Meet the team
Meet the founder
FOUNDER & CEO
While completing a year of volunteer work at an orphanage in South Africa, Diana became committed to a lifelong pursuit in creating social justice. Her experiences at such an early age inspired her to pursue a B.A. in African Studies at Yale, followed by an MPhil in International Development Studies from the University of Cambridge.
Post graduation, Diana dove into grassroots-based social change in Ethiopia for the Ethiopian Children’s Fund, followed by a fellowship in the Netherlands for Humanity in Action. Upon her return to the US, Diana decided to learn more about creating change at the policy level and worked for Governor Bill Richardson of Santa Fe as a Legislative Analyst, where she focused on health and economic development issues in New Mexico.
From Santa Fe, Diana moved to New York City, where she gained experience in not-for-profit-based change as Director of Regional and International campaigns for “Keep A Child Alive,” singer Alicia Keys’ main charitable outlet. At Keep A Child Alive, Diana supervised treatment sites and created expansion strategies in five countries in Africa. From there, Diana went on to work for the Christie Company, as Director of Policy and Research, where she gained an understanding of the public/private partnership sector and aided in building social infrastructure and universities in developing countries.
As culmination of all of her experiences, Diana founded Cissé — a small business that combines her dedication to social responsibility by aiding small growers of cocoa to earn living wages, and her love of chocolate.
VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES
Andrea brings 17 years of industry experience to the Cissé team from companies such as Playtex Products, Welch’s, Frito Lay, and most recently, Nielsen. Her career has included roles in Sales, Category Management, Trade Marketing, Regional Broker Management, Consulting, and Customer Engagement.
During her tenure at Frito Lay, Andrea worked on the Stacy’s Pita Chip business. There, she was responsible for business development and national account management at customers across the natural channel, national and regional grocery, mass merchandisers, and the drug channel.
Andrea is a native Midwesterner originally from St. Louis, MO. After graduating from Miami University of Ohio with a B.S. in Marketing, Andrea relocated to the East Coast, and has subsequently lived in Chicago, Minneapolis, Connecticut, and Florida. Andrea now resides in the Boston area with her husband and 2 young children. In her spare time, she volunteers and serves on the board for a local philanthropic women’s organization.
Andrea loves great food and a self-admitted sweet tooth – she was a consumer of Cissé before she was an employee! She is extremely passionate about Cissé’s mission and is highly motivated to share our story with customers and consumers across the US.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo, Elizabeth is the newest member of the Cisse Cocoa team. Moving to the Big Apple to attend St. John’s University, she there received her B.S. in Finance, MBA in Executive Management and was co-captain of the Red Storm’s Volleyball team. After graduation she joined the St. John’s Athletic Development office where she was primarily focused on engagement of alumni and donors, while fundraising for the University’s Athletic Department.
Energized by challenge and new opportunity, Elizabeth transitioned into the CPG industry and joined barkTHINS snacking chocolate as their Operations Manager. There she was responsible for operations and logistics as well as collaborated with Sales, Marketing and Finance as the brand rapidly grew.
Passionate about bringing consumers delicious products with quality, responsibly sourced ingredients the move to Cisse Cocoa was a natural transition after the barkTHINS acquisition by The Hershey Company. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys traveling, the outdoors and live music.