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A Mindset Shift - Recession as a Time to Advance at Retail, Not Retreat
Ongoing uncertainty and tough economic conditions are affecting all aspects of the natural foods industry. From brands, to retailers, consumers, investors, and manufacturers, everyone is feeling the effects of long-term disruptions and instability. Recessions, however, should be viewed through the lens of opportunity. In fact, recessions are one of the greatest opportunities to gain market share against your competitors.

Join us as we discuss what we are seeing at retail and how to strategize to advance your position. We'll touch on everything from the state of retail to opportunities to gain market share to managing supply chain and headquarter calls and more....


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Will Ahearn
President @Dirty Hands
Will Ahearn is the President and Co-Founder of Dirty Hands, a family owned and operated retail execution group, supporting value-driven organizations in the natural food space. What began in 2012 as merchandising support for one brand in one retailer has evolved to a nationwide network of 250+ passionate natural food experts servicing over 4000 retailers at store-level and at HQ offices. Will champions the "of service" mentality and believes that unlocking opportunities at retailers is a product of consistently bringing value to those in need. Will resides in New Hampshire, is an avid gardener, basketball player, and proud uncle.
Laura Derba
Chief Operating Officer @Dirty Hands
Laura Derba is our Chief Operating Officer. Laura started her career in the Natural Foods Industry 30 years ago joining Bread and Circus, which got acquired shortly after by Whole Foods Market. She spent 26 years with Whole Foods Market, starting as a Part-Time Team Member and spent time working across all areas of the business. She held various leadership roles Executive Coordinator of Operations, Vice President of Operations in the NA Region, and UK Region. She spent her last 10 years at Whole Foods Market as the President of the North Atlantic Region and led Change Management across all Business units nationally. Laura then took on the role of COO for a plant-based CPG brand which ultimately led her to Dirty Hands where her retail and CPG expertise merged! Laura’s passion and leadership north star is centered around leadership through influence, culture, community and creating a space where inclusion, transparency and empowerment live and breathe daily.
Rob Maxwell
SVP of Growth Services @Dirty Hands
Rob Maxwell is our Senior Vice President of Growth Services. Rob is an industry vet, spending the past 30 years working in the natural foods industry. Having served in operational leadership roles with Whole Foods Market, GrandyOats, Rodeo CPG, and now Dirty Hands, Rob has a broad base of experience and expertise across brand, retailer, and service providers. When not working, you can find Rob spending time with his family, riding his motorcycle or trying to learn as much as he can about whichever topic has his attention.
Mary Jo Marks
Associate Director of Growth Services @Dirty Hands
Mary Jo Marks is our Associate Director of Growth Services. Mary Jo is an industry vet, serving the Natural Foods' Industry for over 30 years. She began her career at Whole Foods Market in a variety of roles from Grocery Team Leader to Store leadership in the North Atlantic Region. Mary Jo then joined UNFI as Retailer Training Specialist, managing the internal Planogram team and working with CPG, Independent retailers and the UNFI Category Management Team. She then worked as a Regional and National Sales Manager for many brands before joining Dirty Hands nearly one year ago. Personally, Mary Jo enjoys the outdoors, hiking and scenic flying along the beautiful Maine coastline!
Dan Bubniak
Chief Financial Officer (Moderator) @Dirty Hands
Dan Bubniak is our Chief Financial Officer. Dan started his career in public accounting at Deloitte, providing tax and audit services to private equity funds and global corporations. Dan then got bit by the entrepreneurial bug, joining Dirty Hands roughly 6 years ago, as CFO, to build the next generation of best in class retail services. Although working in finance by title, he spent his early years at Dirty Hands focused on building scalable infrastructure across all departments alongside building, developing and expanding services. Dan believes in a culture/people first mindset, being of service, and dreaming big in terms of creating services that change the course of how things have been done. Dan lives in Connecticut with his wife Kayla and enjoys cooking, making craft cocktails, getting active and spending time with family.