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About Teatulia

Team Bios

Meet the Teatulia team! We're proud to be a Woman & Minority-Owned Business.

Linda Appel Lipsius

Linda Appel Lipsius is the Co-Founder & CEO of Teatulia Organic Teas. Since 2006, she's been working with her partners in Bangladesh to bring premium-quality, 100% Organic, direct-sourced teas from a previously-unknown growing region to the United States. She has built a brand known for doing things better - from the regenerative garden itself to the beautiful and sustainable packaging to the long list of awards Teatulia has received for quality. Named one of Food & Wine/ Fortune’s 20 Most Innovative Women in Food & Wine, Lipsius is a leading voice in topics ranging from entrepreneurship to women in business to sustainable business practices to clean food. Linda also started the mama 'hood (a resource for new & expecting moms & their families) & Teatulia Tea Bar, next door to Teatulia’s Headquarters. Previously, Linda was VP International with Orange Glo International (OGI) - makers of OxiClean, Kaboom, Orange Glo and Orange Clean - and Account Manager for Young & Rubicam. A Denver Native, she earned her Bachelor's Degree from Columbia University in New York City and her MBA in finance from New York University before moving to London, Los Angeles then back to Denver. She now lives in LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver) with her film maker husband Adam and her 11 & 9 year old Dorothy & Eli. In her spare time, Linda hangs with her kiddos, escapes to the mountains, devours movies & books and runs or practices yoga.

Tim Bradley

Chief Operating Officer Tim Bradley has more than three decades of experience in marketing, sales and general management for consumer packaged goods companies—including Procter and Gamble, SmithKline Beecham Open Road Snacks, and Rich Products. He’s an entrepreneur at heart, who has built a half-dozen businesses, often from the ground up, to significant annual sales levels across multiple industries. Tim grew up on the east coast and earned an economics degree from Hamilton College. When he’s not in the office, Tim is likely playing hockey, or out enjoying the mountain environs (often with his loyal sidekick Bode the black lab) in hiking boots, on one of his bikes, or on skis.

Chris Olsen

Chief Business Development Officer, Chris Olsen, has spent the last decade helping Teatulia Organic Teas grow from a start-up tea company into one of the world’s fastest-growing international tea brands. Olsen is the ultimate tea industry ambassador responsible for Teatulia’s mission of producing, procuring, and selling the world’s finest quality organic teas. Working his way from Director of Marketing and Product Development to Chief Operating Officer to Chief Business Development Officer, Olsen’s contributions have a theme of innovation and expansion. Olsen built Teatulia’s commercial sales channel from the ground up into the successful revenue stream it is today. As head of export and international sales, he has opened markets for Teatulia in Chile, Canada, and Australia. As product innovation lead, Olsen has launched more than 20 different product formats so far in retail and foodservice. He’s even formulated hot and iced tea blends that earned Teatulia coveted North American Tea Championship (NATC) and Specialty Food Association sofi™ awards. Olsen also spearheaded Teatulia’s revolutionary eco-canister packaging, which led to a globally recognized iF Packaging Design Award for innovative product packaging. Under Olsen’s watch, Teatulia was named one of Forbes’ Top 25 Innovative Consumer Brands. Olsen comes from an advertising-rich background, working on Fortune 500 brands such as Miller-Coors and Coca-Cola. Prior to joining Teatulia, he was a Vice-President at Pure Leaf Naturals, where he directed marketing campaigns for Aviva Yerba Mate and the Sweet Earth brand of stevia. Olsen earned his BA from Colorado State University and his MS in Marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Marc Austin

My role at Teatulia is Director of wholesale which means that I am to take this channel and Teatulia to a national level in Foodservice. My background is with Peet's Coffee where I managed the wholesale / Foodservice program. Previous to Peet's, I have been in foodservice management in several aspects. I was sales manager for California Division of Roma Foods and managed sales at a specialty distributor in Northern California.

