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 of lēf, a venture in Sustainable Agriculture, and was a Co-Founder and CEO of Dancing Deer Baking Company.
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, having successfully 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 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. I spent five years as painter but unexpected events led to a return to entrepreneurship in 1995, and building Dancing Deer into a loved and respected natural food brand and leader in triple bottom line practice. I still occasionally venture out with my field easel, which work is displayed in my online gallery.
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. My children, Eleanna and Dimitri, are my greatest joy and proudest moment.