Whole Planet Foundation Hall of Fame


Whole Planet Foundation’s Hall of Fame recognizes the volunteers, fundraisers, and supporters who have gone above and beyond to help us reach more entrepreneurs living in poverty. By recognizing these champions, we honor their enthusiasm, outreach, and innovation in engaging people in our mission.


Class of 2019

Tess Goodnowott

North Atlantic Region Fresh Pond Store

Tess Goodnowott is Store Support Associate Team Leader at WFM’s Fresh Pond store and was a Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer in India in 2018. Following her years of commitment to WPF annual in-store campaigns since 2014, she was instrumental in the success of her team and Fresh Pond WFM store for the 2019 campaign. She trained her team, set up events, partnered with suppliers, and supported everyone throughout the campaign. Fresh Pond set a North Atlantic regional record, raising $30,896, and came in as the #2 store for total dollars raised in the entire company for 2019! This represented an amazing increase of almost 100% year over year, as the store raised $15,723 in 2018. After participating in the WFM TM Volunteer Program, Tess has been a driving force for TMs to sign up to volunteer. She presented to all North Atlantic Store Support leadership about her experience meeting microcredit clients supported by Whole Planet Foundation microlending partner CASHPOR in India. Her desire to understand and accurately share the methodology and impact of the microfinance institutions that we fund helps her fellow TMs to excel in fundraising. Hall of Fame Inaugural Class Inductee and North Atlantic Senior Operations Representative Zach Ruoff shared “Tess is truly one of a kind; her passion for Whole Planet Foundation is second to no one and you can feel her excitement when you talk to her about it. Tess, thank you so much for your passion, knowledge, and excitement for Whole Planet Foundation. The Whole Planet Foundation program in our region would not be the same without you.” Tess is an exemplary WFM Team Member and WFM TM Volunteer. Tess is now the Store Support Team Leader for the Somerville Whole Foods Market location, and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes with her team. Thank you, Tess! We appreciate you!

Yao Tamatekou

WFM South Savannah Store

As Store Support Team Leader in WFM’s Savannah store, Yao has been a leader in supporting  WPF,  hosting events like Giving Grills, Henna Tattoos and an International Dance focus featuring Indian and African dance. He inspires his Store Support team and the whole store by showing his deep passion and devotion to the foundation. His store raised $11,377 in 2018 and $17,616 in 2019, landing Savannah 2nd in the company as a percentage of store sales both years and 11th in dollars raised in the company in 2019. This is a direct reflection of his inspiration and leadership. WFM customers have an incredible time at the African Dance event, an innovative way to shine a light on Whole Planet Foundation’s work. Savannah WFM Store Team Leader Rachel Jones shared “Yao is one of the most inspiring team members I have ever had the pleasure to know. He inspires the whole store to get behind WPF and finds ingenious ways to encourage customers to ask about WPF. He inspires everyone in the store get on board and help with giving grills, cooking, baking, anything needed. I have never seen him get discouraged or lose his enthusiasm for Whole Planet Foundation, he just comes up with new ideas to drive donations.  Regional Coordinator for Store Support Scott Vanderpool says “Yao truly embodies what Whole Planet Foundation is all about. We are extremely excited about this nomination and could think of no one more deserving than Yao.” Thank you, Yao! We appreciate you!

Andria C. Regan

WFM Rocky Mountain Cherry Creek Store

In 2019, as a Store Support Cashier and Cash Up Team Member at our Cherry Creek WFM store, Andria raised close to $1000 with cards she created to raise money for WPF! This and TM education that she created helped her team to beat their goal for the 2019 Annual Prosperity Campaign by almost $2500! She is praised by both her team and store leadership as well as her fellow team members because of the dedication she shows for WFM’s core values on a daily basis. In 2019 the Cherry Creek WFM store was 20th in the company, raising $14,553, versus being #24 in the company in 2018 with funds raised of $12,505. Cherry Creek Associate Store Support Team Leader Jonathan Propp shared, “In all my time with the company, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other person with such a level of artistic commitment to the WPF program. These projects take quite a bit of Andria’s time and it shows.” Thank you, Andria! We appreciate you!

John Hobart

WFM Rocky Mountain Region Governor’s Ranch Store

Store Support Associate Team Leader John has been a true champion of WPF for years. Each year, John not only donates a full loan through his paycheck he also donates a full loan during the register campaign to a cashier who consistently asks and drives awareness about Whole Planet Foundation. John is a WPF champion and shares his love for the campaign through his conversations with his team and customers alike! His main focus during the Annual WPF Prosperity Campaign is leading by example and making WPF part of all his conversations with customers and Team Members. He shares stories about microloan recipients and lives and breathes WPF year-round. He champions the store to support the WPF through scanback programs and all WPF initiatives. “John has been with Wild Oats/Whole Foods Market since April 1995. I don’t think I have met another TM who truly cares for Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Foods Market’s Core Values the way that John does. He puts his whole heart into his work each day and his team feels truly inspired by him. It means so much to the team that he contributes so much personally to the campaign, and this in turn drives great outcomes for our store and community!” The Governor’s Ranch WFM store was #7 as a % of store sales in 2018 and #2 in % of store sales, raising $7,647 in 2019. Thank you, John! We appreciate you!

