Our Team

Our team includes chefs, scientists, and engineers with decades of experience in the food and agriculture industry. All of us are united in our mission to reduce humanity's footprint on the planet by building a more sustainable food system.

And yes, we're hiring!

Get to know us
A photo of our team

Our Executive Leadership

Our executive team—Doni Curkendall (EVP), Paul Shapiro (CEO), and Joanna Bromley (EVP)—is passionate about using fermentation to save the world!

Our Board of Directors

Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro

Down arrow, click to expand bio

- CEO of The Better Meat Co.

- Author of national bestseller Clean Meat

- Host of the Business for Good Podcast

- Four-time TEDx speaker

20+ years of nonprofit executive experience

Beena Goldenberg

Beena Goldenberg

Down arrow, click to expand bio

- 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

Down arrow, click to expand bio

- 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

Yaqi Gao Grover

Yaqi Gao Grover

Down arrow, click to expand bio

- Former Morgan Stanley VP

- Lever VC Partner

- Alt-Protein Expert

Stu Strumwasser

Stu Strumwasser

Down arrow, click to expand bio

- 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

Adam Bendell



Estee Chang

Director of Capabilities


Eric Christianson

Former CMO

Perdue Farms

Thomas Griffiths

VP of R&D


Yaqi Gao Grover


Morgan Stanley

Glenn Hickman


Hickman’s Family Farms

Kevin Ladwig


Johnsonville Holdings

Wayne Morgan, PhD

President of Protein Products & Sustainability

Golden State Foods

Karen McDonald

Faculty Director

UC-Davis ADVANCE Program

Rob Palleschi


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