advisory board

Karen Malkin, is certified as an Integrative Health Coach and Lifestyle practitioner from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, founded by Andrew Weil, MD.  She is also a certified Eating Psychology Coach and Teacher.  Karen serves on the philanthropic council for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine and is on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. Karen’s positive and upbeat approach to healthy eating and lifestyle has made her a popular, well-loved and successful practitioner.  Her clientele includes executives, professional athletes, women of all ages, and motivated individuals who are ready for a new level of vitality.  Some of Karen’s specialty areas include her 14 Day Transformation whole foods cleanse, emotional eating, weight loss, the science of nutrition, high energy superfoods, managing cravings and healthy lifestyle makeovers.  Karen appears on ESPN Sports Medicine Weekly radio.

Alan Murray

Alan Murray, CEO & President, NextFoods.With more than 30 years’ experience in the food industry, Alan Murray is a strong leader in innovation strategies, business development and management. As CEO of NextFoods, Inc., Alan was intricately involved with the creation of GoodBelly products and continues to lead the company through its rapid growth, engaging with key retailers, investors, and suppliers.

Prior to joining NextFoods and its GoodBelly brand, Alan served as CEO of Tetra Pak North America, the world leader in processing and packaging systems for the food industry, with sales exceeding $13B. Alan also held leadership roles with Tetra Pak in Southern Africa and Central Europe, as well as Marketing roles at Unilever in Africa and Europe. Alan is the former Chairman and Cofounder of the North American Carton Council, an industry group formed to stimulate the recycling of beverage cartons. He is also an active board member in the natural food and packaging industries.

Originally from South Africa, Alan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town. With a background spanning Europe, Africa, and America, he also brings a broad geographic coverage and knowledge to the table with experience in small, large, private and public companies. In his free time, Alan enjoys skiing, golfing, and playing tennis (so long as he’s winning). And if asked nicely, he does public speaking engagements about his passion for African wildlife, comparing their behaviors to those seen in management teams and board rooms.

Melinda Ring, MD serves as Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine .  While earning her medical degree and completing her residency at the University of Chicago, Dr. Ring’s passion for complementary and alternative medicine evolved along with her holistic philosophy of needing to treat the whole person to achieve true health and healing.  Following residency, she completed the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Integrative Medicine. Her special interests include culinary medicine (food is medicine), integrative women’s health and herbal medicines.

Michael Schopin

Michael Schopin, Partner Zenfinity Capital. Michael has been a principal investor for over 15 years. During the last 12 years of his career, Michael has been leading private investment transactions on behalf of ultra-high net worth individuals and families where he has been instrumental in founding and growing three separate private investment efforts. In addition to his investment experience during this time, Michael served as an active participant in the development and growth of the portfolio companies operating as everything from an active Chairman of the board to temporary C-level executive at the business. He has completed over 40 private transactions during his career across a variety of industries.

Jim Slama

Jim Slama, Founder and President of FamilyFarmed. Jim Slama founded FamilyFarmed at a time when few people recognized the term “Good Food movement,” and demand for locally, sustainably, humanely, and fairly produced food was still a tiny sliver of the overall consumer market. Under Slama’s leadership during more than 15 years since, FamilyFarmed has become an important catalyst in the booming, consumer-driven rise of the movement, helping to build a robust Good Food cluster in its home base of Chicago while expanding the national scope and impact of its work. As part of FamilyFarmed, Jim oversees the good food business accelerator at the 1871 innovation incubator in Chicago.

Bobby Turner

Bobby Turner, Regional President, Whole Foods Market. Bobby Turner is a professional in the Natural and Organic industry bringing 20+ years of experience in retail operations, supply chain management, and supplier relations. He is currently the Regional President at Whole Foods Market. While passionate about the retail business, he is also active in the local food movement and commits personal time participating on the board of directors for several nonprofit organizations in Chicago.

Bill Capsalis, Healthy Lifestyle Expert. As an avid healthy lifestyle expert, Bill works with emerging brands as well as mid-sized companies on everything from brand & sales channel strategy, finance, operational challenges and product innovation.  For the past 15 years, Bill has been a consultant, public speaker and trainer in the LOHAS and Natural & Organic Industry.

Bill was previously a member of The Boulder Farm Team – a strategic consulting firm, and after that, was a partner with Big Picture Brands – a consulting group dedicated to helping early stage food and beverage brands expand nationally. Bill is the past President of the Board for Naturally Boulder, a trade association in Boulder with 1000 members and 150 sponsoring companies, all involved in the healthy living and food space. Bill currently lives and works in Boulder, Colorado.

Lesley Butler, The Growth Project. Lesley Butler is Founder of The Growth Project, a brand strategy firm focused on helping emerging brands chart a consumer-led path to growth.

Lesley brings nearly 15 years of experience in the Food & Beverage industry having held marketing, innovation and strategy leadership positions across Pepsico, Bain & Company, and Kraft Foods. Most recently, Lesley led M&A and New Business Model innovation for Pepsico’s $5B Nutrition business. Previously, Lesley oversaw innovation for the Quaker portfolio where she launched over 30 products generating over $200MM in annual revenue. As General Manager of Quaker’s Ready-to-Eat Cereal and Specialty Brands portfolio, Lesley managed a $1B multi-brand P&L and architected the effective turnaround of Quaker’s Cereal business. Lesley is particularly passionate about building brands with purpose and leveraging innovation to solve meaningful, everyday consumer problems.

Lesley holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. She lives in Chicago with her family of two young boys.