Advisory Board

Bruce Akers, Green Chemist

Bruce Akers is a well respected consultant in the natural products industry. He has been formulating Natural Products for almost 15 years, and has brought well over a hundred of his formulations to market.  Bruce has worked in small one room West Marin facilities as well as multi-national conglomerates. He has been a Director of R&D for EO Products, and Method, as well as working with many of the leading innovative companies in the natural products realm. Using his vast knowledge of chemistry, Bruce has been instrumental in the creation of many of the standards that are setting the bar in the natural products industry ensuring that they are useable by manufacturers and consumers, scientifically base. Bruce received a degree in Chemistry from University of California, Berkeley.

Caroline Beckman, Suja Juice

At 17, Caroline moved to San Diego to attend the university. She began her journey two years ago as a business student who quickly became involved in the study and application of sustainable organizations. In early 2012, Caroline partnered with a group who has worked over the past year to develop Suja Juice. As one of the fastest growing products the industry has ever seen, Suja continues to showcase an elevated business model committed to conscious practices. Caroline is dedicated to showing that the power of success is found when purpose becomes superior to procedure


Karen Stewart Brown, Co-Founder + Vice President of Design, Stewart+Brown

Karen co-founded Stewart+Brown, along with her husband Howard Brown, in 2002 and oversees all design and production activities. Prior to Stewart+Brown, Karen worked as a Sr. Designer at Patagonia, where she worked for 5+ years. Subsequent to her Patagonia experience, Karen was a Sr. Designer at J.Crew for 3.5 years responsible for all women’s knits and sweater categories; the highest volume and most profitable division of the company. She began her design career at Urban Outfitters / Anthropologie, spending 2.5 years designing their most popular collections. Karen holds a B.F.A. in painting Maryland Institute College of Art and has no formal training in fashion design. Karen and Stewart+Brown have won many honors and accolades including ‘Coolest People Now’ by Outside Magazine, “Ones to Watch” by Wired Magazine, “Conscientious Choice” winner by Natural Health magazine, “Best of Green” by Treehugger, “World’s Most Stylish Ethic Fashion Brand” by Body+Soul Magazine, Elle’s “Best Green Fashion Brand” and one of the “World’s Top Fashionistas” by Grist.

Justin Everett, Executive Chef

Cavallo Point Executive Chef Justin Everett is a longtime resident of the Bay Area with extensive experience in California’s Wine Country. As is the case for many successful chefs, Justin’s first experience working in a kitchen was a dishwashing job in high school. From there he worked his way up in restaurants throughout college and received a Culinary Arts degree from the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon.

Upon returning to Wine Country, he spent time in some of the best kitchens on the West Coast including working as Chef de Partie at both Bouchon in Yountville and Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford. Most recently, he was Executive Chef at El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma for four years where he cultivated relationships with local farmers and instated a regionally-inspired menu that featured approachable seasonal cuisine.

Susan Griffin-Black, Small World Trading Company

Susan is the co-founder and co-CEO of Small World Trading Company, the parent company of two leading personal care brands: EO and EveryOne. For 20 years Susan has been a pioneer of the personal care industry, and has built a successful, exemplary company rooted in responsible business practices. Susan is an expert on safe, healthy personal care products and essential oils. She has been involved with Teens Turning Green for many years.



Amy Halman, President & Formulator, Acure

Amy is President and Formulator for ACURE; an all-natural and organic skin, hair and body care line that focuses on driving clinically proven effect through plant and food based nutrition. Awarded “Best Esthetician” by Chicago Magazine in 2009 and again by Allure Magazine in 2010, her career in the natural industry began with her own personal struggle with an alienating skin condition that taught her to address the skin as one of the most powerful organs of the body. Today, she not only commits herself to the creation of clean, nutritionally based personal care but tirelessly educates on its importance.  In 2013, she has lead ACURE to take this mission a step further to address the issue of self-esteem in our younger generations and how common cultural misconceptions and false marketing have led us to compromise our health for the sake of beauty

Lynn Hirshfield, Senior Vice President of Publishing, Participant Media

Lynn is responsible for launching Participant’s publishing division to complement the company’s films and social action campaigns. Lynn, who joined Participant Media in May 2007, is also responsible for leading the development of strategic marketing partnerships and integrate these partners into social action and advocacy campaigns. Prior to joining the staff of Participant, she consulted for the company throughout 2006 on the social marketing and outreach for the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Lynn has served in the same capacity for a number of internet content and technology start ups, and various studios and venture capital groups specializing in creating new verticals and generating strategic partnerships with corporate sponsors. Previous to entering the internet arena, she worked as a development executive for productions garnering a number of awards, including four Emmys, a Peabody Award and two Television Critics Awards — among them the PBS series Wishbone. She was also a story editor for National Geographic Feature Films, Scott Rudin, Norman Lear, Tim Burton and Sony, Fox and Warner Bros. Studios.