Gina Brod

WFM Rocky Mountain Region Colfax Store

As WFM Colfax Store Support Team Member, WFM Team Member Volunteer in 2013 in India and store TIME representative, Gina Brod has coordinated and organized local artist donations for an in-store silent auction to raise funds for WPF for the last 5 years. Since her WFM TM Volunteer trip to India with the Miracle Foundation in 2013, she continues to tell WFM shoppers and team members alike about this trip, which she says “was life changing”. Gina has donated through her paycheck for over 12 years and for the last 5 or 6 years has received a donation at the register for a full loan at least once (but often twice) during the WPF donation drive. She’s been the top fundraiser at the Colfax WFM store, and last year the top fundraiser in the region. During WPF’s Annual Prosperity Campaign, when she opens the store she appreciates and encourages team members to participate in helping drive funds for the foundation (either via their paycheck or by raising funds at checkout). She even recruited a local business in Golden, CO (where the store is located) to donate a percentage of their sales to Whole Planet Foundation. During each annual WPF campaign, dressed in her sari, she educates customers to drive donations to WPF. Associate Store Team Leader Andrea Horton shared “Gina is one of the most dedicated team members I’ve worked with in my ten years in the company. She gives legendary customer service and is hugely popular with customers. She has customers who only go through her line. She truly exemplifies our core values and is very dedicated to the Whole Planet mission year after year, always driving recognition for our store for success in donation drives. She’s been a huge asset to the company for the last 16 years.” Thank you, Gina! We appreciate you!

Reno Yanes

Primal Kitchen and Divine Chocolate

At Divine Chocolate and now at Primal Kitchen as VP of Sales – Natural, Reno has guided companies to support Whole Planet Foundation as deeply and in as many ways as they can. Years ago, as a WFM Team Member, Reno gave a significant contribution out of his paycheck to support WPF. At Divine, Reno was a fantastic partner! He helped Divine move into the Microloan-A-Month level of donation to WPF. He donated over 1,500 boxes of chocolates to help WPF appreciate Global Office Team Members during Team Member Appreciation Month. He led Divine as the only WPF supplier partner at our very first holiday bazaar event, donating product to help promote Divine’s generous support and promoting excitement for Divine’s Advent Calendar scanback program. Moving on to Primal Kitchen, he quickly committed the brand to the Microloan-A-Month level. He has attended all bazaars open to Primal Kitchen, donated product for team member and external partner events,  joined the WPF Committee, help secure a $10K donor (Yin Yang Naturals) for our Party with a Purpose, has joined both domestic and international impact visits with the WPF team, and even moved Primal Kitchen up into the $10K Fund WPF Supplier Partner level. He is a trusted partner that we lean on for helpful feedback and help in understanding the ins and outs of the retail space which informs our strategy to acquire new supplier partners and promote the generosity of current partners. Reno has demonstrated time and again his dedication to our mission and our partnership and we look forward to continuing our work with him! Thank you, Reno! We appreciate you!

Aimee Tsakirellis

Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods

As Director of Marketing for Cedar’s, Aimee has been the driving force behind Whole Planet Foundation’s 2 year partnership with Cedar’s Foods. Since Cedar’s joined the $25K Fund Supplier Partner level, Aimee has been a wonderful partner, always looking to engage and support beyond their monetary contribution. Every year, Aimee has provided exceptional support by hosting a table at our events and sending us swag and free item coupons to enhance many Whole Planet Foundation activations. Aimee supports new innovations in our Whole Planet Foundation programing like the Women’s Expo and the initiation of the Team Member Giving promotion during last year’s Campaign, the success of which will insure its continuation into the future. She is delightful to work with and is fully aligned with us for all the right reasons! Thank you, Aimee! We appreciate you!

Allison and Adam Grossman

Seaweed Bath Co.

As co-founders of The Seaweed Bath Co., Alison and Adam are always happy to support Whole Planet Foundation events with contributions. This year, Allison joined the WPF Community Engagement Committee and has helped recruit contributions from other local suppliers and businesses for WPF’s Party with a Purpose. The Seaweed Bath Co has grown from scanback partner, to Microloan-A-Month, to $10K Fund level. They are always present to table at WPF Bazaar events and are happy to contribute products to other Whole Planet Foundation activations throughout the year.  They have also sent suppliers and external partners our way, like Emmy’s, who joined the $10K Fund Supplier Partner level. The Seaweed Bath Co. has worked closely with WPF to support their in-store scanback activations with custom signage, in-store support and program roll out. They also executed one of our first Instagram takeovers beautifully, helping us to explore new ways of engaging with our audience. We have used them as a partnership best practice example when onboarding new partners and guiding current partners. They are just a great team to work with all around! Thank you, Allison and Adam! We appreciate you!

Michael BashawMichael Bashaw

WFM Regional President Midwest Region

As Regional President of the Midwest region for many years, Michael has always made support of Whole Planet Foundation a priority in his region. From the outstanding participation of Midwest Team Members in education initiatives to his region’s ranking as the top region in fundraising for Whole Planet Foundation for many years, he has done an outstanding job of empowering his leadership and individual Team Members. The Midwest training team educates their TMs with Team Members having completed 6,890 WPF online trainings in 2019, which represented 40% of all completions throughout the company. With Michael’s support, the Midwest region’s Training, Store Support and Leadership teams execute on an outstanding level. Here are some of the outstanding results: Midwest region was #1 in fundraising in the company in 2016, raising $477,492, #1 in 2017, raising $545,464, ($171k more than the next region), #1 in 2018 raising $455,437, and #1 in 2019 raising $490,077! 100% of this money goes to alleviate poverty at home and around the globe. Michael set the bar in empowering his teams to support Whole Planet Foundation’s work. Thank you, Michael! We appreciate you!

Luis Donoso

WFM Southwest Region Distribution Center

Years ago, our team visited WFM Distribution Centers all over the company to share WPF’s work with  Whole Foods Market Team Members. At WFM’s Northern California Distribution Center, Facility Team Leader Luis not only helped almost every single one of his TMs to be able to attend our classes about the work of Whole Planet Foundation, he also provided Spanish and Mandarin translators to provide access to learning for all. He has always promoted Team Member Giving at his locations and encouraged TMs by making sure that they get the chance to understand our work and support it. Throughout his years in WFM, Luis has always supported the foundation, both getting involved himself and encouraging and empowering his team to do so as well. Since moving to the Southwest Distribution Center, Luis has supported our work by holding and moving product, providing assistance with our Annual Party with a Purpose, providing volunteers and volunteering himself, staying until the last item was unloaded and moved back into our offices. Luis is gem! He makes it easy for us to share Whole Planet Foundation’s work with his teams, helps us with every task he can, personally, and with the support of his teams, and always with a smile. Thank you, Luis! We appreciate you!

