MEET THE STAFF
TAMRA RYAN – CEO
Tamra Ryan is the CEO of Women’s Bean Project, a nationally-recognized social enterprise based in Denver, CO that provides transitional employment, while operating manufacturing businesses, to women attempting to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty. Women’s Bean Project products can be found in nearly 1,000 stores across the country and online through some of the country’s largest retailers. Tamra is a former board member of Social Venture Partners-Denver, currently chairs the Board of Directors for the Social Enterprise Alliance and is on the advisory board for the Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver. She was recently named one of the 2017 Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado, was a speaker at TEDxMilehigh and is the author of The Third Law, a book which highlights the societal obstacles and internal demons that must be overcome for marginalized women to change their lives. The Third Law has won multiple awards for women/minorities in business and social activism. Tamra lives in Denver with her husband, two children and their golden doodle named Biscuit.
Tamra’s Favorite WBP Product: Split Pea Soup
“This split pea soup stands out from any I’ve ever eaten. It has curry in the spice mix which adds an interesting flavor. It’s not spicy, it’s just right!”
KELLY BELL – Director of Business Operations
Kelly ensures that Women’s Bean Project’s everyday activities run smoothly and that the business operates consistent with the company’s mission statement and the strategic plan while the Bean Project works to dramatically accelerate growth. Kelly is instrumental in streamlining business functions to create efficiency and cost savings, with focus on operations, increased product sales, donor giving, strategic partners, and customer retention.
Kelly’s Favorite WBP Product: Gluten-Free Cornbread
“The Gluten-Free Cornbread is one of my favorites. It is so moist and absolutely delicious! I like substituting with coconut milk and coconut oil for the perfect sweetness.”
BETSY MCPHERSON – Director of Sales and Marketing
Betsy oversees all aspects of Women’s Bean Project’s sales and marketing channels. Her main focus is on establishing and retaining retail, wholesale and distributor relations, as well as new business, corporate sales and product expansion. Betsy is instrumental in expanding the Bean Project’s distribution footprint to include Whole Foods, King Soopers, Safeway and other big box retailers, as well as online channels including Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
Betsy’s Favorite WBP Product: Chocolate Brownies
“Love the brownies! I add semi-sweet chocolate chips to the top and powdered sugar after baking.”
PAM BRIER – Director of Program Operations
As the Director of Program Operations, Pam takes the lead in the development of program curriculum design and direction and actively promotes the integration of the program and business operations of the organization. On a daily basis Pam is actively engaged with the support and case management of all of our participants as they set and work toward their personal goals. Pam is also in charge of community outreach and engagement, recruiting partners, stakeholders and volunteers who provide support and opportunities to our participants.
Pam’s Favorite WBP Product: Women’s V-neck T-shirt
“Love, Love, Love representing the Bean wherever I go!”
LUANNE HILL – Director of Development
Luanne oversees fundraising, corporate giving, workplace giving, and the Bean Project’s volunteer program to include donor centric communications and databases, as well as cultivation with current and prospective donors. She manages our volunteer base and oversees fundraising and community events, as well as assists the marketing department with newsletters, reports and other communications.
Luanne’s Favorite WBP Product: Snickerdoodle Cookies
“They taste so good and I have always enjoyed baking with my children. Even the really little tikes can roll a ball in their hand and then roll the cookie in cinnamon sugar. Great conversations happen while cooking with your children! Learn and enjoy!”
ANNE DAVIS – Controller
Anne manages all of the company financial operations and human resource functions. Her work experiences include pharmaceutical manufacturing, not-for-profit, and telecommunications. Daily duties range from entering accounts payable invoices, to preparing payroll, to producing financial statements. She works closely with the staff to help ensure efficiency and accuracy in the financial processes.
Anne’s Favorite WBP Product: Split Pea Soup
“The curry flavor just makes it for me! We always add celery, carrots, and veggies which cook nicely in the soup. One of our family favorites is to add Kielbasa Sausage, though I enjoy it no matter how it’s served.”
SCOTT ANDERSON – Marketing Manager
Scott oversees all marketing and communication initiatives and brand integrity across multiple business units, and manages all social media, e-commerce, web and print. He also assists with design and communications involving fundraising efforts and events.
Scott’s Favorite WBP Product: BBQ Spice Blend
“I love this rub! Great for pork shoulder, ribs, chicken and fish. It’s really good for anything on the grill or baked in the oven, and especially shines in my opinion when you use it while slow cooking. I like to rub liberally on a few pounds of ribs and cook with some broth for 8~10 hours in a slow cooker and have fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious flavor!”
ERIN EGGLAND – Career Advisor & Mentor Coordinator
Erin helps our program participants with all aspects of job readiness (resume building, interview skills, career/personality inventory, on-line profiles) and searches for, as well as creates and maintains, partnerships with employers around the city. As a former mentor, Erin also manages the mentor program, including coaching, trainings, adding new mentors and scheduling. Additionally, Erin assists with a variety of case management duties.
Erin’s Favorite WBP Product: Smoky Tomato Spice Blend
“I love this mix, I add sun-dried tomatoes to it and it is a hit no matter where I serve it!”
EME BARNES – Production Supervisor
Eme trains Program Participants to produce gourmet food products while teaching fundamental entry-level job readiness skills and proper workplace norms by serving as a role model to the program participants while helping them achieve daily and weekly goals. She ensures that all products, equipment, materials, and weights are accurate, that production is on schedule, and that quality control standards are consistently maintained while overseeing daily production of multiple products at one time.
Eme’s Favorite WBP Product: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
“These are easy to bake, I like to add pecans to mine, also can replace one egg with ¼ cup applesauce and 1 tsp. baking powder, for my vegan family members.”
JESSICA PACHECO – Production Lead
Jessica assists the Production Supervisor in execution and enforcement of WBP’s on-the-job production training program, with a focus on workplace safety, food safety, and maintaining quality control of products.
Jessica’s Favorite WBP Product: Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
ELISE ROBINSON – Shipping and Receiving Coordinator
Elise oversees all order processing, shipping and receiving and fulfillment for all customer, retail and wholesale orders. She works closely with the Bean Project’s shipping partners to create cost savings and efficiencies. Elise trains and oversees the women in the Bean Project’s program who are assigned to the department.
Elise’s Favorite WBP Product:
SHANNON BALL – Office Administrator
Shannon oversees our retail store and interacts with our customers on a daily basis in-person and on the phone to provide them with information about our products and program. In addition, she works closely with our controller assisting with accounting duties. She also works with our sales manager and marketing manager to field sales and website inquiries.
Shannon’s Favorite WBP Product: Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
“This product combines two things I love – coffee and chocolate! They’re delicious and always make a great gift for fellow chocolate and coffee lovers.”
ADRIENNE WATTS – Sales Associate
Adrienne is responsible for prospecting for new customers, maintaining relationships with current customers across our various sales channels, taking new orders and providing front-line customer service (focusing on the wholesale channel).
Adrienne’s Favorite WBP Product: Golden Cornbread
“Spicing up the Golden Cornbread with jalapenos adds a great flavor kick and makes a fantastic side for many meals”