5 Women-led companies at Expo West
Expo West kicks off on March 8, which also happens to be International Women's Day. With the global day celebrating the social, economic, and political achievements of women playing out in the backdrop, the expo is a reminder of just how underrepresented women are in the c-suite.
Women taking the lead
Natasha Dhayagude, CEO and co-founder of Chinova Bioworks - Booth 592
Chinova Bioworks is a food technology company that was founded in 2016 to develop natural, clean-label preservatives extracted from mushrooms for the food and beverage industry. Chinova is headquartered in New Brunswick, Canada, and 90% of the team is made up of women practicing in STEM fields.
Natasha Dhayagude, CEO and co-founder of Chinova Bioworks, was named Startup Canada’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 and Startup Canada’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 for her role in co-founding Chinova. Since then, she has raised over $4.5 million in capital investment from major food-technology venture capitalists and has formed strategic partnerships with major multinational producers in the food-technology industry.
Danna Pratte, CEO and founder of NB Pure - Booth 3815
NB Pure is a Phoenix, Arizona-based nutritional supplement manufacturing and distribution company that makes pure, all-natural products. The CEO, wife, and mother to three boys, said she is inspired by her friends and family to continually push the industry forward. Knowing many people with health issues, she has worked to make wellness feel approachable for those in need, all the while navigating a male-dominated industry to become a successful entrepreneur.
During a NutraWomen Wednesday interview, Pratte explained how her passion for health and wellness extends beyond NB Pure. Pratte also founded The Candidly, a digital wellness brand that provides women in the 40+ demographic with a thoughtful platform on subjects like mental health, beauty and wellness.
Nina Barton, CEO of Vytalogy Wellness - Booth 3857
Last month, two nutritional supplement brands, Natrol and Jarrow Formulas, officially came together as a new company, Vytalogy Wellness. Natrol and Jarrow Formulas will still be the names of the products consumers have come to know. The company said the new corporate name Vytalogy, which stands for the science of vitality, better represents the company’s commitment to bringing energy and wellness to consumers’ lives.
In July, Nina Barton was named chief executive officer of Jarrow Formulas and Natrol after leaving her global chief growth officer position at Kraft Heinz.
Barton, who lives by the mantra “Don't just build a team, build a movement,” leads with more than 600 employees at the Los Angeles-based company.
Tracey Halama, CEO of Vital Proteins - Booth 3215
Nestlé Health Science recently finalized its acquisition of Vital Proteins, a Chicago-based collagen brand.
As part of the completion of the acquisition, Tracey Halama has been named CEO of Vital Proteins. According to Nestlé Health Science CEO Greg Bayer, Halama had been an invaluable asset to the business the past eight years when she served as chief revenue officer and senior vice president of sales at the company.
Halama succeeds Kurt Seidensticker, founder of Vital Proteins, who is stepping aside to assume a new role as a Nestle Health Science advisor.
Halama is a University of Michigan grad who describes herself as a horse and dance mom who enjoys wellness, technology and the arts. She has stated that a major goal of hers is to continue to make collagen more mainstream.
Naomi Whittel, CEO of ReserveAge Beauty - Booth N1844
Reserveage offers beauty and wellness sourced from nature and supported by science. Naomi Whittel has several brands aimed at enhancing the natural processes of the body and supporting overall health and wellness goals.
The CEO and mother of four was born on an organic biodynamic farm in Switzerland and raised in Europe. She said she was destined to work in health and wellness and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
During an interview on NutraWomen Wednesday, Whittel said “We have to have seats at the table and the men need us to do that as well, so that we can bring different solutions to the scenarios. We need the diversity, just like nature needs diversity, just like our microbiome needs diversity.”