Who’s who on the Vital Crew

photo[13][1][3]Matt O’Hayer, CEO and Owner

Matt O’Hayer & his wife Catherine Stewart started Vital Farms in 2007 with 20 Rhode Island Red hens. From there, Matt set out to prove that it is possible to produce the highest quality food in an environmentally responsible manner from humanely treated animals on a commercial scale. Matt got his start in the egg business in 1968, selling eggs door-to-door as a teenager on the Brown University Campus. He purchased his first farm in 1980. Matt’s previous companies have been listed on NASDAQ and in the INC 500. In addition to being a chicken whisperer, Matt is a USCG Master Captain, an accomplished chef, a rescue diver, and has been an instrument pilot for over 30 years.

russellRussell Diez-Canseco, President and Chief Operating Officer

With invaluable experience in retail and operations gained from six years with H-E-B Grocery, and more recently with Leslie Rudd Investment Company (LRIco), a family office investment company with portfolio companies in retail and wholesale, Russell joined Vital Farms in 2014, excited to help further the cause of sustainable food. He lives in the Austin area with his wife, three children, and their rescue dog, Abby.


Jason_DaleJason Dale, Chief Financial Officer

Jason Dale aka “the Other Jason”, “JD”, “J$”, with experience in Finance and Operations gained from 15 years at Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods, a premium natural & organic prepared Italian Foods company, Jason joined Vital Farms in 2014, excited to bring his experience to the finance and accounting group as well as help with the continued effort to provide sustainable food. When he is not working he enjoys being outdoors, playing tennis, cycling, and spending time with his wife and 3 ½ year old son Maxwell.


auroras_bio_picAurora Porter, National Grocery Sales Manager

After cooking her way through the University of Texas School of Journalism, Aurora volunteered on organic farms in Japan, England and Scotland and worked for non-profit organizations. As a native Austinite (and 5th generation Texan), she has also freelanced as an Assistant Editor at Edible Austin Magazine and video editor for youth agriculture non-profit Urban Roots. Helping others enjoy fresh food and finding new ways to tell stories about sustainable agriculture is her favorite way to spend a day! She currently lives in New York City.


Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 12.54.34 PMTerry Gray, Director of  Food Service

Terry’s been in the Food Service business for over 32 years. He started working in the warehouse, then moved to street sales. After being their top salesman for 10 years he was promoted to District Sales Manager, then to National Accounts Representative. After three years he was promoted to National Account Manager and the last 10 years he was the VP of Sales for National Accounts, all while working for the #2 Food Service Distributor in the US. Working exclusively with large national chains for distributorship, helping to develop new products, providing options for sourcing of food items, and developing strong relationships with customers. He prides himself with vast product knowledge with heavy emphasis on proteins.  He enjoys sports, travel, and spending time with his family.  He and his wife have been married for over 33 years, with three children and two grandchildren.



Brent Brewer, Director of Fulfillment 

Having spent much of his career behind spreadsheets and computer screens, Brent decided to make a change in 2008. Growing up in a rural agricultural town, the urge to be involved with food and farming was natural, as were those long farm days of his youth. Brent discovered Vital Farms in 2010; it embodied the perfect fit of progressive farming solutions within an ailing food industry and the ability to earn a living making a meaningful impact on people’s lives.


danDan Brooks, Creative Director

Dan has lived an improbable life, filled with adventures and tales that could belong on a dusty bookshelf. He has lived alone on a desert island, kept company with dragons and shamans, hunted giant flightless birds with cannibals, shared grub with tree-dwelling pygmies, learned the secrets of the real King Kong, danced and tranced with witches and lions, hunted for sperm whales with ancient mariners. And he has the photographs to prove it. Now having settled down a bit, he is thrilled to be working for a company with a mission. Having spent almost two decades working in Asia, Dan appreciates the issues of global sustainability at a very intimate and localized level, and combines this awareness with artistic and creative flair to communicate Vital Farms’ essential purpose.


Ashley_SwaffarAshley Swaffar, Director of Policy and Planning

After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Poultry Science, Ashley has spent over 10 years in the egg industry where she has had the pleasure of working with over 50 family farmers across four states. When Ashley isn’t working at Vital, serving on the National Organic Standards board and serving as the current president of Organic Egg Farmers of America, you can find her selling her farm grown corn and pumpkins roadside in her Arkansas hometown.