Meet the Team

Department Leads

Sarah Bellos
Founder & CEO

A graduate of the Cornell University Agriculture School with a degree in Natural Resources Management, Sarah has 15+ years of leadership experience, having previously managed a textile dye house, small farms, and worked across food and agriculture sectors. Sarah has been a recognized leader in research efforts to bring bio-based colorant production to farmers and is the recipient of many prestigious awards including, Inc Magazine Top 100 Female Founders, the Young Entrepreneur Award by the AATCC, a Martha Stewart American Made Awardee, and the Tennessee feature for Fast Company Magazine’s United States of Innovation.

Shawn Genung
Head of Research & Development

Shawn acquired his MBA and MS Industrial Engineering degrees from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and has a strong background in chemical engineering, industrial engineering and business development. He has spent the past decade in research, operations and/or management level roles at technology-based emerging companies. Prior to joining the team in 2015, he was the CTO for SecureWaters. He now applies his skills to connect chemical research with the agriculture and chemical processing departments and helps to ensure Stony Creek remains the emerging leader in plant-based indigo and a wide range of other colorants.

Mike Stewart

As Controller at Stony Creek Colors, Mike brings the team 39 years of experience in accounting and financial leadership. Mike’s prior experience includes the start-up of four previous companies throughout the U.S. and has specialized in manufacturing and ERP implementations. In addition, Mike has extensive experience in lean manufacturing and has led manufacturing facilities to become Shingo Award finalists. Mike received his B.S. in Accounting from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and his Executive M.B.A. from The University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.

David Szczepankowski
Director of Agriculture

David brings a unique combination to Stony Creek Colors incorporating decades of agricultural experience with extensive business studies. Before receiving an MBA from Columbia University, David oversaw hundreds of acres of fresh vegetable production, including his family’s farm, on Eastern Long Island, using sustainable methods he developed to replace antiquated practices. Later, David worked as a research analyst at a Wall Street startup following the alternative energy sector before landing at a nonprofit based in North Carolina where he developed a very successful program that provided locally grown produce to people in need while supporting community farmers. He is excited to serve as Director of Agriculture and help Stony Creek grow to its full potential and achieve the best possible results.

Devon Murrie
Partnerships & Impact Lead

Devon comes to the team after nearly seven years at a B Corps certified fashion brand where she guided special projects in B2B sales, PR, direct mail, referral programs, and affiliate marketing. Prior to working in sustainable fashion, Devon earned two B.A. degrees in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Florida. She then completed her M.Ed. at Lipscomb University while serving two years as a Teach For America Corps Member. Devon is excited to leverage her strategic project and people management skills to facilitate the implementation of company-wide ESG systems and relationship growth with trusted Stony Creek Colors partners.

Board of Directors

Vonnie Estes

Vonnie is passionate about agriculture and sustainability. She’s spent her career working on innovation to solve problems and increase efficiencies, within both large organizations (DuPont, Syngenta, Monsanto) and start-ups, and currently serves as the VP of Technology for the Produce Manufacturers Association (PMA). Vonnie is a sought-after voice in agriculture technology; speaking frequently and hosting a successful podcast. She holds seats on various boards and earned the 2017 Rosalind Franklin award for leadership in Biotechnology.

Tim Hassler

Tim leads deal sourcing, due diligence, investment, and portfolio management for Lewis & Clark’s AgriFood Fund, which led the recent Stony Creek Colors Series B financing round. Prior to joining Lewis & Clark, Tim was Managing Director for Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners (ACAP), a $154 M Rural Business Investment Company focused on the food and agribusiness sector. There Tim managed all aspects of the fund, including fundraising, deal sourcing, due diligence, portfolio management, and reporting.

Jerry Steiner

Jerry is the Chairman of the Stony Creek Colors Board of Directors. He previously worked 30 years at Monsanto, including as EVP Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, VP Corporate Strategy, and GM of European Business. He subsequently served for 6 years as a Co-founder and CEO of CoverCress, a venture capital-funded startup developing a low carbon intensity oilseed crop. Jerry also serves on the Boards of Albemarle (NYSE) and RNAgri, and is Board Chair of CoverCress.

Ken Woody

Ken is a founding Partner at Innova Memphis, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on rural AgTech, Biosciences, and Technology, and a Series B investor in Stony Creek Colors. Ken previously served in multiple senior executive roles with GE, Johnson & Johnson, Smith & Nephew Orthopedics, and he was also an Army Officer. He serves on six portfolio company Boards and on the Entrepreneur Advisory Council at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.

Daphne Preuss

Corporate Secretary - Daphne advises Stony Creek Colors, where she leverages her entrepreneurial experience in crop genetics and seed company operations. She previously Co-founded and served for 11 years as CEO of Chromatin Inc., distributing innovations in sorghum traits to growers in over 50 countries. She is currently an operating partner for several agriculture-focused startups, and serves on the Boards of Verdant Robotics, Sabanto, and New West Genetics. Preuss was previously a Professor at the University of Chicago.


Research & Development


Partnerships & Marketing

Agriculture Operations

Interested in joining our team?

We are looking for talented and passionate team members that wish to create lasting change in the textile dye industry.

Stony Creek Colors is backed by these leading investors

Lewis and Clark • The Nature Conservancy • Silverstrand Capital •   Fashion For Good •   Innova AG Innovation Fund  
Next Wave Ventures • The Jump Fund • Propel Capital • Serious Change LP • VilCap Investments

We are also proud to be supported by the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture.