Incubator Spotlight is a continuing series of features about companies in the Bethesda Green Business Incubator.

Gator ron logoGator Ron’s Zesty Sauces & Mixes offers six unique, delicious products; two versions each of Divine Bloody Mary Mix, Angel Wing Sauce & Heavenly BBQ Sauce.  All products are made with all natural ingredients, and are gluten, dairy, and fat free, contain no GMOs or HVPs, are Kosher, vegan, low in calories and carbs and high in flavor & versatility; there are numerous recipes on our website for easy, healthy appetizers, entrées, side dishes and beverages using our products.

The unique recipes for these sauces and mixes were created by “Gator” Ron Griffith, who died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in November 2011; we are manufacturing and selling his products to raise money for ALS research. Constance Griffith, Ron’s wife, is Founder & President of Gator Ron’s Zesty Sauces & Mixes; Debra Kaufmann is Co-Founder & Vice President, Public Relations & Communications.  A percentage of all proceeds are donated to the Robert Packard Center at Johns Hopkins.

In the 18 months since we first received our manufactured products, we are delighted to say that Gator Ron’s Zesty Sauces & Mixes are now in more than 100 locations in the Baltimore/Washington metro area, including several stores and restaurants on the Eastern Shore.  We are also with a distributor in Ontario, Canada for placement in gourmet and gift shops, and our Bloody Mary Mix is in numerous liquor stores in Delaware and Pennsylvania, as well as all Montgomery County and Worcester County Liquor Stores.  We have online sales through our website, Abe’s Market, Open Sky and Amazon.

Gator Ron’s is currently in local programs with Whole Foods and MOM’s Organic Market, and will be placing some of our products in local Giant Food Stores in the fall, and we are in discussions with potential distributors, which would help us really grow the business.  We are also hoping to find investors to help fund this upcoming growth – and even plan to apply to Shark Tank!  We are very excited and believe that 2014 has the possibility of becoming a huge year for Gator Ron’s!

Please help us “take a bite out of ALS” by purchasing Gator Ron’s Zesty Sauces & Mixes – we hope to become the Paul Newman’s for ALS.

As students go back to school to start their spring semester, finding a summer internship is definitely on their to-do list, and now is the time when employers are looking for talented students to fill their organizational needs. So each year Bethesda Green hosts Fields of Green Internship Fair to connect highly qualified students who are looking for opportunities in the environmental sector with DC metro area’s green employers. Getting ready for the event this year, we decided to share a series of profiles (wrapped up with this edition) about some of the amazing interns who have worked with us recently.

Natalia Salazar PhotoMeet Natalia Salazar. Natalia graduated from Mount Holyoke College in May 2013 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Ecosystem Science. Since September 2013, she has been interning at Bethesda Green and Calleva Farm, focusing on sustainable agriculture. She is passionate about building a local, ethical, and sustainable food system.

How did you hear about Bethesda Green? After the end of my last semester in college, I started searching online for green internships in Bethesda. The first link that came up was Bethesda Green’s list of internships from the 2013 Fields of Green Internship Fair. Thanks to this list, I found out about Bethesda Green and Calleva, and I am enjoying wonderful opportunities at both places.

The best thing about interning at Bethesda Green is the chance to work on a project of my interest and receive all the support and resources I need to complete my project. I especially love the level of involvement I’m granted in the Greening Restaurants program and the exposure to the local sustainability world. Thanks to my internship at BG, I have learned  a great deal about restaurants serving delicious, local, seasonal food in downtown Bethesda that I previously had not know about.

What do you do at Bethesda Green? Since I started my internship at Bethesda Green, I’ve been immersing myself in the topic of sustainable agriculture. I’m helping to bring a local food day in downtown Bethesda and creating a webpage within the BG site to educate the public about sustainable agriculture, our county’s agricultural reserve, and sources for local food.

I am most passionate about environmental stewardship, health, animal welfare, and social justice. I also love the outdoors, traveling, dancing, cooking, and eating.

One thing I do to protect the environment is drive a small, fuel-efficient car. My goal, however, is to drive an electric car powered by clean energy sources.

Future goals/plans? This fall I hope to enroll in the University of Maryland’s Environmental Science and Technology M.S. program. I would like to do research and gain expertise on sustainable agriculture and soil.

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Maddy Go is currently a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, interning at Bethesda Green for the fall and spring semesters.

How did you hear about Bethesda Green? I was looking for an internship in the environmental field as part of my school’s internship program, and a quick Google search brought me to Bethesda Green’s website. After meeting with Bethesda Green staff, I started interning months later in the fall.

