Businesswoman, Environmentalist, and Philanthropist
Most people think of Clif bars as a good-tasting, organic energy bar, but the company Clif Bar also does a whole lot of good things in the world – Kit Crawford makes sure of that. Her husband, Gary Erickson, invented the original Clif bar after getting frustrated by his energy bar options during a 175-mile bike ride. Combining his love of good food and cycling, Erickson experimented in his mother’s kitchen until he had a bar that he was happy with, and he launched “Kali’s Sports Naturals” with Crawford as the sales manager, in 1992.
In its first year, the company sold more than $700,000 in energy bars, and sales doubled each year after that. By 1997, when they changed the name to Clif Bar & Company, the company had made more than $20 million. Crawford eventually became co-CEO with her husband, and now serves as Co-Visionary Officer.
The company started out of a love for being active outdoors, and Clif Bar has maintained its commitment to sustainability, preserving the environment (70% of their ingredients are organic), and encouraging its employees to do the same.
Crawford started the Clif Bar Family Foundation in 2006 to make a bigger impact, serving as the president of the organization. For her work leading the Foundation, Crawford received a “Woman of Distinction” award. Crawford is also the advisor to Lunafest, a traveling film festival of award-winning short films made for, by, and about women that donate 100% of its net proceeds to the Breast Cancer Fund. For this work, and her dedication to eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer, she was recognized as a Breast Cancer Fund Hero.
Under Crawford’s leadership, the Foundation has pledged $1 million to research and protect organic seeds – an important part of our food chain. Crawford and her husband have also contributed to the “1% for the Planet” fund, which preserves environmental causes all over the world.