition to make a difference. Mullen started GO BIG as a brand based on the values of empowerment and inclusivity and holds to her commitment to showcase women and minorities in an industry that would prefer to leave them out.

Guests Social Media Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vivi-araripe-mullen-555a0623/ 
Website: https://gobigenergy.com/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vivimullen/?hl=en 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vivi.araripe 

Show Resources:

- Red Bull is an energy drink sold by Red Bull GmbH, an Austrian company created in 1987. Red Bull has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world, with 7.5 billion cans sold in a year.

- Monster Energy is an energy drink that was introduced by Hansen Natural Company in April of 2002. Monster Energy has a 35% share of the energy drink market, the second highest share after Red Bull.

- Rockstar is an energy drink created in 2001, which, as of 2009, had 14% of the US energy drink market. Rockstar is based in Las Vegas. As of January 2013, Rockstar Energy Drink was available in more than 20 flavors and in more than 30 countries.

- Bang is an American brand of energy drinks. It is made by Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a corporation located in Florida.
5-hour Energy is an American-made "energy shot" manufactured by Living Essentials LLC. The company was founded by CEO Manoj Bhargava and launched in 2004.

- Guarana is a Brazilian plant native to the Amazon basin. Also known as Paullinia cupana, it's a climbing plant prized for its fruit. A mature guarana fruit is about the size of a coffee berry. It resembles the human eye, with a red shell encasing a black seed covered by a white aril.

Key Takeaways:

0:00 Intro
2:48 Vivi share a little background about her company Go Big and why it exists especially outside of the idea of the business
4:24 Vivi talks about the energy drinks industry from a personal perspective and also who the major players in this industry are 
6:07 Vivi also talks about the energy drinks industry from a branding perspective and the inclusivity part of both genders 
7:45 Vivi talks about the difference in culture between Brazil and USA on the whole concept of professional women and women in business
9:49 Vivi also talks about how culture affects how she does her business now, how she builds relationships today and her leadership 
14:32 Vivi talks about being an outsider person and not fitting in both the Brazilian and the USA culture and how that has become her superpower in doing business 
16:15 Vivi talks about what she has learned and is learning running a business as a mum and especially in this time of the pandemic 
18:33 Vivi shares her thoughts on the concept of wasted mental space, what it means and also shares some examples regarding it
24:43 Vivi shares advice to women who focus on what other people will say about her which lowers their self-esteem leading to wasted mental space and how to avoid that 
28:34 Vivi talks about what she’s doing with herself right now and through her brand to be the champion for women and women of color
30:00 Vivi talks about Female Founder Collective, what it is and what it does to help women and women of color 
33:49 Vivi shares her thoughts and perspective on how she thought about developing her product and how it's evolving considering a wider audience
39:03 Vivi talks about the type of market that her company Go Big is here to serve and why they decided to go that route
41:09 Vivi talks about other women leaders that she admires and have her eyes on and why and who she’d want to elevate 
44:01 Vivi shares what she thinks is an interesting tidbit or fun fact about her industry 
44:52 Vivi also talks about other brands and products that she has her eyes on and why
45:35 Vivi shares some of the things that she does that helps her keep herself sane and centered

 

Christie Lagally - Driving a Mission in Plant Based Meat Products

Christie Lagally - Driving a Mission in Plant Based Meat Products

February 15, 2021

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Christie Lagally, the founder and CEO of Rebellyous Foods, a food production technology company working to make plant based meat price competitive with traditional chicken products. In this episode we discuss how Christie’s development of “Meatless Mondays” while working as a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry at Boeing, helped her understand the barriers to plant based meat in offices and institutions. Join us as we discuss how Christie has parlayed this information into building her own company to bypass those barriers by catapulting meat alternative production toward price parity and convenience with animal-based meat.

In this episode we learn:
- The history of Christie’s brand Rebellyous, how it was started, and reasons for its existence.
- How Christie is using the pricing method to make her products accessible to everyone and why that’s important.
- How Covid impacted their company, the opportunities that came up, and how it affected their market, and how they responded.
- The importance of why brand owners should understand the purpose of their brand’s existence before they focus on the income.
- About the process of enrolling investors and partners
- Christie’s vision she has for Rebellyous and what people should expect in the near future.