The best thing about interning at BG…is the extremely welcoming and encouraging Bethesda Green staff. BG is a great environment to learn and grow, and that’s made possible entirely by them.

What do you do at Bethesda Green? Anything that’s needed, including working on the database, the BG website, media outreach, and my own personal project. With the help of Bethesda Green, I’ve recently been able to begin to renovate my school’s greenhouse, which has been a fantastic experience for me.

I am most passionate about finding innovative ways to do things and exploring new ideas, especially in the environmental field.

One thing you do to protect the environment? Whenever I go out I try to carpool, take public transportation, or walk/bike.

Future goals/plans? This year I’m going to head to college and begin my undergraduate studies in environmental science. However, things are still uncertain down the road. Hopefully I’ll be able to take advantage of study-abroad opportunities, or try World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) or the Peace Corps.

As students go back to school to start their spring semester, finding a summer internship is definitely on their to-do list, and now is the time when employers are looking for talented students to fill their organizational needs. So each year Bethesda Green hosts Fields of Green Internship Fair to connect highly qualified students who are looking for opportunities in the environmental sector with DC metro area’s green employers. Getting ready for the event this year, we decided to share a series of profiles about some of the amazing interns who have worked with us recently.

Melanie Herrera PhotoMeet Melanie Herrera. She is a senior at Paint Branch High School, participating in the Honors Executive Leadership Program, an honors career and leadership development program.

How did you hear about Bethesda Green? I heard of Bethesda Green through my program supervisor, Kim Jones. She helped me connect with Bethesda Green since I am interested in studying environmental science in college.

The best thing about interning at Bethesda Green is interacting with various green businesses that work closely with Bethesda Green and learning new ways to go green.

I am most passionate about my family because they support and motivate me in everything I do.

One thing you do to protect the environment? I participate in my school’s environmental club where we educate others about the environment and promote recycling and sustainability.

Future goals/plans?  I hope to have a career in the field of environmental science. I am also looking forward to graduating this year and traveling to Portland, Oregon, to visit my family.

As students go back to school to start their spring semester, finding a summer internship is definitely on their to-do list, and now is the time when employers are looking for talented students to fill their organizational needs. So each year Bethesda Green hosts Fields of Green Internship Fair to connect highly qualified students who are looking for opportunities in the environmental sector with DC metro area’s green employers. Getting ready for the event this year, we decided to share a series of profiles about some of the amazing interns who have worked with us recently.

Susanna Parker PhotoMeet Susanna Parker. She is the Social Media and Production Manager for Mark Leisher Productions, a visual communications company based in Bethesda. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Management at the University of Maryland.

How did you hear about Bethesda Green? I heard of Bethesda Green through a family friend, Cheryl Newman. Cheryl worked for Honest Tea and had been involved with Bethesda Green for several years. She introduced me to BG Program Manager Sharon D’Emidio and I joined Bethesda Green as an intern.

The best thing about interning at Bethesda Green was the experience and connections that I gained. I was never assigned menial tasks, but given important projects that were interesting to work on and were a great addition to my resume.

What have you been up to since your internship at Bethesda Green?  As an intern with BG, I regularly wrote for the Bethesda Green blog. I came to the attention of Mark Leisher, whose production company is in the BG Incubator. He and his partner asked me to come on part-time as a content writer. I gradually transitioned to full-time and just celebrated my one-year anniversary as an employee of Mark Leisher Productions.

I am most passionate about educating people on current issues. Whether that’s watershed protection, the Keystone XL pipeline, or colony collapse disorder, people need to know how humans impact the environment around them, and what they can do to help.

One thing you do to protect the environment? I compost with worms in our apartment. It took some experimentation, and I had to fight off fruit flies for a while, but my husband and I have drastically reduced our food waste. Plus, we have to take out the trash far less!

Future goals/plans? I’m looking forward to continuing in my role at Mark Leisher Productions and learning more about video production. My husband and I are about to start house-hunting and hope to purchase a home by mid-June. We’re also planning a few vacations, including to Florida, North Carolina, and (hopefully) Mexico.

As students go back to school to start their spring semester, finding a summer internship is definitely on their to-do list, and now is the time when employers are looking for talented students to fill their organizational needs. So each year Bethesda Green hosts Fields of Green Internship Fair to connect highly qualified students who are looking for opportunities in the environmental sector with DC metro area’s green employers. Getting ready for the event this year, we decided to share a series of profiles about some of the amazing interns who have worked with us recently.

Jon Akpapunam PhotoMeet Jon Akpapunam. He is a recent graduate in Environmental Studies and Economics at Denison University and aims to contribute to the development of products and business strategies that are both meaningful and sustainable. He is a basketball player, music lover, and french fry eater.

