David BronnerCosmic Engagement Officer (CEO)
David Bronner is Available for Interview. Click here for Talking Points and Background.
David Bronner is Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America and producer of a range of organic body care and food products. He is a grandson of company founder, Emanuel Bronner, and a fifth-generation soapmaker. Under David and his brother Michael’s leadership, the brand has grown from $4 million in 1998 to over $111 million in annual revenue in 2017.
David and Michael established Dr. Bronner’s as a sustainable leader in the natural products industry by becoming one of the first body care brands to formulate with hemp seed oil in 1999 and to certify its soaps, lotions, balms, and other personal care products under the USDA National Organic Program in 2003. Both actions resulted in high-profile litigation with government agencies, DEA and USDA respectively, that Dr. Bronner’s ultimately won, cementing Dr. Bronner’s activist orientation in the natural products marketplace. Over the years, David and Dr. Bronner’s have been key leaders in fights for GMO labeling, industrial hemp farming in the U.S., high-bar organic and fair trade standards, cannabis reform, and a fair minimum wage.
Today, David is helping to lead the effort to establish the Regenerative Organic Certified standard, dedicating time and resources to creating an integrated, comprehensive program that addresses soil health, animal welfare, and fair labor practices to advance sustainable and ecological alternatives to industrial agriculture.
Dr. Bronner’s partners with certified Fair Trade projects to source all major ingredients, including olive oil from Palestine and Israel, coconut oil from Sri Lanka, peppermint oil from India, and sustainable palm oil from Ghana. Dr. Bronner’s is committed to certifying its Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and all soap products and their main ingredients including coconut, olive, palm kernel and mint oils (95% of the brand’s agricultural volume by weight) to the new Regenerative Organic Certified standard in 2018. Furthermore, Dr. Bronner’s is a founding partner in the Climate Collaborative, which leverages the power of the Natural Products Industry to compel action on climate change.
In addition to his support of advocacy for regenerative organic agriculture, David directs Dr. Bronner’s resources to support animal advocacy, wage equality, and drug policy reform. One of his passions is the responsible integration of cannabis and psychedelic medicine into American and global culture and he is a board member of the Multi-Disciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. His activism embodies the company’s mission — which encompasses a commitment to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and to dedicating profits to help make a better world.
David was born in Los Angeles, California in 1973 and earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University. He is a dedicated vegan and enjoys surfing and dancing late into the night. He currently lives in Encinitas, California.
Michael Bronner is Available for Interview. Click here for Talking Points and Background.
Michael Bronner is President of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America and producer of other organic body care and food products. He is a grandson of company founder, Emanuel Bronner, and a fifth-generation soap maker. Under the leadership of Michael and his brother David, the brand has grown from $4 million in 1998 to over $111 million in annual revenue in 2017.
Michael and David established Dr. Bronner’s as a sustainable leader in the natural products industry by becoming one of the first body care brands to formulate with hemp seed oil in 1999 and to certify its soaps, lotions, balms, and other personal care products under the USDA National Organic Program in 2003. Both actions resulted in high-profile litigation with government agencies, DEA and USDA respectively, that Dr. Bronner’s ultimately won, cementing Dr. Bronner’s activist orientation in the natural products marketplace.
Michael was promoted from Vice President to President in 2015. His first directive under his new title was to promote his brother David to CEO, defining the initials with an unconventional twist: Cosmic Engagement Officer. 2015 was a landmark year for the company: Dr. Bronner’s launched its All-One Toothpaste, published its first official CSR report (the All-One Report), and updated its branding and labels to a slightly more polished “Old & Improved” look.
Since 2006, Dr. Bronner’s has partnered with certified Fair Trade projects around the world to source all major ingredients, including olive oil from Palestine and Israel, coconut oil from Sri Lanka, peppermint oil from India, and sustainable palm oil from Ghana. Dr. Bronner’s is now working to pilot its organic coconut, palm, and mint oils to the new Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) standard. ROC is an integrated, comprehensive program that addresses soil health, animal welfare, and fair labor practices to advance sustainable and ecological alternatives to industrial agriculture. Furthermore, Dr. Bronner’s is a founding partner in the Climate Collaborative, which leverages the power of the Natural Products Industry to compel action on climate change.
Michael has led the expansion of Dr. Bronner’s sales overseas, including in Europe and the UK, the Middle East, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore, bringing the philosophy that guides Dr. Bronner’s and its ethically driven products to the global marketplace. Under his leadership, sales in Japan, South Korea and other international markets have grown from less than 1% to over 20% of the company’s total revenue.
After graduating from Brown University with a degree in English, Michael traveled the world extensively, studying in Ethiopia and teaching English language in Japan for three years. A philanthropist, activist, and active community leader, Michael is an advocate for many social and environmental justice causes advanced by the company, including Fair Trade, organic standards, animal advocacy and ocean conservation. He currently sits on the San Diego District Export Council, where he counsels businesses on export processes, commerce education, and advises per his expertise in international trade.
