Create Joy Together
Visit Balsam and you’ll run into a caring, fun-loving and grounded group of people. We love what we do and do what we love. Our people values have been a constant since the early days and has resulted in a one-of-a-kind culture.
Our leaders are passionate industry experts. We don’t have fancy offices or long-winded titles, but we do have laughter and humility in spades. We bring deep experience in our respective fields and plenty of ideas about areas we know nothing about!
In 2006, Mac founded our flagship Balsam Hill brand in his Palo Alto, CA apartment and coordinated a terrific group of partners that revolutionized the Christmas tree. Today, Mac is privileged to work with an exceptional team of colleagues and partners around the world to lead the strategic direction of our products and our company. He retains his role as the lead designer of each of Balsam's Christmas trees, and travels the world in search of the finest products to share with our customers.
Mac's entrepreneurial passion surfaced at age three when he started a business selling dead tennis balls re-purposed as dog toys to neighbors from his trusty red Radio Flyer wagon. More recently, Mac served for seven years as CEO of Progress Wire Products, in marketing for the Clorox Company, in business development for the Cleveland Clinic, and as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Mac has been named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist and honored on the Silicon Valley "40 under 40" list. He is an angel investor, mentor, and board advisor to consumer product and ecommerce startups. He was named an Arjay Miller Scholar in Stanford’s MBA program and is a proud Purple Cow, holding an undergraduate degree from Williams College in Geosciences, Economics, and Environmental Studies. If granted a superpower, Mac would choose the ability to heal. (The ability to create world class ski resorts with endless powder days would be a close second.)
COO & Brand Steward
Caroline joined Balsam Brands in 2007 in a Marketing-focused role and has played many different roles since then. Now, she oversees Operations, guides our brand direction and expression, and champions cross-functional decision-making and coordination. Working with the team to solve complex problems with simple solutions is one of her favorite things about her role.
Her professional career has included strategic planning and marketing roles for leading consumer brands at Levi Strauss & Company and as a consultant at Bain. She also has experience in the non-profit sector at The Bridgespan Group and YouthBuild USA. Caroline was an Arjay Miller Scholar in the Stanford MBA program and holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and Systems Applied Science from the University of Pennsylvania. If granted the superpower of her dreams, she would be morphing into all sorts of animals, vehicles, and other physical objects, emulating Plastic Man from the 70’s cartoon series (her childhood hero!).
Chief Marketing Officer & Head of eCommerce
Kristen is one of the original team members at Balsam Brands, and started at the company as an intern during graduate school in 2007. Intrigued by the job diversity, culture, and entrepreneurial spirit of the company, Kristen joined full-time in 2008. Kristen first focused on performance marketing in addition to a plethora of other initiatives. Kristen now oversees all marketing, eCommerce and project management activities, assists with company strategy, and often makes chocolate chip banana bread for colleagues to enjoy (and sometimes her family and friends, too…).
Kristen’s career started in the finance world; prior to business school she worked in investment banking and private equity before joining Sears Holdings. Kristen was named an Arjay Miller scholar in Stanford’s MBA program, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago with a double-major in Economics and Statistics. If given a superpower, Kristen would probably want to have the ability to have unlimited superpowers – she likes having options.
Chief Financial Officer
Mike manages the finance, accounting, and treasury functions at Balsam; he counts the money, prepares the financial reports, and oversees our insurance and capital needs.
Mike is a Certified Public Accountant and before joining the Balsam team, worked as a senior manager for Deloitte & Touche. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Master in Professional Accounting and received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Utah State University. If Mike could choose any superpower, he would replicate into 3 “Mikes” – 1 to play, 1 to work, and 1 to keep up with his 3 busy children.
Chief People Officer & Head of Growth Initiatives
Claire wears dozens of hats and loves them all. She began her career as a strategy consultant at Parthenon (now Ernst & Young), worked in Global Strategy at Starbucks and ran Operations at NutraBella and Beau-coup. She joined Balsam in 2012 and now oversees People Initiatives & Strategic Projects. She graduated from the Stanford MBA program and holds an undergraduate degree from Williams College in Political Economy. If given any superpower, Claire would choose breathing under water so she could swim with the fishes to the depths of the ocean.