How did you hear about Bethesda Green? Honestly, I came across Bethesda Green by chance during my job search.

The best thing about interning at Bethesda Green are the people and the opportunities to learn and contribute to awesome sustainability efforts in the community.

What have you been up to since your internship at Bethesda Green? After my internship at BG, I interned for both Clean Currents and the City Parks Alliance. Recently, I have accepted another internship with a corporate responsibility consulting firm in New York, Corporate Citizenship.

I am most passionate about the positive impact that business and products can have on people. I’m also passionate about sports, music, and positivity.

One thing you do to protect the environment? Recycle. I do not consume bottled water, conserve energy whenever possible, and consider the environmental impact of almost everything I do.

Future goals/plans? I aim to continue to do work that feeds my passion and sparks my interest, learn more about digital content, learn to DJ/mix music, visit California, Nigeria, Germany and New Zealand/Australia within 5 years  and continue to enjoy times with friends and family.

As students go back to school to start their spring semester, finding a summer internship is definitely on their to-do list, and now is the time when employers are looking for talented students to fill their organizational needs. So each year Bethesda Green hosts Fields of Green Internship Fair to connect highly qualified students who are looking for opportunities in the environmental sector with DC metro area’s green employers. Getting ready for the event this year, we decided to share a series of profiles about some of the amazing interns who have worked with us recently.

Jenny Roe PhotoMeet Jennifer Roe. She grew up in Bethesda but has lived all over the world since then.  She spent a year in Edinburgh, Scotland, and received a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development. During her time in Scotland she became passionate about moving away from an unhealthy, unfair food system and has been working towards building a healthier system ever since.

How did you hear about Bethesda Green? I found out about Bethesda Green when I first moved back to the U.S. from Scotland.  During my job search I came across BG’s website; decided to attend the Education, Outreach and Marketing meeting; and soon after, began my internship.

The best thing about interning at Bethesda Green…was getting to know the people there.  I loved working with the BG team and all the community members who are so passionate about making Bethesda and surrounding communities more sustainable.  Everyone is filled with inspiring ideas about how to change the world for the better.

What have you been up to since your internship at Bethesda Green? After my internship, I started working for a start-up company called Relay Foods.  We are an online farmers market and grocery store that offers 300 local products as well as everyday groceries.  Relay is working towards building a more efficient, no-waste food system that supports small, local business. I am so proud of the growth I have seen in the company over the past 6 months and think everyone should try it out!

I am most passionate about healthy, delicious food that is good for the earth!

One thing you do to protect the environment? Shop local whenever possible.

Future goals/plans? TRAVEL! I have spent  a lot of time traveling but the list never ends. I also hope to one day go to business school to learn about starting my own organization that gives back to those in needs and creates a healthier world.

As students go back to school to start their spring semester, finding a summer internship is definitely on their to-do list, and now is the time when employers are looking for talented students to fill their organizational needs. So each year Bethesda Green hosts Fields of Green Internship Fair to connect highly qualified students who are looking for opportunities in the environmental sector with DC metro area’s green employers. Getting ready for the event this year, we decided to share a series of profiles about some of the amazing interns who have worked with us recently.

Megan Clark PhotoMeet Megan Clark. She is a junior at American University, studying Public Communication with minors in Marketing and Psychology. She has held several positions in sustainability-related fields because she is interested in making the world a greener place.

How did you hear about Bethesda Green? I heard about Bethesda Green through a position I held at American University’s Office of Sustainability. They told us about the Fields of Green Internship Fair where I learned about the internship positions available at Bethesda Green.

The best thing about interning at Bethesda Green…was getting to know the people that work there and getting involved in a multitude of projects. Every day was different, and I liked that there was always something new to learn.

What have you been up to since your internship at Bethesda Green? I just got back from studying European Sustainable Development in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the fall semester, which was a great experience, but now I am looking forward to getting further involved on my campus again at AU.

I am most passionate about my friends and family. These are the people that love and support me. Wherever I find myself in my future, I know that they will be by my side.

One thing you do to protect the environment? I always bring reusable bags to the grocery store, and I have my own recycling bin in my room in my apartment. Incorporating sustainability into my daily life is a huge priority for me.

Future goals/plans? My future plans for this year are to get more involved in service opportunities on my campus and expand my network. As for beyond this year, I am looking forward to pursuing different career opportunities and really getting my feet wet working in different fields. I would also like to travel back to Europe at some point and visit the places I haven’t been to yet such as London, Paris, Rome and Vienna!

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