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New Greg Steltenpohl Pragmatic Visionary Award to Provide Scholarships to Change-Making Startups

The Greg Steltenpohl Pragmatic Visionary Award has been set up to honour plant-based visionary Greg Steltenpohl of Califia Farms and his lifelong mission.

Friends and family of natural products pioneer and plant-based visionary Greg Steltenpohl announce the launch of a $100,000 annual scholarship for food startups. The founder of Odwalla and Califia Farms, who passed away in March 2021, dedicated his life to transforming the food system through entrepreneurship.

The Greg Steltenpohl Pragmatic Visionary Award was announced by Eli Steltenpohl when his father was honoured at the Community Purpose and Impact Awards presented by New Hope Media at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California.

Award co-founders and advisors include:

  • Mike Burbank – Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
  • John Foraker – CEO, Once Upon a Farm; former CEO, Annie’s Homegrown
  • Kiff Gallagher – Former VP Corporate Affairs, Califia and Strategic Comms, Odwalla
  • Nina Gheihman – Author; co-founder, Plant Futures Initiative
  • Amy GoldsmithCMO, Halo Healthy Tribes; former president, GK Communications
  • Sonia Hendricks – SVP Sales, Califia Farms
  • Gary Hirshberg – Co-founder and former CE-Yo, Stonyfield Organic
  • Will Rosenzweig – Founder, Republic of Tea; Director, Sustainable Food Initiative, , Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley; Co-founder, Plant Futures Initiative
  • Kenneth Sadowsky – Director, Hint, Vita Coco, LIFEAID; Sr. Advisor, Verlinvest; “Beverage Whisperer”
  • Eli Steltenpohl – Steltenpohl Family Foundation, Board of Directors, Califia Farms
  • Jessica Vitale – Co-founder, Crafted Communications, PR for Califia Farms

“The natural products industry has lost one of our most visionary, creative and passionate advocates in Greg and it is important that we continue to pursue his mission and work,” said Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of Stonyfield and a friend of 30 years. “Greg believed in the ability to create positive change through business and the impact the plant-based movement could have on the health of people and the planet. He left us far too soon, but also in a much better and more hopeful place, thanks to his strong vision, commitment and ingenuity.”

Each year, the award provides a $100,000 grant to an early-stage company to enable or expand the accomplishments, reach and impact of the recipient’s work. Innovations in all areas of the food system, from “soil to soul”, will be considered.

The Greg Steltenpohl Pragmatic Visionary AwardLogo
©The Greg Steltenpohl Pragmatic Visionary Award

The initiative is organised and advised by friends and family of Greg Steltenpohl and his colleagues in the natural food industry. Funding has been provided by the Steltenpohl Family Foundation and Califia Farms.

The award is presented annually in March at Natural Products Expo West and is hosted in partnership with the Plant Futures Initiative, Greg’s final entrepreneurial collaboration before his death. The Plant Futures Initiative is a not-for-profit social enterprise that connects students and recent graduates with a network of innovative food and farming businesses to gain experience. Its mission is to accelerate the transition to sustainable and healthy food systems and to educate future leaders who can lead the way.

Information about the award and how to apply can be found at

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