Kara is a better-for-you food and retail industry executive and purpose-led brand strategist. She spent a decade leading one of the largest regional business units for Whole Foods Market in the United States. And she was part of a senior leadership team that turned the JUST Water brand from the brink of insolvency in 2017 into a recognized leader in the sustainably bottled water category today. Kara is also an advisor to clean
label and sustainability-forward CPG brands and natural-channel retailers.
Kara is driven by a fascination with food and how it is grown, produced, and distributed; a deeply held desire to bring better, cleaner food to more and more people; and over 15 years of strategic and operational food retail and brand-building experience. She dedicated 10 years to leading Whole Foods Market’s grocery division in the Northeast Region, which included the company’s highest volume stores in the United States. She led teams focused on category management and retail operations, and worked closely with manufacturing partners ranging from small, local entrepreneurs to large-scale, broadly recognized brands to build their businesses strategically in the region and nationally.
At JUST, Kara spearheaded brand strategy, marketing initiatives, and shepherded product development. She re-engineered the brand positioning, packaging, and messaging, forged strategic partnerships with iconic brands such as Allbirds, oversaw social media and influencer strategies, and directed the company’s rapidly expanding ecommerce business.
Kara holds degrees from Duke University and the University of Michigan Business School (now the Stephen M. Ross School of Business). She is a guest lecturer at the Columbia Business School the NYU College of Food, Nutrition & Public Health, a Naturally New York Advisory Board member, and a Shift Fellowship mentor. Kara speaks often at food industry and nutrition conferences, including Project Nosh, Bev Net Live and Food Vision USA.