A Push for Something Different.
hat do I love more than creating heartfelt experiences? Literally the only thing I am more passionate about than creating memorable experiences for people, companies and end-users is the mission behind the plant-based foods world. If you asked me whether I'd choose running my dream pizza restaurant or getting the world to consume less animal products - I would easily choose the latter.
Growing up vegetarian in Waco, Texas wasn’t always easy. With summer BBQs around the block every weekend, my brother and I would often ask for the hamburger without the ham or the fried chicken without the chicken. Eating meat never appealed to me, but in choosing a more ethical and environmentally sustainable diet, I was forced to miss out on a quintessential American tradition. I wanted to share in the experience, but on my terms.
Twenty years ago, I discovered my first veggie-dog from Morningstar. Ten years ago, I hosted my first “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Meat” dinner party. Five years ago, I tasted my first Impossible Burger. Three years ago, I flew to St. Louis to try my first ever Impossible Whopper. What I once wished was a possibility is now a reality. And today, I've made the decision to follow my heart into a space that dances in my mind every.single.day.
Today, I lead the product strategy behind iMerit’s client-facing products. I mentor teams, I forge relationships across our sales, delivery, engineering and marketing teams to ensure that our products cross the finish line and have the support they need for success. Along the way, I build product strategy to help reshape how our clients engage with Machine Learning data operations. And yes... even in the B2B world, I've found ways to inject heart into my products. But no matter what, I feel there's a different calling - calling my name. It's a calling, the only calling, that I know that can unlock the extra effort, energy and passion I choose to give to my professional life. And it's this effort that would allow me to help those already in the plant-based industry to continue in the disruption of the established and entrenched meat industry. In this disruption, I can help redefine what was previously seen as impossible - that all people (not just vegans, vegetarians) would intentionally choose a plant-based product over its meat-based counterpart, because it was simply better.
I passionately seek to reduce our world’s consumption of meat. I am eager to leverage my expertise and drive innovation and change within a nascent industry – one poised to make a real impact in our world. I specialize in implementing innovative solutions to solve unique market challenges. I'm a product person by trade, which really means, I work within constant change, I adapt to steep learning curves, and I work really well within and across teams. I use the data I collect to build, design and lead development of products that match my stakeholders needs (both internal and external). I mentor just as aptly as I deliver products that drive top and bottom lines.
I am thrilled with the progress that folks at Impossible, Beyond, Just, Hungry Planet, Amy's, Boca, Gardein, Sweet Earth, and yes, MorningStar have made in this world. Without them, we wouldn't have the market that incentivizes hundreds of new players to join in the vision (and profitability) of better alternatives to the dietary status quo.
For those of you out there who have come across this article and have any influence whatsoever in the plant-based foods world, I want to speak with you. I want to learn from you what's working, what's not (and why) and what you believe is needed to bring this industry to the next level. I'll work my schedule around yours and if you happen to be near my neck of the woods, I'll fire up a Neopolitan pizza for you that rivals that of Anthony's at Una Pizza Napoletana.
Need more info on my world? There's a resume attached to this blog post.
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