Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms President & Founder, leads the company on its mission to provide consumers with the freshest, tastiest and most responsibly grown local produce. Through his vision, BrightFarms is creating the first national brand of locally grown produce. As CEO from 2011-2019, Lightfoot led the company from a proof-of-concept to operating four greenhouses in key markets like Washington, D.C., Chicago, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. BrightFarms was named 235th on the 2017 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies, ranking 10th among all food companies and the only produce company featured on the list. A healthy and sustainable food zealot, Lightfoot has delivered keynote speeches at a myriad of conferences, such as Forbes AgTech, Groceryshop and the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit, and has been featured multiple times in national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Lightfoot is an active member of YPO and received its CSR Award for Environmental Sustainable Business Practices. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for The United Fresh Produce Association and is a founding member and current Chair of the CEA Food Safety Coalition. In 2020, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has appointed Lightfoot to the USDA’s Fruit & Vegetable Advisory Committee (FVIAC). The FVIAC advises the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Most recently, Lightfoot was elected to serve as Chair of FVIAC. Lightfoot has been recognized by Chain Store Age magazine as a “Rising Star in Retail” and was featured by Fast Company on its list of 1000 Most Creative People in Business.
Entrepreneur and Systems Thinker