About Christie Legally:
Christie is the founder and CEO of Rebellyous Foods and a mechanical engineer who holds multiple patents in manufacturing technology. She spent much of her career in the aerospace industry working at Boeing. Previously Christie served as senior scientist for the Good Food
Institute and covering the technical barriers in the development of plant-based meat and clean meat.

Guests Social Media Links:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christie-lagally-875b9a4/
Email: info@rebellyous.com
Personal website: http://christie.lagallyconsulting.com/cv.html
Website: https://rebellyous.com/about-rebellyous-foods/christie-lagally-founder-ceo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lagallyc?lang=en
Blog: http://christielagally.wordpress.com/
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BqLQI4MjHif/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_medium=loading

Show Resources:
The Good Food Institute is an international 501 nonprofit that promotes plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs as well as cultivated meat.

Rebellyous Foods is a food manufacturing technology and production company defined solely to catapult meat alternative production toward price parity with animal-based meat.

Humane Society is a movement leader when it comes to farm animal advocacy in The United States.

Food Equality Initiative in Kansas City Improves health and end hunger in individuals diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease through access, education, and advocacy.

Seattle Food Tech​​ is a food manufacturing technology and production company on a mission to “catapult meat alternative production toward price parity with animal-based meat.”

Danielle Laubenstein - Leaders, Brands and the Hawaiian Value of Kuleana

Danielle Laubenstein - Leaders, Brands and the Hawaiian Value of Kuleana

February 8, 2021

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Danielle Laubenstein, The Director of Global Marketing for Mauna Loa. Danielle is overseeing the future and legacy of the company's direction into becoming Hawaii's wellness brand. She believes product development and holistic marketing looks at beauty as a combination of qualities of paradise, creating brand culture and products that empower the mind, nourishes the body, spirit, and evokes emotional health. Join us as we take a deep dive into the health and wellness industry and explore how brands should strive to serve their customers with healthy products.

“If you're Hawaii brand, then you're a brand from Hawaii.” -Danielle Laubenstein

In this episode we learn:
- About creating a brand community and how to make it be authentic.
- The difference between a Hawaiian brand and a Hawaii brand or Hawaii owned brand.
- How Mauna Loa is leading the naturals industry in staying true to its purpose of caring for everyone's needs.
- The concept of giving back and social responsibility or reciprocal responsibilities, where that comes from, and how it affects Danielle’s leadership style.
- About how Danielle is mentoring women, especially women of color, and why it’s important for her.
- What the word Kuleana means and the importance it has within the Hawaiian culture.

About Danielle Laubenstein:
Danielle has worked in CPG Health and Wellness, as well as in the global travel luxury confectionery space for over a decade for companies such as Chocolove, Godiva and DFS.

Guests Social Media Links:
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniellelaubenstein/
Website: https://www.maunaloa.com/

Show Resources:
Chocolove is a chocolate manufacturer with headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Boulder, Colorado, founded in 1995 by entrepreneur Timothy Moley. The company produces all- natural and organic chocolate bars. Chocolove imports chocolate and cocoa butter from Belgium to produce its chocolate.

Godiva Chocolatier is a Turkish-owned chocolate maker that is jointly owned by Turkish conglomerate Yıldız Holding and MBK Partners. Founded in 1926, it was purchased by the Turkish Yıldız Holding in November 2007; then MBK Partners bought a stake in 2019. 

DFS Group is part of the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), and a pioneer in luxury travel retail.

Hawaiian Host is the original chocolate-covered macadamia. Hawaiian Host is also the largest manufacturer of chocolate-covered macadamias in the world, as millions of boxes of our treats are shared all over the globe.

The Hershey Company, commonly known as Hershey's, is an American multinational company and one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world.

Project Potluck is a professional community founded by People of Color with a singular mission: to help people of color build successful companies and careers.

Lei Day is a state-wide celebration in Hawaii. The celebration begins in the morning of May first every year and continues into the next day. Lei day was established as a holiday in 1929. Each Hawaiian island has a different type of lei for its people to wear in the celebration.

Siete is a Mexican-American food brand, rooted in family that makes delicious grain-free products.

Books Mentioned:
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

Ayeshah Abuelhiga - Inspiration Built From Grit

Ayeshah Abuelhiga - Inspiration Built From Grit

February 1, 2021

This week on the Gooder Podcast I had the pleasure of talking with Ayeshah Abuelhiga, The CEO and founding partner of Mason Dixie Foods, the fastest-growing frozen baked goods company in the US. Ayeshah has thrown out the rule book, to excel in a male-dominated industry. Through sheer grit and tenacity, Ayeshah is pursuing her vision of flipping the comfort food industry on its head. In this episode, we talk about how growing up in a multi-culture family influenced Ayeshah’s view on the importance of healthy food and inspired her to start her own company. She also discusses the history of Mason Dixie Foods, why she built the company, and how she’s grown it into a wildly successful brand.

