BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Whether it’s raising funds or delivering vitamins to families in need, we rely on collaboration to achieve our mission. Our distinguished board members bring invaluable experience from the corporate, academic, and nonprofit worlds to inform and enhance our efforts.


Board of Directors

Michelle Goolsby
Michelle Goolsby Board Chair
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Michelle served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Administrative Officer for Dean Foods Company for over a decade. Prior to that, Michelle spent over 13 years practicing law with two major Texas law firms, focusing primarily on corporate, securities and capital markets transactions. 

Currently, Michelle provides advisory services, including executive coaching and leadership development, and training and development programs, to for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Michelle is a partner and a member of the Investment Committee of Greenmont Capital Partners, member of the Board of Directors of The Organic Center and of Vitamin Angels, a Trustee of The University of Texas Law School Foundation, and a Founding Member of the Center for Women in Law.

She received her M.A. from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University, her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, and her B.B.A. - Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin.  

Jim Hamilton
Jim Hamilton Vice Chair
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Jim Hamilton has played a leading role for over 30 years in the Life Sciences, Health and Nutrition industries, including as a CEO, Board Director, and Advisor.  Mr. Hamilton's industry knowledge and innovative approach have made him a valuable contributor to both the for-profit and non-profit sectors in the field.  Jim's industry roles have included President of DSM Nutritional Products USA, where he also served on the global management team of DSM Nutritional Product's Human Nutrition Business, an organization with over $2 billion in sales and operations in more than 40 countries.  Following his tenure at DSM, Mr. Hamilton led Neptune Wellness Solutions (NASDAQ - TSX: NEPT) as the President, CEO, and Director.  During much of this period Mr. Hamilton also acted as a member of the Board of Directors of Acasti Pharma (NASDAQ: ACST), a biopharmaceutical innovator focused on the research, development, and commercialization of prescription drugs.  Jim has also held the role of President, CEO and Director of OmniActive Health Technologies through the completion of major new investment by a private equity investor in the first quarter of 2021. 

Jim also acts as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Vitamin Angels, a non-profit organization that provides life-changing vitamins to over 70 million children in need. He is a past chairman and current member of the Board of Directors of CRN (Council for Responsible Nutrition) the dietary supplement industry's leading trade association.  He has also been an invited speaker to numerous industry and governmental events in the field, including to the United Nations General Assembly.  

Howard B. Schiffer
Howard B. Schiffer President and Founder
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: no

Howard started his career as a midwife, learning about the importance of prenatal nutrition for maternal and child health.

After a successful career in the natural foods industry developing quality products and turning them into best sellers through innovative marketing and promotions, Howard founded Vitamin Angels in 1994.

Through his extraordinary leadership of the organization, Howard has received numerous honors and awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award, a Global Humanitarian Award, and Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.

Howard truly believes every child deserves the chance to lead a full and healthy life. Howard is the author of three books. He has three children and lives with his wife in Santa Barbara, California.

Read the Founder's Story.

Clayton A. Ajello DRPH, MPH
Clayton A. Ajello DRPH, MPH
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: no

Clayton is an epidemiologist, entrepreneur, and executive who lead or collaborated with experts in 30+ countries. He provides evidence-based, strategic, and operational advice to nonprofit organizations major transitions. Clayton specializes in advising non-profit organizations seeking to bring about innovative, sustainable, high impact public health initiatives in low- and medium-resource settings.

Clayton has consulted for governments, bi-lateral aid agencies, and multi-lateral organizations with strategic services pertaining to analysis, planning, and implementation of primary healthcare systems in low resource settings. He served as vice president for international programs at the Johns Hopkins University and JHPIEGO, as well as on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Upon returning to the private sector, Clayton founded the for-profit company LearnWare International Corporation. Since selling the company, Clayton has spent a decade as managing partner of inlexo. 

Brian Wood
Brian Wood
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Brian Wood is a Managing Director in the Consumer Investment Banking Group of Jefferies where he focuses on the Health, Nutrition & Wellness sector. Brian has worked in the nutritional supplement sector for over 15 years where he has advised the most active companies and investors that have led the transformation of this $150+ billion high-growth, global category. During his career, Brian has worked across a range of M&A and capital raising corporate finance advisory services with specific focus in the areas of condition-specific supplementation, plant-based products, active & sports nutrition, innovative delivery methods, manufacturing and ingredients, and DTC / practitioner distribution.  Due to his specialization, Brian has additional expertise in other related Health & Wellness categories including healthy food & beverage, natural/organic products, natural remedies, ingestible beauty and fitness. Brian received a BA in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Georgetown University. Brian is a member of the Board of Directors of Vitamin Angels, a non-profit organization providing life-saving and life-changing nutritional supplements to ~70 million of the most at-risk mothers and children around the world.

