Garden Protein International Inc.

Garden Protein International Inc.

June 24, 2009 10:00 ET

Garden Protein International Bolsters Management Team

New Hires will Support Garden Protein's Explosive Growth for gardein™-the Company's Premium Line of Great Tasting and Wholesome Plant-Based Foods

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - Garden Protein International, Inc. (GPI), a leader in wholesome plant-based foods, today announced key additions to its management team. The company is pleased to add Richard Bauman as GPI's vice president of North American sales, Ihab Leheta as vice president of business development, Moe Aminzadeh as director of engineering, and Susan McKellar as human resource manager.

Bauman brings more than 20 years of consumer food product sales experience to GPI. In his new role as VP of North American sales, Bauman will be focused on selling gardein(TM), a premium line of wholesome and great tasting plant-based foods that are high in protein and fiber to retail channels across the United States.

Previously, Bauman was the vice president of sales for Kim and Scott's Gourmet Pretzels in California where he launched the brand nationally into more than 4,500 grocery and mass market stores during a 12 month period. Bauman has also helped build brands and successfully grown U.S. sales for other notable companies including: Jose Ole, Ocean Spray and Nestle. Additionally, he has worked directly for Ralphs Grocery Company in South California, bringing valuable first-hand retail channel expertise. Bauman holds a Bachelor of Science in business from California State University in Northridge.

Leheta has more than 20 years of sales experience and joins GPI from Yves Veggie Cuisine (YVC), a division of Hain-Celestial Group, where he and Yves Potvin (namesake and former owner of YVC) first started working together nearly 10 years ago. Leheta will be responsible for managing the company's sales across Canada, both branded and private label products. Leheta also spent nearly 10 years with the Campbell Soup Company in a variety of sales management roles prior to YVC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from McGill University.

Aminzadeh was most recently plant manager for Day4Energy and has more than 30 years of experience in engineering, operations and research. Prior to Day4Energy, Aminzadeh was the engineering manager at YVC for nine years and brings extensive industry knowledge to GPI. Aminzadeh holds a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in bio-medical engineering from the University of British Columbia.

McKellar has more than 15 years of leadership experience with seven years in human resources and will be responsible developing industry-leading HR programs and hiring and retaining talent for GPI. Most recently, she served as the director of human resources for Anthem Properties Group in Vancouver. She has also held HR roles at several B.C. companies including Island Tug and Barge Ltd., School District No. 48, 577919 BC Limited and Canadian Forest Products Ltd. McKellar holds a Masters of Business Administration from Athabasca University, Alberta and is a member of the British Columbia Human Resource Management Association and Society of Human Resources Management Professionals.

Bauman, Leheta, and Aminzadeh will report directly to Darrell Askey, GPI's COO, and will work closely with the company's CEO and founder, Yves Potvin. McKellar will report to Stewart Clowes, GPI's director of finance and accounting.

About Garden Protein International

Garden Protein International, Inc. (GPI) is an award-winning creator of healthy and great tasting plant-based foods that are high in protein and fiber. GPI was founded by Yves Potvin, a chef and innovator behind the first convenient healthy fast food-the veggie dog. GPI makes a branded line of premium plant-based foods marketed under the gardein(TM) brand across the United States and Canada, which are sold in grocery and specialty food stores. gardein is a savory natural blend of nutritious vegetable and ancient grain ingredients and has the taste and texture of premium lean meat. Today, gardein products are available in the fresh sections of grocery stores and soon to be in the frozen sections. GPI provides private label plant-based protein products to retailers, universities and food service organizations across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is privately-held and headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia-just outside of Vancouver. For more information, visit

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