Ashley Koff, Ashley Koff Approved

Ashley Koff RD is an internationally renowned registered dietitian who’s “Ashley Koff Approved” (AKA) list is a tool to help consumers, media, and healthcare practitioners choose better quality groceries, dietary supplements, and prepared food. Koff regularly appears as an expert on TV, print, radio, and online including “The Dr. Oz Show,” “The Doctors,” ABC7, The New York Times, O! The Oprah Magazine, Whole Living, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Redbook, Women’s Health, The Huffington Post, and EmpowHer. Additionally, she writes freelance articles for many of these outlets. Koff started and continues to manage her AKA Craft Services makeover project for popular shows such as ABC’s “Private Practice,” and CBS’ “CSI: New York,” as well several major movies. She is currently a contributing editor for Natural Health Magazine, and on the advisory board of Fitness Magazine. Koff is the co-author of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged. Based in Los Angeles, California, Koff maintains an international private practice and is faculty at NYC’s Beth Israel Integrative Medicine Center The Continuum Center for Health and Healing.

Stacy Malkan, Author, Not Just A Pretty Face

Stacy authored the recently published Not Just A Pretty Face and co-founded the National Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition working to eliminate hazardous chemicals from personal care products. As Malkan says in her book, I was a teenage make-up diva, “We’re talking an elaborate morning ritual involving skin creams, eight types of make-up and multiple hair products, topped off with a generous cloud of Aqua Net Hair Spray — all before I left the house! 20 years later, I was able to conduct an investigation into my teen beauty routine to find out what I was exposing myself to on a daily basis: 200 chemicals in all, many of them toxic. These days, I still use multiple products, but the old brands are long gone in  favor of safer alternatives.”

Angela McElwee, Vice President – Sales Operations, Gaia Herbs, Inc.

Angela McElwee serves as Vice President of Sales Operations for Gaia Herbs, and sees her role at Gaia as the culmination of a love affair with the natural products industry that began when she was 16 years old, working in the supplement aisles of her local health food store, and continues to this day. Angela spent the first 8 years of her career leading operations for a chain of natural products stores, which imbued her with a strong sense of how to create successful retail/manufacturer partnerships, and a crucial understanding of the important work that takes place on the floor of natural products stores nationwide. Prior to joining Gaia, Angela served as Director of Sales for a global supplement brand, where she built strong retail partnerships, empowered and led the sales team, and delivered consistent growth across multiple channels. She is a passionate advocate for the change that enlightened choices in consumerism can bring, and believes that we each have a powerful role in that mission.

Jeremiah McElwee, Senior Global Whole Body Coordinator, Whole Foods Market

A twenty year veteran of the Natural Products industry, Jeremiah has been on all sides of the business and supply chain, literally from seed to shelf and beyond into product lifecycle. Most recently, Jeremiah served for 7 years as the Executive Global Coordinator for the Beauty, Apparel & Wellness categories at Whole Foods Market. During his tenure, he pioneered multiple, industry changing, quality standard initiatives including natural beauty standards, organic labeling requirements for personal care, and the largest ever sustainable packaging guidelines for a major retailer. In addition to developing hundreds of products and managing the Whole Foods & 365 private label brands, he also helped Dr. Andrew Weil develop his branded product platform. Since leaving Whole Foods Market in February 2013, Jeremiah launched GIST, a think tank and natural products consulting firm helping create sustainable solutions, as well as consciously sourced, market-driven products, and is also working on launching several innovative brands. When not working as an eco-superhero, he can be found in the Texas Hill Country practicing hot vinyasa yoga, reading children’s books to his three daughters, or checking the surf report and planning his next escape to the coast.

Karl Palmer, Manager, Pollution Prevention Branch at CA Department of Toxic Substances Control

Karl Palmer is the manager of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Pollution Prevention Branch in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Green Technology. He is currently responsible for DTSC’s efforts to implement pollution prevention programs, supporting local Green Business Programs and helping lead the Department’s efforts to expand pollution prevention efforts, green chemistry strategies and sustainability initiatives throughout California. Prior to his current job, Karl lead DTSC’s Regulatory and Program Development Branch,  providing technical support and policy development and adopting regulations for hazardous waste classification, recycling, household hazardous waste, electronic waste and universal wastes.  Mr. Palmer has worked in each of DTSC’s core programs performing a wide variety of work including site assessments and inspections of hazardous waste sites, conducting investigations at state superfund sites, cleaning up former methamphetamine labs and coordinating HAZMAT support at major chemical spills and natural disasters. Mr. Palmer holds a B.S. in Resource Sciences from the University of California, Davis.

