Board of Directors

Bob Damon

Board Member

Bob has over 30 years of experience working with boards and C-suite level executives on critical organizational and talent management issues. He spent 25 years in senior level operating roles with two global executive search organizations, Spencer Stuart and Korn/Ferry International. Earlier in his career, he had 10 years of business experience in various capacities with Booz Allen Hamilton and Arcata Corporation.

Although he has recruited CEOs for well-known organizations such as Oakley, Levi Strauss, Burger King and the National Football League, he has focused the last 15 years on talent acquisition projects in small/midsize private equity backed companies as well as in companies with existing strong founder inspired cultures. Examples of CEOs in this segment include Boa Technology, Drybar, 5.11 Tactical, G-Form, and Zildjian Company.

His industry focus has been consumer/lifestyle brands, health/wellness/nutrition, specialty retail, food service and outdoor/performance/action sports. Functionally, Bob has recruited CEOs, Board Directors and other strategically important C-Suite executives.

Bob’s ability to identify and differentiate between leaders and professional managers, along with his general business acumen and success in talent management, have led him to advisory roles in many companies. He presently serves on the following boards.

  • Chairman, SHEEX, Inc. – Sheex is a rapidly growing leader in performance bedding and apparel, founded by two former elite athletes—Michelle Marciniak and Susan Walvius.
  • Independent Director, TRX Training – TRX is a well-known leader in the fitness industry, founded by a Navy SEAL, Randy Hetrick.
  • Advisory Board Director, The Avedis Zildjian Company – Zildjian is the market leader in cymbals and drumsticks. The company is almost 400 years old and is matriarchic-led by Craigie Zildjian.
  • Advisory Board Director, Pearsports – Pearsports is the market leader in providing real time audio coaching to the fitness and health industry.
  • Investment Advisory Board Member, Innovate Partners – Innovate is an operationally oriented private investment company focused on growth stage venture capital and early stage private equity.
  • Board Director, Special Operations Fund – The fund was founded by a former National Security Council member and Ambassador, David Miller. The fund provides scholarships and other assistance to the Tier One Special Operations community.

In addition, Bob is a franchisee for the Johnny Rockets restaurant group.

Bob has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Economics and a master’s degree, both from the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University.

Grace Fooden

Board Member

Grace Fooden is a proven brand innovator, inspiring team builder and relentless problem solver with proven operational expertise and design instincts. Skillful in unlocking value, achieving sustained financial performance in both retail and wholesale channels. Experienced with highly diversified global consumer segments and market sectors including turn around and established companies.

Sweet Spot: Big picture thinking and ability to execute.

CURRENT – START UPS

  • Skinte: Advisor – Food & Beauty
  • Cutlan Biotic Beauty: Co-Founder – Skincare
  • Breck + Grace: Co-Founder – Self Help
  • F*Revolution: Founder – Female Empowerment

CORPORATE ROLES

  • Ralph Lauren: VP Women’s Merchandising/Planning
  • C&A: Head of Buying
  • Perry Ellis: SVP Merchandising/Design
  • Warnaco: SVP Merchandising/Design
  • Brands: Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Speedo, Nautica, Anne Cole, Ocean Pacific

John Palmer

Board Member

John E Palmer is President & Chief Executive Officer of EDP Enterprises. Inc.. a full food service management company which he founded 30 years ago in Kansas City, Missouri. The company employs approximately 700 people and serves more than 42,000 meals per day to military troops at Fort Leonard Wood. Missouri.

In 1979, Mr Palmer served as Administrative Assistant to United States Senator Bob Dole In March of 1981 Mr. Palmer was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Department of Transportation where he ultimately reported to the first female Secretary of Transportation. Elizabeth Dole

Mr Palmer is married to Vicki R. Palmer. retired Executive Vice President, Finance & Administration of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. They have one daughter, Alex, who Is pursuing her MBA at the Les Roches School of Hospitality Management in Switzerland.

