My J.E.D.I Why: “My younger brother became disabled at age 17 and continually faced injustices throughout his life. My mom fought most of her life to support his livelihood and dignity in a health-care system that ignored his basic needs and an economic system that viewed him as worthless. Michael — and my mom’s love for him — are my inspiration. I became conscious of the bigger injustices in my community and then in the world. I also began to realize that I too, at times, was unconsciously benefiting in ways because of my privilege as a white, heterosexual, able-bodied person. I became devoted to honoring the dignity of every individual and delivering justice for all. Over the past 35 years, I’m lucky to have led some special companies, such as REBBL, that have had a commitment to justice from their inception, and now I find myself wanting to expand this commitment throughout the industry I care so deeply about. My goal is to support the beautiful human beings whose lives are touched by our industry: to amplify the voices of those who have been marginalized, and to increase their influence in decision-making, not only for their own benefit, but to strengthen the natural products industry. I believe our industry needs to actively – intentionally – be much more inclusive, to open our arms wide and embrace the multitude of talents and perspectives that will nourish our industry, help it to be stronger, more resilient and more agile, thriving well into the future.”
Sheryl O’Loughlin is an accomplished entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience leading natural products companies with her trademark bold humility rooted in love.
In 2017, Sheryl introduced her first book, Killing It: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart (HarperBusiness). The book has been featured in Fortune, Conscious Company, Inc., Forbes and Huffington Post, among others.
From 2015 to 2019, Sheryl was CEO and “Chief Love Officer” of REBBL, the first plant-based, super herb adaptogen beverage company. In partnership with Not for Sale, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a future without human trafficking, REBBL works to create regenerative and just supply chains.
With a heart for human rights and mental health advocacy, Sheryl is the co-founder and co-leader of both the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Project and the Women on Boards Product for the natural products industry through One Step Closer to an Organic Sustainable Community (OSC2), a nonprofit whose mission is to address the toughest sustainability problems by building new regenerative businesses.
Earlier in her career, Sheryl served as the CEO of Clif Bar and Company. There she led the concept development and introduction of Luna, the first whole nutrition bar for women, which became a $70 million business in three years and continues to be a core brand in the company’s portfolio. She went on to co-found and serve as CEO for Plum, Inc., a healthy, organic food company that aims to nourish kids “from the high chair to the lunch box.” In 2013, Plum was successfully sold to Campbell Soup Company.
After Plum, Sheryl was the Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and she held a faculty position at Sonoma State University, where she taught hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs and other professionals.
Sheryl currently serves on the board of OSC2 and Foodstirs, and she is on the advisory board of Once Upon a Farm. She is also a member of the Forbes San Francisco Business Council. Previous boards include Zuke’s, thinkThin, Sugar Bowl Bakery, Gardein and the American Sustainable Business Council.
Sheryl earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and her Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. An avid camper and traveler, she lives in Santa Rosa, California, with her husband, Patrick, and their two sons.
Learn more at www.sheryloloughlin.comBook A Lesson