Senior Territory Manager
Alfonso, or Poncho, as many of us affectionately call him, brings “big brokerage” experience to Yin Yang. He worked first as a store reset manager, then as a sales manager at Advantage Sales & Marketing. He literally covered over a hundred lines, selling in new SKUs and securing prime shelf space for his clients. Through those positions, he has developed solid relationships with store managers and buyers at Henry’s, Sprout’s and Whole Foods Markets.
Before entering the brokering world, he spent 12 years working in the same restaurant, moving his way up from dishwasher to general manager. His perseverance, willingness to learn, and leadership abilities are qualities he brings to Yin & Yang Naturals everyday. Alfonso covers the Orange County and Inland Empire retailers – Mother’s Market, Sprouts, Clark’s, Goodwin’s, etc.
Personally, Alfonso is a proud father of two young children. He has learned to love country music (his wife is a huge country music fan). Felipe and Andrew are also encouraging him to take golf lessons so that they can enter retailer golf tournaments as a fearsome threesome.
Andrew has spent 20 years building brands. With a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, Andrew began his career as a “suit” for Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising offices in Los Angeles and Asia. He worked on branding initiatives for international companies, including Samsung, P&G and Toyota.
In 2004, Andrew returned from Asia to help grow his family’s food manufacturing business. He oversaw the organic certification of two production facilities, and built a new organic brand, Ohana House, from the ground up. Ohana House went national with distribution into all Whole Foods and other major chains. Andrew also oversaw the entry of Ohana House into “mainstream” channels such as Target and Costco, and initiated private label opportunities with Trader Joe’s. After the family business was sold in 2008, Andrew started Yin Yang Naturals. He discovered a passion for helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
Andrew was born and raised in Hawaii. He enjoys stand-up paddle boarding in the islands with his sons, golfing/hacking, and the occasional glass of red wine.
Lead Merchandising Specialist (West)
Andy was born and raised in Los Angeles. He spent most of his childhood playing sports and being around his older brother, who was a role model to him. In 2006, he started working at a Whole Foods Market alongside his brother, who introduced him to the world of organic and healthy foods. Andy started out in one of the smallest stores in Sherman Oaks, and then quickly learned operations and merchandising. He got the chance to move to a faster-paced store at 3rd and Fairfax, which was then followed by the opportunity to help open up WFM Arroyo in Pasadena.
Since 2007, Whole Foods Market Arroyo is where he has called home. He became the Dairy Associate for several years before being promoted to Grocery Associate Team Leader, where he led a team that handled Dairy, Frozen, Bulk, and Grocery. He is passionate about merchandising and loves getting creative in stores and sharing the final product with customers!
On his days off, he loves being outdoors. You can find him on his mountain bike exploring new trails or riding old favorites as well as road biking along the beach coast.
Culture + Engagement Manager
Bianca Blanco, a Michigan native, grew up with a passion for the arts and food. She attended Western Michigan University where she pursued a BA in dance. After moving to Los Angeles she danced professionally with CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Company, touring nationally and internationally. A highlight was when she was a cultural ambassador on behalf of the United States for a tour to South America.
Bianca has been involved with the natural foods world since 2007. She was a Southern California Territory Manager for Frontera Foods, Sukhi’s Indian Cuisine, and Talenti Gelato. She established many great retailer relationships, managed brokers, and developed strategies for growth in her region.
On the Whole Body side of the business, Bianca worked as the Store Manager for the highest volume/profit Neutrogena Skincare center in SoCal and also worked with the Dr. Perricone line of skincare products.
In her personal life, Bianca is an enthusiastic cook and baker. She enjoys making custom cakes and other desserts and was even featured on Cupcake Wars. Bianca is also certified in plant-based nutrition and a Pilates Instructor.
Territory Manager- Wellness
Christina Boyd was born and raised in Northern California. She began her career in natural products 15 years ago at ShiKai, a hair and body care manufacturer, working in customer service, accounting, and inside sales. She went on to work as a personal care and supplements broker.
Christina is passionate about the natural products industry: the brands, the products, the retailers, and the people. She excels at building loyal, long-term relationships with customers.
She recently transferred from Nor Cal YYN to the So Pac team and has been enjoying learning about everything San Diego has to offer- the beaches, gorgeous sunsets, and so many new restaurants to try.
