Ashley grew up in small town in Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University. She moved to the Big Apple for nationwide work projects, while enjoying living life in Manhattan. With a portfolio of marketing and brand spokes-modeling experience, initially built in the specialty auto industry, Ashley has expertise in brand promotions, press events, brand launch tours, product education, and auto and trade shows.
Moving to the Bay Area in 2013 inspired her dream of incorporating her marketing experience with her passion for natural wellness products. Ashley worked with leading wellness brands such as Amazing Grass, Alaffia, derma-e, and Santevia. It provided the platform to grow in the industry and to share her passion with others.
Aside from learning about cutting edge natural wellness trends, Ashley can be found hiking or in a yoga or Pilates studio, and she'll soon start teaching Pilates Reformer classes in Marin County.
Derek was born in Wichita, Kansas, and got his start in the natural foods industry in the mid ‘90s while attending Wichita State University. He worked at two small, local natural foods stores in Wichita before moving to Lawrence, KS, where he worked at the Community Merc Co+op for several years.
In late 2001, Derek migrated west and ended up in Sonoma County, where he’s been ever since. Not long after moving to Santa Rosa, he stumbled upon Community Market, a worker-run, not-for-profit natural foods store. He knew right away that he had found his next job. He spent the next 17 years there, quickly working his way up to grocery buyer and then manager. He spent six years on the board of directors, and helped design and build Community Market’s second store in Sebastopol, which opened in 2013.
Derek is very passionate about natural and organic foods and products, and genuinely loves working in the industry. When he’s not working with food, cooking, or eating, he’s usually out on his bike somewhere, hanging out at the beach, or home playing music.
Western Regional Director
Erin first fell in love with organic and natural foods while earning her Bachelors of Science in Animal Science & Management at UC Davis. She hopped on the Yin Yang Naturals bus to combine two of her greatest passions: food with a purpose, and the sharing of that food with others! After working at an independent grocery store in the East Bay (Diablo Foods) and hands on with locally raised, high quality eats at the UC Davis Meat Department, she learned that great food has integrity, and natural, wholesome foods are important not only as palate pleasers, but also for our well-being.
Erin enjoys diving deeper into her love for the outdoors, sustainability, and playing music. When she’s not out on the road with Yin Yang she’ll be out on road trips, hikes, her yoga mat, or playing saxophone in her jazz-funk band.
Gina was born and raised in Northern California. Her deep respect for nature started early on, coming from a family of avid campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Her first experience in the natural foods business was working in a small community market in the Lake Tahoe area. Inspired by the owner who wanted to make a difference and live sustainably, she discovered a passion for the same.
Studying everything from massage therapy and herbal healing, to better ways to grow and eat food, Gina’s love of nature and natural healing brought her to Nugget Markets. There she worked as a Healthy Living Specialist/Buyer for 6 years. Educating herself and others on Natural Living in an ever changing industry has been her focus and passion.
She brings this experience to Yin Yang Naturals as a territory manager covering the Sacramento, Davis, Chico and Fresno areas. In her personal life, Gina’s most rewarding endeavor is being a mom. She enjoys gardening, yoga and cooking with friends. She loves being outdoors, kayaking and disc golfing as well.
Senior Territory Manager
Aria was born in Jacksonville, FL and raised in Hilton Head, SC. Always having a healthy love for food and music, he stumbled upon a VegNews flyer at a Vans Warped Tour event in 2004. When he read the flyer he realized that his actions as a consumer could affect greater change in the local community and the world, one purchase at a time. During an 'Ethics of Food' class, while pursuing a Bachelor’s in Philosophy at the University of South Carolina, Aria learned of the book Omnivore’s Dilemma as well as documentaries such as Fast Food Nation and The Future of Food. It was there he was able to gain a deeper understanding of his place in the food industry and how to begin living more of a natural lifestyle.
In early 2012 Aria moved to Santa Cruz, CA and joined the team at Food Bin/Herb Room. After moving up to Bulk Manager, Aria was offered a position at the sister-store, Aptos Natural Foods, to eventually fill the same position. In his seven years at ANF, Aria was promoted from Bulk to Grocery, Wellness and General Manager. He was then given the opportunity to co-own the independent store. It was in this time Aria was able to better understand the natural food industry as he made an effort to focus on intentional brands with a purpose.
Aria is excited to join the Yin Yang Naturals Team. It is a dream of his to represent mission-based natural brands that he can truly believe in alongside a passionate and supportive team with similar values.
