Our Management Team
Garden geeks, free-thinkers, Harley riders, dog lovers...... and deeply devoted, well-trained, passionate people. We consider ourselves very lucky indeed to be able to work with such an awesome and eclectic group of professionals. Take a read through the bios of our talented management team to get a little more up close and personal with us.
“Many medicinal plant species are collected in the wild mainly by local and indigenous people that are sometimes impoverished and struggle to preserve their culture and communities. We work closely with organizations like Fair Trade and Fair Wild—organizations that assist communities in economic development and social empowerment, investing in change from poverty to prosperity. With the support of our health conscious consumers, we believe we share an opportunity to end poverty, end hunger, rebuild families, restore self sufficiency and economic stability in these rural and indigenous communities.
"It isn’t necessary however to travel to distant native villages to see that the entire planet desperately needs new business models which are non-exploitive, free from discrimination, environmentally sustainable, nurture our spirits and serve humanity. Traditional Medicinals is a vision realized, and after all these years, I am so pleased that these ideals remain fundamental to the core values of the company.
"If you have read thus far, you too must share these common values. Together we stand on the threshold of something new, something important, and something we can pass on to our children and the next generation. To expand upon this common purpose we must recognize and encourage spirit leadership within business, in our own communities, and in our families. Thank you so very much for your support of Traditional Medicinals"
A former CPA with Ernst & Young, Blair received his MBA from The University of Chicago in marketing and finance. He transitioned into the natural products industry nearly fifteen years ago from working as a brand manager at Nestle Foods, one of the largest food companies in the U.S. Subsequent to Nestle, Blair became the business development manager at Fantastic Foods.
Prior to his most recent position with Natural Snacks, LLC, Blair was president of Alternative Medicine, a multi-media publishing company. During his five-year tenure he transformed the company from an unprofitable fledgling organization, into a high growth and profitable enterprise.
Blair had been drinking our teas for many years, but it was not until a visit to the company that he realized the extent of our commitment to our employees, to our farmers and collectors around the world and to instituting sustainability and social responsibility into every aspect of its business—from field to manufacturing.
Citing our reinvention of the standard business model as inspiration, Blair is excited to inherit nearly 40 years of commitment to product quality and consumer trust, and looks forward to continuing the company's fulfillment of its mission: connecting people to the power of plants.
Seeking a high growth opportunity with an ethical, mission-driven company, Matt landed here at Traditional Medicinals, where he has led a transformation of the Marketing function and of the Traditional Medicinals brand. He's also become deeply fond of our area's wild fennel plants (always making sure to grab a handful while biking the local trails). When he’s not motorcycling, you’ll find Matt running, hiking and biking the trails and roads of Sonoma County, tasting wine, and enjoying a hot yoga class (not in that order, of course).
Katie has been with us since 1997 and is definitely one of our preeminent herbal experts, as well as a key member of our management team. She has been responsible for developing our Quality Control testing laboratory and testing programs, as well as growing the QC department from a staff of 5 to 12. She's been instrumental in our work to transition to mostly organic, pharmacopoeial ingredients. She's also devoted time over the past number of years to an agricultural study of senna (the primary ingredient in our popular Smooth Move teas). Prior to her work with us, Katie spent a decade in the natural products industry at Celestial Seasonings and 4 Health.
Katie brings an exceptional level of knowledge and passion to her work in Technical Services, where she oversees our Quality Control, Legal & Regulatory, Research & Development, and Purchasing & Planning Departments. Katie's advocacy for plants—whether that shows up in a commitment to pharmacopoeial standards, rigorous quality control processes, rational formulation approaches or sustainability efforts—has fundamentally influenced the culture of our organization and we are very grateful for her contributions.
When not in the lab, you can find Katie working in her organic garden, which she aspires to turn into a small scale farm, where she grows herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruit and nut trees on her urban lot.
Josef is very active in the herbal industry and his work with medicinal herbs extends beyond the confines of our tea company. He is an Advisory Board member of the American Botanical Council (ABC), Advisory Board member of Biodiversity Watch Journal, Advisory Committee member of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), Contributing Editor of HerbalGram (Journal of the ABC), Editorial Board member of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM), member of the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group (MPSG) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC), member of the Medicinal and Essential Oils Crops Germplasm Committee (MEO-CGC), and member of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Dietary Supplements and Herbal Medicines Monographs Expert Committee.
Josef brings an intense rigor to his work and is a passionate champion for Traditional Herbal Medicine (THM) practices as well as sustainability initiatives. These, among many of his contributions, have had a deep and lasting influence on our culture.
Janine has been with us since the early 1980's. She was drawn to the company out of her own deep belief in the time-honored tradition of using plants to restore health and vitality, which has worked wonders for her, then and now.
Her Human Resources philosophy is to cultivate a work environment that fosters employee development, teamwork and safety. She is involved in all aspects of Human Resources from job recruitment to wage increase guidelines, from guidance in the application of employment policies to interviewing and employment offers. Janine is one of those people that others just feel comfortable with, and you can often find her with her door closed, having a private chat with an employee who may need a listening ear.
When Janine first started her career with us, she envisioned working in a place where she could love her work and work for what she loves. While Janine's greatest day-to-day rewards come from working with wonderful co-workers, she also experiences the deeper rewards of participating in meaningful work.
One day, while out in our herb garden, Janine was reminded of the gentle power of plants and plant-based products by the buzz of the hundreds of bees as they rushed from the fragrant blossoms of lavender, sage, rosemary, yarrow and hyssop. These realizations, along with helping to create a work place in which ecology, sustainability, mission and values shape the work experience, are Janine's greatest accomplishments.
Of course, like all of our employees, Mary is much more than the efficiency increases and operational expertise she brings to her work each day. An avid outdoorswoman, mother of two grown children, gardener and dog lover (her pal, Otis, often comes to visit our offices), Mary relocated from Colorado in order to work with us. It was important to her to come work for a company whose values she agrees with and whose commitment to producing a quality, sustainable product makes her proud. Of course, it didn't hurt that we're located in beautiful Sonoma County where she can enjoy the coasts, Wine Country and her garden.
While Ted is certainly proud of his 25 years of Supply Chain Management experience—with 20 years at Hewlett Packard/Agilent, as well as managing purchasing and planning for La Tortilla Factory and FullBloom Bakery before coming to us—he's probably proudest of his two kids, one of whom is a law student at UC Hastings Law School and the other whom attends Yale University (excellence obviously runs in the family).
Ted came to Traditional Medicinals drawn by our commitment to Fairwild, Fair Trade and sustainability and the deeply rooted values of the founders of this company, which he feels are shared by all of the employees.
Ted and his wife of 30 years, Joy, spend much of their free time enjoying the simple pleasures of their "mini-farm," where they grow vegetables, fruit trees and dream of one day converting their two acres into a retirement resort for seniors who can enjoy the pleasures of gardening, small animals and a semi-rural environment.