What do you do professionally?
I was a food scientist at General Mills before Fuqua and now I am full-time co-founder and CEO of BIOMILQ.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
BIOMILQ is enabling the next generation to thrive by producing cultured breastmilk that offers supplemental nutrition to mother’s milk with the practicality of formula. The evidence is clear: breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure healthy development in children. However, the reality is that breastfeeding, let alone exclusive breastfeeding, isn’t always possible. In fact, over 4 out of 5 moms in the U.S. transition to dairy-based infant formula before the recommended six-month breastfeeding period ends. BIOMILQ is developing a new choice for infant nutrition that lessens the trade-off between babies’ nutrition, mothers’ wellbeing, and the future of our environment!
Having concentrated at Fuqua in Social Impact and Entrepreneurship, it has been invigorating to come right out of school and work on a challenging and impactful problem!
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Entrepreneurship during COVID is a bit overwhelming having come out of Team Fuqua just a few short months ago. I don’t think that being a new CEO is ever comfortable, but when you can’t surround yourself with your team, it requires a lot of tenacity and grit to stay moving. I cannot wait to be back in some level of in-person work and to build out a broader team to collaborate!
What sorts of interesting places have your last few years taken you? Do you have a favorite?
Last summer I was at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on their Nutrition team and had the opportunity to plan and host a design thinking workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, for CPG execs. We were assessing appetite for alternative protein implementation in developing nations and being able to talk about such impactful opportunities in the shadow of the U.N. building was amazing!
What is the best professional advice you’ve received?
Don’t focus on what you want as your “perfect job,” and instead find what little joys you experience every day in different jobs. As you sum up your career, continue to steer towards more little wins and you will find yourself in an amazing role you would have never imagined!
Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?
Chef! I have always loved to cook and would open my own restaurant in a heartbeat if it made sense!
Professionally or personally, what are you excited about right now?
We just finished raising our $3.5 M seed round this week and finally get to begin hiring here in NC! I am so excited to be connected with brilliant people who want to with us.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Right now, I have been doing a lot of reading. My current book of choice is Skimmed, which talks to the inequities between white and black mothers as it pertains to breastfeeding. It is genuinely a page turner!
What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?
Learn to let go. You won’t be perfect. It won’t be perfect. You can agonize, or move on. What’ll it be?
Who was your favorite professor?
I loved taking classes with Cathy Clark. She and I had our sparring moments in class, but I knew that she taught each of us instead of working on even more impactful things to ensure we were going to put more out into this world than we take. That’s true social impact.
What is your favorite Fuqua memory?
My Fuqua Consulting Practicum team and I went to Myanmar to work with a Social Enterprise creating betel nut cessation products and had the most meaningful experience being able to meet Myanmar through its people. It was one of the most beautiful travel experiences I have ever had with a group of people–we arrived strangers and departed friends for life.
What does Team Fuqua mean to you?
Team Fuqua is being willing to watch someone’s dog weekend one you met them because it’s the right thing to do to support a classmate in a bind (true story–an amazing classmate of mine stayed at my home for 3 days looking after my pup Dutch our first weekend at Fuqua, no questions asked!)