Jason Kessler – VP Finance
Since their auspicious meeting in Tucson in 2002 while he was earning his MBA in Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, Jason has been a key player in getting O C E A N’s products and services into the hands and hearts of those who need it. Jason brings both extensive business experience and a deep understanding of conscious embodiment to O C E A N.
After graduating from Vanderbuilt University with a BS in Chemistry, Jason ran NASA’s Legislative office Outreach Division managing it’s staff’s interaction with Capitol Hill. His talents in both strategic planning and day to day operations earned him an appointment as Deputy Chief of Staff of NASA and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2000.
Equipped with his MBA, in 2004 Jason began his entrepreneurial journey with several of his own business including a wellness retreat and a burrito restaurant in China. But it wasn’t until he launched Wholemato® that he saw real entrepreneurial success. Jason conceived, developed, and launched the world’s first agave-based (meaning healthy and diabetic friendly) organic ketchup. Funded by angel investors, he achieved national distribution for Wholemato® in over 1200 retail stores, penetrating 10% of the marketing and earning $100K in revenue in its first full year and half on the market. Unfortunately, just as the product was taking off, the economic recession hit in 2008 and Wholemato® had to cease operating in 2009.
Since then, in addition to his behind the scenes work with Rebecca on O C E A N’s strategy and operations, Jason was asked and returned to NASA to help guide the growth of SERVIR, a regionally focused partnership with USAID, utilizing Earth observations to develop decision making tools and training programs for Climate Change adaptation, Biodiversity Management, and Disaster Response in the developing world.
Jan Henrikson – Editor
Jan and Rebecca also had their fortuitous meeting in Tucson. You can read about Jan’s Taking Your True Shape™ experience in her delightful and inspiring story “Chocolate Is Not the Enemy” in Chicken Soup for the Dieter’s Soul or on our blog.
As a long time journalist, Jan firmly believe as Muriel Ruckeyser’s assertion that “the Universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Her writing credits include Seventeen, American Girl, Toastmaster, The Awareness Journal, The Desert Leaf, Sage Woman, Glamour, and The Chicago Tribune. Her writing has also appeared in the anthologies “For She is the Tree of Life” and “Women Forged by Fire.”
Jan’s edits all Rebecca’s articles and marketing materials for readability but also for resonance as she is intimately familiar with the desires and struggles of our female students. Jan is also editing Rebecca’s new book due out next year, Taking Your True Shape: Compassionate guidance for the emotional, physical, and spiritual transformation that resolves issues with food and weight forever.