Luke Franklin

National Director of Foodservice Sales, Luke Franklin, oversees all restaurant, hotel, collegiate, and wholesale distributor relations. Luke brings nearly two decades of sales and marketing experience ranging from advertising to craft beer sales. Prior to Teatulia Luke helped build the sales team of one of Colorado’s largest breweries, Upslope Brewing Company. He has significant experience taking startup companies and maturing the brands into industry leaders. Franklin received a BS in Journalism focusing in Advertising from West Virginia University, M.Ed. with focus in experiential education University of Georgia, MS Marketing with focus in sustainability from the University of Colorado Denver.

Brandon Donovan

Brandon joins the Teatulia team with many years of experience in sales, food service and entrepreneurship. Before settling Denver, Brandon sought an active lifestyle in the Midwest and East Coast regions, inspiring him to start his own line of dietary supplements and become a five time Ironman Athlete. Life in Colorado has reinvigorated his passion for all things outdoors: cycling, camping, and hiking with his Australian Shepard.

Cheryl Raff

Cheryl Raff our National Director of Grocery joins the team with 27 years of experience in CPG. Her most most recent venture being at VEB Sales where she helped to build brands like Honest Tea, ZICO, Odwalla, Blue Sky, Hansens Soda and more. She has a background on all sides of the business having started at a local independent store in Torrington, WY in 1990 that lead to working in Distributor Sales, as a Food Broker and then the Manufacturing side of CPG. Her true passion is building a brand that is more than a product inside the package but a brand that is giving back to our world. Outside of work her passion is her husband of 20+ years, Andy and two boys, Simon and Alan. They love living in Northern Colorado on the wide open plains where they raise goats for 4H to exhibit various stock shows around the US.

Vanessa Edgett

As Marketing Manager, Vanessa supports the retail and bulk sales channels and heads up events at Teatulia. A woman of many hats she prides herself in her diverse skill set and background. She began her career in NYC, where she earned her thick skin working in the fast paced events and entertainment industry, spending her days in the office and evenings at nightclubs and music venues around the city. After that she got her first corporate gig working at Six Flags’ Corporate office where she assisted the executive team and planned company events. From there she landed a spot at the reputable global advertising agency, Anomaly where she spent 5 years, helping to bring ideas to life for brands like Budweiser, Captain Morgan, Google, Johnnie Walker, Panera Bread and Pure Leaf. Her desire for a slower pace and love for the mountains brought her out to beautiful Colorado with her husband. When she’s not working you can find her spending time in the great outdoors skiing or hiking, traveling to new places and following her favorite band around the country, or obsessing over her sweet pitbull Stella.

Macey Howard

Digital Sales and Marketing Manager, Macey Howard, came to Teatulia in 2015 to manage Teatulia’s online presence including the Teatulia website, ecommerce, SEO, email marketing, affiliates, SEM, Amazon, and more. Macey joined Teatulia with a background in SEO, looking to help group an amazing social business on a mission. A graduate of Oregon State University, Macey has a BS in Marketing, with an option in International Business from her time spent studying abroad in the Czech Republic. A native Oregonian, Macey moved to Denver looking for new outdoor adventures.

Molly Gard

As the Teatulia Associate Marketing Manager, Molly handles all marketing trade shows and events. Molly joined Teatulia in 2008 as a high school student looking to learn about this innovative small business. She got her start doing retail demos and order fulfillment. Currently Molly is pursuing a Masters in Business Administration as Regis University. Molly continues to grow and learn as she watches this beautiful company continue to expand.

Joe Gish

Supply Chain Manager Joe Gish came to Teatulia in 2016 to build relationships with our customers and optimize our order fulfillment and has since moved into his new position. He brought over 8 years experience in customer service management from hospitality experts Marriott and InterContinental Hotel groups, the the latter whom he also served as Controller under the franchise Holiday Inn. Joes passion for learning has given him a diverse resume that includes accounting, film and video production, copy writing, start up consulting, marketing, and most recently until Teatulia, freight brokering and logistics. His ambitious positivity, creative thinking and attention to detail are the driving factors to making sure everyone has what they need, when they need it. He is a Colorado Native and loves the Colorado outdoors, ice hockey with his kids, skateboarding the many incredible skateparks in Denver, and of course, anything related to music and visual arts.

