New Year, New Leadership for Restaurant & Food Service Certifier, Eat REAL

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National non-profit Eat REAL is ringing in New Year with new CEO and VP, operations

Eat REAL announced Larry Ruff as the organization’s new chief executive officer, and Beth Seligman as vice president, operations. Larry will also join the board of directors of Eat REAL.

“Larry’s marketing and nonprofit experience combined with Beth’s food industry expertise comes as Eat REAL is accelerating growth, scaling operations and increasing social impact and they have the Board’s full confidence,” commented Dr. Jordan Shlain, co-founder and xhairman of Eat REAL’s board of directors.

Larry Ruff has 30+ years of experience working with start-ups, small, medium and large for-profit corporations and non-profit organizations. He has been a member of Fair Trade USA’s (FT-USA) Board of Directors since 2014. FT-USA, a four time winner of Fast Company Magazine’s Social Capitalist award, is an internationally renowned social enterprise that promotes sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Larry currently serves as vice chair of Fair Trade USA’s board, chair of the board’s nominating and governance committee and is a member of the board’s executive committee.

Food industry transformation

Prior to joining FT-USA and launching his own consulting practice in 2013, Larry worked for Levi Strauss & Company for over 25 years holding a variety of senior leadership positions including chief strategy and business development officer and global marketing officer. During his tenure at Levi’s, Larry and his team received numerous awards for brand-building, product, marketing and retail innovation, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Earlier in his career, Larry held a variety of positions in brand management with The Procter & Gamble Company’s food & beverage division.

“I joined Eat REAL because I am passionate about food industry transformation, sustainable development, conscious consumerism and social impact and I have been inspired by the organization’s mission, certification model and the science behind it,” says Ruff. “I see huge potential for the enterprise to grow exponentially in stature, scale and impact and look forward to working with the Board, Beth and the team and our partners to make Eat REAL the gold standard trust-mark for food that is good for your health, the environment and animal welfare.”

Beth Seligman spent the last eight years at Revolution Foods, a national leader in increasing access to healthy food in K-12 environments. Having served most recently as senior director of strategic integration, Beth’s roles spanned new systems development, nutrition, regulatory compliance, national menu strategy, operations, business opportunity analysis, and new program development. With a particular passion for driving social change via increasing access to healthy, high-quality food, Beth’s 25+ year career has focused on building opportunities at the intersection of food and information. By leveraging her formal background in information management, Beth works to solve business challenges in fast-growth environments and create infrastructure for scalability/sustained growth.

“I am thrilled to join Eat REAL at this critical juncture and am excited to partner with Larry, our Board and the rest of the Eat REAL team to achieve accelerated growth and societal impact. There has never been a more important time to focus on the movement to transform our food system and Eat REAL is leading the way,” says Seligman.

About Eat REAL:

REAL Certified is a program of Eat REAL, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to transforming America’s food system and fighting diet-related disease. Launched in 2012, REAL Certified is a nutrition and sustainability best practices certification program aimed at realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The organization has certified over 500 restaurants, corporate cafes and college dining services in 32 states, with financial support from the Tennessee Department of Health, the Park Foundation, the Mary Black Foundation, the Campbell Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. More information can be found at www.eatreal.org.