Bill Weiland is the Founder and CEO of PRESENCE. Bill has committed his entire adult life to furthering the wellness lifestyle movement.
Bill launched PRESENCE in January 1990 after spending a dozen years in various natural products’ industry retail and sales roles. Today, after more than 40 years of dedicated service, he is surrounded by a team of thoughtful, creative people who carry out the mission of bringing healthy products to consumers.
His uncompromising belief in the power of healthy food, holistic wellness and regenerative systems are key drivers behind his commitment to building a world with clean products for all. Bill also is a leading supporter of consumer transparency and GMO labeling.
Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential ‘Kingmakers’ in Consumer and Retailer Companies,” Bill is widely recognized for his devotion to helping entrepreneurs. New Hope recognized Bill’s extensive contribution to the Natural Products Industry by inducting him to their Hall of Legends.
In working with leading national brands as well as successful startups, Bill has a keen eye for consumer and product trends driving the rapidly growing healthy lifestyles market. Under his leadership, PRESENCE is now the largest natural and organic products brokerage in the U.S.
Every company has a heart and soul and Christine Tzumas is just that for PRESENCE. As one of the original owners, Christine continues to serve as the company’s Chief Operating Officer managing the day-to-day of the company in addition to the Finance, Human Resources, and IT departments. Christine enjoys working on the company’s processes and systems evaluating and perfecting them all along the way. Her goal is to give the teams the tools they need to perform their jobs and give it to them on a silver platter facilitating best in class results. Christine has always focused on the people within the organization working to mentor leadership and bring the best out in everyone. There is nothing that she loves more than seeing individuals and departments grow and thrive and exceed expectations. As COO, she plays a key role in the company’s strategic planning looking to the future using her years of experience and her wisdom. Christine also leads the company’s philanthropic efforts which support our industry’s environmental and social concerns. Christine believes in our mission statement and has often stated that “PRESENCE is not just about running a business – there’s a sense of purpose and meaning in what we do”!
Christine has been with PRESENCE since day one! Christine worked with her dear friend and company CEO Bill Weiland, starting in January 1990. They created the spark that is now PRESENCE. Today, the company has 500 employees from coast to coast and boasts a great reputation in the industry. It all came from humble beginnings in Chicago’s Western Suburbs. In the early days, Christine ran the company’s back office and also made sales calls, did store resets and pretty much everything that was necessary to build the brokerage. She was attracted to the industry, along with Bill as they both tried to live a healthier lifestyle which started with great nutrition. As Christine deepened her appreciation for healthy food, nutrition and body care products, her personal aspirations have mirrored the mainstream’s interest and the expansion of the industry as a whole.
Christine’s life is not all work and no play! Her early athletic exploits on the city’s basketball courts have now given way to fun anywhere near water surrounded by family and friends. Christine loves the outdoors, sports, travel, boating and great food experiences. Christine and her husband of more than 25 years, Frank, share time in Florida and Illinois with their three children, Jimmy, Sara and Emily.
Brian Naylor has been in the consumer packaged goods business for over 30 years and has been with PRESENCE since 2007. Currently, Brian serves as President and is directly responsible for overseeing the National Sales & Brand Management and Data Services teams. Brian also plays an active role in strategic planning and many other areas of our business. He is a well-rounded professional who brings a wealth of experience and skills with a strong focus on teamwork, relationship building, and win-win solutions.
Since joining PRESENCE, Brian and his family have re-engineered their food and body care choices with an emphasis on local, natural and organic offerings.
Brian started his consumer packaged goods career at his local ACME store while attending college. Prior to joining PRESENCE, he spent over 10 years with Millbrook Distribution Services where he held multiple roles with increasing levels of responsibility including Director of Business Development and Vice President of Sales. He also serves as a mentor with the Chicago-based Family Farmed Good Food Accelerator program. He is also a former Director of the New England Food Foundation and member of the Massachusetts Food Association.
Brian spends his spare time gardening, golfing, and watching baseball.
