Speakers

We bring the best of the best from within our industry and greater sustainability movement to ignite our audience. 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Dr. Bronner’s

 Lisa Bronner, Consumer Educator

Dr. Bronner’s makes pure-castile soap, hair and body care products of the highest quality. They are committed to socially and environmentally responsible products.

Lisa Bronner, granddaughter of company founder Dr. Emanuel Bronner, is a company spokesperson and consumer educator through her Going Green channels.  

Petco

Francesca Mahoney, Head of Sustainability

Sustainability and Marketing retail executive with 15+ years of experience building purpose-driven brands, connecting with consumers through impactful storytelling, and driving business performance. Proven ability to communicate and collaborate seamlessly across functions to drive results. Compassionate leader who inspires and leads teams to deliver their best work.

WeSpire

Susan Hunt Stevens, Founder & CEO

Susan Hunt Stevens is the Founder & CEO of WeSpire, an award-winning employee experience solution focused on ESG initiatives.

Global Animal Partnership

Anne Malleau, Executive Director 

Executive Director Anne Malleau studied and worked in animal agriculture for over 20 years and completed a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture, then a Master of Science in Animal Behavior and Welfare, and finally a Residential Master of Business Administration in Agribusiness. When she is not chasing after her kids, or helping her husband renovate their home, Anne enjoys crafts, cooking, and gardening. 

Textile Exchange

Callie Weldon, Standards Specialist

Callie Weldon has over a decade of experience working with sustainable textiles. As the Standards Specialist at Textile Exchange, Callie consults with stakeholders on their sustainability goals and how Textile Exchange standards can be a tool for achieving impact. She specializes in animal fiber content knowledge, specifically alpaca, and helps to manage the suite of Responsible Animal Fiber standards. Before joining Textile Exchange, Callie worked for a number of impact brands as a buyer for ethical apparel programs. Callie is also the founder of Fair Fiber, a social start-up dedicated to creating economic mobility opportunities for small farmers in the Peruvian alpaca fiber industry. Callie holds a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Delaware and an MBA in Global, Social, and Sustainable Enterprises from Colorado State University. She is based in Nederland, Colorado.

Upcycled Food Association

Ben Gray, Chief Innovation Officer

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of the Upcycled Food Association. Responsible for the general direction and care-taking of business administration, programming, and operations.

Earth Animal

Elizabeth Wade, Head of People

Elizabeth Wade’s start in human resource management was over 15 years ago at Forbes Media where she oversaw Talent Acquisition and Employee Relations before moving to the marketing agency, Marketing Drive as the Talent and Human Resources Manager.  In her current role as Earth Animal’s Head of People and a member of the executive leadership team, Elizabeth brings her energy, experience and leadership to develop, evaluate, and implement people strategies, talent development and engagement while driving diversity and belonging initiatives for the company. 

When not on the job, Elizabeth is busy with her husband, two children and two Labradors adopted from Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  

Royal Canin

Dr. Laura Pletz, Scientific Services Manager – Eastern US

Dr. Laura Pletz is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.  After graduation, she began work as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice in St. Louis, MO, where she became one of the practice owners. During her time in practice, she was also the co-host of a local radio show for pet owners seeking advice on the care of their pets. In 2012, she left private practice to join Royal Canin to lead their Technical Services team and was promoted to her current role of Scientific Services Manager in 2016 where she leads a team of veterinarians across the eastern United States. At Royal Canin, she has also had the opportunity to lead the team behind the annual Royal Canin Women’s Veterinary Leadership Forum for the past three years.

Dr. Pletz is passionate about working to address the challenges facing today’s veterinarian and promoting opportunities for women in leadership of the veterinary profession.  It is this passion that led her to begin serving on the Board of Directors for The Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative(WVLDI) in 2018 and she now serves as President-Elect for the organization. This passion for a more inclusive profession has also led to work in the larger area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She currently serves as Treasurer for the Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition and is on the Advisory Board for the AVMA/AAVMC Commission for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Veterinary Profession. Dr. Pletz was recognized this year as one of the Pet Age Women of Influence honorees.  

Only Natural Pet

Melissa CauthenManager of Demand Planning & Purchasing 

Melissa Cauthen has over a decade of experience in the pet industry, which was preceded by 22 years in another retail industry.  She worked at PetSmart for 8 years before joining the Only Natural Pet team in 2018.  She was drawn to Only Natural Pet after hearing about their dedication to environmental, social, and economic sustainability.  In her time outside of work, Melissa has brought her passion to social causes including women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, and racial equity.  Now she brings that passion to engaging the ONP team in building a work environment where team members feel like they belong.  Melissa enjoys walking, biking, viewing the natural beautiful of Colorado and time with friends and family. 