Scott Vanderpool

WFM South Region Regional Office

Scott started at Whole Foods Market Cary as a cashier in 2007, working his way up to Store Support Assistant Team Leader, then Team Leader, then Senior Operations Representative in the South Region, supporting Whole Planet Foundation for many years. Scott has inspired team members to get involved in the foundation’s mission, culminating in leading the South Region 2019 Prosperity Campaign to exceed their regional fundraising goal by ten thousand dollars. Scott held conference calls, educated TMs, supported a regional cookie sale bolstered by the generosity of the South Bakehouse, invited WPF team members to guest speak in-person and via technology, and communicated with cashiers for a team effort to alleviate poverty around the globe! Thank you, Scott! We appreciate you!

Keely Dietz

WFM Southwest Region Lamar Store

As Store Support Team Leader for the WFM Lamar store in downtown Austin, Keely has an outstanding commitment to the mission of Whole Planet Foundation. She provides education leading up to the campaign for each and every Team Member on her team through a series of team meetings. She enlists Team Member Volunteer Program alumni from her store to share their personal experiences meeting microcredit clients, sets up teams on her team to compete with each other and provides incentives and prizes to inspire performance. Of the things that she teaches her team, one of the most important, aside from the mission of WPF, is to ask each and every customer to donate during every transaction. She even helps with supplier signage in the store, bringing recognition to the top supplier donors to WPF. Lamar was the #1 store in funds raised for Whole Planet Foundation in our Annual Prosperity Campaign in 2017, raising $32,838, in 2018, raising $31,398 and in 2019 raising $32,817. Keely motivates her team, sharing her passion for poverty alleviation, helping her team to achieve Lamar’s goal to be the #1 store in fundraising for Whole Planet Foundation. Thank you, Keely! We appreciate you!

 

Vera Hale

WFM United Kingdom Region Regional Office

Vera has been a treasure to the Whole Planet Foundation team, serving on the UK Board of Directors for WPF for several years while also helping Whole Planet Foundation to inspire TM excellence in awareness and fundraising throughout the UK Region of Whole Foods Market. She has assisted in education, marketing and fundraising efforts throughout her region, amplifying our ability to engage the region’s team members into action, and inspiring shoppers to give. Her boundless energy and enthusiasm are infectious! Thank you, Vera! We appreciate you!

Ashley Hoag

WFM Global Office

As a data analyst and long-time team member, Ashley has supported Whole Planet Foundation for years. She stepped up her support in 2018 by volunteering to design new Prosperity Campaign reports for enhanced data visualization.  In 2019, as Senior Reporting & Visualization Analyst, Ashley hit a grand slam with Tableau reports that increased information, decreased labor for regions and the foundation, and provided interactive, hourly information on the Prosperity Campaign.  She made enhancements along the way, paying attention to every detail and even worked with our team to add WPF branding to the reports!  When it came time to recognize the top 10 cashiers in every region, Ashley created new reports to assist in appreciating these critical campaigners. The end result is a tool that helped cashiers and leadership to meet and exceed their fundraising goals, supporting the world’s poorest people! Thank you, Ashley! We appreciate you!

Darren Melonson

WFM Global Office

Darren has tirelessly supported Whole Planet Foundation for years. In thinking about TMs who always suit up and show up for Whole Planet Foundation, Darren tops the list. He has helped us at every WPF Bazaar at the Global Office, attends every local event, and has even traveled to countries where WPF has funded microcredit to meet microcredit clients in person on the WFM TM Volunteer Program. He helps at almost every event in Austin from the Women’s Expo, to our quarterly WPF Bazaars, to the annual Party with a Purpose, to International Women’s Day events, to any event where WPF has a presence. He shows up with a smile on his face and a passion for helping people not just in Austin but all over the world. Thank you, Darren! We appreciate you!

John Mackey

WFM Global Office

John Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market and founder and Board Member Emeritus of Whole Planet Foundation. Whole Planet Foundation was born out of John Mackey’s desire to help alleviate poverty in communities around the globe where Whole Foods Market sources products, a manifestation of WFM’s core value “We care about our communities and the environment”. His desire to assist our global communities as well as our local communities drove the initiative to find a way to do that in a sustainable and effective manner. John met Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and author of Banker to the Poor who introduced John to his approach of poverty alleviation through funding microlending programs. From the original idea to create a Foundation to alleviate poverty around the globe, to Whole Planet Foundation’s 2019 impact in 77 countries and 17 US cities, John has been a driving force behind what we do and how we do it. He has also given personally, contributing stock options and book royalties. Whole Planet Foundation would not exist without his vision and for that, we are eternally grateful. Thank you, John! We appreciate you!

Glenda FlanaganGlenda Flanagan

WFM Global Office

Glenda Flanagan is a Founding Board Member of Whole Planet Foundation.   As a Foundation director and in both her current role at Whole Foods Market as Executive Vice President and Strategic Advisor (since 2017) and in her previous role as Chief Financial Officer  (from 1988 – 2017), Glenda has actively championed customer and Team Member engagement and has provided financial and strategic guidance since Whole Planet Foundation began.  She is a generous donor to the Foundation and was a Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer in Thailand in 2014, witnessing in person the transformative power of microcredit.  She has also traveled to Costa Rica and Guatemala to meet microcredit clients and see the impact that Whole Planet Foundation’s funds have made there through Grameen Trust.   Thank you, Glenda! We appreciate you!

AC GalloAC Gallo

WFM Global Office

A.C. Gallo is the President and Chief Merchandising Officer for Whole Foods Market and Board Member for Whole Planet Foundation. He has been a champion for the Whole Trade Guarantee program since it began. 1% of sales of Whole Trade products sold in Whole Foods Markets are donated to Whole Planet Foundation, with over $18 million donated since inception. Throughout the years, at numerous internal and external events, A.C. has shared the mission of Whole Planet Foundation to encourage involvement and to raise the profile of the foundation.  A.C.’s input as a Board Member has been invaluable and management has depended on his steady hand and clear vision to keep Whole Planet Foundation on its mission. Thank you, AC! We appreciate you!

Jeff Teter allegro coffeeJeff Teter

Allegro Coffee Company

Jeff Teter and Allegro Coffee Company, with its sourcing model supporting communities, helped inspire and launch Whole Planet Foundation. Jeff is the President and General Manager of Allegro Coffee Company.  Since 2005, through Jeff’s leadership, Allegro has donated $641,642 to Whole Planet Foundation.  Jeff is always eager to support and adds value to Whole Planet Foundation as a founding member of the Board of Directors, utilizing his 20 years of business leadership. Jeff has met microcredit clients in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Thank you, Jeff! We appreciate you!

lee valkenaarLee Valkenaar

WFM Global Office

Lee Valkenaar is a founding member of the Whole Planet Foundation Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board since 2008.  Lee supported Whole Planet Foundation in his role as Whole Foods Market’s Executive Vice President of Global Support, helping to formulate the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program and Whole Planet Foundation’s strategy to reach the world’s poorest people with a chance to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Lee has met microcredit clients in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Thank you, Lee! We appreciate you!

Jeff Turnas

WFM Global Office

Jeff Turnas is Senior Vice President of Global Culinary Procurement and Operations for Whole Foods Market and a Member of the Whole Planet Foundation Board of Directors. As President of the U.K. Region from 2009 to 2015 Jeff has been a huge supporter of Whole Planet Foundation, our outreach and mission. His determination to find innovative ways for the UK region of WFM to support the foundation, emphasis on recognizing WPF supplier partner generosity and commitment to providing access to share the foundation’s work and opportunities to participate with all Team Members, he has been an outstanding advocate for our impact and outreach. In his newest role as  Senior Vice President of Global Culinary Procurement and Operations for Whole Foods Market he has already finding ways to support us. His support is huge, both professionally and personally. Thank you Jeff! We appreciate you!

 

Class of 2018

Akila Whole Planet Foundation hall of fame cashier

Akila Ramakrishnan

Akila Ramakrishnan

Northern California Region

Akila has been San Rafael’s #1 cashier for Whole Planet Foundation’s Annual Prosperity Campaign for years and was in the top 3 for the Northern California region of Whole Foods Market in 2018. The campaign means a lot to her because, coming from India, she has seen the inequality and the hardships women go through and she wants to help them prosper. She attributes her success to having a visual aid (brochure) for customers to look at, as well as being educated about the work of Whole Planet Foundation so that she can share that knowledge with customers. Akila not only wants to make a difference by asking every customer to donate, but also cares about her team’s success by encouraging her fellow Team Members to also do well on the campaign. Thank you Akila! We appreciate you!

Angus Cann Whole Foods Market India Hall of Fame

Angus (far right) pictured with other Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteers on their volunteer trip to India.

Angus Cann

Global Support

Angus’ devotion to Whole Planet Foundation is legendary on the Whole Planet Foundation team. He has a deep understanding of our work and how to convert that into videos that represent Whole Planet Foundation’s support of poverty alleviation through microcredit in a way that is so direct and easy to understand. In his role as a producer with Whole Foods Market he has created excellent video content about our work for many years. His professionalism, outstanding creativity and personal knowledge in representing our work makes the videos he produces for us instrumental in increasing awareness about Whole Planet Foundation and in reaching new supporters. Thank you Angus! We appreciate you!

Carolyn Miller Whole Planet Hall of Fame

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller

Rocky Mountain Region

Carolyn is a huge supporter of everything Whole Planet Foundation. She has a true passion for the program and has raised thousands of dollars, becoming one of the top fundraisers at the Pikes Peak Whole Foods Market store over the past many years. She has ranked in the top 10 fundraising cashiers in the Rocky Mountain Region for the Whole Planet Foundation Prosperity Campaign in 2016 and again in 2018. Carolyn’s care shines through as she explains how Whole Planet Foundation operates and takes the time with each customer to answer questions. She will often educate new team members, coaching them on how to ask for donations. She has helped with multiple events including rummage sales and bake sales. She insists on cashiering at a busy register during the campaign to make certain she can engage with the largest number of customers. The money she has raised is even more impressive considering she is a part time cashier and only works 4 days a week. She continues to be a huge inspiration to her store and fellow team members. Thank you Carolyn! We appreciate you!

Darrick accepts the Whole Planet Foundation Trailblazer Award on behalf of Traditional Medicinals, Women Serve, and Nioma Sadler.

Darrick Blinoff

Traditional Medicinals

Darrick is a shining star year-over-year. As Traditional Medicinals’ Director of Health & Natural, Darrick works with the Whole Planet Foundation team to maximize $50,000 Supplier Alliance for Microcredit partnership opportunities to further our collective mission to alleviate global poverty. Darrick is a delight to work with and is always ready to engage in and support activations through event sponsorships and donations of Traditional Medicinals tea and branded items. He leads by example with his can-do attitude and creative and well-executed engagement plans, and thereby serves as a great model for new Whole Planet Foundation supplier partners. Darrick’s enthusiasm for pioneering new digital storytelling opportunities with us helps us evolve and grow as an organization. For all these reasons and more, he has been a key player in our growing partnership with Traditional Medicinals and one of the many reasons Traditional Medicinals was selected by our Whole Planet Foundation team to receive the 2018 Whole Planet Foundation Trailblazer award, for community programs in India and having donated $305,949, helping to provide 5,402 microloans, offering 29,411 opportunities to entrepreneurs and their families to lift themselves out of poverty to date. Thank you Darrick! We appreciate you!

