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Origami Owl appoints Brett Blake as CEO

Origami Owl®, an international jewelry company known for its customizable jewelry and signature Living Lockets®, has announced the appointment of its new CEO, Brett Blake. The news comes on the heels of a series of positive changes the company has implemented over the last few months to support current U.S. sales and global expansion.

Blake’s appointment as CEO marks a strategic move by Origami Owl’s executive team and Founders Bella and Chrissy Weems, to tap a visionary leader with a wealth of business knowledge and acumen to take the company to the next level. With more than 20 years of experience, the Harvard educated former PepsiCo executive has a history of helping companies discover and implement organic growth strategies.

“Origami Owl has been the talk of the industry since it burst on to the scene a few years ago.  While this company has accomplished so much in such a short period of time, I believe the story is just getting started.  My family and I are excited to join the team, to do our part to be a force for good, and to work alongside Bella and Chrissy, the impressive team at the Nest and our passionate Designers to show the world that Origami Owl’s future is bright,” said Brett Blake, CEO.

With the new shift in executive management and exciting announcement as an official Direct Selling Association member, Origami Owl is adhering to the mission of being a global force for good, inspiring and motivating people of all ages to reach their dreams, and empowering them to make a difference in the lives of others. Origami Owl’s recent expansion into Canada has sparked over 1,000 new Designers to join the ranks, providing women with the opportunity of owning and operating their own unique businesses. Origami Owl will continue to inspire others as the company builds the sales force, led by experienced Senior Vice President of North American Sales, Marcia Cota. In turn, Cota is supported by a strong Regional Sales Management team that has also recently been put into place.

“As the next step in our journey, we are happy to introduce Brett Blake as our new CEO,” said Founder Chrissy Weems. “Blake brings a wealth of knowledge and is a highly accomplished executive with more than twenty years of experience in diverse industries including jewelry and fashion. With an incredible field of Designers, an exceptional sales team and a new CEO, we have a solid foundation in place and we are well-positioned for growth and success.”

GoGreen Conference '11

GoGreen Conference ’11 Emphasizes Sustainability Education, Patience

Whether it’s educating attendees of green and sustainability in the workplace or the speakers’ efforts to educate public and private entities of sustainability in their community, “education” was the buzzword and couldn’t have been stressed enough at the GoGreen Conference ’11 this past Tuesday, November 15. Well, that and a lot of patience.

“It’s not just about being and going green,” said Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS.” It’s about educating and sustaining it.”

Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group, agreed: “There’s more to sustainability than solar panels,” he said. “If you want to make sustainability and its process sustainable, you need to make it useful.”

More than 50 speakers from all over the state were in attendance for the first GoGreen Conference ’11 held at the Phoenix Convention Center. Furniture IKEA donated to the panel discussions will be donated to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

This all-day conference held back-to-back panel sessions with leaders of sustainable business, who educated attendees on the latest sustainable practices for their respective businesses.

City of Phoenix Major Phil Gordon announced that this was possibly his last opportunity to speak as an elected official about his and the city’s green efforts. He said that although mayor elect Greg Stanton was unable to attend the GoGreen Conference, Stanton is committed to “help build Phoenix as the greenest city.”

Gordon also shared Phoenix-area, sustainability-related statistics and accomplishments over the years, including:

  • Phoenix is home to the only solar light rail stop (near the U.S. Airways Center) in the nation, “maybe in the world.”
  • The city has raised more than $1M in incentives to businesses and homeowners for their sustainability efforts.
  • Through Solar Phoenix, the Valley has more than 425 solar-installed homes. These homeowners have saved 10 percent on utility bills, on average.
  • By 2025, 15 percent of the city will be powered by fossil fuels. And also by 2025, 25 percent of the city will be shaded throughout with canopies and palm trees.

Maria Baier, commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department, provided opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of supporting universities and higher education seeking research dollars for its sustainability efforts. She continues to speak about how to not only go green, but also stay green.

“In order to go green and stay green, we need to keep our product legitimate,” Baier said. “We need to continue to defend it and improve reliability and dependability.”

Rounding out the first session of the conference was Al Halvorsen, senior director of environmental sustainability of Frito-Lay North America.

Halvorsen spoke about Frito-Lay and PepsiCo’s environmental sustain/ability journey — how they were able to confront their challenges (reducing its environmental impact), become an “embracer” of sustainability instead of a “cautious adapter,” and view sustainability as a competitive advantage — incorporating it into PepsiCo’s business with the following strategies:

  • Move Early: Over time, your business will evolve.
  • Balance Short/Long Term: Achieve near-term wins with long-term vision. Your business needs a foundation to help push longer-term envelopes.
  • Focus Top Down and Bottom Up: Track and monitor usage every day.
  • Measure Everything: By 2020, Frito-Lay predicts it will cut its diesel fuel usage in half.
  • Value Intangible Benefits
  • Be Authentic and Transparent: Share your business’s wins, losses and challenges.

“Sustainability for us is a journey and by no means are we there,” Halvorsen said. Jonce Walker, sustainability manager for Maricopa County agreed: “We are nowhere near done,” he said. “We still have so much left to do.”

Check back for part II of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage on AZNow.Biz.

For more information about the GoGreen Conference, visit www.gogreenconference.net.