Our Leadership Team

At La Terra Fina, while we’re not saving the world, we like to think we help make people’s lives a little bit better by sharing our delicious dips and quiches, so everyone can enjoy them with family, friends or indulge by themselves. Our vision is to “enrich lives by helping people make connections” and we take great pride in the products we produce. They’re fresh, inviting and wholehearted. We produce the best loved brand of premium, quality dips and quiches made from ingredients you know, bringing people out of the kitchen and into the moment.

 

– Stephen Cottrell, President

Stephen Cottrell

President & CEO

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Stephen has led La Terra Fina since 2015, after previously serving as CFO since 2011. Stephen has led LTF through significant organic growth, as the team has driven sales, operational efficiency, new product development and commercialization, as well as brand recognition to become nationally recognized as the dip and quiche company to beat!  Prior to joining La Terra Fina, Stephen spent time working in public accounting in both the UK and the US. His focus on the manufacturing industry helped him gain keen insights about strong and not-so-strong business operations, and he applies those insights today. Stephen’s experience at C&H Sugar and Genentech helped him to realize his desire to work at a small, nimble, rapidly growing manufacturer – La Terra Fina! What does he love the most about La Terra Fina? “One of many things I love about La Terra Fina is that we’re big enough to face some interesting challenges but small enough that we can make decisions and see the results of those decisions.” What makes Stephen tick? His love of learning, which fits well in La Terra Fina’s Continuous Improvement Culture!

Stephen says, “I love the rich, generous ingredients and wonderful flavor of all of our dips. However, my favorite product is our single serve quiches. They’re a great go to item for any meal when I’m on the run. They’re a really convenient grab and go item, healthy with lots of protein and very tasty.”

I love spending time with my family and friends and enjoy taking advantage of the many opportunities the Bay Area has to offer. I’m in my happy place when in a beautiful National or State park hiking and taking photos, or out on the golf course or ski slopes bonding with friends or my sons.

Dave Joiner

VP Operations

 VP Operations bio image

With close to 40 years’ experience in the food industry in a wide array of entrepreneurial and fast-growing companies, Dave ranks the challenge and complexity of LTF’s fresh business as the most fun he’s had. Dave has led the operations team at La Terra Fina since 2010, and he regularly challenges his team to apply design and systems principles to making things more efficient and safer, while ensuring high-quality products. Dave combines his significant love of food with his pleasure in seeing projects through to the end on the job and at home, as he is a renovator of old houses.

“I love them all, and I use that as an excuse to eat them all! But my favorite is the classic Artichoke & Jalapeño.” Dave goes on to explain that he heats it up just a little bit, and the slightly spicy heat is just right for him.

When he doesn’t have a hammer in his hand, it’s a golf club. Dave is also an avid runner and enjoy lots of travel with his family and friends.

Cindy Hess

VP Sales

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Cindy has been instrumental in driving La Terra Fina’s incredible topline growth since 2015, as she assumed her role as sales team leader. “The value I bring to the LTF team has been built over 30 years and through a variety of CPG companies, representing a multitude of brands across the industry,” states Cindy. “Throughout my career, I have sought opportunities to make an impact.” Cindy’s experience includes notable companies – Pillsbury, M&M Mars, Heinz and Schwan’s Consumer Goods. “I was drawn to La Terra Fina for the high-quality ingredients we use to make our dip and quiche. The excitement of a growing company that thrives on innovation, is responsive to our company base, and responds with enthusiasm to every challenge keeps me and my team fully engaged.”

Cindy’s favorite dip is Queso because you can scoop it without it dripping off your chip and enjoy the thick cheesy taste! Her family pours it over veggies, adds it to hamburgers and chicken! “My friends love it and it's fun to serve when we get together!”

When Cindy is not working, she hangs at the beach or cruises in her boat soaking up the sun and enjoying the fresh air. When she decides not to be lazy, you can find her working out, paddle boarding or kayaking.

Aron Nussbaum

VP Finance

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Aron Nussbaum is La Terra Fina’s VP of Finance.  He also has responsibility for the IT function.  In his role, he helps drive profitable growth through insightful analysis, and ensures that the company’s financial and IT systems support that growth.  What Aron most enjoys about working at La Terra Fina is seeing how a small company with a family feel is able to make great products that are quickly gaining nationwide popularity.  Aron joined La Terra Fina in February of 2016.  Prior to that, he spent 10 years at The Clorox Company in a variety of finance roles.

Aron says, “Quiche night has become a tradition for my family. It’s a quick, easy weeknight dinner that my kids love. We usually heat up both broccoli cheddar and spinach artichoke pies together, which gives us enough for dinner and leftovers for the kids’ lunch the next day.”

Aron enjoys traveling, having lived in Australia, Chile and England at various times in his life. Outside of the office, he enjoys road bicycling and skiing. He lives in Oakland with his wife and three children.

Dan Howell

R&D Director

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Dan has been working in the food industry for over 25 years and has led the R&D function at La Terra Fina since 2012. His career started in the trenches at Starbucks, where he developed his deep love of good coffee and strong desire to move to R&D. At Mattson, the nation’s premier food product development firm, he designed and developed specialty food items for over 11 years and was featured in the 2005 Malcom Gladwell New Yorker article “The Bakeoff.” Dan’s next career move, to Windsor Foods, offered the opportunity to focus on developing frozen Asian meals and appetizers. During his tenure at La Terra Fina, sales have tripled and Dan has been integral in the launch of over 40 new products that account for a significant percentage of that growth. The fundamental principles that guide his product development are safety first, meet emotional expectations, and keep it simple

Dan’s favorite dip is La Terra Fina’s Cheesy Artichoke with Parmesan and Garlic. As Dan says, “the garlic and parmesan in concert make this dip irresistible to me – such a great balance. It is great warm or cold. What is not to like?”

When not at work, Dan explores cuisine from around the Bay Area, and is the go-to person for advice on where to get a memorable dining experience. He also values spending time with his family, having people to dinner and studying martial arts.

Pamela Coleman

Head of HR

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Pamela is the newest addition to La Terra Fina’s growing team, having relocated to California from the east coast. Pamela has an extensive background in HR, having led the People function for a tech start-up and having managed her own consultancy for over 5 years. Pamela has worked with and for manufacturers across the nation, including those with global footprints. She loves watching operational teams function at the high capacity they do at La Terra Fina, and she contributes by helping people reach their highest potential. Pamela believes in creating a connection with each and every employee.

“I think all of our dips are truly delightful to experience. So yummy and sophisticated! My favorite, though, is the Artichoke & Jalapeño. Either chilled or slightly warm, this dip adds dimension to any dish I make,” offers Pamela.

Pamela is thrilled with the opportunity the Bay Area offers to get outside and enjoy nature. As a competitive sailor, frequent hiker, and lover of birds, she is always planning her next adventure. Pamela also loves to read, and this pleasure she shares with her three sons.

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