Emily Krapausky, Josh Runyan, Milena Brkic, and Nicole Kiley Feidt

Midwest Region Training and Store Support Champions for WPF

The Midwest Region has excelled in raising awareness and funds for Whole Planet Foundation for years. They were the #1 fundraising Region of Whole Foods Market for the 2018, 2017 and 2016 Whole Planet Foundation Annual Prosperity Campaigns!  What is the secret to their success?  It’s a combination of focusing on education, helping to set cashier goals, and support of their cashiers in advance of, and during, the WPF Annual Prosperity Campaign.  This approach has produced remarkable results!

Emily Krapausky, Josh Runyan, Milena Brkic, and Nicole Kiley Feidt

From the Midwest Region Playbook for the Annual Prosperity Campaign, to creating Midwest training tools, to support of Whole Planet Foundation education initiatives, to encouraging excitement and participation through reporting and recognition, Nicole Kiley Feidt and Milena Brkic take the cake! When it comes to helping to set and attain Whole Planet Foundation Campaign fundraising goals and encouraging excellence in fundraising while keeping the excitement and competition going through reporting and recognition throughout the campaign, Emily Krapausky and Josh Runyan are the best! Thank you Emily, Josh, Milena and Nicole! We appreciate you!

Jason Pollock Whole Planet Foundation Hall of Fame

Jason Pollock

Jason Pollock

Global Support

Jason has been an invaluable supporter of Whole Planet Foundation’s website redesign, starting in 2016. As a mentor, advisor, and subject matter expert, Jason empowered Whole Planet Foundation’s team to create and design a new site, lending a helpful ear and encouraging advice whenever asked. Jason has also donated many hours of coding to support Whole Planet Foundation’s site, and continues to support website updates and the move to a new server environment. It is a pleasure to work with Jason due to his relaxed demeanor and sense of humor as technical “issues” appear, and we hope to have him continue to support our work for many years to come. Thank you Jason! We appreciate you!

Jeff with WPF’s Olivia Hayden.

Jeff McGee

Global Support

Jeff has been a Whole Planet Foundation fanatic for many years, contributing to the success of two iterations of Whole Planet Foundation’s website, as well as volunteering for (nearly) every event the foundation puts on in Austin. As a tester on the Whole Foods Market digital team, Jeff generously donated his time and skills to make sure education, outreach, and fundraising on the Whole Planet Foundation website runs smoothly and efficiently. Today, Jeff has moved into new roles with Whole Foods Market, but continues to advise the foundation about user experience, project management, and other website-related best practices. Jeff’s passion for giving back stems from his experience serving in the military and witnessing the need in communities around the globe. Along with Jeff’s kindness and generosity, we appreciate his commitment to support our mission and his helpful spirit in everything he does. Thank you Jeff! We appreciate you!

Joe Pingitore

Joe Pingitore

Pacific Northwest Region

Joe has been a team member at the West Vancouver Whole Foods Market for over 11 years, and in that time, he has been the top fundraiser for the Whole Planet Foundation Annual Prosperity Campaign almost every year, and has also been the top fundraiser in the Pacific Northwest region of Whole Foods Market on a few occasions.

He raised $1,151 at the register for 2018, was a 2017 top 10 cashier for the Pacific Northwest region, raising$1255 and was a 2016 top 10 cashier for the Pacific Northwest region of WFM, raising $2,093. His passion and enthusiasm for the Whole Planet Foundation is evident from how much he enjoys educating WFM customers about it. Joe also loves sharing his knowledge with fellow WFM employees, and actively coaches and encourages them throughout the campaign. Joe does a great job every year of making Whole Planet Foundation come alive in his Whole Foods Market store. Thank you Joe! We appreciate you!

Josh Dicks showing off an award from the 2018 Annual Prosperity Campaign.

Josh Dicks

Midwest Region

The West Des Moines Whole Foods Market store has achieved #1 in Whole Planet Foundation fundraising as a percent of sales for four straight years in a row and #6 in dollars raised in 2018. By motivating each and every team member to innovate and succeed, the Store Support Team Leader at West Des Moines Whole Foods Market Josh Dicks’ drive and passion has led his team to the top of the pack. Josh’s team at West Des Moines celebrated Josh by writing, “He is the driving force for the fundraisers and his perseverance and consistency is proof as to why he deserves the Hall of Fame honor.” Thank you Josh! We appreciate you!

Louisa Gomes Hall of Fame

Louisa Gomes in her Power Her Potential gear.

Louisa Gomes

North Atlantic Region

Each year Louisa covers herself in Whole Planet Foundation buttons and flair, proudly wears her Whole Planet Foundation hat and sweatshirt, and brings her change jar and WPF brochures to each register—ringing in groceries and donations. Customers can’t help but pick up on her enthusiasm, dedication, and passion for Whole Planet Foundation. Louisa engages in a dialogue with each and every customer about WPF’s work and serves as a successful fundraising model for her fellow team members. She shares her experience living in Bangladesh, where Grameen Bank was created and the methodology of microcredit that WPF funds was developed, and where she experienced the positive effects of microfinance firsthand. Louisa’s rapport with customers keeps awareness and donations rolling in. Her dedication to sharing Whole Planet Foundation with all her customers and her relentless enthusiasm have led her to be an extremely successful fundraiser. Louisa goes above and beyond every year. She was a top 10 cashier in the North Atlantic Region of Whole Foods Market in fundraising for WPF in 2016, raising $1398, and again in 2018 raising $1715! We are so grateful to have someone who spreads excitement and devotion to Whole Planet Foundation throughout her entire store. Thank you Louisa! We appreciate you!

Ly, far left, with WPFs Sandy Mariscal at the 2018 Party with a Purpose benefit.

