Last year we made incredible progress for animals. This year at Mercy For Animals, we’re aiming even higher. To get there, we need the right people on team MFA. We’re excited to announce three new board members: Lisa Feria, CEO of Stray Dog Capital; Alexis Fox, CEO of Lighter; and Michael Pellman Rowland, impact investor and food writer. They will join MFA’s existing board members: MFA founder Milo Runkle; MFA founding board member Derek Coons; and Jaime Surenkamp, a restaurant industry veteran.
In expanding the board, MFA sought mission-aligned professionals. Diversity, integrity, and professional expertise were key criteria, and we’re thrilled the new members are willing to bring their skills and experience to MFA.
MFA’s board is dedicated to guiding strategy and ensuring good governance, including reviewing our programs, providing advice and coaching to our senior team members, and managing our finances so that your donations to MFA help as many animals as possible. We are confident that this outstanding team of animal advocates, with expertise in a variety of crucial sectors, including food, finance, tech, and media, will help us create even more change for farmed animals in 2019.
Keep reading to learn more about MFA’s new and current board members.
Lisa is the CEO of Stray Dog Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage, mission-driven companies that aim to take animals out of the supply chain with innovative products and services. With over 26 investments, Stray Dog Capital is one of the leading early-stage investors in the plant-based market. Before Stray Dog Capital, Lisa spent over 15 years in general management, operations, and engineering at blue-chip companies like General Mills and Procter & Gamble. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Lisa spent over 14 years focused on food operations and consumer packaged goods and led marketing, profit-and-loss management, and strategy for billion-dollar brands. In addition, Lisa is a Kauffman fellow and an active board member at several portfolio companies and the Great Plains SPCA shelter.
Alexis is the CEO of Lighter, an influential technology company that helps the world eat better. Alexis has dedicated her life to fixing our broken food system. She has worked in the movement as an attorney, political leader, and entrepreneur. She also spent three years as an adjunct professor of leadership at Emerson College.
Michael Pellman Rowland
Michael is a partner and co-head of impact investments at Alpenrose Wealth Management. Key components of his work include helping clients maximize the benefits of sustainable investing and multigenerational planning. Michael is a frequent public speaker and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Financial Times, and Institutional Investor. He was selected for the InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 list of top wealth advisors and included in the Forbes inaugural list of America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors. Recently, Michael was selected as a founding member of the Forbes Impact Investing Community. He also has a column on Forbes.com, covering the business of food from a sustainability perspective, and contributes finance-related articles in print for Forbes Monaco.
Derek is a founding board member of MFA, overseeing the organization’s growth and success for over a decade and working diligently to maximize efficiency through his expert guidance. A graduate of Miami University with a degree in computer science and systems analysis, Derek actively combines his passion for technology with his passion for animals. In 2007, Derek was the first person honored with MFA’s Hope Award for his dedication to defending farmed animals.
Milo is the founder and former president of MFA. He founded the organization at age 15, after an animal abuse case in his local farming community in rural Ohio.
Milo has worked alongside elected officials, corporate executives, farmers, and celebrities to pass legislation, raise public awareness about veganism, and implement animal welfare policy changes. Through his work with MFA, Milo has been featured in hundreds of news outlets, including on ABC World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20, and CNN and in USA Today, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.
He is the author of the 2017 best-selling book Mercy For Animals: One Man’s Quest to Inspire Compassion and Improve the Lives of Farm Animals.
Jaime comes to MFA with a long career in hospitality sales. She has worked with leading businesses such as OpenTable, Daiya Foods, and HotSchedules. Through this work, Jaime has built deep relationships with some of the biggest and most influential restaurants in America. A longtime supporter of MFA, Jaime served as director of corporate outreach from 2013 to 2014. She is committed to creating a humane world by reducing animal suffering, increasing plant-based offerings, and ensuring fellow advocates are able to work in an inclusive, safe, and open environment.