Meet the Team

Brian Connolly
Chief Executive Officer 

Brian Connolly joined Natural Balance® in 2021 as the chief executive officer and as an investor. With more than 30 years of relevant experience, Connolly has deep experience in the pet specialty marketplace.

Before joining Natural Balance®, Connolly worked in sales for numerous premium pet food companies, including Merrick Pet Care, Iams and Castor & Pollux. In these roles, he expanded the brands, developed new products and increased retail sales.

Connolly attended the Ivey Business School at Western University and looks forward to leading Natural Balance® in expanding innovation and growth in the rapidly growing pet specialty food space.

John Sturm
Chief Revenue Officer 

John Sturm, chief revenue officer, brings more than 20 years of experience to Natural Balance® through his work with prominent national retailers, including Petco, Levi Strauss & Co. and Supervalu.

Sturm has exceptional expertise in global sales, marketing and new product development. Skilled at navigating new challenges for large businesses, he’s a strong leader who has executed innovative strategies that aligned with companies’ visions.

Sturm attended the University of California and Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He is eager to continue to work in the pet industry and grow the Natural Balance® brand.

Sam Kamdar
Chief Financial Officer 

Sam Kamdar, chief financial officer, brings direct knowledge of the retail and healthcare sectors to Natural Balance®. A graduate of Rutgers University and Boston College, he’s a proven executive with a record of improving businesses through the creation of a shared vision, team leadership, customer focus, analytical excellence and process improvement.

Before joining Natural Balance®, he worked with global brands including Ocean Spray, Nestle and American Standard.

He’s a high-energy, results-oriented team player with extensive experience in manufacturing and consumer products.

Billy Slaughter
Director of Quality, Regulatory and R&D

Billy Slaughter, director of quality, regulatory and R&D, brings more than 15 years of pet food experience to Natural Balance®.  Previously, he oversaw quality and regulatory affairs for leading pet specialty brand Merrick Pet Care.

Slaughter is responsible for overall site product quality, compliance, conformance to quality requirements and specifications, and conformance to customer quality requirements.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Slaughter has significant experience in product development, continuous improvements and food safety.

Michael Wood
Senior Vice President of Supply Chain

Michael Wood, senior vice president of supply chain, is responsible for planning and directing all supply chain initiatives, policies and objectives at Natural Balance®.  

Wood served as the vice president of procurement and logistics at national pet specialty brand Merrick Pet Care for more than 12 years.  In this role, he was responsible for leading procurement efforts to efficiently and effectively enable business units and functional partners to maximize the value they receive from suppliers to meet objectives.

Wood is excited to continue to provide pets with complete and balanced food while growing and expanding the Natural Balance® brand.

Nicole Morton-Holmes
Chief E-commerce Officer

Nicole Morton-Holmes, chief e-commerce officer, is a veteran of the pet industry, with over 20 years of experience gained while holding leadership roles at national pet retailers that include Chewy and PetSmart. Before joining Natural Balance®, she worked tirelessly to gain market share for Chewy, taking it from a start-up to a billion-dollar company and major player in the American pet retail industry.

Morton-Holmes is responsible for growing online sales. She will be managing the presence of Natural Balance® on Chewy, Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Given her deep product knowledge and online sales experience, she will be an essential player in the growth of Natural Balance®.

Morton-Holmes attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management.