Ly Ung

Sambazon

Ly Ung is a mission champion in many ways. His unwavering commitment to Sambazon’s Triple Bottom Line, striving for Social, Environmental and Economic success, and its alignment to Whole Planet Foundation is admirable and authentic. His 7 years with Sambazon have been driven by this passion and since he took point on Whole Planet Foundation partnership opportunities 3 years ago, that energy and commitment has spilled over to our mission of poverty alleviation through the vehicle of microcredit. Ly is always open to supporting Whole Planet Foundation activations year-round and telling the story of our work together. He inspires his team to support and innovate in the Annual Prosperity Campaign activation. Sambazon’s dedication to planning and allocation of resources was especially apparent during last year’s Campaign. Ly embraced our Power Her Potential theme and led his team to incorporate this concept into their activations for our Prosperity Campaign, Inaugural October 25th WPF Annual Benefit and Power Her Potential Women’s Expo. Ly is a trusted partner who both offers valuable insight and ideas, and values what others around him have to offer. In short, he empowers everyone to do more. Thank you Ly! We appreciate you!

Peter Benvenuto

Global Support

Peter Benvenuto Hall of Fame

Peter Benvenuto in front of Whole Planet Foundation’s project map.

Peter has greatly supported the Whole Planet Foundation Annual Prosperity Campaign every year, since our Annual Campaign started. He has created and updated complicated queries and reports that allow us to track store and regional performance during our campaign, year after year. He is meticulous in his work and the accuracy, timeliness and reliability of his reporting is crucial to inspiring the kind of competitive nature on which Whole Foods Market team members thrive, thus helping us to raise the funds that we can then use to alleviate poverty by providing access to microcredit at home and around the world. His diligence in reporting and consistently can-do attitude makes working with him a pleasure. In the words of a member of the WPF team “In the 4+ years that I worked with Peter on Whole Planet projects, he is always accommodating, expeditious, efficient, creative, patient, even-keeled and friendly in our collaborations, every step of the way.” Thank you Peter! We appreciate you!

Pip on the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program to Costa Rica.

Pip Sherratt

United Kingdom 

Pip has worked tirelessly to support and promote Whole Planet Foundation’s work. She is an active, and very effective advocate for Whole Foods Market employee giving through Team Member payslips. Vera Hale writes, “Pip is our paycheck donation queen! She is passionate about educating Team Members about Whole Planet Foundation an encourages all team members to donate through their paychecks, even if a few pence. It all makes an impact!” She is an enthusiastic ambassador for Whole Planet Foundation and spreading awareness through the WFM United Kingdom Regional office and the entire region for our Annual Prosperity Campaign. She organizes and drives the sample sale at the WFM UK Regional Office which raised £1508 in 2018. She is an exemplary Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer, having shared her experience meeting microcredit clients of WPF partner Asociación Costa Rica Grameen and inspiring WFM employees, suppliers and customers to get involved. Vera Hale writes “She is a true core values partner and a champion of our higher purpose at Whole Foods Market.” Thank you Pip! We appreciate you!

Rick DiFelippis

Mid-Atlantic Region

rick hall of fame

Rick DiFelippis

Rick was the Store Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Fair Lakes for many years, having more recently become the Store Team Leader of the Whole Foods Market in Arlington. Rick has always been a strong supporter of Whole Planet Foundation and personally empowers team members in his stores to create events and fundraising activities to reach their stores full campaign potential. Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for Store Support Val McCauseland wrote “through the years, Rick’s stores have been in the top 5 in the Region every year, many times in the top 5 of Whole Foods Market stores for fundraising during the WPF Annual Prosperity Campaign.” Arlington was a Top 10 store for all of Whole Foods Market stores in 2018 for dollars raised and Fair Lakes was #3 in 2016. Rick attends and supports regional and store events to support those team members who are hosting the event and he holds celebrations at his store for them when they reach their fundraising goals. Rick is a long standing Whole Foods Market Store Team Leader who empowers and inspires his team members to celebrate their heritage while honoring the countries where Whole Planet Foundation funds microlending programs. Thank you Rick! We appreciate you!

rob hill hall of fame

Rob Hill

Rob Hill

South Region

Rob excels at fundraising for Whole Planet Foundation at the register in his Chapel Hill WFM store. Jesse Nelson, Associate Coordinator of Store Support for the South Region, writes: “There are dozens of adjectives you could use to describe Rob; kind hearted, a modern-day renaissance man, energetic, inspiring, disciplined, though he is also much too humble to choose any of those himself. It would be easy enough to make a case for Rob’s admission to the Whole Planet Foundation Hall of Fame strictly based on his fundraising track record; just shy of $23,000 since 2014, an average of almost $4,600 per campaign! However, his support of Whole Planet Foundation runs much deeper. One of the amazing things about WFM is our support of communities at every level, local to Global, and Rob embodies this philosophy completely.”

When asked for his thoughts on Whole Planet Foundation, Rob said “Whole Planet Foundation is one of the best things to get the community together and to help start small businesses. It’s brilliant! It offers a positive way for communities to have access to money. It is a great community project.” Thank you Rob! We appreciate you!

Hall of Fame Inaugural Class

Craig Williams

Global Support

craig williams hall of fame

Craig Williams

Craig Williams took Whole Planet Foundation’s website to another level.  Thanks to Craig’s work over several years, more than $100,000 was raised online and the Foundation gained a new audience.  Craig embodied the qualities of a Hall of Fame contributor so much that he is the inaugural member!  Craig inspired Whole Planet Foundation and his team with a dedication to quietly and expertly program our website, behind the scenes and not needing any appreciation except the knowledge that he was helping to alleviate poverty.  Craig also made meetings fun – he was always sharing his love for coffee and keeping us caffeinated – whilst taking care of business with a dry joke and being game for a laugh even when deadlines were serious.  Although we lost Craig in 2015, he lives on in our memories as one of the early adopters of Whole Planet Foundation, which makes him even more special.  Thank you Craig! We appreciate you.

bobby hall of fame

Bobby Covington receiving his Hall of Fame award from WPF Executive Director Philip Sansone

Bobby Covington

Global Support

Bobby’s tireless commitment to Whole Planet Foundation and to alleviating poverty around the globe is legendary on our team. As Senior Executive Assistant, he supports Whole Planet Foundation in a myriad of ways, from scheduling meetings for and supporting our Board of Directors to participating in the 2014 Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Ghana. On return from Ghana he created the 2015 Road To Prosperity 5K, organizing the run and raising $7,000 to benefit WPF and The Blessing Basket Project’s education fund. Currently he continues to support education for several children in Ghana. Thank you Bobby! We appreciate you.

