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.



Picture1Darlene DeRose

Darlene DeRose spent 30+ years as a finance professional, including work in corporate finance and public finance consulting.  Between 1998 and 2009, she owned and managed her own business, achieving national ranking as a top-10 financial advisor to state and local governments.  Following her professional career, she is focused on providing management and financial consulting services to non-profit organizations.  Darlene holds a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale University and a Masters Degree in Consciousness and Transformative Studies from John F. Kennedy University, where she also earned a Certificate in Ecotherapy.



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

unnamedKrupa Koestline, Director of Research and Development, Aubrey Organics

Krupa Koestline is Director of Research and Development at Aubrey Organics, one of the premier manufacturers of natural beauty products. A native of Gujarat, India, Krupa is a committed designer and user of eco-friendly, natural cosmetics, with a strong expertise in innovative organic formulations for hair and skin care. Prior to joining Aubrey, she was Technical Director at Key West Aloe LLC., and worked in product development for such renowned companies as Estee Lauder, Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena. Working for mainstream beauty product manufacturers was an eye-opener for this life-long vegetarian, who witnessed workers having to wear masks while making products formulated with potentially toxic ingredients. She views her work at Aubrey Organics as a hands-on opportunity to make a difference and spread the word about a health-conscious, natural lifestyle. Krupa holds a Master of Science degree in Biology, with Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, as well as a Business Certificate in Marketing from Cornell University. She is active in such organizations as the Organic Trade Association, Natural Products Association, Green Chemistry Council and the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

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.

unnamedStacy Malkan, Co-Director, US Right to Know 

For over a decade, Stacy has led campaigns to shift the market to safer products, healthy food and clean production. She is a co-founder and co-director of US Right to Know, a nonprofit organization that investigates and reports on what the food industry doesn’t want us to know about our food. Stacy is author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society 2007) and she co-founded the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2002. For eight years, Stacy was the communications director for Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition working to transform the health care industry so it is no longer a source of harm. Prior to her work as an environmental health activist, Stacy was a reporter and newspaper publisher. Follow her on Twitter @StacyMalkan and @SafeCosmetics.

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 HeadshotJeremiah 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. 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. Jeremiah is also a passionate advocate for and creator of Fair Trade standards that changed the natural products landscape.

In addition to developing hundreds of branded products that line natural food store shelves 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 agency helping create sustainable solutions, and consciously sourced, market-driven products, and is also working on launching several innovative brands. He also is the acting Vice President of Purchasing & Merchandising for Thrive Market, a mission driven retail/e-commerce hybrid that is best described as Whole Foods meets Costco meets TOMS shoes.

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.

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.

static1.squarespaceCarly 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.


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…