Ryan Black is best known as the co-founder and CEO of SAMBAZON, the leading manufacturer of açaí (ah-sigh-ee) based products. Ryan created the company with his brother, Jeremy Black, and friend Ed “Skanda” Nichols, following a surf trip to Brazil in 1999 where they experienced their first açaí bowls and subsequently introduced açaí to North America. The powerful health benefits of açaí have helped enhance the quality of life among millions of people who now enjoy it on every continent.
SAMBAZON is an acronym for “Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon,” as the açaí berry is a food staple and source of income for over a million people in the Amazon’s Varzea, the flooded forest basin of northern Brazil. Guided by the business principles of the “triple bottom line” (social, environmental and economic success), SAMBAZON has created positive change in the Amazon Rainforest and beyond by protecting biodiversity, sustainably managing thousands of acres of forest and increasing the socio-economic status of thousands of small family farmers. In addition to the United Sates, the company has operations in Brazil, Australia, the UK, Japan and Korea.
Previously, Ryan played professional football in both the NFL and European Football Leagues, where he played his final season in 2000. Ryan received a BA in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ryan lives near the beach in San Clemente, CA and his passions include social entrepreneurship, travel, music, and surfing. Ryan speaks multiple languages, and credits his time at Boulder and international football career as the stepping-stone to a socially responsible, international business.Book A Lesson