President and Chief Executive Officer
Matt Plavan was appointed president and chief executive officer in September 2019. Most recently, he served as president of Arcadia Specialty Genomics, a strategic business unit delivering innovations in hemp, after having joined the company as chief financial officer in 2016. Prior to joining Arcadia, Matt served as CEO and director of Cesca Therapeutics, Inc. and COO of ThermoGenesis Corp. He also led the finances, as CFO, of two high-tech private equity backed companies, positioning each for successful exits, following executive and senior management tenures at both McKesson and Ernst & Young, LLC. Matt is a certified public accountant and earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Chief Financial Officer
Pam Haley was appointed chief financial officer for Arcadia in September 2019. She was formerly the controller for the company and has served in various accounting management positions since joining Arcadia in 2005. Pam has over 25 years of financial and accounting experience and worked in the telecommunications and semiconductor industries, in addition to public accounting, prior to joining Arcadia. She is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Arizona, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Chief Growth Officer
Chris Cuvelier joined Arcadia in May 2021 as chief growth officer, leading growth strategy and sales and marketing execution for the company’s consumer goods business. Chris was formerly the CEO of plant-based beverage maker Zola. After founding Zola as an acai beverage company in 2001, Chris successfully extended the Zola brand to include coconut water and grew gross revenues to over $20M annually. He subsequently served as an executive team member and head of beverage for Caliva when they acquired Zola. Chris received his bachelor’s degree in social science from the University of California, Irvine.
Chief Marketing Officer
Laura Pitlik joined Arcadia as chief marketing officer in July 2021. A veteran consumer packaged goods strategist, Laura’s passion for developing new products and brands was ignited early in her career when she led the launch of Dr Pepper® Cherry and continued when she launched the first national line of all-natural breads, Nature’s Pride®, for Hostess Brands. Since then, she has continued to build deep expertise in marketing and innovation, leading brands including Wonder® Bread and On The Border® tortilla chips and salsas. Laura earned a B.S. in advertising and public relations from Texas Christian University and holds an M.B.A from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
General Manager, Lief Brands
Brett Michel is the general manager of the Lief portfolio of CBD and wellness brands for Arcadia. He joined Arcadia with the acquisition in May 2021. Brett is the former chief operating officer of Lief and led the Lief operations since inception, overseeing manufacturing, launch and expansion of each of the Lief brands. Prior to Lief, Brett was the vice president of sales and operations for a food distribution company based in Southern California. He received his bachelor’s degree in communications/ media studies and business management from Azuza Pacific University.
Chief of Staff
Gia Fazio, Ph.D.
Gia Fazio was appointed chief of staff in January 2021. She previously worked for Arcadia for nearly 11 years and held several roles, including director of project planning, manager of the analytical science and regulatory support team and principal scientist. Prior to rejoining Arcadia, Gia was the director of project management at Benson Hill and worked as a consultant focused on project management, regulatory affairs and communication and organizational strategy. Gia is also an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina. She has a B.S. in biology from Indiana University, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Rice University and is also a certified project management professional.
Vice President, Operations
Belinda Yao, vice president of operations, oversees the supply chain operations for Arcadia’s GoodWheat™, GoodHemp™ and SONOVA® GLA safflower oil product lines, including demand planning, procurement, manufacturing and fulfillment. She joined Arcadia in May 2021 with more than 20 years of experience in supply chain planning and operations. Prior to Arcadia, Yao was vice president of operations at Zola, a healthy plant-based beverages company, and she held senior management positions in supply management with The Dannon Company, a premier multinational food-products company. Yao began her career in senior procurement positions for both BASF and Roche in China and received her bachelor’s degree from Beijing Technology and Business University.
Vice President, Product Innovation
Tracy Baker joined Arcadia in September 2020 as vice president, product innovation, bringing nearly 40 years of experience in product formulation and commercialization. He spent more than a decade at Mattson as the vice president and innovation manager, responsible for developing innovation and marketing strategies and managing consumer testing and evaluation for clients. Before Mattson, Tracy served as the head of international research and development at Tropicana/PepsiCo, where he led development and implementation of new product lines in international markets. He also served as the head of product research and development at Gerber, where he oversaw the development and implementation of several major product lines.
Head of People
Chris Williams-Campbell has been Arcadia’s head of people since November of 2016. As a broadly skilled HR management generalist, Chris has spent the past 25 years in leadership positions with companies in the agricultural biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device and transportation industries, including Mendel Biotechnology, Limagrain, Volcano Corporation, ALZA Corporation and United Parcel Service. With expertise in talent, leadership and organizational development, he leads all facets of Arcadia’s people operations. Chris holds a B.A. in history from the University of California, Davis.