Board of Directors

Brad Johnsen

Board Chair

Brad Johnsen attended Brigham Young University and served an LDS mission in Taiwan after which he worked as Purchasing Manager for Eaton Metal Products, and Sales Engineer for Rasmussen Equipment and American Equipment in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In March of 2003, Brad founded and served as President for AAA Hoist and Crane Co. supplying the western U.S. with overhead bridge cranes engineered specific to job-site parameters. AAA became one of the premier crane manufacturers in the Intermountain West for over 13 years. In 2000, Brad co-founded AAA Supply Co., a successful sling, rigging, and light construction equipment supply center that continues to grow each year. Brad and his wife, Heidi, also founded The Place to Bead, a successful retail store where patrons create their own beaded jewelry.

As a seasoned investor, Brad was involved in very successful start-ups such as Xango, MonaVie, and several oil and gas ventures. Brad has raised significant dollars for start-up companies and oil/gas projects by subscribing angel investors into those lucrative ventures.

Brad served on the MonaVie Board of Directors until 2007 and has been a board member of the MORE Project since 2008.  Brad resides in Eaglewood Cove and St. George, Utah and are active in family, church, community and sports/recreation.

Lynn Curtis

Lynn Curtis


For 36 years, Lynn Curtis, Co-Founder and President/CEO of Interweave Solutions and Senior Technical Advisor and former Vice President for ProLiteracy, has advanced grassroots learning and social empowerment in 65 developing countries and the U.S.

Dr. Curtis is an international authority on basic education and community development in less-developed nations.  He is author of the guidebooks Literacy for Social Change, Picturing Change, and manuals – How to Start and Grow Your Own Business, Good Health Begins at Home, Overcoming AIDS, Literacy in Action, Earth Connections, Success! – 6Ps of Business, and Neighbors Working Together.

Dr. Curtis spearheaded ProLiteracy’s expansion from seven countries in 1986 to 65 countries in 2009. Since 2000 he has initiated several multi-nation learning and community development programs including the Learning-based Micro-Finance/Enterprise Initiative, Africa AIDS Initiative, and Literacy, Women and Human Rights Initiative.

Currently, as CEO of Interweave, he oversees the expanding operations of a growing network of microenterprise and community development programs in the U.S., Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Ben Mates

Board Secretary

Ben Mates is a community activist involved with creating and sustaining healthy, resilient communities. Ben is the Operations Manager for The Robert G. Hemingway Foundation, a private family foundation. Ben’s work with the Hemingway Foundation has brought him into partnership with non-profit organizations such as The Hunger Project and Berkana Institute and their initiatives to empower communities to use available resources to create their desired future. Ben is Director of Sustainability Initiatives for the Salt Lake Center for Engaging Community and has participated in hosting an annual Sustainability Summit in Salt Lake in 2008 and 2009. Ben is a long-time student of whole systems thinking, sustainability, and human and environmental health. Ben has a BA in English from the University of Utah and a Legal Assistant Certificate from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Ben’s work experience includes four years in Sao Paulo, Brazil as an English teacher, two years as a paralegal in a personal injury law firm, and nine years as a regulatory analyst in the interstate natural gas pipeline business. Ben lives in Salt Lake City, takes frequent bicycle rides, and enjoys skiing and hiking in the mountains around Salt Lake. He is a vegetarian and a vegetable gardener. Ben is a long-time member and organizer of food co-ops, food buying clubs and community-supported agriculture. Ben is married and has two college-aged children. He has participated in the annual Bioneers Conference each year since 2001, and was on the Salt Lake Bioneers Conference Planning Committee in 2009.

Maria Ramirez

Board Member

Mrs. Ramirez is currently President & Chief Executive Officer of Maria Fiorini Ramirez, Inc., (MFR) an independent global economic and financial consulting firm formed in August 1992 which also serves as the holding company for MFR Securities, an institutional brokerage firm specializing in taxable and municipal securities, with offices in New York, Miami and San Francisco.

Mrs. Ramirez and her colleagues are highly rated for their consistently accurate, unbiased analysis of economic trends and other issues that affect markets and investment decisions. Mrs. Ramirez is a frequent … speaker at U.S. and international forums and is a regular guest on a variety media outlets such as CNBC, CNN, ABC, Fox News, Bloomberg Financial News, PBS, CBS, and TV Tokyo. She is also a regular contributor to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s leading financial publication.

Mrs. Maria Fiorini Ramirez is the Treasurer of Financial Policy Council Incorporated and sits on multiple board of directors.  Mrs. Ramirez is also on the board of directors for MonaVie, LLC.

Katy Holt-Larsen

Katy Holt-Larsen

Board Member

Katy Holt-Larsen is currently MonaVie’s Vice President of North American Markets.  Prior to her appointment, Katy served as MORE Project’s Executive Director.  “My most challenging and passionate work involves coaching individuals and teams to find deeper wisdom within themselves to make transformative changes and solve problems in their personal and professional lives. Often this happens when they become aware of and connect to their own unique imprint – what unique gifts and passions they have – and find ways to integrate their unique gifts into their everyday life.

Katy has a background in organization and leadership development and has led organizations, teams and change efforts at companies such as eBay, Novell, Compaq, Lucent, and Sprint. In the non-profit arena, she co-founded and served on the board of directors for a charter school which helped prepare her for her current role.