With over 20 years serving the natural and organic food industry, Tracy has focused on building transformative food brands for consumers and building enterprise value for companies. She is now an Executive Vice President at PRESENCE, the nation’s top natural products broker, where she oversees the company’s two investment portfolios and leads business development. Tracy joined PRESENCE in 2014 and has the distinct privilege of evaluating new brands for representation and directing resources to support growth.
Tracy’s passion for great food and wine started while growing up in the Pacific Northwest and with family roots in the deep south where gardening, gathering, hunting and preserving real food shaped her basic food philosophy: know where your food comes from, prepare it with care and enjoy time around the table.
Tracy has also served for 5 years on the US Federal regulatory advisory committee for organic, the USDA National Organic Standards Board, including Chair of the Board. Past roles include Director of Product Innovation for Earthbound Farm/ WhiteWave Foods, creating consumer brands for Stahlbush Island Farm, and Marketing with General Mills’ Small Planet Foods Division. Since 2012, Tracy has led graduate student teams in product innovation at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Tracy earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and an MBA from Western Washington University.
Tracy divides her time between Chicago and Philomath, Oregon where she enjoys making wine and mushroom foraging. She is also the proud mom of Camille, Greta and Frank.
Bill Lyons joined PRESENCE as the company’s Chief Financial Officer in 2007 during a period of rapid national expansion. Bill was responsible for building the company’s financial infrastructure which supported the expanding operation and he continues to manage all aspects of the company’s financial systems and processes in conjunction with the Financial Management Team.
Prior to joining PRESENCE, Bill was with US Cellular where he was responsible for strategic planning for customer care which included implementing both short and long term enhancements to policies, procedures and the technical infrastructure supporting approximately 6 million customers.
Bill is an avid Chicago sports fan and enjoys playing soccer and spending as much time as possible out on Lake Michigan with family and friends.
Milton Zimmerman is a 35+ year veteran of the Natural Products Industry who has been with PRESENCE since 1995, and now holds the title of Executive Vice President. Milton got his start in The Natural Foods Industry when he joined a Chicago-based beverage company in 1986 and was soon appointed as their National Sales Manager serving in that capacity for 8 years. A couple year stint working for a leading natural snack food manufacturer “seasoned” Milton and prepared him for his true calling – being a broker. Milton joined PRESENCE partners, Bill and Christine, 5 years into the company’s maturation and has loved the ride. Milton has built great friendships throughout the industry and is proud of his relationships with retailers and manufacturers from coast to coast. Today, Milton is the executive lead for NCG, INFRA and Fresh Thyme Market. He has also edited “PRESENCE News” since its inception 19 years ago.
Milton is a 1980 graduate of the University of Illinois and a lifelong native of the Chicagoland area. Milton’s tenacious work ethic is surpassed only by his love of his family with his patient wife, Michelle and three daughters – Haley, Hanah and Talia, and a son – Jack Morris. Milton is an avid sports fan and loves all sporting events, especially Chicago Bears and Blackhawk games.
Milton is also active in the Chicagoland community and has served as Board Chairman of the JCFS Chicago. JCFS provides vital, individualized, results driven, therapeutic and supportive services for thousands of children and adults and families of all backgrounds each year, facing challenges with life transitions, mental health, developmental/intellectual disability and basic human needs. Milton is also Past President of JVS Chicago, an agency that provides career coaching guidance, job training, and crucial support to more than 5,000 Chicagoans annually. Milton is also on the Executive Board of Naturally Chicago where he serves as the Sponsorship Chairman. The Naturally Network is the largest natural and organic membership organization is the U.S. with affiliates in the largest metro areas.
Chris Lobo has worked in the Natural Products industry for 34 years and has been with PRESENCE for 22 years.
Chris is currently an Executive Vice President with PRESENCE and handles many national responsibilities like the PRESENCE political liaison with the Organic Trade Association, and is a Business Development Manager as well. Chris is also the Sprouts Executive Lead and the Natural Grocers Executive Lead.
