Who We Are

FOUNDER



Seleyn DeYarus

SELEYN DEYARUS

            Seleyn DeYarus is founder and executive director of At the Epicenter.  Seleyn is dedicated to catalyzing values-based business leadership to bring forward a more inclusive, healthy and future positive paradigm for business. Seleyn was co-owner and CEO of a Certified B Corporation, Best Organics, Inc, an all-organic on-line gift basket and brand promotion company, which she sold in 2016. She was the Development Director for The Organic Center, a 501c3 scientific research organization. She was co-owner and Managing Partner of Compass Natural Marketing, a boutique PR agency serving the Natural and Organic Products Industry for eleven years. Seleyn served as a White House intern under the Reagan administration in the President’s Speech Writers Research office, where she was personally selected by President Ronald Reagan. Seleyn serves on the Advisory Board of the Prairie Dog Coalition of the Humane Society of the United States. She has a B.A. degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she was elected President of the Student Government Association. She has lived in Colorado for twenty-six years, enjoying the beauty and power of the Rocky Mountains and the majestic and endangered prairie ecosystems, which are home to the prairie dog and many other threatened species for which she advocates for better stewardship to ensure the wellbeing of all life for generations to come. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

KATHERINE DIMATTEO

            Katherine DiMatteo is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Food Trade Association as of November 2013. She has worked in a variety of capacities within the organic industry since 1990. In addition, DiMatteo continues as a managing partner at Wolf, DiMatteo + Associates, a consulting firm whose specialists deliver effective strategies to help organic products and businesses grow. Formerly the executive director of the Organic Trade Association from 1990 to 2006, she was instrumental in shaping the outcome of the U.S. National Organic Program standards and the U.N. Codex guidelines for organically produced foods. DiMatteo recently served as the president of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements Board of Directors and is a founding member of The Organic Center’s Board of Directors. Katherine serves as President on At The Epicenter's Board of Directors.

KIM RIETHER COUPOUNAS

           Kim Riether Coupounas is a visionary leader and entrepreneur who is a passionate advocate for responsible business and a firm believer in the power of the corporation to do good in the world. Kim serves as a Director of B Lab, a nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations and serves a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. Kim is also co-founder, former CEO and CSO of GoLite, a global mission-driven outdoor apparel and equipment company. She earned an A.B. Cum Laude in Philosophy from Princeton University, an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Kim serves as Treasurer on At The Epicenter's Board of Directors. Among her deep passions are time with her family and time outdoors, trail running, hiking, singing, doing yoga and martial arts, drinking great wine, and climbing big mountains.

ANGELA McELWEE

            With over 25 years of experience in the natural products industry, Angela McElwee has had the opportunity to build structure, vision, and teams at many levels - as a retailer, board member, community member, and as the leader of a mission-driven vertically integrated manufacturer.
As the President of Gaia Herbs, she has stewarded growth, strategy, and the building of a world-class team for North America's top herbal supplement brand for over a decade, starting in May 2008 as Vice President of Sales. In 2013, she was promoted to VP of Sales Operations, and appointed to the Board of Directors, and began serving as President in August of 2016. These roots have enabled her to dig deeply what it means to be a business that measures success by means of a new set of standards, considering people and planet as valued stakeholders and using success indicators that go beyond profitability. In that spirit, Angela led work to certify Gaia Herbs as a Living Wage Employer in 2016, and as a B Corporation in 2018. Her tenure has seen the natural products legacy brand through tremendous growth, innovation, and industry change, all while remaining true to its mission of connecting plants and people. This is humble work - producing herbal supplements, and operating a certified organic farm - yet it has a profound meaning for Gaia's consumers, team members, and customers, as well as for the health of soil, water, and air. She is a passionate advocate for using business as a vehicle to promote positive change, and brings that same ethos to her work as a Founding Board Member for Naturally Austin, a nonprofit working to nurture impact businesses in Central Texas, and to her volunteer work with other social impact focused organizations. Her love affair with the natural products industry, which began when she was 16 years old working in the supplement aisles of her local health food store, continues to this day. Angela serves as Vice President of At The Epicenter's Board of Directors.  A vegetarian and organic gardener since birth, Angela has been writing poetry for 30 years, and considers herself a lifelong student of ethnobotany, mastering the art of kitchen fermentation (ideally in the form of a perfect loaf of sourdough bread), and conscious leadership practices. When not burying her nose in a book or her hands in the dirt, she can be found at home in the Austin Hill Country with her husband and their 4 daughters.

