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Our People

Everything in Business and Life Happens With and Through People

People are at the heart of everything we do at Petal and how we do it. We wouldn't have it any other way.


David M. M. Taffet

Co-Founder & CEO

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David is our Mr. Mom. He is a seasoned executive leader with more than 30 years of experience building companies, leading teams, raising capital (almost half a billion dollars in total), and developing cross-sector partnerships for commercial and public gain, operating always with maternalistic compassion and parental expectations. Over the broad sweep of his career, he's taken on and excelled in countless roles: parallel entrepreneur, strategic advisor, turnaround specialist and street photographer. He is the person we turn to when we need nurturing, guidance, or a butt-kicking (figuratively, of course). Mr. Mom don’t play.

Christie Zwahlen

Co-Founder & Executive VP of Social Impact

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Christie is our heart and soul. She is community-builder with more than a decade of experience spearheading institutional change across academia, the public, and private sectors. Her authentic commitment to doing the right thing has put her on the frontlines of many challenges of public importance – from providing community access to technology and pathways to STEAM education to inspiring young people to actively exercise their agency and become more civically active in their communities. As the English major, Christie is also our copy-editor-in-chief, which means all typos and grammatical errors are her fault.

Scott Henderson

Chief of Design Engineering

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Scott is our visionary. He is among the top industrial designers working in America today. More than 90% of his projects have been mass-produced, a track record few designers can rival. Over the course of his celebrated career, Scott has made a habit of "transforming the mundane" and bringing forgotten products to the foreground. He’s the talent behind Petal’s sleek yet democratic design, soon-to-be a ubiquitous presence in households across America.

Primoz Cresnik

Co-Inventor & Chief Process Officer

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Prim is the problem solver. He is one of the aerospace engineers behind Petal's pioneering waste-freezing technology. Prim brings nearly two decades of experience facilitating cutting-edge and advanced engineering solutions and technical leadership. As a former elite gymnast, he understands what is takes to excel—focus, tenacity, and a high pain threshold, among other things. After a decade of hard academic labor, working in R&D and teaching, Prim has turned his intense focus to entrepreneurship and process management for Petal.

Janielle Denier

Chief Growth Officer

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Janielle is the digital maven. She is an industry-leading digital marketing executive with 15-plus years of experience and expertise in strategic customer acquisition and go-to-market strategies for growth-stage startups. She is the co-founder and CEO of Rainfactory, where her portfolio of successful product launches includes 'power' brands, including Philips, Target, and Atari, and buzz-worthy tech upstarts alike.

John Skrodenis

Executive Vice President of Emerging Technologies and Strategic Partnerships

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John is a connector with the innate knack for identifying new opportunities that outperform the market. He has a 15-plus year track record of executing innovative online growth strategies and increasing brand equity across a diverse mix of verticals. John serves as the Managing Partner and VP of Operations at Rainfactory, where he has developed an end-to-end marketing strategy and conversion funnels for multi-million dollar brands with a portfolio including Target, Atari, Lynq, and Segway, among others.

Anthony O. Boswell

Executive VP of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

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Tony is our coalition builder. He is an accomplished senior executive, leader of people, and change agent whose career has spanned law, compliance, government service, the international, nonprofit, and business sectors. Tony leads Petal's sustained commitment to create an environment where the difference is embraced, leveraged, and woven into the fabric of its strategy, culture, and everyday practices.

Melissa Howard

Executive VP of Growth & Marketing

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Melissa is our queen of lightbulb moments. She brings 20 years of broad marketing experience that combines digital, branding, and storytelling prowess. Melissa has been working in “digital marketing” since before it was called that so she knows a thing or two, with a portfolio spanning brands, ranging from startups to large, global companies. She possesses a rare mixture of talents that make her a bit of a unicorn: data analytics + design acumen + bold creativity. Melissa knows full well what it takes to build from the ground up and strongly believes that authentic storytelling, backed by data, never goes out of style.

Anthony Naglieri

Chief of Staff

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Anthony is our glue guy. He brings 15-plus years of people-management, public administration, and PR experience. Versatility is the name of his game with experience spanning everything from a major U.S. military academy and professional and collegiate sports, to some of the nation's largest charities and internationally-minded causes. His diverse experience and deft GIF game allow him to bridge multiple disciplines in the service of getting things done. Anthony doesn’t raise his voice, but his expectations are higher than Miranda Priestly’s. Be very afraid.

Kaitlyn Witman

Executive VP of eCommerce

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Kaitlyn is the eCommerce whiz. She draws upon over a decade of experience shepherding new products from ideation to launch. Kaitlyn is the co-founder and COO at Rainfactory, where she leads a team of digital marketers, designers, and developers in running multi-million-dollar eCommerce launches down to every last detail. never goes out of style.

Lily Taffet

Creative Director & Digital Strategist

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Lily is our creative concierge. She is a branding expert, visual designer, budding challah-preneur, and creative specialist whose growing portfolio spans world-renowned fashion brands, international manufacturers, and celebrity artists. She has a proven track record of helping brands and companies establish identities that aren't just pretty – but also create meaningful relationships with potential customers and deliver results. Lily has her finger on the pulse of what’s new and innovative in fashion, art, and design, and we wouldn’t be as cool without her.

Brian Petz  

Co-Inventor & Product Development Engineer

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Brian is our big-idea guy. He cut his teeth building jet engines before taking his MakerBot, some sheet metal, and components from an old mini fridge to develop Petal's original, and still functioning, prototype. He is a natural problem solver with an incredible knack for developing solutions to human quandaries (including, and especially, eliminating stink and neutralizing germs generated by poop-filled diapers). Always finding ways to improve the products, mechanisms, and activities he encounters in his daily life, we like to think of him as sort of a 21st century Doc Brown.

Aaron Rutherford

Director of Product

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Aaron is our product architect. He is a results-driven innovator with a proven track record of successfully leading the end-to-end product lifecycle for startups and Fortune 500 corporations alike. He possesses ninja-like agility and is as obsessed with building stellar customer solutions as he is with Philz coffee and whiteboarding with a fresh Expo marker. A “techie” hailing from Silicon Valley, Aaron keeps us up to date on the latest and greatest, but we have to say we are concerned by the number of apps on his phone.

Backed by the Best

Petal is proud to partner with Danby, a world-class manufacturer/distributor with 70-plus years of experience in the manufacturing of refrigeration, home comfort, and specialty appliances loved by people continent-wide

 

Backed by the Best

Petal is proud to partner with Danby, a world-class manufacturer/distributor with 70-plus years of experience in the manufacturing of refrigeration, home comfort, and specialty appliances loved by people continent-wide

 

Advisory Board

Brent Bishop
Environmental Sustainability Advisor

Brien G. East
Hardware Design & Certification Advisor

Dr. Glenn Platt
Digital Marketing & Strategy Advisor

Dr. Cristina Ribeiro
Software Yoda

Maria Caschetta
Government & Healthcare Relations Advisor

John Janek
Government Contracts Advisor

Jim Estill
Growth Coach

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