“When you’re an emerging brand, you’re a startup and you’re creating an identity for yourself, it’s important to really think functionally about who you’re trying to be.” - Ayeshah Abuelhiga

In this episode we learn:
- The origin story of Ayeshah and Mason Dixie Foods and how she landed on the name.
- Why immigrants have the fire to achieve their purpose, and how immigrant culture gives them strength.
- How powerful it can be when men and women work together, rather than being set against each other.
- The importance of choosing the right partnerships, customers, and agencies for her business.
- About the hurdles that women, people of color, and other minorities often face in business and how to overcome them.
- Some fun facts about bread, and advice for the customers.

About Ayeshah Abuelhiga:

She is the CEO and founding partner of Mason Dixie Foods, the fastest-growing frozen baked goods company in the US. She was voted one of Entrepreneurs Magazine's 100 powerful women in 2020, as well as one of the top 100 women in grocery 2020 by Progressive Grocer and a top 10 D.C. innovator in 2017. She has worked front of the house positions for major fine dining restaurants and hotels, while also consulting and managing, marketing and business development projects for Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Toshiba, and Audi. One of her biggest professional accomplishments is hiring an incredibly diverse team of 15, each of whom shares her commitment to providing the best frozen baked goods in the world.

Guests Social Media Links:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ajabuelhiga/
Website: http://www.masondixiebiscuits.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ayeshahabuelhiga/?hl=en

Show Resources:
Mason Dixie Foods: makes the most buttery, crumbly, gooey baked goods by taking the highest quality natural ingredients out there and mixing them with ice-cold butter and fresh-from-the-cow buttermilk. There’s nothing artificial in the biscuits, scones, or sweet roles and zero prep.

Project Potluck: is a nonprofit leadership and mentoring program founded by people of color with a mission to help people of color build successful companies and careers in the CPG Industry.

Progressive Grocer: is the voice of the retail food industry for nearly 100 years by providing the latest news, consumer trends, data and insight.
Better For You Foods: is the creator or award-winning natural food products for retail and private label consumers.

Partake Foods: creates delicious, real and healthy snacks, free of the 8 most common allergens.

Females in Food: helps foodpreneurs experience exceptional business and financial growth.

Key Takeaways:

0:00 Intro

2:24 Ayeshah share a little history of Mason Dixie Foods, why she build the brand and why it exists outside of the product

7:12 Ayeshah explains that there is a bigger, broader issue than just what everyone's labeling innovation especially in the food industry

9:58 Ayeshah talks about where she gets the fire and the strength to keep on doing what she does and how that helps in her decision making

11:21 Ayeshah talks about the importance of making major decisions based on facts but not the gut feel in business

12:56 Ayeshah shares her point of view on why the society sees women as if they will fail in what they do but see men as victorious even if they fail and if that is changing

16:10 Ayeshah also explains the amount of power there could be when men and women work together than being against each other

17:53 Ayeshah talks about why immigrants have that fire to achieve their purpose at all cost and how they get the strength by being in the immigrant’s culture

22:08 Ayeshah talks about partnership and shares tips on how to find a customer that is right for you, and also how she came up with the name of her company

27:50 Ayeshah also talks about the importance of choosing the right agencies that are transparent and honest and can tell your story

30:27 Ayeshah talks about Project Potluck, what it is, its mission and how it’s progressing since it was formed and the challenges they are facing

36:12 Ayeshah encourages people that it is not hard to start your own company especially in the natural industries

37:45 Ayeshah talks about the most common hurdles or things that most women, people of color and the minority in business keeps crushing on and how to overcome them

41:06 Ayeshah talks about the woman that she admires due to how she conducts herself and the business

42:52 Ayeshah talks about the Biscuits Jam and what happened to it and the anniversary they had

45:24 Ayeshah shares what she feels is a fun fact around breads and the advice she gives the consumers

47:15 Ayeshah shares some of the trends that she is focusing on at the moment

49:53 Ayeshah shares some tips on what she does to keep herself sane nowadays

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