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Meet the Nutiva Team

John Roulac, Founder & CEO

John founded Nutiva in 1999 to create a better food system that nourishes people, communities and our planet.  As a vocal challenger of the industrial food system, he is a strong advocate for hemp agriculture, GMO labeling, organic farming and healthy food for all.  Through his leadership, Nutiva has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing food companies in America for five consecutive years.

John is a keynote speaker on sustainability, trends in the organic food industry, purpose-driven companies and the impact of genetically engineered food. He has founded four nonprofit groups including GMO Inside and the Nutiva Nourish Foundation, which donates 1% of Nutiva’s sales to support sustainable agriculture and other environmental programs.

Read More about John

 

Steve Naccarato, Chief Operating Officersteve

Steve Naccarato was pioneer in the development of organic virgin coconut oil as a successful mass consumer product, helping to launch Nutiva’ s coconut oil product line in 2002. His technical expertise not only helped to overcome the packaging and seal security issues inherent in the manufacture of this product, but also was instrumental in developing and maintaining the primary supply from the Philippines.   

In the 20+ years of experience, Steve’s evident ability to develop strong businesses, client relationships, and products has culminated in the development of 400+ new products and packaging, including private label items for such companies as Loblaws (Westfair Foods), Canada Safeway, Overwaitea Foods, Costco, Sobeys, 7-11 Convenient Sores, Interprovincial Cooperative (Federated Co-op) and other retailers, distributors, and health and nutrition brand owners. Results-oriented, he also successfully negotiated custom packaging contracts with major multi-national companies such as Ocean Spray, Coca Cola Company (Minute Maid Company – Minute Maid, Fruitopia, Nestea, Powerade), PepsiCo, Quaker Oats, Gatorade, and Tetley Tea. 

 

 

Jeff Mitchell, SVP Operations & CFOJeff Mitchell

Jeff Mitchell, as Senior Vice President of Operations has overall leadership responsibility and accountability for all aspects of manufacturing and logistics operations at Nutiva. As CFO, he is

Jeff graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Outside of the world of finance and operations, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

 

 

Michelle Montakhab, VP of People & Culture

Results driven and solution oriented HR leader who thrives in mission-driven organizations, with 20+ years of progressive experience and leadership. Michelle is most passionate about employee development and implementing strategies that drive engagement and retention. 

Michelle is thrilled to be at Nutiva, whose core values are aligned with her own values of health, wellness and sustainability.  Michelle enjoys volunteering, hiking, gardening, interior design, yoga and spending quality time with her family.

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Brian Dudek, National Director of SalesBrian Dudek2

Brian Dudek is the National Director of Sales at Nutiva, with the responsibility of leading sales and strategy across the U.S. in natural and conventional channels of trade.  He joined Nutiva in March 2015.

Brian hails a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business, graduating with Honors and awarded Dean’s List.  In his leisure time, he enjoys various outdoor activities, spending time with his fiancé and dog, and volunteering at his local animal shelter.

Vivian Shin, Sales and Marketing Directorviv

Vivian Shin, M.B.A, contributes over 12 years of sales and marketing experience within food & beverage, consumer packaged goods and natural/organic sectors.  Vivian received her M.B.A. in Brand Strategy from UCLA Anderson School of Management and her B.A. in Business and Communications from UC Berkeley, where she is currently an instructor.

Vivian’s strengths lie in global expansion, developing emerging channels [international export and e-commerce], and overall brand positioning. When she is not at work or travelling internationally, Vivian enjoys teaching, coaching and consulting for small businesses.

 

Jeff Moir, Corporate ControllerJeff Moir

Jeff joined the Nutiva team 2015, as our Corporate Controller. Jeff has ten years of finance and accounting experience which has focused on consumer products and organic foods. 

Jeff earned a BA in Economics from University of California, San Diego and is an active CPA in the state of California.  He is enthusiastic about working for Nutiva as he shares a passion for organic foods and promoting healthy lifestyles. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys traveling, running and is an avid baseball fan.

 

Pankaj Uttarwar, Director of Technical ServicesPankaj Uttawar

Pankaj Uttarwar, Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Nutiva, has been in food safety management for over ten years. He hails a bachelor’s degree from the Government College of Dairy Technology. He is both certified as an ASQ HACCP Auditor and ASQ Quality Manager.

At Nutiva, Pankaj runs a department that is focused in making sure food regulations and safety is the number one priority. Pankaj is a bonafide foodie, enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two children.

 

 

Gretchen Grani, Director of Corporate Giving and Sustainability at Nutiva

Gretchen has 20 years experience working in the corporate and non-profit sectors, focusing on socially responsible and green companies. Her broad background in environmental planning and non-profit management and finance gives her the tools to lead Nutiva’s sustainability, corporate giving, and community outreach programs.

Gretchen serves as Nutiva’s goodwill ambassador, promoting the company’s core values of Innovation, Purity, Community, and Well-being. She has a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in environmental planning from University of Pennsylvania. On the weekends she enjoys spinning, reading, and experimenting with Nutiva’s superfoods to create new healthy recipes.

NeilNeil Blomquist, Senior Advisor

Neil is a leading expert in the national products industry with over 37 years of success building iconic brands for top companies. His expertise has been focused in retailing, distribution, brand marketing, product sourcing, product development and organizational management.

Neil was the CEO of Spectrum Organic Products, the leading producer of natural and organic culinary and nutraceutical oils, condiments, and essential fatty acid supplement oils in North America. Neil oversaw the daily operation of the company and led its double-digit annual growth in sales and profits. He also served as the driving force behind strategic supply-side management and new product development, launching an average of six new products per year.

Neil also served as the COO for Numi Tea, a leading organic and fair tea company, where he oversaw Finance, Operations, IT and Customer Service.

Neil is currently on the Board of Directors for the American Botanical Council and the Rudolf Steiner Foundation, Social Finance, and has served as Chair of the Organic Standards Subcommittee for Oils in the development of the Organic Foods Act of 1990.

Neil was born in South Dakota and received his B.A. in business management and economics from the University of South Dakota. He currently resides in Sebastopol, California.