Mary Waldner: Holding On To Your Vision Even When VC’s Make You Go Crackers

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview


Mary Waldner holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She practiced as a psychotherapist for 26 years, helping others to manifest their truest selves so they could live full, happy lives. But when Mary was 43, a chiropractor figured out she had celiac disease.  After cutting out all gluten, she was happier and more energetic than she’d ever felt.


To make her dietary transition easier, Mary began baking gluten-free goodies so she’d never feel deprived.  They had to be organic and gluten free, but if they didn’t taste indulgent, that was a deal-breaker. Along the way, she realized my crackers also fed people’s hunger for something authentic and truthful in this processed and fortified world, so along with Dale Rodrigues, she co-founded Mary's Gone Crackers in 1994.  Mary is a Member of the Organic Trade Association and the Celiac Sprue Association.

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Some highlights from Kevin’s interview with Mary include:

  • Mary’s tragic experience learning the hard way battling deceptive investors that stifled the vision and wanted to liquidate the value of the company’s essence, yet Mary stuck it out and eventually triumphed

  • Mary shares challenges with maintaining the impact of the business while feeling the growing pains of scaling so rapidly

  • Mary advocates strongly for worker ownership and for weaving in similar considerations at the outset of a business before investors can preclude those possibilities

  • Mary underscores the value of knowing your market, while thinking what or who we want to be in service to and trusting our own intuition when anticipating people’s needs and what might be value to them

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Kevin Bayuk works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is a co-founder and  partner with LIFT Economy, the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.