to all our team members
Straus Family Creamery
VP Sales and Marketing
Mike serves on the executive leadership team and is responsible for marketing, sales and product development at Straus Family Creamery, a family-run, mission driven organic food business based in Petaluma, CA. For over 20 years Mike has held a variety of leadership positions in the food industry, delivering measurable results in diverse environments ranging from early stage, high growth start-ups to the world’s largest food company. Prior to coming to Straus, Mike served in several brand management and sales leadership roles at Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream (a division of Nestle), Odwalla Juices, WetFeet.com and The Clorox Company. He earned his MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a BS from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. Early in his career, Mike worked in the financial services industry, with both Ernst & Young and JP Morgan. Mike joined the Board of FIG/Naturally North Bay in 2018 and became Board Chair in 2019. He also serves on the Board of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
Blair Kellison is the CEO of Traditional Medicinals (TM), a mission driven, organic and fair-trade wellness tea company based in Sonoma County, CA.
Founded by Drake Sadler in 1974, Traditional Medicinals purpose driven social business model has resulted in five decades of commercial success and created a truly sustainable organization. Traditional Medicinals is now the 4th largest bagged tea brand in North America with distribution in 70,000 retail outlets with 250 employees.
Blair came to TM in 2008 in its 34th year to take over as the company’s first non-founder CEO.
Blair is a former CPA with Ernst & Young, a brand manager with Nestle, and he received his MBA from Booth at The University of Chicago.
In 1995, Blair made the best decision of his career by taking a 70% pay cut and trading in his brand manager position at Nestle for one at a mission-driven, vegetarian food company.
Over the past 25 years, Blair has been the first non-founder CEO of four organizations, each time partnering with the founder to put in place the people, processes, and technology needed for the company to reach its full potential.
His passion is leadership which he believes requires four P’s — Persistence, Patience, Passion and Purpose. He teaches leaders to patiently persist with purpose and passion as the driving forces for success.
Carle Mackie Power & Ross LLP
Attorney and Partner
John Mackie is a Founding Director of FIG and serves as its pro-bono counsel and corporate Secretary. His firm, Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross LLP (CMPR) is a Founding Sponsor of FIG. John is a Partner in CMPR, a law firm based in Santa Rosa that specializes in the issues of business. John helped to found CMPR after holding a number of positions in government (last as Deputy Secretary of Business, Transportation & Housing for the State of California) and as a Partner in several other law firms. His own practice is concentrated in food and beverage businesses, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and real estate. John has served on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations including Sonoma Academy, The Oliver Ranch Foundation, LBC, Sonoma County Museum, North Bay Angels, Building Markets and others.
Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross LLP is a founding sponsor of FIG. It is a law firm based in Santa Rosa that specializes in the issues of business. This also includes issues related to non-profit organizations, such as trade groups and educational, cultural and philanthropic organizations. The firm’s practice areas includes the food and beverage industries; start-up enterprises and business organization; mergers, acquisitions and finance; intellectual property; employment counselling ; real estate and land use; commercial litigation; affordable housing and other areas of expertise.
COOKIE...take a bite!
The owner of COOKIE…take a bite!, Tracy Mattson, is a professionally trained pastry chef with over ten years of experience working in fine dining restaurants. She trained at L’Academie de Cuisine in Washington, DC and started her food career working in restaurants on the East Coast before settling in Sonoma County, California. To hone her craft and learn from the amazing talent in the pastry world, she has staged (i.e. volunteered for free) around the U.S. and abroad. Prior to changing careers, Tracy worked in Washington, DC for a Texas Congressman (a Democrat – we have those in Texas) and then in government and private sector focusing on environmental regulatory issues. Ready to start out on her own, Tracy started COOKIE…take a bite! to share her love of sweets and bring cookies to another level and make them a wonderful treat for any occasion.
Supply Chain Director
Maureen Cunnie is the Operations Director for Tomales Bay Foods and Cowgirl Creamery and was previously Cowgirl Creamery’s Production Manager & Head Cheesemaker for 13 years. Under her leadership, Cowgirl Creamery created award-winning cheeses and won Best of Show at the prestigious American Cheese Society annual Judging & Competition. Prior to becoming a cheesemaker, Maureen was a chef at Greens, a San Francisco restaurant known for its commitment to high quality, local and organic ingredients. It was here that she had her first taste of Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam.