Michelle Brooks
Michelle Brooks
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Michelle is a managing principal at Arlon Group, a food and agriculture investment firm that invests across the food supply chain. At Arlon, Michelle manages Arlon’s North American investment activities which are focused on investing in middle-market companies in the United States, the largest food and agriculture market in the world.

Michelle was previously a principal with Weston Presidio, a middle-market private equity firm with $3.3B in AUM. She worked for Weston Presidio from 1999 to 2010 and was responsible for leading due diligence and investment execution in a variety of sectors, including food and beverage and restaurants. Michelle has served on the board of directors of numerous private companies and is currently a board member for Door to Door Organics, HMR Foods, and Wholesome Sweeteners.

Michelle received her MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and an AB in government from Harvard University.

What inspired you to join Vitamin Angels? Vitamin Angels' commitment to helping the neediest in a profound and fundamental way moved me to get involved. Good nutrition is everyone's most basic need and the foundation for everything we want for children and their families.

How do you like to stay healthy? I care about staying healthy for myself and for my family, so I try to eat well, stay active and create space for mental health in my life.

Dr. Robert Black
Dr. Robert Black
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Robert (Bob) E. Black, M.D., M.P.H. is the Professor and Director of the Institute for International Programs in the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Bob is trained in medicine, infectious diseases and epidemiology. He served as an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and at institutions in Bangladesh and Peru on research related to childhood infectious diseases and nutrition. Bob’s current research includes field trials of vaccines, micronutrients and other nutritional interventions, effectiveness studies of health programs, and evaluation of preventive and curative health services in low- and middle-income countries. His other interests are the use of evidence in guiding policy and programs, including estimates of burden of disease, and the strengthening of public health training. He has more than 600 scientific journal publications and is co-editor of the textbook “Global Health.”  

"My career has [focused on] generating evidence on how vitamin and mineral supplements can make a difference in the lives of women and children. My involvement with Vitamin Angels helps get that evidence into programs around the world that directly benefit millions of people."

Tom Meriam
Tom Meriam
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

"Listening to Howard Schiffer describe the difficulties facing so many of the world’s children, and the hope that comes from something simple--yet so effective--as two doses of vitamin A per year, [inspired me to join Vitamin Angels]."

Dr. Elizabeth Kimani-Murage
Dr. Elizabeth Kimani-Murage
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

A public health specialist and researcher based in Kenya, Dr. Kimani-Murage has focused much of her work on finding solutions to childhood nutrition problems in poor, urban settings throughout Africa. 

Dr. Kimani-Murage serves as head of the Maternal and Child Wellbeing Unit at the African Population and Health Research Center. A strong advocate of optimal nutrition for child development, she leads projects evaluating community- and workplace-based interventions designed to promote optimal feeding practices for infants and young children. She also holds a Wellcome Trust international engagement fellowship to engage low-income Kenyans on their constitutional right to food. 

Prior to earning her doctorate in public health from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Dr. Kimani-Murage received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Moi University in Kenya. She has authored many research papers on the impacts of interventions on breastfeeding and optimal nutrition practices for young children.

"I am so excited about joining Vitamin Angels' board of directors,” Dr. Kimani-Murage said. “It gives me a great opportunity to direct what I am so passionate about – promoting human dignity of poor and vulnerable populations around the world."

 

Jill Staib
Jill Staib
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Jill is a Founding Partner and Managing Director of William Hood & Company, LLC, a differentiated industry-focused investment banking firm covering the Consumer, Food and Retail sectors with a specialization in Health and Wellness.

Prior to William Hood & Company, LLC, Jill was Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for The Nature’s Bounty Company, the largest pure-play manufacturer and marketer of health and wellness products in the world with over $3 billion in annual revenue. Her global role focused on M&A, Corporate Development and Growth Strategy. In this capacity, she led a variety of global projects for the company including the sale of The Nature’s Bounty Company from The Carlyle Group to KKR and the sale of U.K.-based retailer Holland & Barrett from The Carlyle Group to Letter1 Retail. 

