ourstory

The OrganWise Guys curriculum is empowering children and their families, across the country.

The OrganWise Guys Inc. began in 1993 with a vision to inspire individuals to take charge of their health by assuming personal responsibility for their choices. This, we believe, is prevention at its best! By bringing the body to life via lovable organ characters, kids of all ages learn what it really means to be smart from the inside out. With all of the troubling news about the obesity crisis, our evidence-based programming offers a viable, possible solution. To learn more about The OrganWise Guys beginnings, check out these videos:

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MICHELLE LOMBARDO, D. C. – President

Dr. Lombardo grew up in Michigan, moved to Atlanta Georgia, graduated from Chiropractic College and set up a private practice with her husband from 1984-1993. She used her nutrition background and personal experiences to offer lectures to her patients on living a healthy lifestyle. In 1993, she teamed up with her co-founder, Karen McNamara to form the company that later became The OrganWise Guys. Although initially focused on adult health, she found that her patients were deeply concerned about the well being of their children. Michelle and Karen created the cast of characters now known as The OrganWise Guys. Michelle is the author of The OrganWise Guys curriculum, which includes 46 books, 10 activity books, eight Speaker’s Kits and was Creative Director on eight The OrganWise Guys Videos, 72 vignettes and one educational CD-Rom. Michelle travels all over the country speaking, training on the curriculum and most importantly helping to coordinate large projects to bring this science-based childhood obesity prevention program to scale. When she’s not on the road, Michelle (now an empty-nester) enjoys time at her home in Duluth, GA with her husband Bob and bragging on her 3 sons.

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KAREN McNAMARA – Vice President

Prior to co-founding OWG Inc. with Michelle, Karen worked in the field of sports marketing with companies that led corporate sports promotion events and represented professional athletes. However, her lifelong passion for nutrition and fitness connected her with Michelle in 1992 who, at the time, conducted a wellness lecture for her adult chiropractic patients. After attending the lecture (many times!) she found the presentation of facts was so unique and should be shared more broadly that she convinced Michelle to join forces with her to get the message out. Over the years, her roles have included lecturer, Customer Service Manager, Warehouse Supervisor, Human Resource Director, grant writer, de facto attorney, and editor. Currently, Karen leads OWG Inc. in strategic planning and directs overall operations for the company.

Karen graduated with a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Maryland School of Business (College Park) in 1990. She now lives near Atlanta with her husband and three children and enjoys Pilates, tennis and scrapbooking.

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MELISSA SHEPARD SYKES – Executive Producer

Melissa Sykes is an award winning producer of children’s programming for public television, cable network, classroom and multi-platform use. Melissa is responsible for creating The OrganWise Guys multi-platform media extending their super powers through a vibrant world of stories and songs. As an experienced network executive, Melissa managed thousands of hours of original content for HGTV. Her creative credits include SALSA, a highly successful children’s language series, to lifestyle series and documentaries recognized with multiple educational and entertainment awards including: multiple EMMY Awards (SE); Gold Camera Award Children’s Programming – U.S. International Film & Video Festival; Gold Apple – National Educational Media Network; CINE Golden Eagle; Gabriel Award.

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MARIA WHITE – Community Manager

Maria started with The OrganWise Guys in January 2005 as the warehouse manager. She now oversees various statewide initiatives, while managing the social media marketing and content creation. Prior to OWG, Maria received a B.A. in Communications from Penn State University, where she also competed on the gymnastics team. She then went on to earn a M. Ed. in Sports Management from the University of Arkansas. Maria currently resides in Houston, TX with her husband Aaron and three children, Abigail, Wesley and Heidi. She enjoys working out, watching sports, and doing all things mom!

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CAITLIN HEITZ – Program Manager

Caitlin began using The OrganWise Guys in July 2008 as a Research Assistant for the Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren (HOPS) study in Miami Beach, FL. In January 2012 she joined OWG full time and has held many roles with the company, including coordinating the Foods of the Month Kit, working on grant funded projects, and providing trainings and technical assistance to communities using OWG materials. Caitlin holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Miami and a M.S. in social work from Columbia University. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and loves cooking healthy meals and yoga.

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JULIE GREEN – Executive Administrative Assistant

Julie started as a part-time warehouse worker in October 2008 and is now the Executive Administrative Assistant/Office Manager for The OrganWise Guys. Julie graduated with a degree in Human Communication Studies from California State University, Chico. When not in the office, Julie enjoys spending time relaxing and playing with her family and children.

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KIM LUCAS – Logistics Manager

Kim has been the Logistics Manager with The OrganWise Guys since February 2011. When Kim is not picking and packing materials for our customers, she can be found out on her boat with her family.