Bryan Reese

bryan reese hall of fame

Bryan Reese on the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Madagascar

Southern Pacific Region

Bryan Reese is a gem! From his enthusiasm about being chosen to participate in the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program, to his jubilation at having been assigned the destination of Madagascar, Bryan has been an exemplary Team Member Volunteer. On return to the Southern Pacific region of Whole Foods Market, he trained no fewer than 1,000 employees on the work of Whole Planet Foundation and the opportunity to participate in the WFM TM Volunteer Program. He also made a video that was distributed region-wide, describing his experience and offering the opportunity for so many people to learn about the Team Member Volunteer program and the microlending projects that WPF supports. Thank you Bryan! We appreciate you.

Renee DeMan

Midwest/Northeast Region

renee hall of fame

Renee DeMan on the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in India

Renee is a powerhouse! She is bursting with good energy and the desire to help people towards the opportunity
for a better life. At the Whole Foods Market store in Lincoln, Nebraska she led an initiative on Poverty is Unnecessary Day, partnering with THE BAY and SKATE FOR CHANGE to support poverty alleviation in her local community while spotlighting global poverty alleviation through Whole Planet Foundation. She appeared on local television, raising awareness about WPF and rallying the community to help on Poverty Is Unnecessary Day by joining her in distributing lunches, hand warmers and other goods to the homeless. She was a Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer in India in 2015 and helped organize a booth, supporting WPF for the WFM Northeast Region “NE Feed” event. Thank you Renee! We appreciate you.

Danny Ohren

danny ohren

Danny Ohren on the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Togo

Midwest Region

Danny Ohren is a phenomenon. He has been one of the top fundraisers at the register in his Whole Foods Market store in Omaha for years and one year even raised over $8000, one donation at a time! He represented his region with Whole Planet Foundation on the WFM Team Member Volunteer Program in Togo and and visited Mexico with WPF as a result of his deep commitment to communicating the mission of the foundation to his customers during each day of the Annual Prosperity Campaign. His stellar attitude and love of helping people have catapulted him into the top tier of fundraisers for Whole Planet Foundation. Thank you Danny! We appreciate you.

Michael Beard

Michael Beard in guatemala

Michael Beard on the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Guatemala

Mid-Atlantic Region

What can we say about Michael Beard? He is amazing! He was number 2 in fundraising at the register for the entire company in 2017, and he has supported Whole Planet Foundation in a big way since at least 2008. Michael’s mantra for fundraising at the registers is: “While I was in Guatemala, I saw the difference these loans make. You have to believe in what you’re talking about. I believe in it.” A customer once told Michael, “I never want to donate to these things, but you seem so passionate about it that it makes me want to give.” His year after year commitment to and achievement of helping people to lift themselves out of poverty is outstanding, along with his beautiful attitude and generosity.  Thank you Michael! We appreciate you.

Heather Masullo

whole planet hall of fame recipients

Heather Masullo (fourth from left) with the team from Whole Foods Market McEwen

South Region

The McEwen Whole Foods Market store has led the South Region in dollars raised since it opened 6 years ago. They have also finished in the top 10 globally. As Store Team Leader, Heather has fostered an environment in her store where each Team Member, regardless of department, gets behind the Whole Planet Foundation Prosperity Campaign every year. Though humble about her part in her store’s success, she is the glue that holds it all together. Thank you Heather!

Cherish Garrett & Lauren O’Mara

Florida Regional Office

Cherish and lauren

Cherish Garrett & Lauren O’Mara on the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Ghana

Talk about a “dream team!” Cherish and Lauren went on the 2016 Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program to Ghana and their feet have not touched the ground since! Their drive to support microentrepreneurs and serve the people of Ghana in particular is impressive. When they returned from their volunteer program started a Whole Planet Foundation road show in Orlando and Sarasota, raising awareness through mini trainings, all store meetings, presenting in Team Member breakrooms and educating in WFM stores.  They taught the WFM Florida regional team and new hires, reaching over 700 TMs and countless Whole Foods Market customers with their personal experience of meeting microcredit clients and providing community service in a rural community in Ghana. They created informational in-store displays with literature, did back of house trainings, created PowerPoints and led discussions about volunteer impact, spreading the word about Whole Foods Market’s higher purpose. Thank you Cherish and Lauren! We appreciate you.

Amy hall of fame

Amy Lienhart at the register in her Whole Foods Market store in Sedona

Amy Lienhart

Southern Pacific Region

Amy has been the top fundraiser at the Sedona Whole Foods Market store for 3 years in a row! It was inspiring to hear her approach with Whole Foods Market shoppers and Team Members who came through her line. Not only did she ask if people wanted to donate, she gave each individual a mini-education on Whole Planet Foundation and the work that we do. Her care in educating shoppers and Team Members is remarkable and even resulted in a one-time donation of $1,000! Thank you Amy! We appreciate you.

Zach Ruoff

zach ruoff hall of fame

Zach Ruoff with his Whole Foods Market Ink Block store’s awards for excellence in fundraising for Whole Planet Foundation

North Atlantic Region

Zach provided a huge amount of passion, training and encouragement to the customer service team at Ink Block. He has brought empowerment and passion to multiple stores and multiple teams. He is a real mentor to all, providing fundraising best practices to his fellow Team Members. He allows Team Members to be as creative and active as they can be, making time for fundraising and awareness building. He has been a force for Whole Planet Foundation in every store in which he has worked. As a Customer Service Team Leader, he has helped his teams to raise over $125,000 to alleviate poverty. Zach has driven the program and has shared his strategy in a way that has created multiple Team Leaders and Associate Team Leaders that have worked under his leadership to do the same. Thank you Zach! We appreciate you.

