SOUTHERN PACIFIC

Alfonso Jara

Territory Manager

Andrew Chae

Founder

Bianca Blanco

Territory Manager

Catherine Nguyen

Finance Manager

Chad Kroeger

Territory Manager

Dustin Mitzel

Regional Manager - Supermarket

Ivana Haines

Territory Manager

Jess Junco

Key Account Coordinator

Lindsey Baker

Territory Manager - Wellness

Martin Mendez

Territory Manager

Misty Mchone

Territory Manager

Nicole Suttner

Key Account Coordinator & KeHE Lead

Troy Taylor

Senior Territory Manager

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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, Eliu and Andrew are also encouraging him to take golf lessons so that they can enter retailer golf tournaments as a fearsome foursome.

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. In 2018, Andrew created a new merchandising division, Hustle & Grow, to further assist brands in executing at store level. 

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. 

Bianca Blanco, a Michigan native, grew up with a passion for the arts and food. She attended Western Michigan University on full scholarship 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. 

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.

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. 

Jessica was born and raised in Queens, NY, but has called Arizona home for a year.  Graduating from the International Culinary Center in 2009, she learned the stress and chaos of the NYC restaurant world early on. She later dove into customer service and administrative work in order to expand her knowledge of the industry. With a love and passion for all things food and natural, Jessica is excited to join the team and learn a new side of the business.


In her spare time, she loves to binge-watch TV shows, drink bottled beer to add caps to her beer cap collection, and book travel with her husband based on what they want to eat!

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. 

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.

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.

After completing her Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of South Florida, Nicole headed out on a summer-long road trip, exploring and camping across the country to eventually land in the Pacific Northwest to attend East West College’s massage therapy program.

While attending school, Nicole connected her passion for wellness and healthy living to a position at the Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon: from cashier to Whole Body Team Member to Body Care buyer. Nicole completed her 801 hours of massage school in 2007 and relocated to Santa Fe, NM to start a family.  After four years in the desert, Nicole and her family happily moved back to the place that has always been home, the Pacific Northwest, to join the Yin Yang Naturals family. Her favorite place to be is anywhere, doing most anything, with her favorite people: her husband and their two young daughters. She prefers non-fiction, coffee over tea and running in the winter. Obsessed with details, Nicole could while away a day studying mid-century architecture and design.  And if she could have her way, every Sunday would start in the wee hours of the morning in her studio with 25 pounds of clay and nowhere else to be.

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, Troy became interested in healthy lifestyle while training for his black belt in Taekwondo in 2009. Eating healthier was a way for him to increase his performance and improve his life, which led him to a passion for the natural food industry and the products within it. He worked at several local independent natural food stores, growing from a cashier to buyer. He learned merchandising, logistics, product mix, and building relationships within the industry.

Troy joined Yin Yang Naturals, the first time, as a Territory Manager in Norcal. Leaving for an opportunity to live in a famous ski town in the Rocky Mountains, Troy found himself homesick after a particularly long winter and returned to Yin Yang Naturals and California, but this time in San Diego.

 

Troy enjoys martial arts, competing in running races, CrossFit, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and pretty much anything outside. He also loves to cook.

Hailing from the Gilroy/Santa Cruz area of CA, a true NorCal native, Ivana was brought up embedded in natural foods. Her love for the outdoors, quality eating and a healthy lifestyle was all around her being raised in the “salad bowl of America.” Her foundation paved the way for a career in the natural food industry. She started working in a small health food store at age 18, and has since elevated into food buyer, merchandiser for RUNA, account territory manager with D.O.V.E Distributors, and has spent a few years at Whole Foods Market as a Grocery Order Writer.

 

Ivana graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from San Francisco State University. Near Eastern Archaeology, learning about different cultures, and also cooking different cuisines, keeps her happy. Ivana is the mom of two funny and charismatic children.Her home is in Tucson, but goes back to the Bay Area to fill her love cup any chance she gets. Can't get enough of that beach fog! In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, camping, dancing, karaoke and running in the desert with her puppy. Her happy place is being surrounded by trees and the river while sipping on a cup of hot coffee.

© 2019 Yin Yang Naturals 

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