Here’s what some of the participants in our 2019 and 2020 MBArk2Boulder Food Leadership Conferences had to say about the experience:


“I can’t say thank you enough! For organizing the conference, for building connections, for sharing your own wisdom, and so much more. MBArk significantly exceeded my expectations, which had already been set quite high…. MBArk was – by far – the most energizing career and industry event of any kind that I’ve attended in my MBA.”
– Charlie Governali, Yale SOM/MEM ’21

“I owe you an even bigger thank you for producing such an amazing event with the MBArk conference.  I had high expectations but even those were exceeded!  I did give feedback in the survey that you sent out, but I wanted to note that I was so impressed with the opportunities we had to network and talk with industry professionals on such a personal level.  You organized a fantastic conference, one which I will highly recommend to anyone interested.”
– Lesley Watson, UC Davis GSM ’20

“The conference was absolutely incredible—the speakers and sessions were fascinating, and it was wonderful getting the chance to meet other students with similar interests. I’m so happy I was able to attend, and so happy you started such a gathering! …Boulder was a really great chance to meet others who are interested in less traditional professional paths and hear from people who have been successful in the food industry, and it provided reassurance that not only is it okay to have different interests (and be on a different timeline), but also that there is an incredible variety of opportunities available in this space, and a really exciting future ahead.”
– Julia Marsh, Yale SOM ’20

“The energy and enthusiasm at the event was so fun and inspiring; you have created something very special.”
– Monika Heinbaugh, Exclusive Brands Business Manager, KeHE Distributors

“I just wanted to drop you a quick thank you for an incredible conference last week. I left Boulder feeling inspired and am swimming in awesome follow-ups right now all thanks to you and the team. I really felt like the conference covered a great breadth of material with fantastic speakers for each topic.”
– Doug Parizeau, Dartmouth Tuck ’20

“Wow – I am speechless after such a fantastic experience in Boulder last week. I’m sorry that I couldn’t attend the last day of the conference, but absolutely loved the speakers, panels, meals, career fair, and informal networking on Wednesday and Thursday. The highlight for me was the tour of Aurora Organic Dairy and accompanying insights from Mark Retzloff on the way there. I’m very excited about a potential future working in the natural and organic food industry and am so grateful for the chance to get things started at MBArk2Boulder.”
– Beth LaBossiere, Harvard Business School ’20

“MBArk was an incredible way to kick off the final semester of my MBA program. I didn’t expect to leave the conference feeling so inspired by the future of food and hopeful about solutions being offered by innovative businesses in this space. I’d recommend MBArk to any business student who wants to learn more about the growing natural foods industry, connect with like-minded peers and industry leaders, and understand how to leverage MBA skills in a purposeful career. ”
– Georgia Loftis, Georgetown McDonough ’20

“….delightfully inspiring…. I wanted to first tell you THANK YOU for such an inclusive, informative and seamlessly orchestrated event!  I learned something wildly new from each speaker, could feel their passion pulsating from the pulpit and was hanging on their every word—Cream of the (Sustainable) Crop indeed, Joe!”
– Genny McGregor, Operations Lead, Piece, Love and Chocolate

“I just started back at school today and am feeling reenergized and motivated after a weekend full of learning in Boulder. Thank you for organizing such a great conference. I really appreciated the wide range of topics and professional paths that were covered. Most importantly, I am grateful for the new community of students and professionals who have also chosen careers in food & ag. As we discussed at the conference, pursuing a career in food & ag has always been a hope for me, but it can sometimes be difficult to imagine the path with limited resources in MBA programs. The conference truly opened my eyes and gave me renewed inspiration and focus on this path. ”
– Ani Loshkajian, UCLA Anderson ’21

“As a relative newcomer to the natural foods space, I found the conference extremely helpful in providing context and background. But even more than that, it was truly wonderful to connect with peers across the US, your team, as well as the other giants in the sustainable and organic food scene.”
– Carolyn Shaw, Yale SOM ’20

“Another fantastic installment. What a gift for these students – and a service to the industry.”
– John Grubb, Managing Partner, Summit Venture Management”

“Our session went well and I think we gave the students something to think about – I chatted with many of them over the lunch and later that afternoon and the general consensus what that the entire event was simply amazing.”
– Bill Capsalis, investor and Executive Director of Naturally Boulder

“Thank you so much again for hosting MBArk2Boulder! I learned so much and loved engaging with so many like-minded MBAs, graduates and undergraduates, and industry professionals. It was inspiring, engaging, and so much more than I could have hoped for!”
-Alanna Miyajima, Cornell Johnson ’21

I just wanted to thank you and Julie so much for another life-changing experience at the conference (I had to leave before I had the chance to say goodbye)! My brain is still marinating in all of the amazing knowledge from the speakers and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of it. The conference was inspiring and I almost had to pinch myself multiple times during the presentations.”
– Jennifer Scheideler, Johns Hopkins Carey MPG/MBA ’19

“It was truly remarkable how much content you were able to curate into such a short time period, and the caliber of the guests was outstanding – both speakers and attendees. I’ve made so many wonderful new connections that hopefully will be long lasting colleagues and friends.”
– Gabriella Knoll, BU Questrom ’20

“After an easy trip back to Evanston last night, I was just reflecting on what an incredible event MBArk was over the past couple of days. A lot of conferences like that can feel packed and overwhelming – while the schedule was busy, you all planned it in a way that we were able to build authentic relationships with each other and with the speakers. Rather than overwhelming, the two and a half days felt energizing. The room was full of passion and intention and I am grateful I was able to be part of it.”
– Bo Swindell, Northwestern Kellogg ’19

“I appreciated getting out of the coastal bubble and meeting MBAs from all over the country, many of whom were hearing words like ‘regenerative’ for the first time. I could tell it was an equally exciting experience for them and enriching for all of us to have conversations with folks interested in various facets of the industry and working in many geographies.”
– Ali Kokot, Harvard Business School ’21

“Thank you for curating such an interesting and valuable conference for students (and lifelong students like me). Attending was the perfect, post-holiday re-entry. It felt good to connect with engaged and generous industry leaders as well as vibrant future leaders, strong and thoughtful content. I left grateful for the work I’m privileged to do and inspired to push our partnerships further to have more impact.”
– Susan Aust, Account Director, Vermilion

“I can’t thank you enough for all your efforts putting MBArk together. I found it a tremendously rewarding and inspiring event; coming into the conference I was considering getting out of the food industry, but now I feel renewed interest and motivation. Thanks for reminding me of what excited me about the business in the first place!”
– John Broadway, Oregon Lundquist ’21