Chris started his career in the Natural Industry at the venerated original Alfalfa’s Market. During this time, Chris worked his way through a master’s degree while simultaneously learning the natural trade in the trenches at retail. Post-graduation, Chris found his way into sales and brokering and, in 1999, along with Michelle Lobo and Bill Weiland, founded Rocky Mountain PRESENCE.
Over decades of high-level engagement in the Natural Channel, Chris has honed his skills as a leader of multiple PRESENCE regions, and has developed key relationships at the upper reaches which has served PRESENCE and its clients well.
Chris enjoys biking, hiking, trail running, traveling, reading, acquiring art, riding motorcycles, and the occasional glass of great wine!
Prompted by health concerns in her family, Karen Farrell began studying natural foods and medicines at age 12. In her formative years, Karen studied traditional herbalism with Gladys Hadju and David Winston and spent six years studying traditional midwifery and women’s health, both academically and in practice – including foreign aid Midwifery journeys to Indonesia and Haiti.
Karen has worked the last 25+ years in the Natural Products Industry, starting as a working member in a co-op to working in an independent health food store to Whole Foods Market and the last 20 years in leadership in the sales & brokerage community.
Karen Farrell was the owner and force behind Topline Marketing, a highly successful Regional Sales and Marketing brokerage in the Natural Products Industry which she sold in 2012 to the most respected Independent National Brokerage in the US – PRESENCE.
Karen is now the Vice President of Brand Services at PRESENCE, where she oversees her team and the go-to market strategies for brands.
Karen lives with her husband & two sons on 80 acres in the Maine Woods, which she’s repopulating with endangered native medicinal plants.
With over 20 years in Consumer Product Goods and Retail industries, Andrew 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. Andrew now serves as the VP of Natural Sales at PRESENCE, the nation’s leading independently owned, natural products broker and service provider.
Andrew grew up in a grocery family and has worked in nearly every position in a retail setting. His professional career has given him the opportunity to work across a multitude of brands including Wrigley, PepsiCo, Hillshire Brands, and Tyson Foods. Most recently, Andrew worked in Sales Operations at a distributor, with a keen focus on Regional Natural and Conventional key accounts.
Andrew resides in the Chicagoland area with his wife and two sons. He enjoys platform tennis, pickleball, travel, and all sorts of sporting entertainment. In his free time, he and his wife spend time cheering on their boys in their numerous activities.
Darin’s career has spanned more than 20 years and touched every aspect of sales leadership from sales management to sales strategy and everything in between. Darin’s experience in varied industries and categories enables him to bring a unique perspective to PRESENCE as the VP of Conventional Sales. Darin’s known for his transparent and open management style which builds strong relationships and high-performing teams.
Darin felt the pull towards the natural industry following a serious car accident in early 2020. His focus turned to utilizing the healing powers of nature (instead of medications) to restore and strengthen his body from within. Darin’s a firm believer in PRESENCE’s mission and knows the positive impact that getting back-to-basics can make in your life.
Darin has worked in the CPG industry for the last decade; most recently, as the VP of Sales Operations and Strategy at Wilton Brands leading the team’s transition from sales administration to value-add sales services: forecasting, operations, planning, & strategy. Prior to that, Darin worked in Sales Strategy and Planning at Tyson Foods leading the integration of Advance Pierre Foods into the business and developing their first 4P’s go-to-market strategy.
Darin lives with his wife, teen daughter and son, and two dogs in the northern suburbs of Chicago. His family enjoys spending time together outdoors: gardening, biking, and hiking. Darin is a huge baseball fan and pulls for the National League’s equivalent to the Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Michelle has been in the Natural Products Industry for 30 years with a background and passion in health, wellness, and natural products industry causes. She is a strong sales professional skilled in customer service, sales targets, negotiations, coaching, business planning, and brand building. Michelle possesses a natural sales ability with a strategic mindset and is a key motivator, building trusted relationships and winning outcomes. She currently serves as Vice President of Market Ready Services, Powered by PRESENCE, overseeing all operations for this division.
