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Forage Recruits Senior Amazon Exec Kristina Herrmann as Chief Business Officer

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Forage, a payments processor that makes it easier for grocers to accept SNAP EBT (previously known as “food stamps”) payments online, announced today that Kristina Herrmann is joining the company in the new role of Chief Business Officer. Herrmann joins from Amazon, where she spent nearly 16 years, most recently building out and leading Amazon’s Underserved Populations team as its founder and general manager.

As Chief Business Officer for Forage, Herrmann reports to CEO Ofek Lavian and is responsible for leading the company’s commercial efforts including Sales, Partnerships, and Legal – driving forward its mission to democratize access to government benefits, and providing 42M Americans with the ability to transact with EBT online.

“At Amazon, Kristina’s team was directly responsible for bringing online SNAP EBT to Amazon, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods, impacting the lives of millions of low-income Americans across the country,” said Lavian. “She is an outstanding leader, with exceptionally rare expertise in EBT – and will bring credibility and a merchant-first perspective from one of the largest and most impactful companies on the planet. More importantly, Kristina is a talented and compassionate leader who embodies the Forage core values and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone that spoke with her as part of our vetting process.”

“For more than five years, I’ve worked to create better access for recipients of government benefits like SNAP to online grocery and other services,” said Herrmann. “In doing so, I’ve recognized obvious gaps in how technology meets the needs of this customer segment. I am excited to join Forage and its strong leadership team as they change the landscape of online EBT redemption.”

Kristina Herrmann

Herrmann founded and led the Underserved Populations team at Amazon – a cross-functional team of product, tech, UX, marketing and business development – since 2017. Through this team she launched online SNAP purchasing on Amazon.com, including Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, as part of the USDA’s Online Purchasing Pilot. In parallel, Herrmann led additional initiatives to improve underserved customers’ access to the convenience of online shopping, including a discounts program on everyday essentials available only to government benefit recipients, an online layaway program with no fees or credit checks, and a grassroots program to improve food access within urban food deserts. Before this, Herrmann served as the Technical Advisor to the then-SVP of Amazon’s North America Retail organization.

Herrmann originally joined Amazon in 2006 as an in-house attorney, where she led legal teams across various businesses for nearly 10 years. Prior to joining Amazon, she was an attorney at Mayer Brown in Chicago.

“I am confident that Kristina will change the trajectory of this company, and I am incredibly proud and grateful to have the opportunity to work with and learn from her as we grow this company to the next stage,” said Lavian.

This announcement comes on the heels of several other important Forage milestones – in August 2022, the company:

  • Announced $22M in funding from Nyca Partners, PayPal Ventures, Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta, and others.
  • Announced that it had received USDA Approval for its SNAP EBT Payment Solution – becoming only the third company to do so.
  • Went live with its first merchant – California-based Gong’s Market, with partner Grocerist.
About Forage
Forage is a payments processor that makes it easier for grocers to accept SNAP EBT (food stamps) payments online, giving merchants access to a $200B market, and enabling the 42M Americans receiving benefits to spend them online. With its in-house team of payments and EBT experts and software platform, Forage guides merchants through the USDA application process and tech integration for merchants, taking most of the burden off retailers. Forage’s founders created the company to democratize access to government benefits and help underserved Americans more easily access their benefits online. Forage works with multiple grocers and platforms such as Shopify and Flashfood to accept SNAP EBT payments online. For more information visit joinforage.com.

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