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Newsmakers

Healthy pivot

Alumna leads food-tech startup to early success

As president and CEO of Foster Farms, Laura Flanagan ’90 led one of the largest poultry producers in the western United States. She left the meat business in 2019, when she became president of Ripple Foods, a California-based maker of plant-based foods and beverages intended to be nutritious and sustainable.

She may be just what the non-dairy milk needed.

Ripple reported double-digit sales growth in 2020, its fifth year in business, and is expanding its distribution and product offerings. NutritionInvestor.com, which covers investment in the food and beverage industry, noted that Ripple’s rise coincides with the addition of key new executives, including Flanagan. She reports feeling right at home.

“I gravitated to our mission of creating food that is good for people and good for the planet,” Flanagan said. “We are building a great team to take Ripple’s growth to the next level.”

Flanagan earned her bachelor’s degree in systems and control engineering at Case and worked as a manufacturing engineer for Saturn Corp. before earning her MBA at Stanford and entering the food industry. A supporter of her alma mater, she earned the Case Alumni Association’s Meritorious Service Award in 2013 while president of the Snack Division of ConAgra Foods.

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