During her tenure at The Nature’s Bounty Company, Jill also held a variety of operating leadership roles including managing the Nature’s Bounty, Pure Protein, Body Fortress and Met-Rx brands, as well as the company’s Private Label and Co-Manufacturing business. Jill’s passion for brands combined with her retailer relationships resulted in her driving a number of the key strategic growth initiatives behind the success of the company leading up to its sale. While managing the Nature’s Bounty brand, she successfully launched the Optimal Solutions line including its flagship Hair, Skin and Nails product, the current market leader in women’s health supplements and the fastest growing line extension in the company’s history with over $150 million in revenue. She was also responsible for the turn-around of Pure Protein, a leading mass market brand in the Active Nutrition category.

Prior to joining The Nature’s Bounty Company, Jill was the Brand Director for natural skincare line Naturopathica Holistic Health. In that role she was responsible for product design, marketing and distribution.

Jill serves on the Global Board of Advisors for Vitamin Angels and the Advisory Board of the J.E.D.I Collaborative.

William Hood
William Hood
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Mr. Hood is a Founding Partner and the CEO of William Hood & Company, a differentiated industry-focused investment bank covering the Consumer, Food and Retail sectors. 

Mr. Hood is well-known globally as a leading investment banker and investor in the Health & Wellness and Nutrition industries having been involved in many of the larger and better-known transactions including the sale of Liquid I.V. to Unilever, the sale of OLLY to Unilever, the sale of Atrium (Garden of Life) to Nestle for $2.3 billion, the sale of the Nature’s Bounty Company from Carlyle to KKR for $3 billion, the sale of UK-based Holland & Barrett to Letter1 Retail for $2.4 billion, the sale of Schiff to Reckitt Benckiser for $1.45 billion and the sale of Emergen-C to Pfizer.

Widely regarded as an expert in the industry, Mr. Hood is frequently invited to speak at key Health and Wellness conferences including Expo West, Expo East, the NBJ Summit, Supply Side West and ACG. Mr. Hood is also a contributor to both financial and industry publications and has been published or quoted about industry trends and matters of finance in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg News, WWD and Reuters among others. Mr. Hood serves on the Editorial Board of the Nutrition Business Journal.

Mr. Hood has a global network and travels frequently to Europe and Asia. He grew up in the U.K. and Hong Kong and holds a B.S. from Georgetown University.

Mr. Hood serves on the Board of Directors of Vitamin Angels, the Board of Trustees of Vitamin Angels U.K. and the Board of Greenwich Emergency Medical Services in Greenwich, CT.

Sutian Dong
Sutian Dong
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Sutian Dong has been a longtime advocate of women's empowerment, and is currently the founder of a new fund-of-funds vehicle. Dong was most recently a partner at Female Founders Fund (F3), a venture capital firm dedicated to investing in the exponential power of exceptional female talent. Previously, she was an investor in early-stage consumer internet at FirstMark Capital, a leading NYC-based venture firm, and she was director of marketing for Norisol Ferrar, a New york-based couture and luxury outerwear brand. Dong has additionally held sales and marketing positions at MarketFactory, a FirstMark portfolio company developing software applications for high-speed trading platforms. Dong holds a B.S. in finance and marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University. 

Dong is helping to leverage her extensive network to fundraise, build brand partnerships, and provide strategic advisement to further expand Vitamin Angels’ nutrition intervention programs and global business.

Carlyle R. Newell
Carlyle R. Newell
  • Election date:
  • Independent voting member: yes

Based in New Jersey, Carlyle Newell is the Managing Partner and a member of the Industrial and Consumer practice groups. He is responsible for client development and search execution for clients in the U.S. and overseas. Functionally, Mr. Newell focuses on senior-level assignments for Chief Executive Officers, Presidents and functional heads of sales, marketing, business development, manufacturing and finance. Mr. Newell has successfully performed executive searches for leading Fortune 500 corporations ranging from privately held, family-owned, to venture financed technology start-ups.

Prior to joining Boyden, Mr. Newell was partner and founding member of another executive search firm specializing in industrial, consumer goods/services and technology. He also provided consulting services to Fortune 500 companies seeking to increase minority representation among their executive staff and board members.

Before that, Mr. Newell had a consulting background with a global management consulting firm specializing in multidiscipline general management consulting, organizational development, and executive search.

He serves on numerous boards devoted to providing medical services and financial aid to children and disadvantaged youths. Mr. Newell received his B.A. from Rutgers University.


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