AFG plans to revolutionize the banana industry.
AFG develops products, and builds new markets. With that traction we scale operations by locating large sums of non-profit monies within our network.
Our purpose is simple: to positively impact the people and the environment surrounding banana agriculture operations.
As one of the least efficient sectors of agriculture, the commercial banana industry is rife with environmental and social issues. AFG sees the opportunity to improve lives and the environment by unlocking the value in fiber waste, liquid byproduct, secondary nutrition and other lucrative products.
Who are the People of AFG?
Mike Rohlfsen, Cael Kendall and Chris Walker came together to form the Alternative Fiber Group after each had spent a combined 60 years in various related industries. Their aggregate experiences and vast network of influential connections lends itself to forming an agency dedicated to helping people and the environment by rethinking typical agriculture related supply chains. Through product development and angel investment AFG is capable of developing new markets for typical fibre based supply chains.
As initial founder of Alternative Fiber Group, Mike Rohlfsen brings over 20 years of experience in agriculture and renewable energy. With a broad background (commodity trading and processing, international management, corporate strategy, business and new product development), Mike is funding the start up of AFG and as such, relies on Mr. Walker and Mr. Kendall to steer daily activities. Mike’s career spans 18 years in various management roles at Cargill and more recently – three years in the algae field, beginning with PetroAlgae and currently as Director of Business Development for Heliae. Mike brings a deep strategic understanding of agricultural supply chains and the realities of building new business initiatives within them.
He has worked and lived in the Former Soviet Union and Asia and is a fluent Russian speaker. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College with a BA in Economics, Russian, and Russian and Soviet Studies and also has an MBA in finance and strategic management from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.
Mike has a passion for all things renewable – from his work making agriculture more sustainable to a home run by solar and geothermic energy and believes there is no such thing as waste.
Cael Kendall has over 20 years experience developing, selling, and marketing ecological building materials and products. As a pioneer in the green building community and the former CEO of EcoTimber, he developed a premiere line of environmentally sound flooring, including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and quality bamboo products. Cael established numerous relationships with manufacturers throughout the world and created a network of green product dealers across North America. In addition, Cael has managed sales and marketing for a wide range of reclaimed woods, and has most recently developed a line of urban farm products including raised beds and chicken coops.
Throughout his career, Cael has maintained strict adherence to environmental standards through his understanding of green product certification systems and resource recovery processes. With a long-standing history of linking architectural, design, green building, and manufacturing communities, he has managed a full spectrum of commercial, residential, and civic projects. Whether working with a large corporate account such as, Nike, Gap, or Sundance, or with a first-time homeowner, Cael has a reputation for being an innovative problem solver and creative collaborator.
Cael’s passion and commitment to sustainable building products and practices grew from building homes as a teenager on a remote island in British Columbia. As a youth, he was deeply impacted by the deforestation that he witnessed and became dedicated to promoting sustainable forestry practices. Cael received a BA from St John’s College in Santa Fe, plays a mean harmonica, and is the proud father of two wonderful children, Opal and Zebadiah.
Chris Walker – Planethouse Communications
Mr. Walker commercializes products and services for start-up companies in the renewable energy space. Currently working on his fifth start-up, Chris performs the role of tactical CEO during early stages. With a deep passion for sustainable business models, Chris has performed varied roles through out his 18 year career: commodity trader in the ethanol and biofuel industry, agriculture by-product processing expert, change management corporate strategist and new product development marketing expert.
Chris is currently building a better LED lamp with Heliospectra AB, a Swedish plant sciences company, by starting a subsidiary company: RADIANT LED Growth Systems Inc. Prior to this he started the Alternative Fiber Group and continues to work as a principal for the three-person boutique investment firm. Chris was recruited as an initial hire at PetroAlgae Inc., due to his experience with, and network within, the biofuel and petroleum industry. Previous experience includes building a biodiesel refinery and leading the construction of the largest biodiesel storage facility in NA, as well as, successfully lobbying the AZ government for deeper ethanol mandates.
Chris is typically involved in company ownership, the raise of initial funding and tactical management of passion projects.