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© 2019 Material Innovation Initiative

MEET THE TEAM

Stephanie Downs

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Stephanie is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience founding, building and selling businesses. She also spent over a decade as a Corporate Social Responsibility Consultant advising companies on alternatives to animal materials. She founded her first company in 1999, an internet marketing company which she sold in 2014. She founded her most recent venture in 2016, Good Dot, which quickly grew to be the largest plant-based meat company in India. She sold her interest to embark on helping build more innovative material companies. She has been awarded the 40 Under 40 Award in two US states; received the Dewey DoGooder Award from SxSW; and has been a TEDx speaker.

Nicole Rawling

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Nicole is an experienced manager and a lawyer with over 13 years of experience advising corporations and nonprofit groups on legal, finance, human resources, and management issues. In her most recent role as the director of international engagement at the Good Food Institute, she built the organization’s international programs and oversaw all international operations and strategy. She worked with scientists, entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and governments all over the world to help create the plant-based food revolution. Before that, she spent 7 years in a top international law firm advising Silicon Valley executives in securities issues.

John Pletzke

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John is a career fashion executive with over 30 years of experience in global sourcing, product development, and supply chains. He was the SVP of Product Development and Global Sourcing at both Kate Spade and JJill, and he was the VP of Global Production at Banana Republic. He is consistently recognized for outstanding results, with a constant focus on the ultimate retail consumer.

Claudia Richardson

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Claudia is an experienced technical product leader and materials engineer with a degree from MIT in Materials Science and Engineering. She led the Materials Innovation Team at Patagonia for over five years, where she oversaw the strategic portfolio of R&D partners and investments in raw materials, polymers, coatings, surface chemistry, and end of life solutions for apparel with an inclination toward environmental 

materials.

Thomasine Dolan

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Thomasine Dolan Dow has been in the fashion industry for 25 years.  In addition to founding her own line, she worked for Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Armani Exchange, and others, where she held directorial and VP roles.  She has consulted for both small and large brands and has a broad understanding of the process and the market. 

Lauren Dermody

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Lauren Dermody is a synthetic biologist with a passion for protecting the natural world. She has worked as a senior scientist at EnduraBio, matriculating at IndieBio accelerator, and at academic labs including Memorial Sloan Kettering. She graduated Magna cum Laude at Cornell University and completed her graduate education at Cornell Medical School.

Anne Green

 Anne is an award-winning educator and organizer with 25+ years in administration, serving as executive director, director of operations, and director of development and programs at four non-profits, including two she co-founded. Most recently, she worked at The Good Food Institute, assisting the team with organization, operations, and strategy.

Rose Convery

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Rose Convery is a creative director with high-level brand building experience. She developed and produced the brand for a year-long global marketing campaign with symposiums in London, Paris, and Hong Kong, led design at a high-impact nonprofit, and designed the IPO site for a leading tech startup. 

Patricia Jones

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After a successful career at NBC News where Patricia produced a number of stories about animals for NBC Nightly News, she went on to spend 7 years as Vice President of Media Relations and Advertising at the ASPCA. Her passion for animal welfare inspired her to launch Paws PR, a company that provides strategic business and communications consulting for animal protection organizations and pet product companies.

Emily Byrd

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Emily has designed communications strategies for some of the most forward-thinking startups, nonprofits, and venture capital groups working to develop and support sustainable alternatives to common goods. After graduating from the School of Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, Emily was a magazine writer and editor for a leading food industry publication before using her content creation skills to lead media, branding, and public relations efforts for mission-driven initiatives.

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