Michelle started in the Natural Products Industry as a buyer for a top Natural Foods chain while co-founding Zents premium body care. She moved into sales and brokering and in 1999 cofounded PRESENCE in the Rocky Mountain Region. She served as the Vice President of Nutrition Body care for the past 10 years before developing Market Ready Services, an arm of PRESENCE, working with emerging brands – building and scaling companies with key deliverables to guarantee success in the marketplace.
A Certified Nutritionist, Michelle is also a former board member of the Natural Products Association, current mentor at Colorado University Leads School of Business/Master in Sustainability, and an industry expert. Her deep knowledge of the Natural Channel, trends, data/metrics, innovation, and genuine enthusiasm for developing brands have had proven success through the years. Her record of accomplishments in launching brands and growing legacy brands include leaders such as Liquid I.V. Ancient Nutrition, Andalou, Mineral Fusion, and Vital Proteins.
Andi Hendricks has been in the Natural Products Industry for over 40 years and has been with PRESENCE for 14 years. Andi serves as our Vice President of Trade Services at PRESENCE, negotiating and solidifying all PRESENCE Broker Services, as well as management of the Trade Promotion Department. The diversity of her role requires collaboration and teamwork, in the oversight and guidance of her departments in strategically guiding clients on the design and implementation of brand strategies to capture optimal market share and trade optimization.
Andi started in the Natural Products Industry in the Midwest having worked retail, wholesale distribution, and brokerage. For 15 years, Andi was with United Natural Foods (UNFI) during which time she held the positions of Vice President of Purchasing and Vice President of Sales for the Western and Midwest Regions. She also served on UNFI’s Board of Directors as the company went public. Upon leaving UNFI, Andi held the position of President of Mitzvah Marketing, prior to the acquisition of the company by PRESENCE in 2007.
Andi currently resides in Seattle, Washington where she enjoys hiking, creating pottery, gardening, volunteering in community food and garden programs and spending time with her partner, family, and friends. Andi continues to have a passion for the Natural Products Industry and is proud to be a part of a company and to work with individuals focused on a shared commitment to the planet, shown through the brands we represent, and the industry causes we sponsor.
Christina joined the PRESENCE team in 2011 as a Distributor Account Executive. Over her career at PRESENCE, she’s worn many different hats including managing our Distributor Relations/Purchase Orders/Data Entry/Tradeshow Departments to moving into our Human Resources Department. Since 2015, Christina has been leading our Human Resources Department, and now serving as the Vice President of HR.
Christina is constantly seeking new ways to solve problems, learn and grow while helping others and our planet, staying true to our mission. Her favorite part of her job is helping drive the culture at PRESENCE and creating the best experiences for our teams.
Christina is an Indiana University graduate (Go Hoosiers!) and resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, two kids, two dogs and tortoise. She enjoys entertaining, cooking, traveling, good wine and good food, gardening, being active (to counter the good wine and good food) and most importantly spending time with her family and friends.
Andy Lockhart brings over 30 years of IT experience to PRESENCE where he has served PRESENCE as Senior Director of IT for the last 12 years. Andy’s talents have helped PRESENCE develop several proprietary company applications, support hardware and software. Andy oversees and implements all of PRESENCE’s technologies.
Prior to joining PRESENCE, Andy worked at Allstate Insurance, Sears and Rockwell International providing him with the skills and expertise needed to ensure that PRESENCE’s technology remains the best in the industry. Over his tenure at PRESENCE, Andy has implemented several successful internal applications that have greatly benefited the company and our brands. Andy strives to keep the company on cutting edge technologies which creates efficiencies and helps keeps PRESENCE as a leader of technology in our industry.
Andy has always been passionate about good health, wellness and industry causes. Andy leads an active and healthy lifestyle and he is passionate about the Natural Products Industry. He enjoys fishing, exercising, sports and vacationing with his family.
