Co-founder, Bright Pharma
Tess Barr has been formulating products for many industries since 1988. While raising a family she formulated and wrote patents for 23 years on everything from transdermal drug delivery systems to refrigerant coolant. Her work resulted in a nomination for inventor of the year. To date, she holds 25 U.S. patents and eight worldwide patents. Through these patent endeavors, Tess teamed up with Karl Cao, Bright Pharma Caps Inc.’s technical director, and his wife in 2005. In 2011, Bright Pharma Caps was formed and the development of the world’s first USDA Organic certified capsule came to life.
Vice President Total Wellness, NielsenIQ
Sherry Frey brings more than two decades of industry experience to her role as Vice President, Total Wellness at NielsenIQ. With a background in market research, innovation and consulting, she has elevated clients across the fresh, CPG and wellness industries, providing forward-thinking insights, combined with practical strategies.
In addition to leading NielsenIQ’s Total Wellness team and industry engagement, Sherry has been a featured speaker at many national and international industry events and is often sought as a media and analyst resource on topics related to consumer health, wellness and environmental issues. Sherry’s view of health and wellness spans beyond personal health and wellness, encompassing how we collectively think about the health of the planet.
President, Protein Research
Ashley Matheson-Scholl, with a cumulative experience spanning 18 years, has dedicated her expertise to understanding the intricacies of contract manufacturing within the realm of dietary supplements and nutritional products, encompassing powder, tablet, and capsule formulations. As the driving force behind Protein Research, situated in Northern California, her clientele predominantly comprises natural brands, a significant proportion of which boast organic certifications. In a collaborative venture, Protein Research joined forces with CCOF Organics in the early 2000s, establishing a partnership that extends unwavering support to organic clientele throughout the product certification process. An advocate of health and wellness, Ashley's personal dedication resonates deeply within the industry she loves. She oversees her team's commitment to delivering quality work, creating an environment of trust that positions Protein Research as the go-to manufacturer for reputable brands.
Head of Sustainability, Ciranda, Inc.
As head of sustainability for Ciranda, Joe is aligning the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. He works with organizations including Marbleseed, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) Sustainability Council and Organic PAC, and Wisconsin’s Green Tier Climate Charter, among others.
Joe has been a passionate supporter and advocate for all things organic, sustainable and natural since he was young. Growing up near Duluth, Minn., he developed a great appreciation for nature while exploring the outdoors and camping.
Today, he lives in Hudson, Wis., where Ciranda is headquartered, with his wife and two daughters. His family is a strong supporter of CSAs (community-supported agriculture). Joe is currently serving as board president of his local natural food co-op, where he’s helped lead membership to historic levels. Joe and his family spend time together hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, fishing and gardening.
Global Director of Marketing, Ashland
Maxine Weber is the global director of marketing for Ashland’s nutraceutical business. In this role, Maxine works on strategic business initiatives and long-term innovation. Prior to joining Ashland, Maxine worked for another ingredient supplier and several consumer products companies. Maxine has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
Founding Partner, Strengthening Organic Systems, LLC
Gwendolyn Wyard has been actively working in the organic industry for over 28 years. She is a Founding Partner and Manager of Strengthening Organic Systems (SOS), an advisory firm dedicated to organic supply chain integrity and fraud prevention. Prior to SOS, Wyard served for more than a dozen years as the Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs for the Organic Trade Association (OTA) where she worked on the development of policy strategy through regulatory engagement in the interest of OTA's mission and its members. While at the trade association, Wyard was the lead developer and author of the association’s Organic Fraud Prevention Guide, now the industry standard reference for excellence in achieving integrity across complex organic global supply chains. In her early career, Wyard was an organic inspector and served as Oregon Tilth’s Technical Specialist in organic policy and technical review of materials for use in organic products. Wyard holds an advanced degree in Fermentation Science with a minor in Chemistry. She served on the OMRI Board of Directors for 12 years and was the North American representative on the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Advisory Board.