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Empowering Individuals in the Global Community Through Entrepreneurship
As an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Whole Planet Foundation has its own Board of Directors which includes the following individuals:
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Whole Foods Market
Glenda Flanagan began her work with Whole Foods Market in 1988. During her tenure, she has played a major role in the growth of the company as it has grown from six stores in 1988 to over 330 stores currently, with $11.7 billion in sales in fiscal year 2012. Prior to Whole Foods Market, Flanagan held positions in public accounting, retail and business consulting. She holds a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Texas.
President and Chief Operating Officer, Whole Foods Market
A.C. Gallo learned to enjoy good food and the importance of food presentation growing up. His grandparents owned a fruit stand in the Bronx and later started a small Italian grocery, and his parents owned a top-rated restaurant. A.C. began stocking shelves at Bread & Circus when it was just one small specialty foods store with ten employees; he later left the Company after more than 15 years but returned to Bread & Circus after it was acquired by Whole Foods Market. He quickly moved into regional management as the Northeast region’s vice president and then, in 1996, as president of the region. A.C. is currently President and COO, leading six of Whole Foods Market’s 12 regions. He is committed to sustainable agriculture and fostering the growth of foods with the purest ingredients.
Vice President and General Counsel, Whole Foods Market
Roberta Lang serves as Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Whole Foods Market, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Ms. Lang is responsible for a broad scope of corporate legal functions for the entire company and its 74,000 employees. Ms. Lang works closely with the Whole Foods Market Executive and National Leadership Teams, as well as with Regional Coordinators and Team Members. Her team provides a variety of services and counsel ranging from intellectual property to mergers and acquisitions. She has been recognized three times as a Whole Foods Market "All*Star", the Company's highest honor, for her overall outstanding performance as a dedicated, tireless team member who brings incredible intellect, seasoned perspective, understanding and balance to her professional life.
Prior to joining Whole Foods Market, Roberta practiced law in the Chicago area. She has been a legal consultant to several international corporations and has chaired both business and tax related bar association committees as well as serving as an arbitration judge. She is currently listed in Who's Who of American Law and in the Who's Who of American Business. She earned her undergraduate degree at Indiana University and her Juris Doctorate from the Valpraiso University School of Law.
Co-founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market and Chairman of the Board for Whole Planet Foundation
In 1978, at the age of 25, John Mackey was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Borrowing $10,000 from his father and raising the first few thousand of what would eventually become hundreds of millions of dollars in equity investments, he co-founded Safer Way Natural Foods with his girlfriend Renee Lawson. Two years later, he and Renee teamed up with two other young entrepreneurs to create Whole Foods Market, a 10,000 square foot store on Lamar Boulevard in Austin. This store -- one of the very first supermarket-style natural foods stores in the country -- thrived.
With his fierce sense of competition, staunch support for a decentralized and team-based structure, keen understanding of consumer trends and an endless supply of innovative ideas, John built Whole Foods Market into a retail powerhouse. As of 2010 the natural foods industry has grown to more than $36 billion in size, a development John believes is benefiting for all concerned, especially the planet.
Today, Whole Foods Market has more than 330 stores and employs over 74,000 team members in the US, Canada and the UK. Whole Foods Market is the ninth largest food and drug retailer in America and the world's largest natural foods retail chain. It has been named one of "Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For" every year since 1998 and with $11.7 billion in sales in fiscal year 2012, is a Fortune 500 company.
In 2005, John created Whole Planet Foundation in order to create economic partnerships with the poor in those developing-world communities that supply Whole Foods Market stores with products. Through innovative assistance for entrepreneurship - primarily direct microcredit loans - the Foundation seeks to unleash the energy and creativity of every human being in order to create wealth and prosperity in emerging economies.
John is a strong believer in Libertarian and free market principles, and empowerment management. His creation of Whole Planet Foundation embodies that belief, impacting the lives of thousands of women around the globe by providing them with access to financial capital.
He and his wife, Deborah, both practice meditation and yoga and spend as much time as they can on their 720-acre ranch just west of Austin. John is a voracious reader, participates in two monthly book clubs, and is always up for a lively debate about politics, economics, history or sports.
Rocky Mountain Regional President
Will Paradise has been working in the Natural Foods Industry for over 30 years. He has been with Whole Foods Market for almost 23 years, starting as a Grocery Team Member with Bread & Circus Hadley in 1990. He was the Store Team Leader of three stores prior to being promoted to Regional Vice President in the Northern California Region, a position he held for 41/2 years. He was the Southwest Regional President from 2000-2004 and has served as the Rocky Mountain Regional President since 2004. Will lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Annika and three children-Lorna, Lucy, and Kai. He is an avid trail runner, reader, sports fan, and vegan. Will not only talks the Whole Foods Market philosophy, he lives his life everyday asking how he can make a difference in the world.
