About

Emily Allen

EmilyEmily is a multi-faceted businesswoman with a tremendous passion for improving user experience. Over the course of her career with organizations like the University of Washington and Zipcar, as well as with many consulting projects, she has served as a technology product manager and health science researcher; has done a great deal of work in market research, customer service, and merger integration; and has been responsible for the building, testing and refinement of many websites. She earned her undergraduate degree at Yale and holds a Masters in Public Health from Harvard.

 

Joe Dobrow

JoeJoe has spent his career working in marketing for a number of well-known consumer companies and non-profits, with particular expertise in the natural foods arena. He served as the head of marketing for specialty retailers Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Balducci’s and Fresh Fields; and for Flexcar, the Steve Case-led car-sharing company that merged with Zipcar in 2007. He also ran marketing for Discovery.com and Discovery Channel’s consumer products division. On the non-profit side, he was the Executive Director of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, Public Relations Director of the New England Sports Museum, and Communications Director for the National Park Foundation. His entrepreneurial history of the natural foods industry, Natural Prophets, was published by Rodale Books in February, 2014.

He has an MBA from Yale and a degree in history from Brown. He is also a frequent lecturer at business schools on the topics of management, database marketing, pricing, and layoffs.

George Linzer

GeorgeGeorge is a management strategist, technology platform and product developer, who also happens to have terrific creative skills.  After graduating from Dartmouth, he went to work as an assistant editor at Houghton Mifflin, and has often been involved in writing, editing, and photography.  But throughout most of his career he has been engaged in the launch and development of many programs and organizations, including the EPA’s Energy Star brand, and the heralded website Lab Tests Online, which he created and ran for 14 years. He built two consultancies – Bruce Presentations and Potomac River Media – and also worked as a senior consultant with KPMG.

 

Julie Zagars

JulieJulie has extensive experience as a buyer (at WholeFoods.com), special event planner (at the Marriott Hospitality Center at Montgomery College), and writer/editor of nearly a dozen Congressional Reports (at FocalPoint Consulting Group). In recent years, she has become a social media maven, helping numerous companies and charities – especially in the food world – to establish and extend their digital footprint through Facebook and Twitter.

But she is perhaps best known for her consummate consumer skills. An intensely curious and resourceful marketer, she is always two steps ahead of the rest of the world in understanding retail trends, promotions and price points.

 

Katy Sparks (affiliate)

KatyWe are pleased to be working with the renowned Katy Sparks, owner and principal of Katy Sparks Culinary Consulting, an award-winning chef (formerly of Quilty’s in Soho), and co-author with Andrea Strong of Sparks in the Kitchen, (Knopf, 2006), her first cookbook. She is an expert at food procurement and sourcing, menu and recipe development, and kitchen design.

Katy grew up in Vermont’s Champlain Valley where her family raised grass-fed beef and free roaming chickens.  As an amateur naturalist, she learned to forage for wild, edible things at her father’s knee and is devoted to all things local and delicious. Chef Sparks’ cuisine has always relied on fresh, seasonal ingredients but recently her cooking has reached a higher expression of the health-supportive nature of whole, unprocessed foods.  She is an avid researcher and taster and has uncovered many exciting, health promoting flavors to incorporate into her cuisine.  Her Clients have ranged from restaurant start-ups to corporate dining services to nationally recognized retail food shops.  She is regularly featured in the food press and maintains strong ties to the national food media.

A Summa cum Laude from the prestigious culinary program at Johnson and Wales University in 1986 Katy did further undergraduate work in music and languages at Middlebury College in Vermont.  Katy lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York where she regularly finds inspiration in the burgeoning artisanal food scene.

 

Insight Out of Chaos (affiliate)

Insight Out of Chaos (IOOC) is a database marketing company headquartered in New York, which has collaborated with Brickwall Strategy, and with Joe Dobrow since 1994.

They are experts in data-driven marketing, CRM and loyalty programs, and have extensive operations designed for independent retailers in the grocery, pet food, hardware and other industries.  Among their functional specialties are t-log analysis, data warehousing, custom website development, and creation of direct mail and e-mail using a proprietary program.