Nathaniel Prosser

Southern Pacific/Southwest Region

Nathanial prosperity campaign

Nathaniel Prosser raising funds at the register at Whole Foods Market Lamar in Austin

If you’ve stopped in to Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin lately, you may have seen a man behind the register with an amazingly tall (sometimes rainbow) mohawk. Why the mohawk? Because of Nathaniel’s super creative “Hack it or Hawk it” campaign, which has raised over $70K between the three Whole Foods Market foundations. Impressively, Nathaniel doubled what he raised in 2016 to raise over $4600 at the cash register in 2017. He also traveled with WPF to Morocco in 2013, representing the Southern Pacific Region. His travel with Whole Planet Foundation helps him speak about the foundation’s mission with shoppers and his passion for giving back to local and global communities shines brightly. Thank you Nathaniel!

 

Scott White

Southwest Region

Scott White at the 2017 Party with a Purpose fundraiser for Whole Planet Foundation

What can we say about Scott? He has supported Whole Planet Foundation forever! It all started when he was a supervisor at the Global Help Desk. His attention to detail and forward thinking kept all of us on track and able to efficiently do our jobs. He has helped the Whole Planet Foundation team in so many ways over the years that it would be impossible to list them all. At WFM Gateway in Austin, Scott was in the top 10 fundraising cashiers in his store from 2012-16, motivated by how he has met microcredit clients in Africa and in the United States. Scott is ready and willing to help the WPF team day or night, regardless of the hour. He has loaded, hauled and set up equipment, he has spoken at events about his own personal experience meeting microcredit clients, he has brought the WPF team sustenance when we were in the midst of a huge project, he has helped ideate the vision of WPF for our Annual Prosperity Campaign and our events, he shot and edited a video to share our mission, he has solved a myriad of last minute problems and saved the day, and last but not least he always has a joke and a smile, keeping the team strong and spirits high. Thank you Scott! We appreciate you.

Jason Martinez

Global Support

jason martinez hall of fame whole planet foundation

Jason Martinez at Ping Pong for the Planet fundraiser for Whole Planet Foundation

Jason sneaks up on you. He is so quiet and calm that sometimes you do not even realize that he is there, but he is, always listening and figuring out how he can best help the Whole Planet Foundation team with any event that we plan in Austin. We are blessed to have someone who cares as much about the mission of alleviating poverty and at the same time, has the patience and know how to get so much done. His commitment is evident in everything that he does. At any given WPF event he is the first to arrive and the last to depart, having made sure that everything is ship shape before he leaves. He helps wrangle volunteers and is game for anything that helps WPF’s goals get achieved. He was an exemplary Team Captain on the 2016 Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program in Togo, looking out for his team from the US to Togo and back and was instrumental in creating the 2016 WFM TMVP Togo Impact Report. On his return from Togo he organized “Ping Pong for the Planet” at the WFM Global office, hilarious good fun that raised over $500 to support poverty alleviation through Whole Planet Foundation. Thank you Jason! We appreciate you.

Lorraine Kayser

Presence Marketing

lorraine meeting microcredit client reyna in austin texas

Lorraine, third from right, visiting Reyna (center) a microcredit client of Grameen America

Lorraine Kayser is the Senior National Account Executive overseeing Whole Foods Market for Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence. Lorraine shepherds brands to engage with Whole Planet Foundation. The best part about Lorraine’s support is that she has traveled extensively throughout the world and is motivated to introduce like-minded partners who want to join in the impact of microcredit, so her work is full of energy and passion! Lorraine’s support can be seen in the supplier partners who now donate to WPF at these levels- $100,000 Fund: Chobani and Zico, $50,000 Supplier Alliance for Microcredit: Bonafide, Boulder Brands, Frontera, Organic India, Sambazon, and Traditional Medicinals, $25,000 Poverty is Unnecessary Fund: High Brew and WTRMLN WTR, and $10,000 Fund: Late July. Lorraine also supported these brands in donating to alleviate poverty: Bhakti, Dang, Divine, Illy, PopChips, ProBar and Suja, as well as her employer Presence Marketing, for a grand total of helping brands donate over a million dollars for microcredit!

gayle grindley of seventh generation unilever with microcredit clients in guatemala

Gayle Grindley in Guatemala with microcredit clients of Friendship Bridge

Gayle Grindley

Seventh Generation

Gayle is the Natural Channel Sales Director for Unilever, a founding member of the Supplier Alliance for Microcredit since 2007 through Seventh Generation. Gayle has been a constant supporter in many ways for years! She stewards a $50,000 annual contribution to Whole Planet Foundation and engages as deeply as possible. Gayle has traveled to meet microcredit clients in Togo, West Africa, in Paraguay, South America, in Guatemala in Central America and in the United States in Austin, Phoenix and San Diego. She learns from each visit and uses her first-hand knowledge of poverty alleviation and the success stories of the women to inspire others! Gayle also provides in-kind donations for team members and shoppers so they can better understand the interconnectivity of Whole Planet Foundation and Seventh Generation’s shared mission to empower impoverished communities around the globe. Among other events, Gayle attended the Whole Foods Market Midwest Region Vision Day in 2017 to give her personal testimonial of the transformative power of microcredit. She also attended and sponsored Whole Planet Foundation’s Poverty Is Unnecessary Benefit and Live Auction in October 2017. Gayle is pictured here with Whole Planet Foundation’s Guatemala partner Friendship Bridge and microcredit clients in Huehuetenango.


Want to know what it takes to be in the Hall of Fame? Want to nominate someone to be in the Hall of Fame? Email Genie Bolduc, WPF’s Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program Manager and WPF Global Educator.