Vital Farms, a pasture-raised egg producer, has appointed Joanne Bal as general counsel, corporate secretary and head of environmental, social and governance (ESG), effective April 26, 2021. 

In this newly created role, Bal will be responsible for legal strategy and compliance, as well as leading Vital Farms’ ESG initiatives, which includes designing, implementing, and reporting on the company’s ESG mission. As corporate secretary, Bal will support Vital Farms’ board of directors in developing and maintaining best practices in governance policies and procedures.

“We conducted an extensive search for this role and are thrilled to have found in Joanne a mission-driven leader to oversee this critical function for Vital Farms,” said Russell Diez-Canseco, president and CEO, Vital Farms. “Joanne brings a wealth of legal experience and joins us from Levi Strauss & Co., a company whose stated values mirror our belief that the long-term sustainability of a business is inextricably linked to the long-term sustainability of its stakeholders. In addition to managing our legal function and overseeing corporate governance, Joanne will lead our ESG efforts, building on our solid foundation as a public benefit corporation, Certified B Corporation, and a brand that has practiced Conscious Capitalism since its founding.”

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Bal brings over 25 years of legal experience across a range of industries, including at global publicly traded companies, early-stage businesses, and law firms. Most recently, she served as vice president & chief counsel for Levi Strauss Americas, the largest regional division of Levi Strauss & Co., an iconic jeanswear company. Before Levi Strauss & Co., Bal was managing director of legal services and segment general counsel for Applied Materials, a global provider of semiconductor equipment and services. She has also held various legal and business roles in both public and private technology companies, including LSI Corporation, Navis LLC and Identix Incorporated. Bal began her career in private practice at two internationally recognized law firms. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School.

“I’m excited to join Vital Farms for many reasons including the company’s inspiring mission, stakeholder-driven business model and high-quality, ethically produced products,” Bal said. “In addition to serving as general counsel and corporate secretary, I am thrilled to lead Vital Farms’ ESG efforts and help the company share its impactful work in these areas with its stakeholders.”