November 6, 2018
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Jason Cohen, Founder/Co-CEO, grew up in Northern NJ and attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned a BS in Marketing and Minor Finance.
In 1999 Jason founded Mamma Says, a food manufacturing company that produced biscotti and cookies in a plant he built in upstate NY with the money he saved from his insurance sales. Working insurance by night and plant by day, within a few years, the company was able to establish a national brand where Jason partnered with Kellogg’s to grow the brand even further.
In 2005, the business was sold to NONNIS Inc., a portfolio brand of Windpoint Partners for 4x revenue.
In 2005, Jason co-founded World Gourmet Marketing, creating better-for-you snacks under the flagship brand Sensible Portions, which included snacks such as nationally recognized Veggie Straws. Under his management, the company achieved double-digit growth and became one of the fastest rising snack food industry purveyors. The company grew to just under $100MM in 4yrs.
In 2010, Sensible Portions brand sold for $210MM to The Hain Celestial Group, one of the leading providers of organic and natural foods. While at Hain Celestial, Jason served as President of the Club and Snack Division.
In 2011, Jason founded Rickland Orchards, the first shelf stable Greek yogurt brand. In October 2013, after sales soared to $50 million in just 18 months, the company was sold for $57.5 million to B&G Foods, a public company.
In 2013, Jason partnered with the founders of SkinnyPop Popcorn an early stage better for you play on popcorn.
In 2014, Jason received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Excellence in Emerging category in the New Jersey region.
In 2015 after enormous success SkinnyPop went public for 1.4 billion in shareholder value through Goldman Sachs and was recently acquired by Hershey’s.
In January 2015, Jason co-founded Halen Brands, Inc., which quickly funded Chef’s Cut Real Jerky a premium jerky brand in March 2015. In July 2015 Halen Brands, Inc. partnered with Core and most recently acquired OWYN. Which stands for ONLY WHAT YOU NEED. A simple clean approach to plant-based protein without compromising taste or style.
In 2015 Jason and his wife Jamie created an Entrepreneurship Endowment at the University of Maryland to assist the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland.
In 2017 Jason was nominated to the University of MD Smith School Advisory Board and Mass Eye & Ear Advisory Board. In addition, Jason set up a foundation for Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion Research at the University of Miami in 2017.
In 2018 Halen Brands created Real Food From The Ground Up, a new innovative snack food company developed behind vegetables utilizing snack food products under a healthy vegan plant-based umbrella.
In 2019 Jason was nominated to the University of Maryland board of trustees for the entire school.
Jason currently resides in Northern NJ with his wife Jamie and two beautiful daughters Jordan and Hailey.
Leigh Feuerstein, Co-CEO, began his career with KPMG where he audited financial statements for hedge funds and Fortune 500 companies. Shortly thereafter he founded and became a Managing Member of his own accounting firm known as Oracle Advisory Services, LLC. Leigh specialized in the Hedge Fund Industry and Private Equity and offered guidance on tax, accounting, systems, fund structuring, deal structuring, asset raising, reconciliation projects, and assisted them on legal matters.
Leigh’s talents were recognized by one of his clients, Element Capital Management, LLC, and he decided to join Element as Partner for the Global Macro Hedge Fund. Under his 6 years as COO & CFO, net assets grew from $250MM to $4B+ and Leigh was in charge of all non-trading aspects of the business including accounting, operations, legal, compliance, and Investor relations. Leigh also invested, raised capital, and previously or currently holds Board Member positions for various companies, mostly in the consumer products space including : Sensible Portions Veggie Straws (Sold), Rickland Orchards Greek Yogurt Bars (Sold), Dippin’ Chips and Mrs. Thinsters Cookies (Sold and still an active Board Member), Voli Vodka, Pearl Media, Trukfit and Asphalt Yacht Club. Leigh also serves as a Board Member, Chair of the Audit Committee and alternate member of the Investment Committee of IMH Financial Corporation, a public company.
Leigh was an investor in SkinnyPop LLC, which sold in July 2014 for a strategic premium to TA Associates. In January 2015, Leigh co-founded Halen Brands, Inc., which quickly funded Chef’s Cut Real Jerky in March 2015. Halen Brands then purchased Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch in September 2015 and most recently parterned with Core Hydration in June 2016.
Leigh is a certified public accountant. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from SUNY-Buffalo.
Leigh is currently an active member of the Board of Directors for FARE, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization working on behalf of 15MM Americans with food allergies.
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