Chief Technology Officer
Hazlitt has years of global experience in building enterprise wide applications and communicating strategic direction to drive results. He began his career as Technical Consultant/Systems Analyst at Compaq Computers and later went on to build technology operations and development teams at major retailers - Michael Kors, New York & Company, Ann Inc (among others). Hazlitt joined Balsam in 2018 where he oversees the technology function. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering as well as various other technical/management certifications. If given any superpower, Hazlitt would choose to have the ability to move from one place to the other within seconds so that he could be at different places when desired...
EVP of Product Merchandising
Jennifer is obsessed with great product so it is fitting that she leads our merchandising, sourcing and product development efforts. She has spent her career at lifestyle specialty retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, Williams-Sonoma, and Restoration Hardware and is deeply passionate about building great brand experiences for customers. If she could have a super power, it would be to fly because a) how awesome would that be? And b) she could get to where she wants to be faster.
EVP, Legal & Regulatory and General Counsel
Nat really enjoys being a dad, a lawyer, and an amateur at a whole lot of hobbies that don’t get much of his time. At Balsam, he oversees the legal function but tries to keep his “scary lawyer hat” tucked away for use on special occasions only. Prior to joining Balsam in 2014, Nat spent eleven years as a corporate/M&A lawyer in a law firm and, before that, clerked for Judge Alice Batchelder on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and BA from Williams College. If he had a superpower, Nat would be able to render and dispense justice perfectly (which would require a whole host of other super-cool superpowers).
SVP of Operations, Supply Chain, & Emerging Markets
Mike spends his work time making sure that our boxes get to their homes around the world, whether it is a warehouse or a customer’s house. He has had multiple “careers” all relating to operations, from flying things that go fast, to running a manufacturing startup to his current role at Balsam. He has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from UMass, Amherst. If he could have any superpower, it would be the ability to teleport himself back to the top of a ski mountain without a lift. Especially on powder days!
VP of People
Erin is a connector and life-long learner at heart and is lucky to get to support everyone bringing the magic to life at Balsam. She sees learning as a catalyst for change, no matter the scale, both at work and in everyday life. After cutting her professional teeth in Merchandising and e-Commerce at Gap, Inc., Erin leaned into her passion for Learning & Development and workplace culture and jumped ship to the People Operations side of the business. Erin graduated from The University of California at Berkeley, and as a grown-up has had the fortune to call New York City (forever in her heart) and the Bay Area home. If she could choose any superpower it would be teleportation - there are so many places to see (and eat through!) in this world, let’s not waste time getting there!
A solution is out there, we just have to create it. That philosophy propels Debra and her team of talented Brand, Media, Print, Copy, UI, and UX innovators to make the impossible, possible. She has spent the majority of her career rebranding and launching new lifestyle brands. She graduated from the California College of the Arts, and the University of San Francisco where she received a degree in Graphic Design and Marketing. If she could have any superpower, it would be to talk to the animals, because who wouldn’t want to know what their dog really thinks?
VP of International
Pablo joined Balsam in 2012 as an MBA intern and today oversees our International business. He is as passionate about data, testing and optimization as he is about the outdoors, sports and food.
Pablo has an MBA from Stanford and a Chemical Engineer degree from U. Iberoamericana. Before joining Balsam, Pablo’s worked at Procter & Gamble, learning about Brand Management and Shopper Marketing. If given a superpower, Pablo would choose teleportation so he could spend time with friends and family around the world.
VP of Marketing
Mandy started her career in traditional Marketing and PR in Chicago. After her relocation to Silicon Valley in 2009, she joined a start-up where she became an expert in Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. In 2012 Mandy followed her former manager to Balsam Brands. Over the last 8 years, she has grown with the company and now oversees the three Marketing functions: Growth, Engagement, and Performance Marketing. She constantly finds new ways to spend Marketing budgets efficiently and closely works with her teams to profitably support both growth and engagement across marketing channels.
Mandy holds a Master’s Degree in German Literature, History and Communications. She is also the Co-Chair of the Women in Business group at the German American Business Association (GABA) where she develops events that speak to like-minded women in Silicon Valley.
If given a superpower she'd like to be able to teleport, so that she could see her family in Germany for dinner, have dessert with a friend from college in Helsinki, and finish the evening with tea with friends who live in Darwin, Australia.
VP of Operations
Bernie joined Balsam in 2011 and focuses on domestic operations and the Customer Success teams; ensuring that orders ship and arrive on-time by working with a great team and power-snacking on Cheetos (crunchy only). If given any superpower, Bernie would choose flying - long legs + coach seats = uncomfortable.