Aria loves being outdoors with his fiancee, Nina, and their dog, Loba. His other interests are singing, playing guitar, disc golf, and gaming online with friends in his free time.
HY LONG MICHAEL NGUYEN
Hy Long was born in Vietnam and raised in the natural landscapes of Marin County, CA. At an early age, the connection to nature and its preservation sparked his curiosity to pursue a life of mindful well-being. Upon receiving his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Pacific, Hy Long lived all across the United States as a Regional Consultant implementing Healthcare IT to non-profit community clinics. After 12 years in the Healthcare IT industry, he pivoted his life into a deeper commitment to mindful living by studying Yoga.
Hy Long is RYT500 Certified Yoga Teacher for The Bambini Yoga Project. Bambini Yoga Project's mission is to empower low income and underserved youth with the tools and resources necessary to navigate their academic and social experience with resilience and confidence. Hy Long's classes are noted to come from the heart, sweet, grounded, precise and powerful.
Hy Long embodies all his life experience into Yin Yang Naturals as a Territory Manager. With the pursuit to bring continuous improvement in representing our brands, developing relationships with our partners and leaving the world a better place.
Hy Long is a devoted father and lover of animals, nature, adventure, sports, arts, and music.
Jen is a native Californian and was basically raised in a health food store! At age 9, her family opened "Richard's Natural Foods” which they ran for 17 years. During that time, she obtained much knowledge as a buyer, trainer, and manager, while attending college for nutrition and massage therapy.
She started her journey in the broker industry as South Bay Territory Representative at New Connections Brokerage, then spent 14 years at Natural Specialty Sales where she worked her way up to Senior Unit Manager, calling on New Leaf Markets HQ and numerous independent retailers in the South and East Bay. She has gained trust and wonderful relationships with her accounts.
In her free time, Jen enjoys hiking and kayaking with Charlie (her mini Labradoodle), mountain biking, healthy eating, wine tasting, and teaching spin classes.
Key Account Coordinator
After graduating with a degree in Writing from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Jen spent a few seasons in the NYC publishing scene before trekking back to California. She has spent the last 9 years leading and growing teams for Mother’s Market & Kitchen, Bristol Farms and Lazy Acres, all while continuing her education in Ayurvedic Medicine and Nutrition. Jen pursues a healthy lifestyle, viewing food as medicine and every experience as an opportunity for adventure.
Always needing a creative outlet, Jen's hobbies range from gardening to writing to metal fabrication and back around to cooking homegrown food with a good glass of wine in her hand. Native to California, Jen is committed to seeing the state thrive, starting with her new community in Sacramento where she shares a home with her husband and her cat, Professor Seamus.
Marci was born and raised in Truckee, Ca. She grew up skiing and enjoying the fresh mountain air. She has
had a passion for the natural products industry since high school. She moved to San Diego and went to
school for massage therapy. She then continued her education at the University of Natural Medicine and she
is currently working on her Bachelors of Natural Health Science’s.
She started her journey at Henrys Farmer Market in San Diego as an Assistant Service Manager for three years. Then she Transferred to Whole Foods Market in Reno, NV. She started buying for the lifestyles sub team and was promoted to vitamin buyer shortly after.
She lives in Truckee, CA with her daughter, Larissa, who is seven years old. She enjoys spending time
with her family and friends. Her true passion lies with the beautiful mountains that she gets to spend most
of her time.
Nanci is a third-generation Bay Area resident, which provided her with a great love for gardens year-round, a close-knit family with rooted traditions, and appreciation for nature. A perfect day includes a local road trip with the family (daughter Siena and son Brandon) and dogs Phil (husky) and Frosty (malamute) to some of their favorite places: the Redwoods, Monterey, or San Francisco. Whether hiking, chill’n or having a picnic, she enjoys being with family and nature.
Nanci considers herself quite lucky to have had a colorful career with many different experiences, incorporating her love for the environment, business, and food. From starting at Humboldt State to graduating from USF in Organizational Behavior, she worked for a large corporation in marketing, sales, and training. She then had the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of teaching culinary arts, and worked as a private chef. Most recently, she worked in CPG/Food Services in the coffee industry for Kicking Horse Coffee and Peerless Coffee.
The culture at Yin Yang embodies her appreciation for natural/organic products and retailers and allows her to work with people who share similar interests.