Meet Cliff Lyles, a global expedition racer on Amazon’s World’s Toughest Race and captain of the first all-Black expedition racing team who recently joined the team at Thistle to share his vision for green meal delivery.
With 30 years of experience in the food and food tech industries, Thistle brought Lyles on as its new chief manufacturing and innovation officer. In the role, Lyles will get a chance to tap into his passion for nourishing healthier communities with a central focus on expanding the brand, both from its food offerings to its physical reach.
Lyles’s position will enable him the power to bring a new diverse workforce to the company and keep Thistle in line with its foundational commitment to diversity.
“Personally, as I’m in a role that is often hiring and expanding the Thistle team, I’m committed to looking at the skills of interested candidates and not necessarily the titles they’ve previously held, as that can also be a barrier for diverse voices,” Lyles told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
When it comes to expanding the audience of plant-forward meal delivery options, which is typically female-focused, Lyles explained how green eating helps pour back into the planet.
“Given the widespread environmental impacts of raising animals and their feed, eating a plant-forward diet is the single, most impactful way to reduce our overall environmental footprint,” Lyles said.
As someone who lives a holistically healthy lifestyle, Lyles is using his new role to make healthy food accessible to all.
“Beyond my role at Thistle, I’m also an athlete, a chef, and a member of my community,” Lyles said. “I’ve seen the effects unhealthy living can have on communities, families, and individuals, and often the root of this is food.”
“For that reason, I’m passionate about answering the question – how do you bring good food to everyone?”