Maureen is a founding board member and past president of the California Artisan Cheese Guild where she helped establish an Artisan Cheese Making Certificate program at the College of Marin. Maureen served on the Cheese Judging Committee of the Good Food Awards and currently serves on the board of the California Artisan Cheese Festival.
Maureen has been involved with FIG since its incarnation as BEST.
Co-Founder and Director of Operations and Compliance
Rebekah Lovett is the Co-Founder and Director of Operations and Compliance for Revive Kombucha. She and her husband Sean launched Revive at the Wednesday night farmer’s market in Santa Rosa in May 2010. An innovation leader in the kombucha category, Revive launched its low sugar, shelf stable Sparkling Kombucha in cans last year and was named “Best New Product” by BEVNET Magazine. Revive was the first to develop 100% herbal and caffeine free kombucha flavors and the first to create an all coffee and all yerba mate kombucha.
Rebekah began her career in the natural foods industry as a supplements buyer for Whole Foods Market in Chicago where she was born and raised. After moving to Sonoma County, Rebekah advanced into leadership with Whole Foods Market at the Sonoma location and eventually opened the Coddingtown store the same year she launched Revive Kombucha. Rebekah loves the work she does and is proud to work alongside the talented and dedicated team at Revive Kombucha.
As a woman of color, Rebekah is passionate about racial diversity and equity in the natural products industry. Her experience as an Indian woman in this industry and resident of Sonoma County has highlighted the urgency with which change must be pursued.
Fun Fact: Rebekah loves her hometown of Chicago so much that she will tirelessly correct anyone who says that she is “from Petaluma,” by saying “I live in Petaluma, but I am from Chicago.”
President and CEO
Will Seppi is the President & CEO of Costeaux. He is the second generation to step into the baking business following in the footsteps of his father and mother, Karl and Nancy Seppi. Prior to re-joining Costeaux in October of 2004, Mr. Seppi was the Corporate Controller of Celerity Group, Inc. a leader in design and manufacturing of gas and chemical delivery modules integral to the manufacturing of semiconductors. Under his leadership, Costeaux has grown into a regional producer and distributor of craft bakery items and operator of several company branded retail bakery cafes. Costeaux French Bakery has been a Healdsburg establishment since 1923 and has been owned and operated by the Seppi family since 1981. Mr. Seppi graduated with a BS in Accountancy from Villanova University. Will and his wife, Brandy, reside in Healdsburg with their three children.
Naturally North Bay
Carolyn Stark’s passion is focused on giving back to her community by promoting economic growth through her leadership in trade associations, higher education, and in public private partnerships. She has led four different trade associations and economic development initiatives and participated as a director on a variety of community and nonprofit boards. In these roles, her primary responsibility has been to create enabling factors that promote the economic prosperity and quality of life of the region.
Ms. Stark was the founding executive director of the Sonoma County BEST initiative, an economic development program created in 2011 as a public-private partnership. Under Ms. Stark’s leadership, BEST actively engaged business, education, and government leaders in the formation of Sonoma County’s post-recession economy. The North Bay Food Industry Group, aka “FIG” was formed in 2012 as an initiative of BEST to support the growth of the specialty food and beverage industry in the region. Now an independent non-profit, FIG has brought together companies, entrepreneurs and industry supporters to work together to foster a thriving specialty foods and natural products community in the North Bay. Over 50 companies with nearly 3,500 employees are members of FIG. Ms. Stark is also working to establish Naturally Network, a national organization of regional affiliates which currently includes San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Chicago and Boulder.
Fun fact: Carolyn participates regularly in long distance horseback racing throughout the West and has taken part in the Tevis Cup 100 mile 24 hour race from Truckee to Auburn three times.
Human Resources Working Group Chair
Kimberley Fetzer is the chair for the Naturally North Bay Human Resources steering committee.
She has worked 20+ years in the Food and Beverage industry in Sonoma County which include roles in restaurant and upscale dining room management, event planning, catering management and consulting, and as an adjunct culinary arts instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College. She is currently the Human Resources and Office Manager at Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products.
