My J.E.D.I Why: “I am passionate about JEDI because for our industry to thrive and drive better health outcomes for everyone in our society over time, we need the best talent. Period. Working as an industry to build and boost the diversity of our talent, backgrounds, perspectives and lived experiences will bring great benefits to everyone, and will help us ensure that the impact potential of our entrepreneurs and companies can be maximized for the benefit of our entire ecosystem and society as a whole”
John Foraker recently left his role as President of Annie’s, Inc. and is a cofounder and CEO of Once Upon a Farm. He is a leading authority in the organic and natural foods industry. With more than 20 years of business experience and a sharp focus on sustainability and social responsibility, Foraker’s vision for growing Annie’s has always relied on transparent leadership and an over-arching commitment to creativity, innovation and honesty. In addition to his role as President, Foraker also leads within the greater General Mills organization as an advisor for the company’s small business incubator 301, Inc., a new venture group that invests in small promising companies.
Prior to assuming his role as President in October 2014, Foraker led investors to place growth capital into Annie’s in 1999, earning his title as Chairman of the Board. Beginning in 2004, Foraker led as Annie’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), taking Annie’s public under the BNNY symbol in 2012, just prior to the company’s buyout by General Mills, Inc. in October 2014.
A respected expert spokesperson in the organic and natural foods industry, Foraker has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes and Wall Street Journal, in addition to other platinum media outlets. Foraker has also shared his leadership and expertise with business owners and audiences at home in the Bay Area and across the country, addressing organizations like the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and the Nutrition Business Journal Conference, among others. Most recently, Foraker was awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 in Northern California, recognizing his entrepreneurial excellence in the retail and consumer products category.
Prior to his tenure at Annie’s, Foraker served as Vice President at Bank of America, overseeing commercial banking client relationship management in the bank’s premium wine business portfolio. Foraker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.Book A Lesson