He was born in Los Angeles, California in 1975. He lives in Carlsbad, California with his wife Erin and their children Eli and Alora.
Trudy BronnerChief Financial Officer
Trudy Bronner is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. She is the mother of David, Michael, and Lisa Bronner. Together, the Bronner family continues to run the 70 year-old, Vista, CA based, personal care company.
Trudy has served as CFO of Dr. Bronner’s since 1993. Upon the death of her father-in-law and company founder, Emanuel Bronner, in 1998, Trudy guided the company onto firm financial footing by coordinating the payment of $2.5 million in inheritance taxes. Since that time, she has steered the company through significant financial growth, from generating $4 million in annual revenue in 1998 to over $111 million in 2017.
Trudy’s life is anchored by deep love and care for her family, dedication to community, especially through support of youth programs, and a committed work ethic in all her endeavors. After graduating college with a degree in mathematics, Trudy was a Junior High math teacher for eight years before retiring to focus on raising her three children. Together with her late-husband Jim, they raised their family in her hometown of Glendale, CA. While a stay-at-home mom, she served two terms as PTA President; as Cub Scout den leader; and assisted all youth sports teams on which her children played. In those years she was a member of the Glendale Philharmonic Committee in support of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. During this time she honed her skills in serving the broader community, experience she now applies in her philanthropy work on behalf of Dr. Bronner’s.
Within her role as CFO, Trudy oversees the management of the Dr. Bronner’s Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation funded by the profits of Dr. Bronner’s. She has facilitated over $2 million in donations since 2002 to local community and youth focused organizations, including: Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Palomar YMCA, Boys to Men Mentoring Group, the AjA Project, Fraternity House, and TERI.
In her limited but treasured free time, Trudy enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren, playing Mah-Jongg, and is an avid reader.
Michael MilamChief Operating Officer
Michael Milam is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. He joined Dr. Bronner’s in 2005.
Michael is responsible for the oversight of the company’s operations, including inventory forecasting and acquisition, logistics, production, IT, ERP utilization, business intelligence and EDI management. He has successfully led Dr. Bronner’s toward improved efficiency and production methods during the company’s rapid expansion in recent years.
Michael was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and earned an undergraduate degree from Toccoa Falls College, as well as an M.Div. from Columbia International University and an MBA from Point Loma Nazarene University. In addition to spending time with his wife and their three children, he enjoys reading, geek stuff, the Porsche Club and doing church volunteer work.
Kris Lin-BronnerStrategic Adviser and CSR Manager
Kris Lin-Bronner is Strategic Adviser and CSR Manager for Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. She is responsible for overseeing and managing many diverse projects under the umbrella of sustainability and social responsibility.
Kris advises the Special Operations Team and affiliated Fair Trade projects on financial and operational matters, provides integrated risk assessments on new business ventures, and works to institutionalize Dr. Bronner’s sustainability efforts across multiple levels of the company, from operations to governance. Prior to joining Dr. Bronner’s, she worked in the non-profit sector for programs serving recently resettled refugee and immigrant youths in San Diego.
Kris earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a graduate degree in International Economic Development from UCSD. She is a former hospice volunteer, as well as a design enthusiast, and she enjoys adventure travel. She was born in 1974 in Taiwan and currently lives in Encinitas, California with her husband David and their daughter Maya.
Lisa BronnerCompany Spokesperson and Writer & Editor of "Going Green with a Bronner Mom" Blog
Lisa Bronner is Available for Interview. Click here for Talking Points and Background.
Lisa Bronner is a prolific writer, consumer advocate, and speaker on health and green lifestyle issues. She is author of the blog, “Going Green with a Bronner Mom,” and granddaughter of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, founder of Dr. Bronner’s—the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America and producer of other organic body care and food products.
Lisa helps many make the transition to a healthier home and lifestyle. Additionally, she is a vocal proponent for GMO labeling, Fair Trade, and other issues Dr. Bronner’s supports to bring about social justice and environmental sustainability. As a spokesperson for Dr. Bronner’s, she discusses the brand’s product excellence, progressive business practices, and revolutionary activism around the world.
Lisa’s blog, “Going Green with a Bronner Mom,” addresses diverse topics related to green living, from personal care and G.I.Y. (Green It Yourself) home cleaning tips, to transparency in product labeling, Fair Trade, organic integrity, and GMO labeling. Launched in 2008, the blog includes instructional videos as well as photography, and an active community forum for discussion of posts.
Lisa has addressed business leaders, students, and activists, but her passion is for helping moms build healthy homes, provide sound nutrition, and be savvy consumers. For over a decade, she has served in leadership in MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers), as well as speaking to and mentoring moms throughout southern California.
Having graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in English and a secondary education teaching certificate, she taught high school English and journalism for four years in Raleigh, NC. Lisa was born in Glendale, California in 1976, and lives in rural San Diego county with her husband and three children.