Steve Pinetti, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Steve, the Senior VP of Inspiration & Creativity, has been with Kimpton full-time for a whopping 30 of its 32 years, after first working as a consultant to founder Bill Kimpton in 1981 when the first hotel, The Bedford Hotel in San Francisco, opened. His first job at Kimpton was Director of Sales at The Bedford. His role involved thinking outside the box and cultivating a culture of care — all to elevate the guest experience. Kimpton  now manages more than 50 hotels and 60 restaurants. Steve’s current role is to keep the culture alive.  He in the field as much as possible, talking to old and new employees about what they can do to inspire one another and guests. He still comes to work as excited as he was that very first day.

Debbie Raphael, California Department of Toxic Substance Control

Debbie joined the California Department of Toxic Substances Control as Director in May 2011. In her 20‐years of public service at the local and state level she has demonstrated a dedication to scientific inquiry, engagement and transparency, and forging partnerships that pave the way for meaningful and practical change. As a scientist, innovator and pragmatist, she relies on the best available science, robust stakeholder interaction and fairness to drive policy development. Recognizing that environmental burdens are not uniform across the state, she believes government must take extra steps to engage our most impacted communities. In her prior work for the Cities of Santa Monica and San Francisco, she designed award‐winning programs in Integrated Pest Management, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, Green Business Certification, and Green Building. Her work has been recognized internationally, and she has served as an advisor for state and local governments, as well as hospitals, school districts, and the University of California. She graduated with honors in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, was a Smithsonian and National Science Foundation fellow, and has a Master’s degree in Physiological Plant Ecology from UCLA.

Renée Sharp, Director of California Office, Environmental Working Group

Renée holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in Biology from Penn State University and Rice University. She first worked as a Senior Analyst for Environmental Working Group on a wide range of environmental health and natural resource issues for eight years before becoming head of the organization’s California office in 2008.When not in the office Renée spends most of her time hiking, climbing, skiing and rafting, and believes that the US now has an unprecedented opportunity to regain world leadership on environmental issues.


Carly Wertheim, Student, Barnard College

Carly is a student at Barnard College in New York studying environmental science. Throughout high school, Carly took a lead role in the Teens Turning Green campaign, serving as the campaign’s president and lead spokesperson. She has presented to schools, businesses, conferences, and festivals, educating peers and community members about harmful chemical exposures and the steps to become a more educated consumer. As an advocate for legislation that protects our right to health, Carly presented testimony to Senators in Sacramento at a hearing on the Green Chemistry initiative.  After spending a gap-year abroad, Carly returned home from an organic farming experience in Ecuador inspired and passionate about sustainable agriculture. During the summer of 2010 she helped launch Project Lunch, a TTG program to bring local, organic, and wholesome food options to schools. Currently, Carly is a Barnard EcoRep, working with students and administration to make her campus a more sustainable environment. She can usually be found at the farmer’s market, hiking, cooking, and spends her spare playing the guitar and practicing yoga.

Marci Zaroff, Founder, Under the Canopy / Founder + CEO, FASE

Marci has a degree from the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. A vegetarian since the age of 16, Marci co-founded a thriving health and environmental educational center, Aveda Spa, magazine and organic cafe in New York City, known today as “The Institute for Integrative Nutrition”. After a decade in the natural/organic food and beauty worlds, Zaroff recognized the “missing link” in the wellness equation, and seized the opportunity to launch leading organic & sustainable fiber lifestyle brand “Under the Canopy”. She pioneered the market for ECOfashion®, a term she coined and trademarked in 1996. Always evolving & driving the market with her passion, creativity and vision, Marci is currently building her next cutting-edge sustainable lifestyle brand, FASE. Zaroff is an internationally recognized expert, innovator & authority in organic fiber fashion and home products and has created a unique development, distribution and monitoring business model to ensure that the process and the products remain pure and authentic. She helped write the USA & Global Organic Fiber certification standards, has launched first-time organic fiber initiatives into major retailers nationwide, and is a sought after speaker & spokesperson of ECOfashion & green business. Marci is the proud mother of 2 teens raised green, Jade and Mason.


o   Alliance for Climate Education
o   Axion Design
o   Breast Cancer Fund
o   Butler, Shine, Stern + Partners Advertising
o   California Healthy Nail Salon  Collaborative
o   Congressmember Lynn Woolsey ( D- CA)
o   Congressmember Steve Israel ( D-NY)
o   Dominican University
o   Eco Mom Alliance
o   Environment California
o   Environmental Health Trust
o   Environmental Working Group
o   Green Sangha
o   International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety
o   Marin County Board of Supervisors
o   Marin Women’s Commission
o   Mimi Field Public Relations
o   National Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
o   Nourish Food & Community
o   San Francisco Department of the Environment
o   State Senator Mark Leno
o   Women’s Voices for the Earth
o   And many more partners…