Our Team

Our team includes chefs, scientists, engineers, and salespeople with decades of experience in the food and agriculture industry. Making better meat is our mission, and that starts with bringing together experts in both animal and plant protein to build a more sustainable food system.

If you’re interested in joining our team, we welcome hearing from you.

Get to know us
A photo of our team

Our Senior Leadership

Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being our CEO, Paul is the author of the national bestseller, Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, and the host of the Business For Good Podcast. A four-time TEDx speaker, he has twenty years of experience as a nonprofit executive and has published more than a hundred articles on food sustainability, from daily newspapers to academic journals. In addition, of course, to his wife Toni and their very friendly pit bull Eddie, he’s an avid lover of three As: animals, astronomy, and athletics.

Doni Curkendall

Doni Curkendall

Senior Vice President of Operations

Doni's driving passion in life is to use the power of business to help solve social problems. Before serving as our Senior Vice President, as VP of Operations of Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada, Doni worked to help people with disadvantages achieve self-sufficiency. By the end of her nine years at Goodwill, she was managing operations for $10 million in annual revenue and oversaw a team of 250 employees. She earned her MBA from California State University, during which time she also served as a career mentor for Women's Empowerment, an organization helping homeless women gain meaningful employment. In her spare time, Doni reads Spanish literature, hikes with her dog Penny Lane, and, as her dog's name implies, loves listening to The Beatles.

Our Board of Directors

Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro

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CEO of The Better Meat Co.

Beena Goldenberg

Beena Goldenberg

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- Former CEO of Hain Celestial Canada

- Former CEO of Cultivate Ventures

- Chairperson, Food & Consumer Products of Canada

- Chairperson, Plant Based Foods of Canada

- CEO of The Supreme Cannabis Company

Brian Ottens

Brian Ottens

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- Formerly worked in new car design at Ford Motors; now at NASA for over 20 years

- Chief Engineer for the U.S.‘s contribution to Europe’s first Mars rover (2022 launch)

- Early Better Meat Co. investor

Milena Esherick, PhD

Milena Esherick, PhD

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- Director, Wright Institute
- Expert in psychology of dietary change
- Founder, Bay Area Plant Based Professionals

Stu Strumwasser

Stu Strumwasser

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- Managing Partner, Green Circle Capital (focused solely on food & beverage)

- Investment professional since 1990 at Paine Webber (now UBS) & Oppenheimer & Co.

- Former CEO of Snow, a natural soda company

Our Board of Advisors

Adam Bendell

CEO

Toniic

Estee Chang

Director of Capabilities

Google

Eric Christianson

Former CMO

Perdue Farms

Thomas Griffiths

VP of R&D

Freshly

Yaqi Gao Grover

Structerer

Morgan Stanley

Glenn Hickman

CEO

Hickman’s Family Farms

Kevin Ladwig

President

Johnsonville Holdings

Wayne Morgan, PhD

President of Protein Products & Sustainability

Golden State Foods

Karen McDonald

Faculty Director

UC-Davis ADVANCE Program

Rob Palleschi

CEO

Motel 6

Kathy Kennedy

Vice President

SPI Group

Paul Schwartz

Retired entrepreneur CEO & CPA

Anna Sweet

Co-Founder of Sweet Farm, Gaming Executive, Venture Investor