Brad McKinzie

Assistant Controller, Brad joins the Teatulia team with over 11 years of Accounting and Finance experience. After beginning his career in Restaurant Accounting, he managed the financial statements of over 100 different restaurants around the U.S and gained a strong understanding of how the finance department can significantly impact the success of a business. From there he continued his Finance career moving into the Wine industry with one of the most sought after and notorious brands in the world. He became intrigued with the entire process from vine to bottle. Being a tea drinker and seeing a lot of similarities in Garden to Cup, he found his way to Teatulia. Brad earned his Bachelor's from CU-Denver and shortly after got his MBA. He enjoys being active, enjoying the Colorado sun and all things Football.

Margaret Stashak

Margaret Stashak, our Director of Supply Chain, comes to Teatulia by way of the apparel industry. She brings a decade of experience in sourcing, procurement, supply, and demand planning, most recently at Crocs Inc. A lifelong Colorado resident, Margaret was raised in Golden, got her undergrad in Supply Chain and Corporate Finance in Fort Collins, and now lives in Denver. When not giddily formatting spreadsheets, she can usually be found biking, skiing, backpacking, or climbing in the Rocky Mountains or doing yoga at any one of Denver’s Kindness Yoga studios.

Dr. Kazi Anis Ahmed

Co-Founder and President Dr. Kazi Anis Ahmed is the Director of the Kazi and Kazi Tea Estate, Ltd. (KKTE – the single source for Teatulia Tea) as well as the Director and CEO of Organics and Education for Gemcon Group in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At KKTE, Dr. Ahmed has helped establish the guiding organic values and polices that allowed KKTE to emerge as the first successful organic tea estate in Bangladesh. He personally oversaw the international SGS Organic and USDA Organic certification processes. After launching Kazi & Kazi Tea as the first organic brand in the local market, he led plans for Teatulia to become the first branded Bangladeshi tea for international export. Dr. Ahmed is leading the founding of an innovative co-operative affiliate with over 1,000 members. Dr. Ahmed received his BA, MA and Ph.D. in literature from Brown, Washington and New York Universities, respectively. Dr. Ahmed is also a contributing advisor of the Bengal Lights journal published from Dhaka, Bangladesh. For more information, please visit

Kazi Inam Ahmed

Ambassador Kazi Inam Ahmed is a Director of the Kazi and Kari Tea Estate, Ltd. (KKTE) in Bangladesh. Inam has worked closely with local farmers to establish the vision of a sustainable organic tea garden. He has been involved in many development projects for the farmers and workers, such as adult education and health initiatives. Inam was integral in the launching of the Kazi & Kazi Tea brand as the first organic tea in Bangladesh. In 2004. He introduced Kazi & Kazi Tea as the first Bangladeshi organic tea brand in Harrods, London. Now he is working to make Teatulia the first branded Bangladeshi tea for international export. Inam received his BA from Wesleyan University.

Don Peck

Brand Ambassador Don Peck travels throughout the United States spreading the word about Teatuila through in-store demos, tea training, trade and consumer shows. He comes from an educational background: starting out his teaching career in Montessori education, he helped found Kyo-Yeon Academy in Korea and was a classroom teacher and Technology Coordinator for the Bayshore school district in Daly City for many years. He has worked extensively with young people doing digital storytelling and has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for his works in the inner city schools. Don earned his teaching credential and then a Masters in Education from San Francisco State University.

As Seen In

Forbes CNN Money Newsweek Specialty Food Association Fresh Cup Magazine Westword 5280 The Denver Magazine