As Freshology’s Chairman and CEO, Michel Algazi brings over 25 years of building lasting consumer brands at Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial environments in the US and internationally. He has a proven record of leveraging emerging technologies to dramatically grow new and existing businesses through strategic acumen and creative brand-building. MORE>
Michel is also founder of Food Centricity™ a unique food business accelerator that focuses on breaking market, business and financial barriers for early and growth stage food companies. Food Centricity is co-founder of Angel City Foodworks™, a one-of-a-kind facility opening in Fall 2014, which will offer over fifty professional food makers, in LA County, access to a fully-licensed, turn-key wholesale production. Food Centricity also powers 4th Street Marketplace™, an artisanal food incubator and marketplace, opening in Santa Ana, CA, in August 2014.
Algazi has been a strong supporter of small business and entrepreneurship for many years. He is founder of The Fine Foods Group™ a "click-and-brick" community and professional networking organization of over one thousand local food entrepreneurs, grouping together to better compete in the marketplace. He has consulted for dozens of consumer-facing companies since 2007, and has served as M&A advisor to Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) in the food and beverage and consumer products categories. PCV invests creating lasting high quality jobs for low and moderate-income communities.
Michel has founded and successfully grown a number of ventures in the food and health and nutrition industries. He has also held executive leadership positions at companies such as The Walt Disney Company (Disney Consumer Products and Disney Online), Diageo plc, and Black & Decker. He sits on a number of corporate and non-profit boards and has been guest lecturer, on Product Innovation, at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and on Food Business Strategy, at Chapman University.
PRESIDENT & COO
Bringing a unique blend of health care expertise, operations experience and communications skills to every project she oversees, Rana Mansour stands as an exemplar of the contemporary management professional, demonstrating a range of talents and perspectives as accomplished as it is diverse. MORE>
As President and Chief Operating Officer at Freshology, her extraordinary versatility is challenged each day as she oversees all the divisions of Freshology including Operations, Routing, Logistics, Quality Control, Kitchen Operations and Sales & Customer Service. Through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by the goals of Freshology, Rana provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the people and systems are in place to effectively grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency.
In a sense, it's a position that Mansour has been training for over her entire career. Her experience in the health and wellness sector is principally based on her positions as the founder and owner/practitioner of the Noor Total Health Center. Operating in the vanguard of health care professionals working to integrate the venerable traditions of Eastern medicine into the lifestyles and health management practices of its forward-looking Southern California clientele, the Noor Center specializes in acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, nutrition and Reiki. The Noor Center represents Mansour's commitment to providing a truly holistic approach to physical and mental well-being, a methodology she acquired and refined throughout her course of study at the Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, from which she earned her Master's degree, graduating summa cum laude. In addition, Mansour developed and managed the acupuncture program for the Meyer Family Health Care chiropractic office, not only providing services to patients, but training the office staff and familiarizing them with the unique records and billing practices required for acupuncture patients.
Mansour is no stranger to such oversight and management challenges, having spent over seventeen years in management and operations, gaining experience in the financial, manufacturing and retail sectors. While refining her skills as a manager and executive administrator for such organizations as Oldershaw & DeMann, Parallel (a division of BCBG), A. Morgan Maree & Associates and Far Western Bank, Mansour learned the intricacies of such industries as garment manufacturing, hospitality design, financial consulting and loan processing. A two year stint as co-owner and administrator of a popular Johnny Rockets franchise served to give her hands-on experience in the demanding food service industry, and sharpen the entrepreneurial acumen that would find its fullest expression in the creation of the Noor Center. Throughout her career, Mansour has showcased a tireless dedication to forthright, staff-oriented communications policies and practices, taking direct responsibility for training new hires and encouraging respectful and proactive resolution of intra-staff differences.
Mansour earned her Associate's degree in manufacturing from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA, an auspicious beginning to the journey that has ultimately brought her to Freshology, providing an ideal outlet for her distinctive balance of communications, management and health service skills.
DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
As Freshology's Director of Sales, Sarah Clark brings her diverse background in Sales Management, Marketing, and Merchandising to deliver an unparalleled client experience to the company's vastly growing business. MORE>
Graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Sarah quickly put her skills in buying and merchandising to work at The Betty Cohn Buying Office, where she introduced Young Designers and brought Bridge and Contemporary Sportswear to fine retail establishments across the country. Sarah then moved on to assume the position of Sales Manager at the historic Henri Bendel, a veritable institution among 5th Avenue tastemakers for over a century.
