Jeremiah Ridenour, CEO — Experienced entrepreneur and brand-builder Jeremiah Ridenour is one of the founders of Wildwood Natural Foods Inc. Named CEO in 1993, Mr. Ridenour brings deep business operations experience (manufacturing, marketing, and refrigerated distribution), selling and negotiation skills, as well as knowledge of contracting for large-scale specialty agricultural crops. With this strong background in the natural products industry, Jeremiah brings a keen awareness of the preferences and attitudes of channel partners, distributors, brokers and retailers. Throughout Wildwood’s 20-year history, he successfully demonstrated his ability to envision and execute complex development plans, including the design and construction of manufacturing facilities. Mr. Ridenour has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Eastern Michigan University and resides in Corralitos, California.
Daniel Robin, VP business development, and interim marketing director, brings more than 20 years financial, executive/board, information technology and venture catalyst experience. Specializing in sustainable technology commercialization, Mr. Robin joined the WISE Solutions team in 2005 to initiate sales and marketing campaigns. Prior to WISE, Mr. Robin served as managing director of Integrated Investments International (In3), a private equity investment and cleantech market research firm specializing in food-friendly biorenewables.
Mr. Robin is adjunct professor at Fisher Graduate School of International Business in Monterey, CA, one of the Top Ten MBA Programs in the Nation for Entrepreneurship (ranked 8th out of more than 700 graduate schools), delivering workshops on cleantech investing, metrics, innovation and business planning for sustainability.
After completing his academic training at UC Santa Cruz (1981, Computer & Information Science) and UC Berkeley (1984, Marketing and Quality Management), Mr. Robin earned certificates in public speaking, coaching, and as a practitioner/trainer in NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP Comprehensive). He lives in Freedom, CA.
Don Brown, sales and marketing analyst, is a native of the California Central Valley brings 27 years experience in sales, management, startups, acquisitions and chemical manufacturing to WISE. While completing his formal education, he held seasonal agricultural positions with Levi & Zentner, Peloian Fruit Distributors, Bronco Winery, and the California Department Of Agriculture.
He earned a B.S. degree in Marketing from California State University- Fresno in 1979. Upon graduation, Mr. Brown performed inside and outside sales and management in the S.F. Bay Area electronics industry for Zack Electronics, William J. Purdy Company and Rikei Corporation. As national sales manager for Rikei he developed a national rep organization and negotiated joint ventures with US distributors for the Japanese company OKI Wire & Cable. In 1991 he founded the successful startup, Abacus Companies, performing acquisition services for hundreds of Bay Area Companies and made guest appearances on the television program “Real Estate Matters”. Mr. Brown has received achievement awards from Dale Carnegie Training, Sprage Electric, Thordarson, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and has served as officer and board member for trade industry groups. Most recently he served as president of Edfred Corporation, a cleaning chemical company established in 1964.
Amy Stoddard, operations manager, is a native to the San Francisco Bay Area with over 10 years experience in digital graphic design, office management and administration. She received a B.A. in Community Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, with a minor in Literature. Her studies there focused on social change and sustainable agriculture and included a 6-month full-time internship with California Certified Organic Farmers (www.ccof.org), conducting research and serving on steering committee for the Californians for GE-Free Agriculture coalition (www.calgefree.org). After graduating, Ms. Stoddard remained very involved with the campus community and held various staff roles, including Sustainability Advisor for the Student Environmental Center (www.enviroslug.org), Coordinator of the statewide Annual UC Sustainability Conference (www2.ucsc.edu/sustainabilityconf2005), and Coordinator of the Annual Campus Earth Summit. She was also on the committee to formulate and launch the Chancellor’s Sustainability Action Council. In 2006, Amy was honored to be selected as a volunteer for the FarmServe Africa program (www.oicinternational.org), and traveled to Ghana to train over 140 farming households in improved nutrition practices, as well as techniques for food processing, value addition, and preservation to facilitate increased health and income generation. As a consultant, she has provided many nonprofits and businesses with services in graphic/web design, bookkeeping, research, technical assistance, and organizational development.
