Scaling with Authenticity: How Sustainable Food Brands Drive Growth + Impact

April 15, 2016 by dev_team

All, Announcements, OSC News and Events

Join OSC² and SOCAP 365 for an inspiring evening at the David Brower Center on May 10!

Ahmed Rahim – Co-Founder OSC²CEO Numi Tea
Chris Mann – Chairman of the Gourd Guayaki Yerba Mate
Sheryl O’Loughlin – CEO REBBL, Co-Founder Plum, Former CEO Clif Bar
Moderated by Lara Dickinson, OSC² Co-Founder and Executive Director

Date: May 10
Time: 6:30 pm Doors // 7:00 pm Program // 8:15 pm Reception
Tickets: $15 OSC² Members (Use code OSC2365) // $20 Non-OSC² members
RSVP Today

Location: David Brower Center (Berkeley, CA)

What do the most iconic, mission driven food brands in our industry have in common? A commitment to their values and passion while having the courage to change as they grow. Performance management process is very important to growth;  a culture of passion and values is essential to building an iconic brand.  Aligning with investors who share these values and are also committed to double or triple bottom lines can be a game changer not just for individual companies, but for entire industries. Learn how some of our best loved brands in the sustainable food sector navigate these simultaneous challenges and opportunities, and what role like-minded investors play in scaling impact.

After the program join us at Impact Hub Berkeley (Suite 400) for a reception to continue the conversation and meet fellow social entrepreneurs and lovers of sustainable food/ag.


Chris Mann, Chairman of the Gourd Guayaki Yerba Mate

Chris got his BA in Economics from Harvard University but quickly realized that economics conveniently forgot about sustaining the environment and protecting people. Through his experience with Guayaki and previously with Natural Flavors, a 100% organic, vegan restaurant that employed 25 people and 60 local farmers, Chris is finding that by recognizing common purpose, seemingly disparate groups can integrate social justice, environmental restoration and economic success. ­­

Sheryl O’Loughlin, CEO REBBL, Co­Founder Plum, Former CEO Clif Bar

Sheryl joined REBBL, Inc.—the first plant­based, super herb adaptogen beverage company—as CEO in July 2015. REBBL was recently awarded BevNet’s prestigious “Best Functional Beverage 2015”.

Sheryl is leading the team to develop a new category of beverages that uses ancient wisdom confirmed by science to help modern­day, busy people adapt to stress. She upholds REBBL’s vision of respecting human dignity through its focus on a sustainable and just supply chain and through its partnership with Not for Sale, a non­profit dedicated to eliminating human trafficking.  Sheryl co­founded and served as CEO for Plum, Inc., a healthy, organic food company nourishing kids “from the high chair to the lunch box.” She cultivated a culture around nurturing the human spirit and helping kids develop a lifetime love of healthy eating. She raised $30M in capital in three years and led the acquisition of two small brands. In 2013, Plum wa successfully sold to Campbell Soup Company.

When she served as the CEO of Clif Bar and Company, Sheryl doubled its gross revenue, from $100M in 2004 to $200M in 2007, and operationalized its sustainability principles. She also led the concept development and introduction of Luna, the first Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, transforming the energy bar category from men­only to 50% women consumers.

Following her time at Plum, Sheryl was the Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Sheryl is a faculty member at Sonoma State University, where she teaches entrepreneurship and provides career advice to hundreds of current and aspiring entrepreneurs and other professionals. She is a founding faculty member of The Food Business School, part of Culinary Institute of America. Sheryl has served on the boards of multiple entrepreneurial and high-growth companies, including Zukes Inc. (successfully sold in 2013) and Garden Protein International Inc. (successfully sold in 2014). Her current board membership includes for­profits like Sugar Bowl Bakery, and non­profits such as the American Sustainable Business Council. Sheryl speaks regularly to groups such as the Financial Women’s Association, the Social Venture Network, the Commonwealth Club, companies like the Clorox Company, and numerous universities.

