The 2014 Executive Excellence Awards: Debra Music

January 20, 2014

Gianni Truzzi, Leslie Helm & John Levesque


Debra Music, Cofounder and Vice President Sales and Marketing, Theo Chocolate

Most marketing executives struggle to boost their companys message, but Debra Music finds the public tours of Theo Chocolates factory in Fremont make it easy. When you have a captive audience and youre feeding them chocolate, she notes, theyre going to be listening to what youre saying.

What they learn is where Theos product comes from and the values that govern its creation. The company actively engages with farmers in Africa as well as Central and South America to pay fair prices for organically grown cocoa, thus encouraging sustainable growth that protects habitat in those regions while promoting economic growth.

Through Musics marketing leadership, Theo products are sold in more than 4,000 retail stores across the country; sales have risen 40 percent each year for the past two years. In addition to helping build partnerships with regional environmental and economic groups, Music has overseen a drive to create sustainable packaging.

She takes pride in helping build a triple-bottom-line company, where doing well in the world is closely linked with doing good. I cant imagine working for a company that does anything short of that, she asserts.