Alltech

Dr. Mark Lyons, President & CEO

Dr. Mark Lyons, the President and CEO of Alltech, grew up in the Alltech business, having traveled with his father and Alltech’s founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, from a young age to visit customers. With experience working in all regions and nearly all departments — from palletizing bags in production to researching in the lab — he has a deep and uniquely personal knowledge of the company. Based on Alltech’s belief that agriculture has the greatest potential to shape our world’s future, he launched the Planet of Plenty™ vision in 2019. He has called for collaboration to improve nutrition, human and animal well-being, and the preservation of natural resources. He has spearheaded many critical projects, including simultaneously managing a biorefinery project in Kentucky, the establishment of a plant in Serbia and the creation of Alltech’s flagship yeast production facility in São Pedro, Brazil. He also spent nearly four years in Mexico rebuilding the company’s solid state fermentation plant in Serdan, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

West Paw

Spencer Williams, CEO and Owner

Spencer Williams is CEO and Owner since 1996. A 5th generation Montanan, Spencer grew up on a working ranch. West Paw’s eco friendly products are sold in over 5000 locations and in 40 countries. West Paw was as one of 2016 Forbes magazine’s 25 “Small Giant” Companies. Spencer is a founding board member, and past chair, of the Pet Sustainability Coalition. West Paw became the first pet product manufacturer to become a certified B Corp in 2013. Spencer lives in Bozeman with his wife Kerry and their two sons, a dog, a cat, and a chinchilla.

Nature’s Logic

David Yaskulka, CEO

David Yaskulka is the CEO of Nature’s Logic, a 100% all-natural pet food that features no synthetic vitamins. Since he joined the company in this role in 2019, Nature’s Logic has been included in the Inc. 5,000 and Pet Sustainability Top 20 lists.

Yaskulka has experience and expertise in growing socially responsible businesses in the pet, health and sustainability industries. He serves as the chairman of the board for Greater Good Charities, a philanthropic organization that distributes more than $70 million per year in grants to help people, pets and the planet. Yaskulka also sits on the board of the Pet Sustainability Coalition and is a member of the American Sustainable Business Council Climate Working Group.

Yaskulka received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Williams College. He and his wife, Debbie, live with their sons, Noah and Ben, as well as their dogs, Samson and Lyla, and cats, Erebos and Zebulon.

Wayne Farm

Chris Bohlen, Senior Sales Manager

Colorado native, based in Westminster, CO.  Chris has 18 years in the poultry industry, 9 with a further processor and 9 in a fully integrated poultry company.

Tender & True Pet Nutrition

Kortney Unruh, Marketing & Innovation Manager

NORPEL

Michael Tierney, VP of Business Development

Mr. Tierney has been in the pet food industry since 2015 and joined NORPEL in late 2017.  At NORPEL, Mr. Tierney onboarded his startup business and was tasked with growing the company’s role in the pet food industry.  Since 2017, Mr. Tierney has sold over 90 million pounds of food to the pet sector and has developed supply chains in the United States and around the globe.  With a background in Environmental Science and Aquaculture, Mr. Tierney has been heavily involved in growing NORPEL’s sustainability initiatives. In particular, he has focused on developing supplier partnerships with sustainable agriculture producers, creating opportunities for small artisanal fisheries and finding all upcycling opportunities.  In addition to building partnerships with new customers and suppliers, Michael help develop NORPEL’s fulfillment and nutritional data collection programs to ensure NORPEL meets customer expectations and continues to study and better understand all pet proteins.  

Before joining NORPEL, Mr. Tierney was a journalist, a sales leader at the Ed-Tech company The Learning House, and a Regional Development Manager at pet food ingredient manufacturer 3D Corporate Solutions. Mr. Tierney also started and ran his own businesses, The Louisville Fish Co. and Tierney Meat and Seafood, which both focused on the sale of local seafood and sustainable meats. Michael also started, Truckn’ Vets, a logistics company that partnered with and created opportunities for veterans in the trucking industry. 

Mr. Tierney graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Kentucky with a BA in History and Political Science and is nearly finished completing his Masters of Science in Environmental Sciences and Aquaculture at Kentucky State University.  He is married to his wife Meghan and has two dogs—a dalmatian and pug.  

 

Pet Sustainability Coalition

Ashley Lane, Accreditation Manager

Ashley joins the pet industry from a diverse background in food service, production, and retail. Her education combines business management and food system sustainability. She is passionate about the opportunity for businesses to build more resilient and effective economies and communities. She moved to Colorado from the Southeast in 2015 and loves to play in the mountains, hang with her pup, and enjoy delicious food with family and friends.

The Equity Project

Ariana Flores, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist

Originally from South Texas and a proud Chicana feminist, Ariana has dedicated her career to various endeavors seeking to further racial equity. Ariana has worked as an attorney, legal advisor, and community organizer, focusing on issues including wage theft, immigrants’ rights on the job, sexual harassment, health care access, intimate partner violence, and LGBTQ rights. 

Most recently, Ariana served as National Network Director for the Government Alliance on Race & Equity, a project of Race Forward. There, she strengthened the national movement of local government leaders across the country who are working to improve local government’s  responsiveness and accountability to all their residents, especially communities of color. In her role as Network Director, Ariana was instrumental in expanding programming to help local governments grapple with new challenges and foster innovative approaches to address inequities. Ariana has presented workshops and webinars for thousands of participants, on subjects ranging from the application of a racial equity analysis; how to talk about race in the workplace; and how to overcome obstacles to equity efforts.

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