Donnie Baldwin has been in conventional retail for over 30 years and he has been with PRESENCE for the past 12 years. Today, Donnie serves as PRESENCE’s Senior Director of Conventional Sales leading the Central and Western Conventional Teams.
Donnie started his career as a C-Store and Retail Sales Representative with a small distributor. He moved to a large non-food and specialty food distributor which underwent several mergers and acquisitions and is now part of UNFI. During his time there, he served in numerous roles and executive positions supporting retail sales, distributor sales, merchandising, store set-up and design as well as marketing. Donnie has extensive experience and deep knowledge of the conventional retail landscape. He has a strong passion for mentoring, developing, and supporting team members.
Donnie is a sports enthusiast as he enjoys any sporting event in which he can set up his top-notch tailgate where all who know him have a standing invitation. He enjoys traveling, spending time with his family and friends and spoiling his grandchildren.
Jerry Stroobosscher has been in the Market Research Industry for over 25 years and with PRESENCE for 9 years. Jerry serves PRESENCE as Senior Director of Data Services/Analytics, overseeing the coordination, production and delivery of reporting used to measure retail performance, trend identification and forecasting utilizing multiple data sources and delivery tools.
Jerry started in the Market Research Industry working for Information Resources (IRI) and transitioned to the Natural Food Industry space after accepting a role with SPINS. During Jerry’s tenure at SPINS he oversaw the PRESENCE business and transitioned to a PRESENCE employee in the summer of 2012.
When Jerry is not working, he enjoys kayaking, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.
Kathy Mattisz has been a part of the Natural Products Industry for 23 years enjoying the last 14 years with PRESENCE. Today, Kathy serves PRESENCE as the Senior Director of Administrative Services managing many of our internal database systems and team. She aids in the development of new programs to fit the changing needs of the industry. Her department is comprised of the Sales Assistants that support the conventional, natural grocery and nutrition/body care retail teams and Account Executives. Her team is responsible for promotional contracts, new item forms and retail promotional planning support as well as any other needs of our retail partners.
Kathy’s has a rich background in the industry working on both the manufacturer and broker side of the business. She held the positions of Director of Marketing and National Sales Manager for a small pioneering cookie company and as a Business Development Manager for a broker before joining PRESENCE. For her first 12 years at PRESENCE, Kathy was the Regional Sales Manager in our Southeast region which included Account Executive responsibilities for Whole Foods Market, NCG and Earth Fare.
Outside of work, Kathy enjoys traveling with her husband, cooking, reading. Kathy loves animals of every kind.
Kelly Follmar has been in the Natural Foods Industry for 19 years and has been with PRESENCE for 17 years. Today, Kelly serves as our Senior Director of Sales, overseeing the Nutrition/Body Care Regional Sales Management and Account Executive teams. She has a strong knowledge and skill set for helping create systems that have allowed the sales team to be more efficient and effective out in the field. Kelly is results driven and holds her team to the highest standards. She is a clear and concise communicator and is always willing to jump in when anyone needs help.
Kelly joined the Natural Foods Industry shortly after graduating from Purdue University in 2002 as a Sales Representative for a Natural Food Broker. After being a road warrior, she joined the PRESENCE family as a Distributor Account Executive working on both the Grocery and Nutrition/Body Care sides of business. After a couple of years learning the distribution side of business, she moved back over to retail sales and became the Midwest Regional Sales Manager for the Nutrition/Body Care Division. Kelly stayed in that role for 9 years where she handled brand and sales management along with account executive responsibilities. Kelly has always been passionate about plant medicine, wellness and regenerative agriculture.
Kelly loves spending time with her partner and two children. They love camping, hiking, off roading with their two Jeep Wranglers and live music. Gardening, a great cup of coffee and doing yoga are her keys to balance and happiness.
