Carrie leads Sloat Design Group’s award winning brand strategy and design team and is personally involved in all aspects of the design process. She has nearly two decades of experience creating and revitalizing brands across all retail segments from food and beverage to greeting cards. Clients have included Williams-Sonoma, Newell Rubbermaid, Alexia, Annie Chun’s, House Foods, Hallmark, Pasta Prima, VegNews, Taylor Farms, and Turtle Mountain.
After moving down from Bethel, Alaska at age 7, Carrie spent the rest of her childhood growing up amongst the apple orchards in Sebastopol, California before heading to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly, earning her degree in Graphic Design. Little by little she has migrated back up to Sonoma County and now resides in Penngrove with her husband, two kids, and several chickens.
Arif Fazal is Founder & Managing Director of Blueberry Ventures. Blueberry Ventures, launched in July 2015, is a venture capital fund investing in emerging and innovative brands across food & beverage. Blueberry Ventures partners with inspiring & passionate entrepreneurs building the next generation of nutrition by providing early stage capital and operational support to help empower growth. Blueberry Ventures brings a unique dual lens to portfolio companies - marrying traditional food & beverage experience with new breed consumer digital acumen across both operating and investing environments. Selected Blueberry Ventures investments include Rhythm Superfoods, REBBL, Ripple Foods, Barnana, Revive, Pique Tea & Frontier Bites.
Prior to launching Blueberry Ventures, Arif led Arif Advisors where he rolled up his sleeves with consumer branded growth companies and investors in the space, helping companies drive growth and investors realize opportunity. Prior to that, Arif held general management, strategy & business development executive roles within Fortune 50 grocer Safeway Inc. and Fortune 500 lifestyle brand Williams-Sonoma Inc. Arif holds a MBA from Stanford University and a BA from UC Berkeley.
Walter Whitman brings 25 years of traditional and digital branding experience to every project. His agency credentials include roles as a creative director, copywriter and art director, working on a variety of assignments for top Fortune 500 clients. Walter’s work spans a spectrum of consumer industries, ranging from food and beverage to toys and cars. He has been involved in creating and producing campaigns across a variety of communication platforms that include broadcast, digital, social, and print media.
Walter calls Fairfax, California home and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Tie-dye is the preferred dress code, and even the coyotes, foxes and deer seem to enjoy the psychedelic flavor of the town. The stunning hills and ridges of west Marin provide a beautiful and peaceful balance to a busy life, and offer miles of inspiration for his creative mind to wander freely.
Jeff Towner grew up in Oakland, California, where he first studied music then ventured into art. He attended Art Center College of Design for 2 years and then transferred to the Academy of Art College to studyi Advertising Design. As an Art Director he worked in the advertising field for 5 years. Having a passion to teach he started a teaching career at the Academy of Art College with “Introduction to Advertising” and taught that course for 8 years.
After a change of heart for the advertising business he launched into a 30-year career in Printing. This was not a great departure for him since his father and grandfather had both been printers. His sense of design has helped him be successful in printing sales by providing a unique partnership with the two disciplines.
In the late 1990s he returned to teaching, having experienced first hand young designers’ lack of preparedness for print. He developed a class to teach design students “Printing for Graphic Designers,” which he taught for 10 years at the Academy of Art University until 2009.
With his love for “old style” letterpress he and his wife Diane started Third Bay Letterpress in 2008. Their daughter Sarah, a design student at the Academy of Art, is now an active member of the business as well.
He has won many awards for printing, most recently winning a 2013 “Benny Award” for a collateral brochure he produced for California Academy of Sciences.
Jeff and his family have lived in Petaluma since 1986.
Noel specializes in catalog, editorial, and food and beverage photography. He has photographed with a wide range of clients including Williams-Sonoma, Kashi, Haagen Dazs, Driscoll's berries, Sunset Magazine, and Burger King. He lives in the small settlement of Salmon Creek along the Sonoma Coast.