What They Say

“Thank you so much for creating an opportunity for me and my fellow ’emissaries’ to experience Expo West. I learned a lot, met some great people, sampled far too many food items, and walked away feeling inspired and part of something really exciting! The meetings you set up were interesting and effective. I particularly enjoyed speaking with the entrepreneurs and food leaders at the Saturday morning breakfast. You did a nice job of making everyone in the room feel valued and relaxed.”

  • Ali Clare Kelley, UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business ’15, MBArk alumna; Annie’s Organic


“Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend Expo West.  What a trade show!  I have been trying to explain it to all my friends and family but it is one of those events you really need to experience to understand.   I really appreciate all the meetings you set up and found it invaluable to hear from, and speak with, those who have been leading the industry.  It was extremely motivating and encouraging for me to see so many people who are passionate about their career or business.  As you know, many MBA students seem to only consider $$$ but this leads many to empty and unfulfilling paths.  The whole weekend served to confirm my desire to make a positive impact for a cause I believe in.  Thank you again for making this amazing experience possible and I will surely be in touch.”

  • Jeff Ornellas, UC Davis – Graduate School of Management ’16, MBArk alumnus


IMG_2751(Jessica-on-show-floor)(mr)“Thank you so much for organizing the MBArk program and for inviting me to attend again this year. I really appreciated the opportunity to meet fellow MBAs interested in this space as well as your contacts in the industry who were generous enough to share their advice with us. Attending Expo was also amazingly helpful in continuing my job search because it allowed me to connect in person with companies I’m interested in – thank you.”

  • Jessica Rae Holland, UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business ’16, 2-time MBArk alumna; Assistant Brand Manager at WhiteWave


“I’ve been riding on the high of Expo West all week, and am so grateful for all the work you did to make it possible for us. The show was impressive in its very nature, but the MBArk experience was inspirational and unique — from meeting so many extraordinary values-driven CEOs at the breakfast to seeping in wisdom from Darcy and other alums over the course of the day. I really feel that your efforts and energy will help shape many of our mission-driven career dreams (I know that to be true for me), and I can’t thank you enough for that. ”

  • Grace Lesser, UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business ’16, MBArk alumna


“I just wanted to shoot you a quick note and thank you for organizing such a terrific program last weekend.  You did such a great job bringing together a remarkable group of people who all share a passion for making this world a more healthful place.  You took a vested interest in each one of us; from connecting us with companies or people of interest, to asking for our input on how to make the program better for those that follow.  It was such a rewarding experience and I will definitely be spreading the positive word around Tuck about MBArk!”

  • Natalie Cira, Dartmouth – Tuck School of Business ’17, MBArk alumna


“I just wanted to email to say thank you for the opportunity to attend Expo East this past weekend and for the incredible line up of speakers that you had come speak with us. I especially found their entrepreneurial stories (and in general the collective group’s entrepreneurial spirit as pioneers of the natural foods industry) incredibly encouraging and inspiring. Your commitment to this industry and to bringing more MBA’s into this industry is so appreciated.  Expo East really deepened my understanding of the natural foods industry (and how far it’s come!), and it was very exciting and eyeopening to see how many opportunities there are for those of us interested in sustainable, healthier food products. I’m glad to see such great SOM representation in the industry and feel really fortunate to be a part of this network 🙂

  • Cat Wu, Yale School of Management ’17, MBArk alumna


img_4986“Thank you so much for organizing the MBArk program at Expo East this year!  It was such an honor and a great learning experience to participate.  I can’t imagine a better way to learn about the natural foods industry – we were able to meet so many CEOs and founders, speak with different players across product categories, and even engage with fellow like-minded students across the states.  You have created a really special program and I look forward to sharing this experience with my fellow students back here.”

  • Rose Yaguchi, University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School ’17, MBArk alumna


“I really enjoyed the MBArk Breakfast and look forward to Expo West!  Thank you so much for the invitation – I look forward to sharing my journey and a few lessons learned.”

  • Tatiana Birgisson, CEO, MATI Energy


“I meant to write a note after Expo West to say what a great event you put on and how much I appreciated the opportunity to participate. I really enjoyed meeting all the students and other business leaders and feel so fortunate to be a part of this group.”

  • Alisha Eisenstein Stagg, Yale School of Management/FES ’11, MBArk alumna; The Jackfruit Company


“Thank you so much for your generous offer to include a couple of our MBA students in the natural foods trade show in Anaheim.  Ryan and Matt could not stop talking about this experience, and he said that you were absolutely terrific.”

  • Beth Walker, Formerly Chair, Department of Marketing, W.P. Carey School of Business – Arizona State University; currently Dean of College of Business, Colorado State University


IMG_2688(David-Ingalls--animated)(mr)“Thank YOU for putting together such and intimate and engaging event.  I think we all like to provide guidance and mentorship but are often too busy to incorporate it into our work flow.  Having an informal event with such a bright and interested audience was a great opportunity.  I look forward to making it a tradition in years to come.”

  • David Ingalls, Co-Founder and CEO, Zing Bars


“Thank you for everything this weekend.  The show was fantastic!  You set up some wonderful meetings for us and connected me to several really great people.  Thanks for all the support and for being such a champion for me.”