Catherine was born and raised in Southern California. Her parents are Vietnamese immigrants who passed on their culture’s love of food and its focus on fresh and natural ingredients. Catherine studied Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine while also working at Mother’s Market where she started as a cashier and was soon promoted to store bookkeeper. Later she worked for Whole Foods Market, first as the Produce Buyer’s Assistant and then as the Regional Grocery Associate Buyer.
Catherine enjoys thinking about what her next meal is going to be and listening to 60s R&B and Rock. Her friends call her Cup.
Chad, or "CK" as he is known to his friends, was born and raised in Nebraska. His penchant for the outdoors took him to Colorado where he discovered his love for natural food on a road trip to all the great national parks in the western United States. Chad has worked for Wild Oats back in the day and was a store buyer for Whole Foods Kahala Mall before becoming a broker in Hawaii. He also has an extensive background in retail and wholesale wine sales.
When he isn't working, Chad can be found hiking, surfing, golfing and snowboarding.
Director: Conventional Channel
Originally from South Dakota, Dustin was raised in Central California. Being surrounded by agricultural fields and flowers for most of his life, Dustin's appreciation for locally grown fruits and vegetables began at a young age.
After receiving his Bachelors in Business Administration at San Diego State University, he fine tuned his retail expertise while working for Event Network. During his 10 years spent with Event Network Dustin had the opportunity to work in various roles which included managing retail gift shops in both California and Hawaii. While living among the locals in Oahu, Dustin observed the market demand of local natural foods for both retailers and restaurants.
Dustin's appreciation for wholesome and natural foods expanded while working at Safeway as a National Category Manager. During his time there, Dustin supported multiple categories including all conventional and organic vegetables, produce bars, and all premium juices.
In his personal life, Dustin enjoys hiking, camping and spending time outdoors with his wife and two children. When he's not chasing his two toddlers Nico and Nina, he also enjoys a round of golf and snowboarding.
Gabe has been in the natural foods industry for over 15 years. He got his start at Nature’s Best Distribution, which was the largest independent distributor on the west coast. Gabe was a natural in sales; He started by cold calling customers, getting them to buy HABA items, which then expanded to grocery items. It morphed into “Gabe’s Deals,” which was a monthly flyer he created with last minute hip pocket deals pushing volume. Gabe developed a following, and customers from the west coast to the midwest were calling him to negotiate deals.
In the eight years at Nature’s Best, Gabe learned about distribution logistics, the power of networking, and negotiation. After Nature’s Best was acquired by KeHE, he moved to the broker side, working for NS Sales. It was there that he learned about retailer and account management for large national brands. Gabe then moved onto Activation Sales, a smaller beverage incubator/ brokerage. During his time there, he learned how to manage smaller brands that required pioneering. Gabe then started his own brokerage, Perez Natural Sales, specializing in start-up brands looking to break into the Southern California market. Gabe's years in the industry have allowed him to develop personal relationships with many of his retailer customers in Southern California, many of whom he's known since he started his career at Nature's Best.
Gabe is a Southern California native, spending most of his childhood in Downey. He is an avid Angels baseball fan with season tickets. You can find him spending his free time with his family.
Senior Key Account Coordinator
Jess was born and raised in Queens, NY but left the city in 2018 in pursuit of warmer climates and a more laid back lifestyle. She graduated from the International Culinary Center in Manhattan in 2009 and learned the stress and chaos of the NYC restaurant scene early on, working her way up from a Pastry Cook to a Pastry Sous Chef within the span of a year. Looking to pivot her career path, she found an opportunity to step away from the kitchen and into an administrative role within the same industry. In doing so, she learned that being organized is the best tool to have under your belt no matter what position you're in.
She joined YYN in 2019 and although it was her first encounter with the food brokerage world, she quickly learned how much she enjoys being a part of it! With a love for all things food and natural, she brings her attention to detail and passion for staying organized to the table.
In her spare time, she loves to binge-watch TV shows and spend time with her husband and super lazy Basset Hound, Manolo! She also likes to practice calligraphy and help her mother manage her online arts & crafts business.
