FIELD Exec Ed Program

The Food Industry Executive Leadership Development (FIELD) Program

“Attending FIELD is becoming a rite of passage for our emerging leadership, and there was a palpable buzz in the office when this year’s attendees returned. People are already thinking about next year’s program and whether they’ll have the privilege to participate.”

Paddy Spence, CEO of Zevia in Encino, CA

“Thank you for creating such an incredible program.  I am profoundly grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from such outstanding instructors and leaders, and to have connected with the other participants.  The week was one highlight after another: it just kept getting better and better.  I’ve returned to my team with an aspiration for what might be achieved, the inspiration to get started, and the practical knowledge to actually make it happen.”

Rebecca Hartley, R& D Manager – New Product Development at Daiya Foods in Vancouver, BC

“I was amazed every day by the relevance of the content of every session, by the level of preparation of each presenter, the CEO´s that came to talk to us and inspire us, and the passion and generosity of all the assistants….  For the very first time I really felt I had found my community in this industry.”

Denisse Alvarez Scherb, Founder and CEO of Dasavena Granola in Guadalajara, Mexico

FIELD is geared for the new generation of food and CPG  leadership – people who understand that in order to compete in today’s marketplace and to increase the natural-and-organic share above 5%, we need 21st century tools and skills such as the kind that are taught in MBA programs.  But when you are busy doing your job and running your business, who has the time (or money) to go back to graduate school?

Our unique format is unlike any other executive education program in the country.  In just a few fun but immersive days, we combine theory and practice side by side in a team-taught setting, offering participants both MBA-level coursework and a deep dive into the tactical, practical world of running a natural products business.  We marry the best of graduate business education with the pragmatic real-world experiences of practitioners – all filtered through the lens of the natural products industry’s one-of-a-kind culture of entrepreneurship, disruption, purpose-beyond-profits, and explosive triple-bottom-line growth.

The program also provides an unprecedented chance to network with others in the industry, and to experience the best of Boulder’s “living laboratory” of natural products companies.

FIELD is a certificate program and does not offer credit toward an academic degree.


  • Dynamic 1-week immersion into MBA concepts, cutting edge research AND the practical operating skills of the natural products industry
  • Fantastic opportunity for networking and access to the people who built the culture and economic engine of the $250 billion industry
  • Unparalleled training for top executives (Directors, VPs, SVPs, C-suite, Entrepreneurs, Family Businesses) in critical skill areas like
    • Management and Leadership (organizational behavior research; hiring, retention and compensation best practices; culture of entrepreneurship; personal leadership development; business ethics and human-centered design; etc.)
    • 21st Century Sales and Marketing (the latest industry trends and data; brand-building in and out of social media; omni channel sales; sales 101 and 201 tracks; data analytics and modern marketing research techniques; in the trenches with SPINS data, trade promotions, and coupons; etc.)
    • Business Economics (macroeconomic view of the industry; accounting 101 and 201 tracks; the magic of margins; financial modeling and forecasting; valuation principles; negotiations training, etc.)
    • Sustainability and Supply Chain Management (basic principles; regenerative ag and the circular economy; supply chain theory; certifications, etc.)
  • Field trip to visit retail concepts and production facilities
  • Team-taught by the world-class faculty of the CU Leeds School of Business AND many leading practitioners, including many current and former natural foods CEOs


  • Directors, VPs, SVPs, C-suite members in marketing, sales, ops, finance, supply chain, and HR
  • Key executives being groomed for succession
  • Family businesses working on training the new generation to take over
  • Entrepreneurs in the natural products industry, and those outside it who admire it
  • CPG leaders who want to immerse themselves in the culture of natural foods
  • Venture capitalists and investors, and leaders of their portfolio companies
  • Natural products executives seeking to expand their networks and learn from the godfathers and godmothers of the industry


  • Executives from Boulder Brands, Chosen Foods, Clif Bar, Countertop Foods, Daiya, Dasavena Gourmet, Fillo Factory, General Mills, Goddess Garden Organics, Good Karma Foods, Hain Celestial, Ibotta, Isanatur, Koohlah, Lily’s Sweets, Made Good Foods, Motherlove Herbal Company, New Hope Network, Once Upon a Farm, PanTheryx, Picalfor Live-Culture, Purely Elizabeth, Senor Gordon’s Foods, Sterling-Rice Group, Thrive Market, Traditional Medicinals, Uncle Harry’s, Vital Proteins,  West Texas A&M University, Zenify, Zevia, and others
  • Speakers such as Kay Allison, Co-Founder of Farm & Oven Snacks; Jill Bagley, VP of HR at Fresca Foods; Sarah Bird, CEO of Bhakti Chai; Joan Boykin, member of Natural Products Hall of Legends; Deanna Bratter, Sr. Director of Sustainable Development at Danone North America; Kate Brown, Founder and President of Boulder Organic Foods; Gary Cunningham, Chief People Officer of Traditional Medicinals; John esltrott, former Board Chair of Whole Foods Market; Gary Gatton, VP of Sales at Traditional Medicinals; Robert Gay, SVP of Sales at Zevia; Seth Goldman, Co-Founder of Honest Tea and Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat; John Grubb, Founder of Summit Venture Management; Marshall Hayes, Founder and CEO of Amplio Digital; Gary Hirshberg, Co-Founder and Chief Organic Optimist at Stonyfield Farm; Jurriaan Kamp, Co-Author of The Third Dimension; Blair Kellison, CEO of Traditional Medicinals; Carlotta Mast, Market Leader of New Hope Network; Jane Miller, CEO of Lily’s; Cammie Muller, CFO of Aurora Organic Dairy; Doug Radi, CEO of Good Karma Foods; Mark Retzloff, Founder of Horizon Organic; Walter Robb, former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market; Paddy Spence, CEO of Zevia; Greg Steltenpohl, Founder and CEO of Califia Farms; Terry Tierney, former CEO of Daiya Foods.