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ROCKY MOUNTAIN

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ASHLEE BENNETT

Western Regional Director

ashlee@yinyangnaturals.com

Ashlee was born and raised in Boulder, CO, where the natural beauty and culture of health and wellness helped to shape her world outlook and ultimately bring her to the Natural Foods Industry. She has a BA from Colorado University in International Affairs and earned her MS from Penn State, where she studied Geography with an emphasis on global food systems. Her passion for all things food easily translated to the broker world, where she has worked with Colorado-based natural retailers for the last four years. She has expertise calling on Natural Grocers, Whole Foods Market, Pharmaca, and Lucky's Market, and is always eager to expand her knowledge and build relationships with new retailers. 

In her free time, Ashlee nurtures her obsession with food by working to deepen her knowledge and understanding of ethnic ingredients, techniques and flavor profiles. She also has a keen interest in helping things grow, keeping an outdoor garden and tending her indoor "garbage garden" composed of items often thrown away but with a little help can be productive again. Whether in rain, sunshine, or snow, she can also be found outside with her husband and her dog, Jack

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BRANDON RICHARDSON

Territory Representative

brandon@yinyangnaturals.com

Brandon was born in SLC, Utah.  After high school, he joined the US Air Force and worked in Avionics.  He mostly worked on the electronics and radar systems of F16s and F22s in CA, CO, TX, MN, VA, and Iraq. 

 

After his time in the military, he studied Psychology and Sales / Business Management at Weber State University.  He spent 10 years in the hospitality industry working for Hilton Worldwide.  He then started working for KeHE as an independent sales representative in Park City and Heber valley before joining the Yin Yang Naturals team.

 

Brandon's free time is spent at the gym, in the mountains / national parks, and traveling the world.  In 2022 Brandon entered a national fitness / physique competition, eliminated in the final round leading to the Top 3. 

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DANNY WELCH

Born in the Black Forest of Colorado Springs, raised on food from scratch with a healthy dose of his father‘s infamous salsa, it’s no wonder a life dedicated to food was in Danny's future.  Danny jokingly says he has a doctorate in retail, with 20 years experience under his belt.  Danny started at 18 in the produce department of a conventional grocery store where his hard work ethic, thirst for knowledge, and eye for trends swiftly moved him into multiple leadership roles throughout the store.  

After almost a decade in the conventional world, Danny took a position at Whole Foods Market in Fort Collins as a produce team member. Within the first year, Danny moved into the produce buyer position where he continued his growth in the natural grocery world.  Danny earned the nickname “double stuff" because of the enormous, eye-catching, photo worthy displays that he built.  After a couple years in the produce department, Danny took a supervisor position on the grocery team and quickly moved up to the ATL position. In the grocery department, he continued his signature displays with one of them getting globally recognition within Whole Foods. In the last 3+ years, Danny has been with Lucky’s Market Fort Collins.  As the grocery manager, he fine tuned much of his experience to curate the store to meet the needs and desires of the local community.  It is now known as a hotspot for many phenomenal local items and a place for those that have fallen in love with quality food.

Danny comes from a family where he is the fourth out of five boys, and has a son of his own. He lives to be outside in any way, shape, or form.  Danny loves to watch and play soccer, carries a Hakki sack in his backpack wherever he goes, enjoys frisbee golf, golf, swimming, as well as just taking off on his bike or feet to chase the sun.  He likes to experiment with food by combining obscure ingredients and seeing how well they play together. He loves to play video games and doodle with his son and also thoroughly enjoys lengthy rabbit hole conversations with his partner!

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DAYNA STERNBERG

Dayna was born and raised in the vast empty state of Wyoming, where she spent summers on her grandparent's ranch.  She learned how to cook, bake and raise a garden from her grandmother.  After receiving an Associates Degree in Fine Arts, she moved to Denver, Colorado to continue her education. 

 

It was in Denver in 2000 that she started working at a Whole Foods Market and discovered her passion for organic and gourmet foods.  She started on the Customer Service Team and worked her way around several departments,  stores, and states before finally realizing her calling as a cheesemonger.  Dayna is a Certified Cheese Professional through the ACS.  She has been a Team Trainer, Buyer, Associate Team Leader and Team Leader. She loves merchandising and using her creativity, is passionate about food and loves sharing her knowledge with customers! 

 

In her free time, Dayna can be found in the pottery studio making mugs, bowls, and other functional products.  She enjoys concerts, museums, and spending time with her many pets. She also needs a certain amount of "ocean time" every year and her partner makes sure to plan vacations accordingly.

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MARTIN MENDEZ

Regional Manager: SoPac + Rocky Mountain

martin@yinyangnaturals.com

Martin was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He started his career in the Natural Food Industry in 2010 at Whole Foods Market. The attraction to natural, organic foods was instant. Through hard work and determination, Martin quickly rose through the ranks and became an Associate Team Leader where he oversaw all of the Grocery operations and ensured that he had the best looking store. He is well versed in the daily operational duties of Natural Foods Stores and knows how to make product stand out. 

Outside of work, Martin enjoys working on sound for film and recording up and coming artist.

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