Luzdivina, or "Lucy", was born in Mexico and raised in Inglewood, CA. Her love for natural products and clean ingredients began when she helped treat her cystic acne and eczema issues. She started her career working at a much-loved family owned natural food store, Rainbow Acres. This is where she was introduced to many of the top tier natural food, body care, and supplement brands. She later moved to another iconic indie, Mother's Market, where she gained experience as a Vitamins and Bodycare Manager. She met with brokers and brands on a weekly basis, analyzed sales, and learned the importance of merchandising, brand awareness and education, and customer service.
In her off-time Lucy enjoys roller skating, reading, and taking her daughter to amusement parks.
Associate Regional Manager
Kristen was born and raised in Orange County, California, where she spent most of her early years playing soccer and keeping up with her 6 siblings playing sports, skiing, and hanging out at the beach. She graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Psychology. During her time there, she worked on campus with the UCSB Health and Wellness team, educating students on nutrition and various health topics. She decided to pursue this passion after graduation by becoming a Certified Nutritionist while gaining hands-on experience working with herbs and supplements at Lazy Acres Natural Market in the Vitamin/Bodycare department.
Kristen continued to gain industry experience in Sales Representative and Brand Building roles, and Vitamin/Body Care Managerial roles at both Lazy Acres and Sprouts Farmers Market. Eventually, this experience steered her towards corporate leadership roles such as Natural Living Analyst and Advertising Coordinator for Lazy Acres and Bristol Farms Markets.
Outside of work, Kristen loves to read and learn about Chinese Medicine, health and longevity hacks, and personal development. She also loves hiking, biking, going to the beach, meditating, and spending time with family.
National Account Manager: Sprouts
Before relocating to Phoenix, Arizona, Laura was a long time Seattle, WA resident. She started out her natural foods career at Whole Foods Market. She was a buyer for 11 years and learned a ton about the business side of grocery and sourcing, which made her super passionate about food. Laura was able to work with local vendors at farmers markets to bring in their products regionally and also received national authorization.
Laura was an Assistant Grocery Team Leader for two years and a Grocery Team Leader for four years, where she earned "Grocery Regional All Star" status. She mentored and promoted numerous Team Members throughout the company. She's passionate about how her food is sourced and loves to cook.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends eating and laughing hysterically. She loves the outdoors and seeking out adventures with her girlfriend and doggie. Fun Fact: In 2004 and 2005 Laura was the Washington State Women's arm wrestling champion.
Senior Territory Manager- Wellness
Lindsey was born and raised under the sunny skies of Orange County, California where she spent most of her early years at beach. In 2002, Lindsey needed a job to help put herself through school. She found a part-time position at her local health food store, Mother’s Market & Kitchen. Quickly realizing that this was so much more than just a job, Lindsey latched on to the opportunity of learning more and moved up and into various positions at Mother’s Market. Combining her love of people and being fulfilled by nurturing others, she accepted an offer to join the buying team at the Mother’s Market headquarter office.
After receiving great mentorship, she was given the opportunity be the corporate level buyer for several categories such as grocery, perishable, and specialty, and she ultimately nestled into vitamins and body care. During this time she helped Mother’s Market open five new stores and triple the size of the buying team. Seventeen years later she still finds herself eager as ever to continue learning and nurturing through the natural industry.
Outside of work Lindsey loves to practice yoga, adventure outdoors, dig her toes into the warm sand, and spend quality time with her husband and daughter.
Regional Manager: SoPac + Rocky Mountain
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.
National Account Manager: Sprouts
Misty was raised in Fort Collins, Colorado where she grew her love for the Great Outdoors. After relocating to the desert in Phoenix, Arizona, she attended The Art Institute of Phoenix and graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts. Misty competed in cooking competitions and performed live cooking demos in the Valley, her favorite of which was “The Grilled Cheese Throwdown”. Being a “foodie,” most of Misty's passions involve food (especially cheese!). It was when Misty left the restaurant industry and started working at Whole Foods Market that her experience with food changed drastically. She grew a true passion for Natural Food that she embraced and loves to share with others.
In her time at Whole Foods Market, Misty started off as a buyer and quickly worked her way up to Team Leader of Grocery, Specialty and Whole Body. She lives in Central Phoenix (and loves it!) and has two rescue dogs, Molly and Missy, who provide countless moments of joy. Outside of work you can find Misty hiking, trolling her local coffee shops, or cooking dinner for friends.