A 26-year Natural Product Industry veteran and natural born health and wellness enthusiast, Leah’s journey started as a child with a health-conscious family that thrived on good food, close friends, and an entrepreneurial spirt. Through family-owned restaurants, catering, dinner groups and early introduction into health food stores, Leah’s path led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics/Nutrition followed by Certification as a Holistic Health Counselor.
Leah’s Industry experience began at Bread & Circus (then acquired by Whole Foods) in the Whole-Body Department where she spent 6 years in purchasing and management supporting consumer health & wellness. Through those years and time spent working with a Holistic Health Center she developed a passion for sale & marketing in the Natural and Organic brand industry which led her to join the Topline Marketing startup team – a rapidly developing & highly acclaimed independent brokerage in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic where she held several roles throughout the years, contributing to the success of this business.
Leah joined the Presence team in 2012 via the acquisition of Topline Marketing, starting as the Northeast Brand/Sales Manager and followed by holding a National Brand Manager position where she oversees Growth Strategy and Execution for the Nutrition Body Care portfolio. Leah is a values-forward leader driving business success with a strong bias for kindness, excellence, consistency, and action.
Leah lives in the beautiful state of Maine, raising two daughters with her Partner, Brooks. You can find her exploring the coastlines by land and sea, getting dirty in her garden, and soaking up all the special moments in life.
Mary Scarcello has been in the Natural Products Industry for over 20 years and has been with PRESENCE for 14 years. Today, Mary serves as PRESENCE’s Senior Director of Natural Sales for the West overseeing the Pacific Northwest, West, Rocky Mountains and Southwest divisions. She prides herself on strong communication, sales and marketing management and execution with detailed oversight of the marketplace always working closely with the sales teams ensuring that our client partner’s goals and initiatives are exceeded.
Mary started in the Natural Products Industry in Southern California working as a sales representative for Frontier Natural Products calling on Whole Foods Markets and independent retailers. She began her foray into brokering with New Connections in 2000 as a Sales Manager directly overseeing the brands and the sales team. Mary joined PRESENCE when the company launched nationally, expanding into the west in 2007. She is a current member of Naturally San Diego.
Mary resides in Valencia, California (30 miles north of Los Angeles) with her husband, John, where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, reading and volunteering with the Bridge to Home Homeless Shelter and the SCV Foster Program. Mary embraces the fast past and everchanging landscape within the Natural Foods Industry – both with our client and retail partners. Mary is proud to be a member of the PRESENCE family.
Mike Seina’s 37 year career in the food industry began when he was 18 years old at Baker’s Supermarkets in Omaha. It was there that Mike’s love for the industry drove him to eventually becoming an Assistant Store Director. When Baker’s sold the company and was no longer run by the Baker family, Mike decided to take the opportunity to make a change and he moved to Virginia. This move opened the world of natural and organic foods where Mike became a Grocery Manager at Fresh Fields. Through a series of changes inside Fresh Field, Bread and Circus and Whole Foods Market, Mike eventually became the Regional Grocery Buyer for the Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic Region. Five years later, the next chapter of Mike’s career brought on a major opportunity as he accepted the role of Sales Manager for BIN Marketing, an all-natural East Coast broker. BIN was acquired by Advantage Sales and Marketing which prompted Mike to look for another avenue to pursue. The goal was to work for a manufacturer but a conversation with PRESENCE’s President, Bill Weiland, changed that trajectory and Mike made PRESENCE his home.
Bill Weiland is a premier salesman and there was no way Mike was not going to embrace the opportunity to work with the premier broker in the Natural Food Industry. As a side note, Mike will always hold the dubious honor of being the second person hired for the East Coast as Pete Psaledas answered Bill’s call before Mike did. Starting as a Regional Sales Manager for the East Coast, Mike became a Director for the Natural Sales overseeing both the East and Midwest. In 2021, Mike’s career came full circle in that he accepted the role as Senior Director on the Conventional Sales Team in the East. Mike has said on more than one occasion that the past 15 years at PRESENCE have been the most productive and satisfying part of his career and he looks forward to the next 15 years at PRESENCE.
