In researching employment opportunities to continue her career growth in 1997, Gerrie soon discovered that education was a determining factor to achieving her goals. With commitment and passion to demonstrate that fresh, real and unprocessed food is a vital link to achieve health, Gerrie returned to school and earned an A.A. degree with high honors from Saddleback Community College and then transferred to Chapman University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science/Nutrition with Honors in 2004.
Upon graduation, Gerrie co-founded Xengaru Fun Foods, where she combined 25 years of managerial, supervisory, and sales experience in the business sector with her achievements as a food science undergraduate and product developer. Gerrie’s vision was to provide healthful snack foods to health conscious consumers who want to enjoy their snacks without feeling guilty. Xengaru’s first product was Pizzettos®, which was derived from Gerrie’s class project at Chapman University and was the winner of the 2003 NASA FTCSC Product Development competition. With Gerrie presenting, Xengaru Fun Foods and Pizzettos® also won the prestigious South Coast Tech Angels Fast Pitch Competition in 2004.
In the process of marketing her product to the natural food market sector, Gerrie learned of a new program at Whole Foods Market, which would give her an opportunity to combine her passion for healthy eating with her love of helping people. She accepted the position as Healthy Eating Specialist for Whole Foods Market Tustin/Jamboree in September 2009. In this position, Gerrie has attended conferences and learned from the best of the best with regards to healthy eating. She has studied under Dr. Colin Campbell (The China Study), Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease), Dr. Joel Furhman, Rip Esselstyn, and many more. Over the last four years, Gerrie has assisted many people through dietary counseling to reverse their heart disease, get off of their high-blood pressure medication, reverse Diabetes II, and achieve optimum health through incorporating fresh, nutrient dense, low-fat, whole foods into their diet.
Gerrie’s dream is to now use her ministry of helping people achieve their optimum health to help address the ever growing needs of foster children and orphans. Through Fostering Hopes and Dreams, all the proceeds from healthy eating cooking classes, counseling, retreats, and speaking engagements will go towards helping foster children and orphans realize their hopes and dreams.