Gero LesonVice President of Special Operations
Gero Leson is Available for Interview. Click here for Talking Points and Background.
Gero Leson is Vice President of Special Operations at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. Since 2005, he has been responsible for Dr. Bronner’s sourcing of major ingredients from certified fair trade and organic projects.
Gero and his Special Operations team plans and manages the establishment and operations of new production facilities for coconut and palm oils in Africa and Asia, and oversees Dr. Bronner’s fair trade and organic sourcing and related community development projects. Notably, the team trains farmers in regenerative organic practices such as composting, cover cropping, and mulching that build up soil fertility and increase yields and profits. Overall, Dr. Bronner’s fair trade projects around the world directly benefit an estimated 25,000 farmers, employees, and their families – improving livelihoods while simultaneously regenerating soil.
Born in Cologne, Germany, Gero has a masters degree in physics from the University of Cologne and a doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA. Before working for Dr. Bronner’s he worked as an environmental scientist and consultant. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Adam EidingerDirector of Social Action
Adam Eidinger is Director of Social Action at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. He has worked with Dr. Bronner’s since 2001 on a variety of projects on behalf of the brand and the many different causes it supports, including advocating to label GMO foods, promoting organic integrity in body care and allowing U.S. farmers to once again grow industrial hemp.
Adam’s work is focused promoting Dr. Bronner’s “All-One” mission through a variety of social action projects he organizes and produces on behalf of the brand. He has organized numerous events and campaigns including a 300-mile march from New York City to Washington, DC, a cross-country tour of art cars in support of labeling GMO foods, as well as acts of civil disobedience, such as planting hemp on the lawn of the DEA campus and publicly harvesting hemp and pressing hemp seed oil in front of the White House, to protest federal policies preventing U.S. farmers from growing industrial hemp in the U.S. He has also produced numerous short documentaries about Dr. Bronner’s fair trade projects, which tell the stories of farmers who produce the raw ingredients used to make the company’s products.
Adam is a spokesperson for DCMJ.org which helped to legalize cannabis in Washington DC and is fighting for federal cannabis reform. He also advises MAPS on PR and political strategy, and is the main producer of the MAPS sponsored, Catharsis on the Mall, a secular humanist spiritual vigil.
Adam was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1973 and currently lives in Washington, DC. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Arundhati.
Ryan FletcherDirector of Public Affairs and Media Relations
Ryan Fletcher is Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. He has worked full-time with Dr. Bronner’s since 2007.
Ryan directs Dr. Bronner’s global PR and media presence and works closely with the company’s executive team to develop communications strategy and materials that effectively convey and promote the brand’s “All-One!” mission and core values. He has created numerous educational videos about Dr. Bronner’s mission, advocacy work, and activist projects. He works to facilitate earned media coverage, both on behalf of the company and its products, and the primary causes it advocates for— including fair trade, regenerative organic agriculture, animal advocacy, wage equality, and drug policy reform. He also manages the company’s philanthropy in support of animal advocacy organizations working to address the terrible plight of factory-farmed animals, promote more compassionate and sustainable dietary choices, and defend ocean wildlife around the world, totaling over $2.1 million in donations between 2014 and 2018.
In addition to his work with Dr. Bronner’s, Ryan is a lead advisor on PR and media strategy to Vote Hemp, the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), and Fair World Project. He lives in Washington, DC and is a proponent of cooperative living and a vegan lifestyle.
Les SzaboDirector of Constructive Capital
Les Szabo is Director of Constructive Capital at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soap in North America. He joined Dr. Bronner’s in 2013.
Les oversees business development activities for the company, which includes impact investing, philanthropy, and commercial support of Dr. Bronner’s global supply chain projects. He currently sits on the boards of Serendi Coco Samoa Ltd., Regenerative Organic Feed Co., and LifeDose. Les has twenty years of experience working in the natural products and apparel industries. He was a co-founder of Living Harvest, Dunderdon, and Infinity Sport.
Les currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and kids.
Christina VolgyesiDirector of Marketing
Christina Volgyesi is Director of Marketing at Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. Her responsibilities include brand strategy, cause-oriented marketing and advocacy where she’s taken a leadership role in developing and managing industry-wide campaigns in support of a living wage, fair trade, and industrial hemp farming. Christina also manages the company’s digital marketing team, graphic design department, packaging production, and new product development.
Christina has over fifteen years of experience in sales and marketing in the natural products industry and was the former president of Living Harvest Foods, a hemp foods brand she co-founded with her husband. Christina sits on the Board of Directors of Vote Hemp, an industrial hemp advocacy group as well as the Advisory Board of the Climate Collaborative, a project of OSC2 that works to encourage natural product companies to make climate action commitments. Prior to getting involved in the natural products industry, Christina worked in advertising in Canada and Europe.
Christina loves to practice yoga and hike in the Pacific NW where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She was born in Toronto, Canada and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.