Chief Executive Officer / Chef Ann Foundation
In 2001, Mara Fleishman turned her passion for healthy and sustainable food into a career by taking a position leading the marketing efforts for Whole Foods Market on the East Coast and in Europe. For nearly six years, she worked to raise awareness of the importance of eating fresh, healthy food. After a move to Boulder, Colorado, Mara decided to join her kindergartener for lunch at school one day. Shocked by the highly processed, high-sugar lunch that she and her daughter were served, she began her crusade to reform school food. While Mara worked with a small group of concerned parents and administrators to change their local school food program, she was also working on WFM’s first national initiative to support school food reform, then in her role as Global Director of Partnerships.
In 2013, Mara left her position with Whole Foods Market to work on school food reform in a full-time capacity as CEO of the Chef Ann Foundation. With three kids ranging from ages eight to seventeen, Mara brings a parent’s awareness to her work and writes about school food through that lens. Her current and archived blog posts are available on The Lunch Line.
In all, Mara has nearly 20 years of experience working in the natural products industry and is dedicated to educating people regarding the benefits of healthy food and sustainable food systems. In addition to CAF, she has held board seats at The Growe Foundation, the Kitchen Community, and Naturally Boulder.