VP of Growth
Ganesh drives the growth initiatives including marketplaces, B2B, and emerging growth opportunities. He has been involved in the strategy and growth domain for the past 15 years. Before joining Balsam Brands, he established and managed the International business for Waterworks, a luxury brand that is part of RH. He developed his strategic experience as a management consultant at A.T. Kearney after graduating with an MBA from Ross School of Business. He has a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and a bachelor’s degree from NITK, India.
If Ganesh had a superpower, he would ensure that nobody in the world goes hungry, even if he must cook himself and deliver to everyone at light speed.
Director of Marketing
A Philosophy graduate from the University of the Philippines, Kat has dipped her hand in various functions at Balsam Brands in the past ten years. Starting from eCommerce to Performance Marketing and Social Media teams, she has grown to her current position as Director of Marketing. She oversees paid and organic efforts and leads various cross-geographical and cross-functional initiatives. If given a superpower, she wants to have healing and teleporting powers to help people in need no matter where they are.
Chief of Staff, ROHQ
Joanne is the quintessential energizer bunny of Balsam Brands. When she is not in meetings and working, you will most likely see her burning something in the kitchen or quite possibly talking to her plants in her urban garden.
She joined Balsam Brands in 2013 and has helped manage various teams like People, Recruiting, Customer Success and now heads our eCommerce team while overseeing our Philippine Operations.
Joanne graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. In 2001, she dived into the Business Process Outsourcing space taking on various accounts, most notably a blue-chip financial company in the US and a Telco company in Australia.
As a superpower, she would choose to have the power to heal, especially kids, because she believes they deserve to live full and happy lives.
The Balsam Brandits
Our team talent means everything to us—it shapes who we are and how we work. As we’ve grown, we have prioritized finding smart, passionate people who uphold our values and are fun to be around. We make no exceptions to this rule.
We are all different and yet united. Meet some of our team members below and see what makes them tick:
Nichole Santa Maria
By day, Nichole oversees all of our performance marketing efforts. By night, you can find her binging all of the latest Hallmark Christmas movies.
Terry has a “healthy” obsession with warehousing and buying new shoes. When not cycling or running around Ireland, Terry loves working on all things operations, especially optimization of projects.
By day, Emma's our localization maestro; at night she bakes to the sweet sound of 40's and 50's jazz.
Matt fills our office space with new team members while his kids fill their house with a never ending supply of toys, pets and candy wrappers.
Brad loves taking in a good concert and works the systems in the office, while his cats "work the system" at home...
Nikki's passion for customer service is only rivaled by her passion for adding to her extensive lipstick collection.
Annie’s love for cats has gone as far as starting her own brand of cat accessories. She also goes to places dressed up as a t-rex on random days.
You can catch Jen chasing squirrels organically via online marketing, mountain trails, golf courses, the ski slopes, or possibly at a DMB concert.
Joshua is a self-proclaimed Minister of Design. He bakes pictures, seasons them with creativity and serves 'em "hot".
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Jaye loves swimming in the sea of orders. As a MedTech student, he watches classes on YouTube and avoids textbooks.
While Lindsay is at home pouring over financials, she is equally at home at a BSU tailgate or a day on the lake.
Krystiana Dela Cuadra
A Jack of All Trades in the office and in photo shoots, Krystiana's obsessions include working out and collecting Nutcrackers.
Apart from managing websites, Joyce enjoys her Instagram feed of cute animal photos and trending #WabbitAdventures.
While Jason is hard at work in Operations, he is also working his way through the assortment of Balsam provided snacks!
Davin is a product sourcer and music geek. When he's not visiting factories, you can find him at a concert.
Just as she looks forward to the start of a new design project, Judy eagerly anticipates the start of each new day armed with caffeine and laughter.
Chris is part of the Performance Marketing team. He is a man of few words and he only speaks when he is asleep.
Karen knows how to keep customers engaged. At home, she relaxes by whipping delicious meals for her family.
Rebecca spends her days coordinating catalog and email activities and her nights coordinating her next road trip.
Fun in the sun
Balsam is known for taking company trips to the Hawaiian Islands. Families are invited and there is no work allowed, only bonding on the beach, the pool and out to eat at great local eateries. We’ve hit Maui, Oahu and the Big Island. Where to next?
Balsam team members don't let physical distance stop us from building connection. We meet regularly using video technology, and work across our global geographies daily.
Games we play
Our office comes alive daily with friendly games of foosball and—occasionally intense—ping pong. We always have a jigsaw puzzles going, for when we need a mental break.
I always carry pizza in my purse.