Our Leadership Team
Joey Herrick, CEO, and Co-Owner. Over 30 years ago Joey founded Natural Balance Pet Foods, where he was on the forefront of the natural pet food industry. Joey led Natural Balance to a leading brand through innovation with formulas, novel proteins, unique ingredients, and an unwavering commitment to honesty, transparency, and integrity. In 2007 Joey established the Buy with Confidence safety testing lab, the first time a pet food company ever posted test results online for consumers. Joey has spent his entire life helping give back to pets in any way possible. In 2013 he founded The Lucy Pet Foundation, a 501 © (3) animal charity, dedicated to reducing the overpopulation of pets and unnecessary euthanasia in shelters. Today, the Lucy Pet Foundation has performed more than 28,000 free spay/neuters serving low-income communities in the greater Los Angeles area.
Rick Rockhill, Chief Operating Officer, and Co-Owner. Rick has 25 years of experience in the pet industry, in key executive roles in companies such as Petco, Natural Balance, Del Monte, Big Heart Pet Brands, and Lucy Pet Products. Rick has deep experience in pet food nutrition marketing, brand management, strategy, product development, innovation, business development, and operations. Rick has served on multiple advisory boards in pet food manufacturing and pet food ingredient innovation teams. He is passionate about pets, animal advocacy, and service dog programs. Rick has a former service dog trainee (now pet) standard poodle named Adele who joins him at work in the Breeder’s Choice offices.
Steve Lunetta, Vice President of Quality and Safety. Steve established our Pet Food Safety Lab at the Breeder’s Choice facility. Steve has a BS (Chemistry) from UC Riverside, MS (Chemistry) from UC Davis, and MBA from Lake Forest in Chicago IL. He has extensive experience in pharma, diagnostics, nutraceuticals, and 25 years in the pet/human food industry. Steve and his wife also breed Yellow labradors, and his family includes a Goldador named Riley and a very mean cat named Mango.
Clint Hammond, Vice President of Operations. Clint oversees all aspects of teams from food production, planning, and raw material procurement. Clint has over ten years of experience at Breeder’s Choice and prior to Breeder’s, he had 20 years of production experience in the Dairy Industry. Clint has a large pet family that includes two dogs and two cats. Kai is a 7yr old Jindo and King is a 9yr old Chihuahua. Clint’s cats are named Tux and Cricket.
Mary Wong, Senior Corporate Controller.. Mary is a key member of our management team with responsibilities for Finance and Accounting, compliance, reporting, and daily accounting operations. Mary has a BS, Finance from USC, and an MBA from Cal Poly Pomona. She has 30+ years of experience and expertise in manufacturing and production environments, managing process/costs improvements, system conversions, strategic plans/budgets/forecasts, and financial reporting and analysis. Mary’s family includes a rescue Corgi-pom named Kylie.
Tai Whaley, Human Resources. As a key member of our organization, Tai oversees all aspects of day-to-day human resources, benefits, retirement plans, insurance, policy administration and employee development programs. Her executive level experience helps foster a positive company culture that recognizes individual talents and contributions at every level. Tai has a BS degree in Business Administration & Human Resources from the University of Arizona.
John Lazarchic, Vice President of Systems & Digital Technology. John is a veteran of the pet industry with over 30 years of experience in pet retail, e-commerce, and digital platforms. John’s experience includes 12 years with Petco.com as VP of E-Commerce, as well as Petopia.com, Pet Supermarket, SuperPetz, and Petland. John has a BS Degree from Bowling Green State University and an Accounting degree from the University of Akron. John has two standard poodles named Clifford and Bueller.
Jennifer Fleischman, Director of Brands and E-Commerce, Jennifer’s career in the pet industry spans 25 years, across companies such as Plato Pet Treats, Spectrum PHG, Lucy Pet Products, and Wilson Pet Supply in a variety of roles including sales and brand distribution. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with national and regional distributors, key accounts, brick-and-mortar, and e-commerce retailers. Jennifer is passionate about rescue and has a Chihuahua named Pierre.
Jay Trivedi, Senior Manager of Quality and Food Safety. Jay oversees all day-to-day aspects of our Quality and Food Safety in the plant and facilities, including the Pet Food Safety Lab. Jay has a BS degree in Food Science and Technology from Cal Poly University, Pomona.
He is a PCQI Lead Instructor Animal Foods, certified SQF(GFSI system) auditor, and has over 25 years of experience in the pet foods, human foods, and cosmetic industries combined. Jay’s family includes a Maltipoo named Archie and two parakeets, Kobe and Gigi.