Steve Young is a leader in the global food and beverage industry, with over 25 years of experience in both large companies and small emerging brands focused on health and wellness and driving change in our broader food system.
Prior to Manna Tree, Steve served as the Chief Executive Officer of Bellisio Foods, the third largest manufacturer of frozen meals in North America. Bellisio has deep roots as an entrepreneurial, disruptive business, dating back to its origins in Duluth, Minnesota over 50 years ago. The company has a portfolio of businesses in the branded, co-manufacturing and foodservice spaces – with strong relationships across all retail channels. Bellisio was acquired in 2018 by CP Foods, a global food leader based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Steve served as the EVP, Managing Director for Sunrise Strategic Partners, a $200+ million venture fund based in Boulder, CO that provided growth capital and operating expertise to emerging brands in the consumer products space. Steve worked with founders and management teams across ten portfolio companies to scale their businesses, including the IPO of Vital Farms. In doing so, he helped to advance their missions across essential opportunities like organic acreage conversion, non-GMO, and grass-fed/pasture-raised.
Steve had a successful general management career at General Mills, leading businesses across all segments including cereal, snacks, yogurt and baking. He also served as leader of General Mills’ broader $800+ million portfolio of natural/organic brands, including the Annie’s acquisition, a pioneering organic food company that General Mills acquired in 2014. In addition, Steve spent five years working abroad with Cereal Partners Worldwide, General Mills’ joint venture with Nestle, in Australia and Switzerland, where he led Global Marketing.
Steve lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife, Denise, and their six kids ranging in ages from 12 to 22 (cue the “Brady Bunch” theme song). He is an avid cyclist, hiker and loves the outdoors – from the lakes of Northern Minnesota to the mountains and ski slopes in his original home state of Montana. Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Montana and an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.
Allyson believes that how people choose to nourish their minds, bodies, and souls is reflected in their ability to discover their best selves. She supports her life by eating nutritious and straightforward food, building strength and stamina through exercise, doing challenging and meaningful work, creating good vibes by spending time outdoors with the sun on her face, and playing in the snow. Most importantly, she wants to spend time with family and close friends. These are the factors that lead to a fully healthy life.
Ally graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BA in Economics and worked for Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management in Chicago, Zayo Group, and Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. Ally brings over 15 years of experience in investor relations and operations in the financial services and telecommunications industries to Manna Tree. As a member of the investor team, she manages Fund communications and relationship management with current and prospective Limited Partners and the fundraising process for co-investment opportunities.
Throughout her involvement in Colorado’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, Ally has built a network of successful operators, investors, and community leaders that can be leveraged to support Manna Tree, our partners, and our portfolio companies. Ally lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and young children, and loves running, cycling, snowboarding, the great “foodie” culture, and 300+ days of sunshine. She also loves to hike and run in the mountains, especially around Telluride and Leadville.
Co-Founder + Managing Partner
As co-founder and managing partner, Ross co-chairs Manna Tree’s investment committee and drives the firm’s investment strategy through his leadership of Manna Tree’s investor relations team.
Ross has built his career around balancing investment decisions, market expansion, and leadership within organizations to reach optimal scale. This mindset landed Ross on the Worthy 100 list in 2021 as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country building firms that are making a difference.
His experience growing investments came originally as an operating President where he scaled his firm 400%, and exited to a private equity investor in 2009. His industry leading efforts placed him on the Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing firms in his category due to an innovative mortgage program he co-developed with two of the nation’s leading publicly traded homebuilders.
In 2009, Ross founded an advisory firm Strategic Architect, where he worked closely with over 20 companies annually, each with between $5M and $500M in revenue. He counseled the C-Suite and family offices on investment decisions, market expansion strategies, and how to scale teams and operations.
Ross has trained 5,000+ leaders on implementing strategies linked to cash flow, debt structures, sales strategies, and marketing plans to unlock growth. Clients have included: the PGA Tour, Vail Resorts, DOW, and the University of Colorado.
Ross earned his finance degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an Executive Leadership Scholar at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and a Financial Management Certificate from Cornell University. He has volunteered at the University of Colorado to help launch the first-ever leadership certificate program, and has been active in supporting the school through experiential leadership retreats in Vail, serving as an advisor for the Natural and Organic MBA program, and supporting students to develop a values-based approach in business.
Outside the office, Ross loves to share nature and longevity hacks with his friends and family; he is an avid hiker, skier, biker, and fly-fisherman.
Co-Founder + Managing Partner
Improving Human Health Manna Tree is an investment firm dedicated to improving human health. We invest in and scale companies that innovate the health industry and improve the way that people live.
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