  • Sara Hillstrom, Harvard Business School ’15, MBArk alumna; Anheuser-Busch


“I just want to thank you again for a great weekend.  Walking the floor was fun, but the people that you brought to us (and just bringing us all together to meet) were really amazing.  More than anything else it just felt great to be surrounded by people who have such a similar passion and drive to food industry growth and change.”

  • Michael Gonzalez, Kellogg School of Management ’17, MBArk alumnus


“I had an enormously wonderful time at Expo and feel so fortunate that I had the opportunity to be part of the MBA Emissaries group! It was great meeting with other MBAs, as well as MBA graduates who are now working in the natural products space, and hope that we can all keep in touch going forward.”

  • Jackie Laird, UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business ’15, MBArk alumna; McKinsey


“Thank you again for carving out such an important community of MBAs for food system impact.  It is comforting to know that we are not traveling in uncharted waters and I am certain to maintain connections with many of my colleagues.  My experience at the expo was certainly uplifting and I am energized to get back on campus and stay the course of non-consulting.”

  • Amanda Bushell, Duke – Fuqua School of Business ’18, MBArk alumna


“I wanted to reach out and thank you so much for including me in a gathering of such wonderful students, inspirational leaders and transformative companies. I loved listening to everyone speak during our breakfast on Friday and wandering through the aisles, collecting perspectives, techniques and experiences from all of the amazing vendors willing to share their stories.”

  • Amelia Harris, University of Michigan – Erb Institute/Ross School of Business ’19, MBArk alumna


“Thank you so much for putting on such an awesome program for us. I had a blast discovering new elements of the show and meeting such important folks in the industry.”

  • Matt Schwartz, Stanford Graduate School of Business ’17, MBArk alumnus


“What a crazy (and awesome!) mess that was! I hope you have arrived safely, or are at least getting some rest.  I just wanted to take a quick minute to say what an absolute pleasure it was to meet you all. I am (still) in awe by all of you, and have no idea how I snuck in and got to be amongst you brilliant people. Thanks, Joe and New Hope, for bringing us together. It was a truly worthwhile experience.”

Joel Ramkhelawan, North Carolina State University – Global Innovation Management ’15, MBArk alumnus


IMG_2745(Justin-on-show-floor)(mr)“Thank you doesn’t quite do justice…for your incredible generosity, enthusiasm, ideas, and connections leading up to and throughout our time at Expo West. I feel so fortunate not only to have been able to attend the conference in the first place, but also to have been exposed to so many amazing alumni and others who have such a deep knowledge of the industry. Though I very much wish I could have been there for longer, I definitely feel that in the time I was there I gained a significant number of contacts and learned a huge amount about how to best position myself for a full-time role coming out of Yale.”

  • Justin Lindenmayer, Yale School of Management ’13, MBArk alumnus; Verde Farms


“I wanted to follow-up and thank you for such an amazing experience at Expo East!  It was a really great opportunity for me to learn more about what is happening in the industry and figure out where I can contribute professionally.”

  • Bianca Jackson, Johns Hopkins – Carey Business School ’17, MBArk alumna


“Thank you for keeping me involved in MBArk!  I was truly honored to be part of such a vibrant group of both young and experienced entrepreneurs.”.”

  • Kirsten Quigley, CEO of LunchSkins




“I had an amazing time last week at Expo West, and would like to greatly thank you for creating this amazing experience for MBA students across the US. I was able to understand more about the industry, meet key professionals and network a lot!”

  • Manju Spinola, Harvard Business School ’17, 2-time MBArk alumna; internship with Revolution Foods


“I would love to attend the breakfast and would happily meet with any current student to share what little perspective I have on the industry.  I think the class is a wonderful idea by the way and think the school would try to support it.  I was meeting with Sharon Oster last week and she mentioned to me how many of the students (12) in her non-profit management class were specifically interested in food and she was both fascinated and stumped about it!”

  • Lindsay Greene, Yale School of Management ’11; The Chia Company


“I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for a great experience with MBArk and Expo West. It was educational and fun, but most importantly, inspiring. You truly went out of your way to be sure we had a great experience, and I am very appreciative.”

  • Cassandra Palmer, University of Colorado – Leeds School of Business ’16, MBArk alumna


“Thank you so much for taking the time to organize such an informative, eventful and enjoyable weekend. I can’t tell you how much I learned in those two jam-packed days. From meeting inspirational entrepreneurs to seasoned executives, I now have a much better understanding of the industry and have so much more to learn! “

  • Michelle Menclewitz, UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business ’16, MBArk alumna; internship with Nestle


“I really cannot thank you enough for organizing the MBArk Program for us MBAs who are looking to make a difference in people’s lives using natural products and nutrition.  I am going to be the Net Impact Club President next year, and as discussed in the wrap up session, I would be happy to liaise with you to bring some more USC MBAs to MBArk.  Please let me know what I can do to further this initiative moving forward.”

  • Salima Mangalji, USC – Marshall School of Business ’17; internship with Zevia


“Thanks so much for doing this Joe. It’s important!”

Trish Karter, founder of Dancing Deer Bakery and Light Effect Farms