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Meet Lizanne

Speaker, Panelist, Female Entrepreneur

A Business and Wellness Pioneer

Lizanne Falsetto is an entrepreneur, foodie and media personality. As a young woman and single mother, she built thinkThin® – a nationally recognized health and lifestyle brand – from scratch. Having sold the business in 2015, she is now focused on her passion: empowering and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Lizanne’s story

In 2000, after traveling the world for a decade as a successful, international model, Lizanne became an entrepreneur, launching thinkThin®. A foodie and nutrition enthusiast, she created a better-for-you, high protein nutrition bar & food brand for active women on the go. As the CEO of thinkThin®, Lizanne established the brand nationally and led business, turning it into a multi-million dollar household name.

Raised in Seattle in a large Italian family, Lizanne developed an early and deep connection to food and well-being. When she was offered the choice between a college basketball scholarship and a contract to model overseas, Lizanne’s inner voice urged her to choose modeling, and she embarked on a successful decade-long career as an international model. Living and working in Tokyo, Paris, Milan, Sydney, Madrid and New York, Lizanne represented such prestigious designers as Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Giorgio Armani, among others.

During her modeling years, Lizanne was often on the run, and thus her experiences with portable meals sold in vending machines everywhere from New York to in Japan, as well as the many ancient healing techniques she discovered in Hong Kong and Macao, ignited her imagination.

Remembering what she learned as kid in her grandmother’s kitchen, she began to cook up snack bars—focusing on high protein and no gluten (in the days before most people knew what gluten was). She carried the bars she baked in her purse when she traveled to photo shoots, and once her friends tasted them they begged for more. She charged just enough to cover the cost of her ingredients until she couldn’t ignore what people kept saying: that she must sell these bars. That, she says, was her first management lesson: “Pay attention to what people are saying, because that is opportunity knocking.”

Thus began Lizanne’s life as an entrepreneur – she created thinkThin® out of her own needs and desires for a lifestyle brand that promotes good, high protein food for active women on the go. When a friend suggested they visit a health-food trade show to see how to market her bars to grocery stores, she agreed. Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s became her first customers. From the start, Lizanne decided if she didn’t have the money for something, she would find a way to make it happen without taking out a loan. And as thinkThin® began to grow, she hired people with food industry experience and business expertise to bring guidance to her executive team.

Over 20 years, Lizanne learned the lessons of business—from keeping a cool head to making sure to gather all information you can before taking action—and much more. The brand found its way to shelves everywhere—from Whole Foods to Walmart, from Target to 7 Eleven, from Winn-Dixie to Trader Joe’s—and beyond.

As the company exploded in popularity and recognition, it was featured on television (The View, Modern Family, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kathie Lee & Hoda), in magazines (People, Us, Real Simple, In Shape, Shape) and newspapers (The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, The Huffington Post). Lizanne, while also the face of the brand, remained at the helm of the company – traveling, and raising two young children as a single mom, at the same time.

In December 2015, Lizanne sold thinkThin to a publicly traded company – the global performance nutrition and ingredients group, Glanbia Inc..

Lizanne has long been at ease in boardrooms, with buyers, and with industry types in every field. Since 2010, she has been an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization (YPO/WPO) and a founding member of the YPO/WPO Health & Wellness Group whose mission is to create a global network of best practices and leadership in healthy living for CEOs around the world.

She’s also a three-time Telly Award winner for producing and directing in the Best Documentary Short Film category and has been awarded the prestigious Leadership Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Lizanne hosted a weekly radio series for Sirius radio called “Female Rock Star Entrepreneurs.” The program featured female CEO and entrepreneurs talking about financing, marketing and networking. She also appeared on several of the major national television news networks (NBC, ABC, Fox) and in various newspapers such as The New York Times, Business Week and the National Business News. She is a seasoned TV show guest as a chef to perform cooking segments and demonstrations.

 



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