Greg Connolly

Chairman of the Board

Greg is a 3 time entrepreneur that has experienced both failure and success. Both of his previous companies were software companies, with the most recent being an inventory management cloud software company called SmartTurn that was eventually acquired by Red Prairie. Greg was a core part of the founding team there running the sales program and helped raise a Series A and a Series B round from NEA and Emergence Capital for a total of $16M. With three year growth at over 1800%, in May of 2010 SmartTurn was acquired. Greg also writes for Entrepreneur Magazine and works with dozens of other entrepreneurs. He sits on the board of several other companies and occasionally consults for other start-ups when time permits. Greg has a BA from California State University at Chico in Business Marketing & Management with a focus on Entrepreneurship. Greg’s passion and goal for Amara is to have a macro-sociological impact on the global diet. Specifically to have a major impact on the obesity epidemic, arguably the largest public health problem of our time. His wife Kiah is an Emergency Room Doctor and sees the day to day impact of the current American diet, including top killers like Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease. This obesity problem costs the nation over $300 Billion a year in healthcare costs with estimated costs as high as $22 Trillion by 2030, and in most cases is preventable through basic changes in our diet and exercise.

Tom Hardesty

Chairman of Vistage Groups and Strategic Planning leader

Tom is currently an executive coach and peer advisory chairman, and he utilizes his experience in sales and marketing with the Coca-Cola Company in supporting the growth of over 35 companies. He also brings a wealth of strategic planning and operational excellence to the table from helping grow a privately held company from $25 million to $100 million in sales. These experiences have given him the insight needed to partner with his clients and their companies through the transitions of business and professional growth. He received his business degree from Cal Poly Pomona and extended his business education with graduate studies at Pepperdine University. Tom and his wife, Jeanne, enjoy modified CrossFit workouts several times a week so they can stay active in winter and summer activities. They live in Anaheim Hills and have two adult sons.

Hank Holland

Managing Director Merrill Lynch

Hank Holland joined the Private Banking and Investment Group of Merrill Lynch in 2007 to conceptualize, launch and manage a proprietary investment strategy for ultra high net worth individuals ($10 million minimum) . The Holland Group manages the investments for 17 ultra high net worth families and acts as each of the family’s core trusted advisor, an essential partner; advising clients on comprehensive wealth planning issues including investments, risk management, multi-generational wealth transfer, philanthropic interests and succession planning. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, he spent over eleven years at Bernstein Global Wealth Management where he built and managed for the firm’s largest private client practice (approximately 75 client relationships; $3+ billion in managed assets) and where he was National Director of Investment Planning. Separately, he serves as a Board member and as an operating partner for a number of ventures where he has made a significant investment. These ventures include Amara Beverage (, an uber healthy and high quality alternative in the sports drink and energy drink category, and in Maytag Mountain Ranch ( , an authentic working cattle ranch in southern Colorado that is being developed into a shared ranch. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Southern Methodist University and a Masters in Agriculture at Colorado State University. He is active in the community and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Ballet, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation and Cardigan Mountain School. He is very active, enjoys spending time in the outdoors and is a passionate CrossFit athlete. He lives in Belvedere and has three sons – Hayden (18), Corbin (15) and Fulton.