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Walking the Walk

Rita MathurBy Ritu Mathur, LUNA Brand Director, Clif Bar & Company

At Clif Bar & Company, family and employee owned, we aim to run a different kind of company. We are guided by our values—and our aspirations, aka the Holy Grail. Rather than constantly working to grow the bottom line, we base our daily business decisions on the effect they will have on the community and planet as well as on our business and brands. This holistic approach is just one way we ensure our company, brands and employees are walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

As the LUNA brand director, I am responsible for ensuring that these values are demonstrated in a LUNA fashion. As the first nutrition bar for women, LUNA has championed women, inspired their bold pursuits, and walked the walk for more than 18 years. For example:

  • When we created LUNA, we did so without compromise. Developed by and for women, we knew we needed to create a bar that not only tasted great, but provided balanced nutrition so women everywhere can keep kicking butt, breaking barriers and blazing trails.
  • Then, in 2001, Gary Erickson, our founder and co-chief visionary officer, watched his daughter play on the beach. Taken by her athleticism, he couldn’t help but wonder if as a female, she would have fewer opportunities in sport. It was at this moment that Erickson decided to form “Team LUNA Chix,” now the “CLIF Bar Professional Cycling Team.” To date, it is the most successful women’s mountain bike team—and the first women’s cycling team to be paid a fair wage.
  • Likewise, for more than 16 years, LUNAFEST, our traveling film festival of award-winning films by, for and about women, has traveled across the country, working with various organizations to host screenings to raise funds for nonprofits. LUNAFEST highlights the unique work of underrepresented female filmmakers and unites communities around story, all for a great cause. To date, LUNAFEST has raised more than $2.5 million for women’s causes.

As a member of the LUNA team, I try to walk the walk each and every day. I also understand that it is necessary that I do so as a leader, setting an example for my colleagues. Collectively, our people are the ultimate extension of a brand, and our actions speak much louder than any marketing words. As a result, I’ve found that:

  • I’m capable of so much more than I thought I was. I just needed to push myself outside of my comfort zone.  I always try to inspire my team to be a little uncomfortable, take risks and see what happens! The LUNA team knows there is always room for improvement, so we push ourselves to never settle.
  • Our team thrives on knowing that we, as a brand, can make a genuine difference. The more we can use our brand for good, the more we are inspired. And the more we become inspired, the more good we can do.
  • Ultimately, it’s teamwork that makes the dream work. The more our departments work together, the stronger the impact we can create. I surround myself with smart, passionate and creative people who have the brand’s best interest in mind, are willing to push the envelope and take a few calculated risks along the way.

I often think how exciting that a simple mantra, walk the walk, can translate not only into a personal goal, but also into a team, brand and company vision. Walk the walk. Give it a try. You’ll see it become a guiding light for your brand, team and yourself.  This is how great work is created—when we channel what is most important to us into what we do every day, and for the greater good of others.

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