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Michael Funk


Board of Directors, UNFI

Michael Funk has been involved with promoting and distributing organic foods for over 44 years. As one of the key pioneers of the natural food industry, he founded Mountain Peoples Warehouse in 1976 and built his company into the leading natural food wholesaler in the Western U.S. In 1996, he co-founded UNFI to form a natural food distributor that he led to become the largest in the world. 

As President and CEO of UNFI, Michael grew the company at an average growth rate of 20% per year, and he stepped down as CEO in 2008. He served as the Chairman of the Board for UNFI until December 2016. He continues to serve as a director.

Michael has been a board member of numerous non-profit groups, including serving as Board President of The Non-GMO Project. He co-founded and has served as a director of The Organic Center, a non-profit dedicated to scientific research on organic food. In early 2010, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, selected Michael to represent the organic and non-GMO perspective on the USDA’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture. 

Michael lives with his family in a solar-powered home along the Yuba River, in Nevada City, California. As past President of SYRCL, the South Yuba River Citizens League, he continues to be active in the restoration of native salmon runs to the Yuba River. The Organic Trade Association recognized Funk by awarding him their highest honor, the 2011 Leadership Award for Growing the Organic Industry. 

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