Sheryl earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and her Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Sheryl lives in Santa Rosa with her husband, Patrick, and her two sons, ages 15 and 12. ­­

Ahmed Rahim, Co­Founder OSC2 , CEO Numi Tea

Ahmed Rahim is the co­founder, CEO and alchemist behind Numi Organic Tea, the largest premium organic, fair trade tea company in North America. Ahmed is responsible for all of the unique Numi blends and products that the company launches every year. Before launching NUMI in 1999 in Oakland, California with his sister, Reem, Ahmed studied Theater & Psychology in NYC, and then spent a decade living, working and traveling throughout Europe as a professional filmmaker and photographer. Ahmed focused on fashion photography and abstract art through the visual mystery of light and nature. He also made short films and documentaries.  At NUMI, Ahmed travels to remote regions of the world seeking unique herbs and teas unknown in the US. He travels to China, India, Africa, South America and other herb and tea­growing countries building partnerships with the farmers, and learning about their cultures and needs. Numi has been involved in sponsoring schools, hospitals, community centers, roads and other needs to improve the farming and agriculture community living standards.  Since 2009, they have been evolving their vision through the NUMI Foundation. The Numi Foundations currently consists of 2 local, 1 National and 1 International program. The 2 local programs focus on awakening and supporting the challenges within inner city of Oakland; from education to justice and nutrition. With the support of committed local bay area community members, Ahmed and Reem are focused on a key initiative called ACTION (A Creative Transformation in our Community). ACTION leverages the work of hundreds of organizations around the bay area to lift up Oakland through O’Days; taking action with positive and nurturing themed project days. Ahmed helped launch the nation’s first Waldorf­inspired multi­lingual, multi­cultural K­6 charter school, in Oakland: Community School for Creative Education. The NUMI Foundation developed curriculums for the school of 200 children, infusing art and nature with experiential learning.  Ahmed works with many non­profit organizations, with a focus on infusing art and nature within the inner city communities, and mentors for­profit companies to help enhance their sustainable goals and nurture their strategic growth. Ahmed’s core goal is to be of service to those focused on caring to better their community and mission to create positive change for our environment.

Moderator: Lara Dickinson, Co­Founder and Executive Director OSC2

Lara has nearly twenty years of consumer packaged goods marketing, sales, and general management experience with an emphasis on bringing healthy product innovations to the natural and mass market. For the past five years, she has provided strategic sales, marketing and leadership consulting to consumer goods companies, including Numi Organic Tea, Alter Eco Foods, Jamba Juice, House Foods America and Japan, Mighty Leaf Tea, Gardein Protein, and Balance Bar, Nestle’s Purina, Estancia Beef, and Boppy. In this capacity she started OSC2.

Prior to consulting, She served as VP of Sales and Marketing at Numi Organic Tea, CMO of Brand New Brands, CEO of LightFull Foods, and VP marketing at Balance Bar (during the time the company grew ten­fold in 4 years and went public). She started out her career in consumer products marketing as a product manager at Reckitt Benkiser. Lara earned an MBA from Cornell and completed graduate work at Oxford. She has an undergraduate degree in Finance from USC. ­­

Event Schedule:

Tuesday, May 10th 
6:30pm: Doors Open
7:00pm: Panel Starts Promptly
8:00pm: Q&A
8:30pm: Cocktails & Networking

Presenting Partners:

OSC2 is a Northern California and national community of sustainably focused natural products industry CEO’s and business leaders. We strive to leave earth and humanity in better condition than we found it by inspiring natural products leaders to work in innovative and collaborative ways toward positive change. www.osc2.orgSOCAP convenes a global community at the intersection of money & meaning through the annual flagship conference in San Francisco and year-round in multiple locations via SOCAP 365.

Impact Hub Berkeley is a coworking & events space for a community of entrepreneurs, activists, creatives, and professionals taking action to drive positive social and environmental change.

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