Mike likes nothing more than spending time with his wife of 23 years, his two children, and his brand-new grandson who was born in 2020. While Mike has a wide array of interests and many hobbies (possibly too many), its music collecting (i.e. vinyl records and compact discs) that takes up most of his free time.
Nikki Nolbertowicz is the Senior Director of Distributor Relations. In this role she is responsible for the management of PRESENCE’s Headquarter office in South Barrington, IL and the following departments nationally: Distributor Relations, Data Entry, Purchase Orders and Tradeshow and Events.
Nikki got her start with PRESENCE in the summer of 1997. She worked each summer and during holiday breaks while she pursued her bachelor’s degree in Marketing at Southern Illinois University. In November 2001, Nikki joined PRESENCE full-time. Nikki started out as a Distributor Relations Assistant and has worked tirelessly through each position she’s held within the organization to reach her current position. In the 20 years Nikki has spent with PRESENCE, she has developed a deep passion for health and wellness and has gained invaluable industry experience.
Nikki loves spending her time with her family and friends, going to concerts, entertaining, trying new restaurants and enjoys traveling.
Reuben Morales has been in the grocery industry for over 25 years and in the natural class of trade for 14 years. Today, Reuben serves as our Senior Director of Brand Management, overseeing day-to-day operations of the Brand Management Department.
Reuben started in the Conventional Class of Trade in the Northwest market having worked with SC Johnson & Sons for 11 years during which time he held the positions of Sales Representative, Regional Sales Manager in the Northwest, and Corporate Account Executive for the Kroger West divisions. Upon leaving SC Johnson, Reuben joined the leadership team of Mitzvah Marketing as a Business/Sales Manager prior to the acquisition of the company by PRESENCE in 2007.
Reuben currently resides in Federal Way, Washington where he has a passion for supporting community youth sport’s programs and is active in his church’s youth and community programs while spending time with his wife, three sons, extended family and friends. Reuben discovered the natural industry of brands and retailers through working through his family’s medical challenges and finding solutions through the foods they chose. He has a passion for the Natural Products Industry and its impact on enabling a person to live their best life now and is proud to be a part of a company focused on a shared commitment to a legacy of health, the planet and empowering others to a level of excellence in all areas of their life.
Sarah Sturgis has always loved a good health food store. So much so, in fact, that when moving her family across the country, she mapped out potential new hometowns based on proximity to natural food co-ops, trusting that a town that could support a strong co-op was one with which she had shared values.
Having grown up around wholesale buying clubs and macrobiotics, and then having discovered life-changing food sensitivities in her teens, she believes deeply that food is medicine; that our choices at the grocery store impact our heath and that of our communities in a myriad of ways.
Sarah 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. She joined Presence in 2016 and has been in National Brand Management since the formation of the department. Here, she thrives on utilizing her analytical and complex problem-solving skills to develop processes and strategies that support our brands and our teams in this exciting and evolving industry.
Veronica Vanni’s 30 year career in the Natural Foods Industry began soon after graduating from college. Veronica started her career as a manager and buyer at natural foods stores in Long Island and Florida back in the early nineties. She has since worked in almost every facet of the industry including publishing. Veronica’s first foray into the broker world was with BIN Sales & Marketing in both Territory Sales in Florida and then as part of the Brand Management team in their Connecticut headquarter office. Veronica then worked for a number of manufacturers in roles that included Regional Sales and Director of Brand Development. Veronica has also gained experience in the distributor world as a Supplier Relationship Manager at UNFI. In 2016, Veronica joined PRESENCE as the Regional Sales Manager for PRESENCE East.
Today, Veronica serves as our Senior Director of Natural Sales managing the East and Midwest regions. Veronica loves the day-to-day excitement at PRESENCE and being part of a team that is truly dedicated to our brands, retailers and getting the job done.
Veronica spends her free time with her family enjoying music, food and drink, gardening, antiquing, and thrifting. As a New York Mets fan, she survives through some tense baseball seasons.