Renee Frigo Graeff

Mom, Adventurer, Brand Advisor, Volunteer, Co-Founder of Lucini Italia

Co-founder and former CEO of Lucini Italia, renowned for bringing the highest quality extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany to the United States at an affordable price. Lucini Italia grew to more than 60 natural, specialty, and organic SKUs available in more than 20,000 stores nationwide and is recognized as America’s number one premium Italian brand by the trade industry, food writers and editors, plus world-class chefs including Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, Giada de Laurentiis and Jamie Oliver.

In 2013, Renee decided to work off the grid, embarking with her children on what would become a two-year adventure around the world – exploring 16,000 nautical miles by her boat. While anchored in Tonga, and nearly 20 years helming Lucini Italia, she sold the company in 2014.

In 2009, she was appointed Director of Community Development for Slow Food Miami. As the organization’s president (2011 to 2013), she significantly grew the chapter’s membership, increased community awareness of the benefits of supporting local farmers and planted 144 edible school gardens focusing on the area’s Title 1 schools.

Prior to Lucini Italia, she worked in the music business post-graduation from Indiana University. Positions at I.R.S. Records, SBK/EMI Records, and Sony Music Publishing followed working with artists Wilson Philips, Blur, Jesus Jones and Smokey Robinson, among others.

While working in music during the day and creating Lucini on her kitchen table, she earned an Executive MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Media appearances: CNN; The Oprah Winfrey Show; Time Magazine panelist during Advertising Week 2013. Gourmet News named her a “Top Entrepreneur Under 40”.

She currently advises celebrities, restaurants, and consumer product companies on emotional brand strategy. She is also an active investor in emerging companies and helps non-profits in her local area.

Got a tip?

Do you have info to share with HuffPost reporters? Here’s how.