Speaker Spotlight: John Mackey


By Dahlia Arado


Most people are familiar with Whole Foods, the supermarket conglomerate that specializes in selling organic food products sans artificial additives and preservatives. What many people don't realize, however, is how the actions of CEO and Co-founder, John Mackey, have played an integral role in establishing Whole Foods as a pioneer of the wellness movement.

John Mackey, a featured Lead with Love speaker, co-founded his first health food store with his girlfriend Renee Lawson in 1978. They ran SaferWay for two years before merging their business with Clarksville Natural Grocery (run by Craig Weller and Mark Skiles). Thus Whole Foods Market was born and the journey towards creating a sustainable and ethical grocery store came into fruition. 

Mackey has played a pivotal role in supporting animal rights advocacy and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Animal Partnership. Furthermore, Whole Foods has achieved a lengthy list of accolades, including: being the first supermarket to abolish the use of plastic bags, placing third on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of the "Top 25 Green Power Partners," and establishing the Whole Trade Guarantee in order to promote social/ethical responsibility with regard to the importation of products. Whole Foods is additionally a member of  the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a global non-for-profit organization that advocates for sustainable fishing practices, and was the first grocery store in the U.S. to participate in the National Organic Program.


". . . I have reached a place in my life at which I no longer want to work for money, but simply for the joy of the work itself and to better answer the call to service that I feel so clearly in my own heart." — John Mackey


For more information on John Mackey and the other inspiring speakers featured at our October Summit in Aspen, Colorado, visit: https://ileadwithlovesummit.org.

Dahlia Lilleslatten