Kim supports the ideals of servant leadership and stresses the valuation of each individual on a team, both of which are paramount in ensuring success, especially when serving dinner for 100+ patrons every night.
She is committed to building a workforce that focuses on the tenets of Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and promotes regenerative practices on a personal and organizational level.
Accomplishments and affiliations include: Society of Human Resources (SHRM); B.A. in English and Business, UCLA; Associates in Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America; Fellow, Escoffier Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America; Fellow, Leadership Institute of Ecology and Economy.
Fun facts: Kim’s first job after cooking school was as a pantry chef at Tra Vigne in Napa Valley; and while working in Los Angeles, Denzel Washington complimented her for an omelet she made for him.
Manzana Products Co.
Sales and Marketing Working Group Co-Chair
Alissa Trinei was born and raised in Sebastopol, once known as the apple capital of the world. After finding it necessary in 2013 to get back to her roots and move into an industry she truly believed in, she was able to leave her career in education to follow her passion in agriculture. Now the Marketing Specialist at Manzana Products Co., Inc, the last apple cannery in northern California, Alissa brings an exceptional level of knowledge and passion overseeing the marketing strategies for both the company as well as their own North Coast Organic brand. Alissa sees and considers local apple growers as part of the family and is driven by the need to keep orchards planted in Sonoma County.
While not at work, Alissa still enjoys spending time in the orchards watching what beautiful and inspiring changes are taking place. She also takes pride in her own organic farming practices at home, and enjoys anything outdoors relating to camping, hiking, running, and paddle boarding. Indoors you can find her creating recipes for the brand, crocheting, cuddling kitties, and working on her yoga practice. Alissa also volunteers as a Delivery Angel for the Ceres Community Project, an organization very close to her heart.
THe 2Go Advisory / Agriculture Practice Group
Finance and Accounting Working Group Co-Chair / Lead Partner
Marc Loupé brings more than 25 years of comprehensive global financial and operational management experience to our agricultural-based clients. He helps companies integrate innovative methods and technologies, so they function more effectively. He brings to clients the value of his technical expertise and functional experience in senior financial management roles in a broad spectrum of industries — including agriculture, technology, aviation, real estate and professional services.
His past corporate roles include CFO for AAA (Northern California, Nevada and Utah) and for Sage Software-North America and Chief Audit Executive for three publicly held companies (Ampex, Sun Microsystems and CA Technologies). His accounting, finance and operational experiences include strategy development and implementation, company transformations, acquisitions and divestitures, financial and operational systems implementations, profitability and cash flow improvement programs, improved financial governance and accounting processes, treasury operations, extensive international operations, legal oversight, human resources, sales development, product line general management and Co-CEO.
Marc’s passion for the agricultural industry is systemic to his life, both professionally and personally. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, a major agricultural school. While majoring in Accounting in the School of Business there, he maintained his own vegetable and herb garden as his food source. After graduation, he became a California CPA. He began his professional career with an initial focus on the agricultural industry with clients at Touche Ross & Co. (now Deloitte), a top- tier international CPA firm. He is a member of the Napa Chamber of Commerce and holds a Certificate in Accounting and Finance in the Wine Industry from Sonoma State University. Also, he holds a Master of Science degree in Accounting from Golden Gate University.
He is an active speaker in professional continuing education and association groups. At the board level, he is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association, International Wine and Food Society and the Youth Leadership and Development of San Francisco Foundation. His professional affiliations include the North Bay Food Industry Group, Financial Executive International and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Manzana Products Co.
Finance and Accounting Working Group Co-Chair
Andy is a Brit who has split his career between roles in the UK, France and the US. He spent his early years in finance roles in various FMCG companies, before becoming General Manager of innocent drinks in France in 2011. In 2013, he left innocent to join Agrial as their UK CFO, and since late 2017 has been their US CFO, based at Manzana’s site in Sebastopol, with a remit stretching to a dairy in New York and a hard cider business in Seattle, with a few organic orchards to manage as well. Andy brings a strong international perspective to the NNB Finance and Accounting group, as well as commercial acumen.