After 9 years in the New York Fashion Industry, Sarah relocated to the West Coast to take a management position at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, overseeing departments in Men's Couture and Women's Contemporary Designer Sportswear. Her work in San Francisco proved so successful that she asked to relocate to the Neiman's Beverly Hills location where she accepted the position to manage the store's exclusive Escada department. At every stop, Sarah refined her approach to management, marketing, and customer service.
After six years at Neiman Marcus, Sarah left the company to pursue opportunities on Rodeo Drive and assumed the position of Store Director of Montblanc's Beverly Hills Boutique in 2004. Within three years, she dramatically increased sales and assembled a top-notch customer service team to meet the demanding expectations of Montblanc's affluent clientele.
With diverse skills, passion and an arsenal of experience in the luxury market, Sarah Clark joined Freshology in 2008 as the company's Director of Sales. Overseeing Sales nationwide and Customer Relations with an unparalleled drive for perfection and success, she became an integral part of a dynamic brand that differentiated itself in a highly competitive market, claiming its place as a coveted national luxury service. Her experience has been instrumental in the growth of the company from a regional Southern California based food delivery service to a national powerhouse in healthy, all-natural, gourmet meal delivered programs.
RAFFI J. ASADOURIAN
GOURMET MEAL PROGRAMS
As one of the most highly-regarded chefs to emerge from the Los Angeles culinary scene over the last decade, Raffi Asadourian brings a combination of rigorous training, farsighted leadership and an impeccable palate to the position of Chef de Cuisine at Freshology. MORE>
A product of Joachim Spilchal's Patina Group, Asadourian has worked alongside such mentors as Walter Manzke, David Myers and Mark Gold, synthesizing those master chefs' matchless guidance with his own creative ingenuity and passion for working with fresh ingredients and nutritious recipes.
After serving for a year and a half in the kitchen of Pinot Bistro in Studio City, California under the supervision of chef Octavio Becerra, Asadourian commenced his formal training, attending the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale Arizona, ultimately graduating at the top of his class in 2000, sporting a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Upon his return to Southern California, Asadourian immediately sought out the biggest challenge he could undertake, serving in the kitchen of Patina, the Patina Group's flagship restaurant on Melrose Avenue. It was here that Asadourian truly began to master all aspects of his craft, working every station in what was arguably the most talented kitchen in Los Angeles. Under Executive Chef Manze and Sous Chef Myers, Asadourian absorbed the most intimate possible understanding of contemporary cuisine, learning not only the finer points of culinary technique, but essential insights into the “big picture” of how successful kitchens implement processes that allow them to create groundbreaking dishes for a broad clientele, night after night, week after week.
Following his tenure at Patina, Asadourian was promoted to sous chef at Cafe Pinot, serving under Mark Gold as executive chef. Asadourian thrived in this venue, taking advantage of his first true kitchen leadership role - as well as Chef Gold's astute guidance - to expand his horizons, inventing new and innovative menu items and supervising his own kitchen line. These skills were further put to the test with his promotion to Chef de Cuisine at the Patina Group's dual dining concept venue C2. At C2, Asadourian developed his own menu, as well as hired and trained his own staff; his kitchen and honed his leadership skills to perfection. He accepted a promotion to Executive Chef at Pinot Bistro - the very restaurant at which he began his career eight years prior. There, Asadourian trained and mentored a new generation of chefs, men and women who stood at precisely the same stations that he had occupied years before.
After two years of running the kitchen at Pinot Bistro (and nine years with the Patina Group as a whole), Asadourian departed to assume the position of corporate chef for Hana foods. The corporate position provided him with an entirely new set of challenges, as he quickly mastered the rigors of working within a multi-unit, multi-concept quick-service food company. Over his year and a half with Hana, Asadourian opened two of the company's seven units while developing numerous new recipes and operational systems.
Since February of 2008, Asadourian has served as the Culinary Director of Freshology's national gourmet meals programs. An avid tennis player as well as a chef, Asadourian looks forward to bringing his passion for outstanding food to Freshology's clients for years to come.