Ryan Sarnataro, senior financial analyst, has 25 years experience in key leadership roles with a wide variety of business operations at various stages of development. He has served as director of marketing with Fine Dried Foods International, as operations manager for Maggie's Organic Products, and as president of Sierra Natural Foods, an importer, wholesale distributor and private label marketer of natural products. Mr. Sarnataro holds a bachelor's in Psychology, with minor in Economics, from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. Currently he is also senior financial analyst for Integrated Investments International (In3); See www.in3inc.com/who.html.
Ian Edvalson, legal counsel, is a partner in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He assists private and public companies in creating and implementing strategies to optimize their technology and other assets, advising them on a variety of legal and business issues. Ian represents clients in domestic and international transactions involving intellectual property or product rights, such as collaboration, development, manufacture, supply and distribution agreements, technology acquisitions, university licenses, and the formation of joint ventures and other types of strategic alliances.
Prior to rejoining the firm in 2002, Ian was senior vice president of corporate and business development at Third Wave Technologies, Inc., where he was responsible for implementing and managing its product development and licensing strategies for both research and clinical markets. Additionally, he played a significant role in Third Wave's financing strategy (including its February 2001 IPO) and developing and maintaining significant customer and collaborator relationships.
Mr. Edvalson received his J.D. from University of Chicago Law School, and a B.S. & B.A. in Molecular Biology & Korean, respectively, from Brigham Young University.
John H. Marino, advisory board member, is president of Lubrication Institute, has more than 40 years of technical and practical experience in the field of industrial lubrication. Mr. Marino has a lengthy and distinguished career with the Southwest Grease & Oil Company. During his tenure, from 1959 to 1980, he was a Lubricant Research Chemist; Plant Manager; Vice President of Research, Development and Quality Control; and President. In 1980, Mr. Marino founded the Lubrication Institute, which offers specialized training programs and technical support to industries worldwide.
Mr. Marino's wide-ranging experience in all phases of industrial lubrication allows him to address both technical and practical issues. He has formulated custom lubricant applications, devised lubricant testing methods, designed manufacturing plants, audited industrial lubricant plant programs, and developed curricula for and authored academic training programs. His experience includes all conceivable lubricants and lubrication equipment.
Mr. Marino has published articles in more than 15 respected academic and trade journals. He also testifies as an expert witness in lubrication-related litigation. Lubrication Institute has served more than 80 clients in a broad range of industries, including ADM, Boeing, BP Lubricants, Cargill, Chinese Petroleum Corp., General Motors, Linde de Mexico S.A., Mobil Chemical, NASA, and Proctor & Gamble.
Dan Beam, marketing and brand development strategy, is recognized as a leading strategist and brand development innovator. He created the strategy mapping and brand guidance systems used by many of the most successful and admired organizations in the world, such as Levi Strauss & Co. (Europe/USA), Nike, Apple Computer (PowerBook), Dow Chemical and many others. His work and consulting innovations are built on a strong foundation of experience and performance. Dan has served as president, chief operating officer and senior vice president of strategic planning and marketing in high-tech, retail and international consulting companies. See www.beaminc.com.
Paul Ray PhD, advisory board member, has surveyed and classified well over 150,000 Americans in the past thirteen years, showing how the subcultures of values permeate all aspects of American life. During the time of the research reported in his book, The Cultural Creatives, he was Executive Vice President of American LIVES, Inc., a market research and opinion polling firm specializing in surveys and focus groups based on the Lifestyles, Interests, Values, Expectations and Symbols of Americans. Dr. Ray was previously Chief of Policy Research on Energy Conservation, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources of the Government of Canada. He was also previously Associate Professor of Urban Planning and a Faculty Associate of the Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Ray received a BA, cum laude, in Anthropology from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. See www.culturalcreatives.org/bio.html#paul