Welcome & Hello! While the primary utility of this site is to further my professional interests, I've organized it so you can get to know me a bit beyond the standard resume stuff. As you can see from my bio below, I don't draw much of a line between my personal passions and my professional activities. I enjoy working with people who think that's great.
I do Advisory work in Specialty Food ranging from Capital Structure and Fundraising to Market Strategy, Consumer Insights and Product Development. For more info please see the ADVISOR page. I am also a Painter. To see my portfolio please go to MORE ABOUT ME and open the ARTIST page.
I have done my best work when bringing order to chaotic circumstances or when growing something from almost nothing, with limited resources. In recent years I have been building out my own ideas as well as helping others with theirs, both in start-up and established environments. I build meritocratic, positive, rigorous teams which spawn growth for both the individuals and the enterprise. I have broad experience and love operations at the shop floor level as much as strategy, but my wheelhouse is certainly brand-building, sales and marketing. Cracking open solutions to gnarly problems is high on my list of fun things to do.
I am a Co-Founder and former CEO of Dancing Deer Baking Company and C0-Founder of lēf, a venture in sustainable agriculture.
I advise and invest in the natural and organic food sector, and have helped a large number of healthy-eating entrepreneurs to grow and thrive. I am particularly interested in nutrition, sustainability, social justice and dematerialization.
My most formative and valuable job was my first and least well-paid when I left college early to help my parents [my heroes] survive a Chapter 11 reorganization. They pioneered industrial solutions for post-consumer bottle and can recycling, which are still in effect today. Other chapters included: helping the beverage industry to embrace mandatory deposit laws, helping build the first Direct Broadcast Satellite TV system, pioneering a new commercial real estate finance vehicle, developing a pre-GPS tracking product for the pet industry and developing a new line natural/healthy eating frozen foods product line for a major CPG company.
Years after earning an MBA (Yale ’82) I set aside business to pursue art, my first love, and spent five years studying the effect of sunlight on natural forms. An unintended turn of events led to a return to entrepreneurship in 1995, where originally with partners, then on my own, I built Dancing Deer into one of the most respected natural food brands and a leader in triple bottom line practice. My years at Dancing Deer were the unique, whacky and, looking back, incomprehensible time when I somehow also raised two children who came out better than fine despite the challenges. I still venture out with my field easel when I can.
Proud and extreme brag: In 2009, I rode my bicycle 1500 miles in 15 days, solo, from Atlanta to Boston from one homeless shelter to another. Each evening, while decorating Gingerbread houses with families living in shelter, I learned about and publicized the face of homelessness while advocating for practical solutions. Dancing Deer donates 35% of its Sweet Home Gift line revenues to fund educational scholarships for at-risk mothers as a pathway out of poverty.
A recipient of honorary Doctorates from Bentley College McCallum Graduate School, Wheaton College and Pine Manor College for my roles as mother, entrepreneur, activist and artist, I serve on several Boards and contribute my time and energy to many progressive initiatives. Creating positive impact is a life passion.
Work is fun. My non-work fun is to get out in nature, dance, race bicycles, make art and be productive, creative and engaged with family and friends. I take leaps of faith (click here for an entertaining video of one). My children, Eleanna and Dimitri, are my greatest joy and proudest moment.
And in case this bio seems braggish...I assure you I have failed often and early. I have benefitted, I hope, in both skill and wisdom. I have had more than a fair share of bollixed, upside-down, bewildered, failed, foolish, idiotic, immodest & unimpressive moments. So I bring all that to the table whether solving a business challenge or climbing a mountain. I am a thoughtful, self-reflective learner and seeker of better solutions and higher purpose.