PRESENCE Announces Key Promotions in Leadership Team to Support Company Growth

August 16, 2022 |

Experienced Executives Selected to Accelerate the Growth of Nation’s Top Leading Food Broker

South Barrington, IL (August 16, 2022) – PRESENCE, the leading natural and organic products broker and service provider in the United States, announces several strategic additions to its leadership team to support the company’s accelerating growth. These notable internal promotions provide PRESENCE the opportunity to continue producing tremendous results for their clients with company veterans who share likeminded goals for success. As a result of the team expansion, PRESENCE reinforces its position as a leader in the market.

“We are so pleased to announce the promotions of these talented members at PRESENCE and celebrate their achievements,” says Christine Tzumas, COO. “With their combined experience and knowledge, we will continue to cultivate a broad presence in today’s rapidly growing market while providing outstanding support and unrivaled access to our valued customers and partners.”

The new roles and promotions at PRESENCE include:

  • Brian Naylor, President: Naylor joined PRESENCE in 2007 and has been the National Vice President of the company for the past nine years. In his new role as President, he will continue working closely with the CEO, Bill Weiland, and COO, Christine Tzumas, as he has for many years. Weiland will remain as owner and CEO focusing on the vision and growth strategy of the company. Tzumas will remain owner and COO staying actively involved in managing the day-to-day operations. Naylor’s responsibilities include overseeing the National Sales & Brand Management and Data Services teams, while also playing an active role in strategic planning and many other areas of our business. Naylor’s wealth of knowledge of the CPG industry and leadership skills will allow him to play an active role in cultivating the PRESENCE culture around teamwork, relationship building, and developing win-win solutions.
  • Karen Farrell, Vice President of Brand Services: With a background in natural foods and medicines, Farrell has more than two decades of experience in the natural products industry. She brings her leadership skills and expertise in the sales & broker community to her current role as Vice President of Brand Services where she oversees the National Brand Management and Distributor Relations departments, as well as national go-to-market strategies for brands.
  • Michelle Lobo, Vice President of Market Ready Services: Previously, Lobo served as the Vice President of Nutrition Body Care at PRESENCE before developing Market Ready Services, a new division that will be Powered by PRESENCE. In her current role, Lobo oversees all Market Ready operations and works closely with emerging brands to help build and scale their business with key deliverables that guarantee success in the marketplace.
  • Andi Hendricks, Vice President of Trade Services: Hendricks has been in the Natural Products Industry for over forty years and has been with PRESENCE for fourteen years. Throughout her career, she developed extensive experience in the areas of retail, wholesale distribution, and broker services. In Hendricks’ new role, she will negotiate and solidify all PRESENCE Broker Services.
  • Christina Moses, Vice President of Human Resources: Moses joined PRESENCE as a Distributor Account Executive in 2011, and her role evolved into leading and managing the Human Resources department, since 2015. As Vice President of Human Resources, Moses plays a pivotal role in setting the company’s cultural tone and is constantly seeking new ways to solve problems and create the best experiences for the entire PRESENCE team.
  • Sarah Sturgis, Senior Director of Brand Management (Grocery): Sturgis got her start in the Natural Products Industry nearly 20 years ago on the manufacturer side, wearing many hats and calling on retailers and distributors nationally. Sturgis joined Presence in 2016 and has been in National Brand Management since the formation of the department. Sturgis thrives on utilizing her analytical and complex problem-solving skills to develop processes and strategies that support the PRESENCE brands and teams in this exciting and evolving industry.
  • Leah Gootkind, Senior Director of Brand Management (NBC): A 25+ year Natural Product Industry veteran and natural-born health and wellness enthusiast, Gootkind’s journey started as a child through family-owned restaurants, catering, dinner groups and early introduction into health food stores. Gootkind’s passion for the Natural and Organic industry led her to the Presence team in 2012, where her role has evolved to Senior Director of Brand Management, overseeing Growth Strategy and Execution for the Nutrition Body Care portfolio. Gootkind is a values-forward leader driving business success with a strong bias for kindness, excellence, consistency, and action.

PRESENCE also announces two new Vice President positions within the sales department:

  • Darin Croegaert, Vice President of Conventional Sales: Croegaert’s career spans 20+ years where he’s touched every aspect of sales leadership including management, forecasting, operations, planning & strategy. Croegaert’s experience in varied industries and categories enables him to bring a unique perspective to PRESENCE as the VP of Conventional Sales. Croegaert is known for his transparent and open management style in building strong relationships and high-performing teams.
  • Andrew Bell, Vice President of Natural Sales: With over 20 years in Consumer Product Goods and Retail industries, Bell has focused on building long-term, sustainable growth by harmonizing people, products, and processes. He has a passion for helping brands and people grow to their full potential. Bell grew up in a grocery family and has worked in nearly every position in a retail setting. Most recently, Bell worked in Sales Operations at a distributor, with a keen focus on Regional Natural and Conventional key accounts.

These changes to the PRESENCE leadership structure are the result of the company’s focus on offering premier service to their retail, wholesale, and manufacturer partners nationally.


Founded in 1990, PRESENCE is the leading independent natural and organic CPG broker and service provider that partners with brands that share a commitment to taking care of the environment and people. Over the past 30+ years, PRESENCE has grown from a small and humble Midwest-based natural and organic food broker to a national powerhouse with over 500 employees. PRESENCE is dedicated to working in an environmentally conscious industry with talented professionals who are passionate about helping brands expand their market share. Having successfully grown sales and built partnerships within the natural and conventional CPG channels, PRESENCE offers a myriad of retail, wholesale, and other manufacturer services. For more information, visit