ADVISORY BOARD



GREGORY ADAMS

           Gregory Adams is the president of CeresNexus LLC, and Planetary Harvest, companies which are transforming the global food chain through innovative structures, systems, technology, and tools. Local and global intent and collaboration is at the heart of this ecosystem that eliminates the need for pesticides and GMO seeds while improving health and sequestering maximum carbon. Gregory spent much of 2016/17 learning how biodynamic farms, conventional food processors, food banks, wholesale and retail markets in Southeast Asia, China, Middle East, North America and Europe could contribute to the emerging future of regenerative agriculture. Gregory is on a visionary’s quest to unify the global food system democratically and with heart resonance. He is committed to this viable economic opportunity through alchemic alignment of what’s best for people and the planet. In his spare time Greg can be found enjoying nature with family, or playing the piano on the world stage.

MARCI ZAROFF

            Marci coined the term and pioneered the market for ECOfashion, and is an internationally-recognized ECOlifestyle entrepreneur, educator and expert. Founder of Under the Canopy, Producer of THREAD|Driving Fashion Forward, and Co-Founder of Good Catch and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Marci has been instrumental in driving authenticity, environmental leadership & social justice worldwide for over two decades. Currently President of MetaWear, the first Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified and Cradle to Cradle certified turnkey factory in the United States, and Director/Advisor on numerous Boards: the Organic Trade Association, Textile Exchange, Fair Trade USA, Fashion Revolution Day, Cradle-to-Cradle’s Fashion Positive and Teens Turning Green. Marci is featured in Eco Amazons: 20 Women Who are Transforming the World and has received countless recognitions, including New York Moves Power Woman Award, The Natural Product Industry’s Socially Responsible Business Award, Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award and a prestigious Henry Crown Fellowship of The Aspen Institute.

KATE DILLON LEVIN

           Kate Dillon Levin is the VP of Marketing for North America at Ecosphere+, a venture founded by the award winning Althelia Climate Fund, whose mission is to grow markets that value carbon and incentivize sustainable business models. Kate has worked on REDD+ and sustainable land use for the past nine years at Fundacion Natura Bolivia, UNDP Equator Initiative, Code REDD, and Stockholm Environment Institute, focusing on scaling and mainstream private sector support for sustainable land use finance. Kate earned a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009 where she co-authored a prize-winning thesis on REDD+. Kate’s interest in sustainable land use and community-led economic development follows a long career as a fashion model during which she was known as a ground-breaker and a passionate advocate for environmental and humanitarian causes. In her spare time, Kate can be found tap dancing, knitting, and playing outside with her son at home in Seattle.

CHRIS BENTLEY

            Chris Bentley has a long history of successful entrepreneurship and relationship-building. He was a founding partner of Aspen Pet Products, which he and his partners built from the ground up to become the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of pet accessories. Since 1979, Chris has provided specialty sales, marketing, and strategic guidance for a diverse array of companies. Recently, his lifetime passion for the environment led Chris to set out on a journey to green up the pet industry. That venture evolved into what is now the Pet industry Sustainability Coalition. The Coalition now has over 150 members and has become a force for guiding an entire industry toward better management of its environmental and social impacts. He serves on the board of the University of Colorado School of Business Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. He is a proud dad of a teenage daughter and loves snowboarding, biking, camping, rollerblading, sailing, horseback riding, gardening and adventure traveling.

TINA OWENS

           Tina Owens is the Senior Director of Agriculture for Danone North America, the largest public benefit corporation and the largest Certified B Corporation in the world. Tina leads the charge for regenerative agriculture practices, farmer profitability, unique animal feed supply chain development and regenerative financing. She also oversees Danone’s public commitment to soil health, working with partners Cornell University and EcoPractices. Tina’s passion is creating agricultural systems that incentivize farmers to convert to practices that increase soil organic matter.

Prior to Danone, Tina led sustainability and strategic sourcing at Kashi Company including the brands Bear Naked, Stretch Island Fruit Company, and Pure Organics. During her tenure at Kashi she led the strategy on eight commodities to convert farmers to organic practices via the company’s collaborative effort with QAI on the Certified Transitional protocol. Under Tina’s leadership this program returned over $2 million in increased profitability from 2016 to 2018 across a cohort of 14 farms. Tina instituted responsible sourcing programs related to honeybee health, cocoa, wheat and oats. In 2011 Tina achieved the first round of Non-GMO Project Verified products for Kashi and continued to support the Non-GMO Project Renovation work for the full Kashi portfolio.

Tina and her family live on 12 acres in Michigan where they are transitioning previously farmed land to grow a variety of food using an agroforestry and regenerative approach.

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