Co-CEO Whole Foods Market
With a long and varied entrepreneurial history in natural foods ranging from retailer to farmer to consultant, Walter Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991. He opened and operated the Mill Valley, California, store until he became president of the Northern Pacific Region in 1993. Under Robb, the region grew from two to 17 stores, including four acquisitions. Robb then became Executive Vice-President of Operations in 2000, Chief Operating officer in 2001 and Co-President in 2004. Assuming the Co-CEO role in 2010, Walter currently oversees six of Whole Foods Market’s 12 regions as well as purchasing, marketing, distribution and quality standards and serves on the Whole Planet Foundation Board of Directors.
In addition, Robb served two years on the Board of Directors of the Organic Trade Association and currently serves on the advisory board of the Organic Center for Education and Promotion. He is on the Board of Regents for the University of the Pacific. In addition, he has also served as a board member of PotBelly Sandwich Works. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 1976 and is a proud father and grandfather with two sons, a daughter, and two grandchildren.
Pacific Northwest Regional President, Whole Foods Market
Joe Rogoff’s career in natural products retailing began as a volunteer at a food Co-op in rural Sonoma County California in the mid 70’s. After serving as General Manager of two small natural foods chains, he joined Whole Foods Market in 2000 with the acquisition of Food For Thought Markets. Since joining Whole Foods Market, Joe has filled a variety of leadership roles including: Store Team Leader of three stores, Regional Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Purchasing, and since 2010 the President of the Pacific Northwest Region. Joe’s leadership is focused on bringing individuals and groups together toward a common purpose, and his passion is to further healthy individuals, communities, and environments through advocacy of natural and organic products. Joe and his wife Susan are proud parents of 3 boys and are now proud grandparents to 3 great kids. They love travel and music, and enjoy hiking, biking and gardening.
President and Executive Director of Whole Planet Foundation
Philip is the President and Executive Director of Whole Planet Foundation, overseeing operations, programmatic direction and financial management. Philip brings over 40 years of expertise and experience to the mission and operations of the Foundation. His diverse and far ranging background focuses on three distinct arenas: international development, entrepreneurship, agribusiness cooperatives and microfinance in developing countries.
As an entrepreneur in Austin, Texas, Philip founded Book People – one of the largest independent bookstores in the country, which he owned and managed for 20 years. He continues to serve on the Book People board. Philip was also the director of Multimedia, a business unit of Wholepeople.com. In the international development arena, Philip managed community development projects for the Peace Corps, USAID, a US State Department funded NGO in Afghanistan and other non-governmental organizations (NGO's) in both Latin America and Asia.
As an agribusiness specialist, Philip worked for seven years with small subsistence farmers in Latin America and Central Asia to develop alternative crop introduction, agricultural marketing and agricultural cooperatives. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras where he worked with the Misquito Indians for three years on the Patuca River in La Mosquitia, and in Paraguay for four years helping to start agricultural cooperatives. Philip has a BBA from Texas Tech University, is conversant in Spanish and can exchange basic pleasantries in Guarani and Misquito. Philip is a firm believer in the power of free markets, honest yet limited government and “conscious capitalism” to create prosperity and individual dignity.
President/General Manager, Allegro Coffee Company
Jeff joined Allegro Coffee Company three years ago. He brought with him more than 20 years of consumer packaged goods and beverage experience, most recently as Division Vice President at Constellation Brands. At CB, he revitalized several mature brands and introduced a series of new products significantly improved bottom line performance for the company. Before that, he was President of Snapple Beverages of NYC, a subsidiary of Quaker Oats Company. From 1984 to 1995, Jeff was employed by Pepsi Cola Company, where he assumed marketing, sales and operational roles of increasing responsibility in different markets across the U.S.
Jeff joined Allegro to find a company closely connected to their roots, with the highest quality standards and a dedicated team member group that thoroughly enjoys and supports the spirit of the company.
Regional President – UK Region
Jeff Turnas started his career at Merchant of Vino in Detroit in 1995 and joined Whole Foods Market when the companies merged in 1998. His first job with the Company was as Associate Store Team Leader in Chicago's Lakeview store. He also worked as the Regional Specialty Coordinator in the Mid Atlantic Region before moving back to the Midwest to become the Regional Specialty Coordinator. Jeff then spent two years as the Regional Vice President of Purchasing in the Midwest Region followed by two years working as the Northeast Vice President of Purchasing. From 2007 to 2009, Jeff served as the President of the North Atlantic Region.
In March of 2009, Jeff was named president of the then newly developed U.K. Region, which expanded into Scotland in November of 2011 and continues to grow. In addition to his experience in five different regions, his varied background in both operations and product buying and sourcing combined with his passion for food and excellence makes him a strong leader for the U.K. Region
Jeff currently resides in London with his wife, Megan, daughters, Raina and Remi, and son, Rocco.
Co-Chairman of the Board for Whole Planet Foundation
Lee Valkenaar has held various positions with the Company since 1987, including Store Team Leader, Vice President and President of the Southwest Region. Valkenaar served as president of the Mid-Atlantic Region from 2001 to 2004 and from 2004 to 2008, he served as Executive Vice President of Global Support, focusing on purchasing, marketing, and team member services. Since 2008, he has served as the Co-Chairman of the Board for Whole Planet Foundation.