PAST BOARD MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS

  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – Board Trustee
  • Jazz District Redevelopment Authority – Board Member
  • Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce – Executive Board Member
  • Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
  • Central City School Fund for the Central City Schools
  • Greater Kansas City March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation
  • Co-Chair, Jazzoo Fundra1ser Benefiting the Zoo Educational Learning Fund
  • Executive Committee Kansas City Area Development Council
  • Kansas City Minority Supplier Development Council Board
  • Lyne Opera Executive Committee Member
  • 18th & Vine Gala Co-Chair

EDP ENTERPRISES, INC.

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Kansas City. Underwriter Annual Kids Night Out Dinner 1992-1999
  • Buffalo Soldier Monument, Underwrote week long celebration
  • Greater Kansas City March of Dimes ‘Walk America”, Underwrote meals for 10.000 people

RELATED AWARDS

  • TRADOC Award for Best Dining Fac1l•ty 1991 to 1995 2000 & 2001
  • IMA Award for Best Dining Facility, 2002 to 2004

Lindsey Schwartz

Board Member

Lindsey has over 30 years of experience as an executive in the restaurant/foodservice industry and serves as President & Chief Executive Officer for Schwartz Brothers Restaurants. The company owns and operates four Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks and Chops locations, all located in the Seattle area. Its Schwartz Brothers Bakery pastries and breads can be found in supermarkets along the West Coast including QFC, Fred Meyer, Ralphs and Costco. Lindsey also sat on the board of directors of MOD Pizza and Advisory Board of Nutpods.

Lindsey received a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Southern California.

Matt Geller

Board Member

Matt Geller is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association and the Founding President of the National Food Truck Association. The SoCal MFVA is a non-profit organization that represents upwards of 130 mobile vendors in Southern California. Under Geller’s leadership, the SoCalMFVA has successfully expanded rights and business opportunities for mobile vendors in over 30 jurisdictions in Southern California, while working cooperatively with Health Departments to promote balanced regulations and effective enforcement mechanisms. Geller’s “Association” model has become the national standard for food truck advocacy, with Geller having assisted over twenty cities, including New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Dallas, to establish similar associations. At the request of these regional associations, Geller founded the National Food Truck Association to provide information, strategic partnerships, and a collective voice on interstate issues.

Geller is also an entrepreneur. He is a founding partner and executive of Best Food Trucks, Inc. — a revolutionary software platform that connects food trucks with event organizers, health departments, and consumers.

After almost a decade in the restaurant industry, Geller obtained his juris doctorate from UCLA School of Law in 2008. His recent publications include The New Food Truck Advocacy: Social Media, Mobile Food Vending Associations, Truck Lots, & Litigation in California & Beyond, published in the Chapman Nexus Law Journal, and the forward to David Weber’s The Food Truck Handbook.

Randy Hetrick

Board Member

Randy is the creator of the Suspension Trainer® — among the most prolific pieces of exercise equipment in history–and the founder of TRX, one of the world’s leading training brands. Over the past three decades Randy built a record of unique accomplishments including: collegiate athlete, 14-year Navy SEAL Officer, bootstrap entrepreneur, multi-patented inventor, and growth company CEO whose company earned multiple placements on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies and both local and national honors on the rosters of Best Places to Work. He earned a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California; a master’s from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey; and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Randy is a contributing lecturer on entrepreneurship, branding and leadership at both of his alma maters and added television to his resume in recent years as cohost alongside Jillian Michaels in the reality series “Sweat Inc.” Entrepreneur Magazine recently featured Randy as one of the “50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs” based on his successful battles against knockoffs and counterfeiters in the digital marketplace, and he earned the May 2019 cover of Club Business International as one of the fitness industry’s most innovative entrepreneurs.

Sergio Alfaro

Board Member

Sergio Alfaro is the Co-CEO of InventTV. Sergio has 20 years of experience in television, overseeing companies as EIC and then President/CEO, producing series and specials such as LA Ink, The Rachel Zoe Project, The Alma Awards and The Wayne Brady Show. For over 10 years he worked on Live Events and Award Shows such as The Emmy Awards, Opening of The Superdome after Katrina with U2 and Green Day and Elton John Live to name a few. Sergio is on the board of Voto Latino and The Alfaro Do Good Foundation.