Asa McKee, CO-Founder and CEO
Has worked in the outdoor industry for over twenty years, guiding skiing and fly-fishing from Colorado to British Columbia. He has helped develop training programs and environmental policies at ski resorts, as well as participated in river clean-ups and public awareness programs. Raised in a family that grew their own food and cultivated keen environmental awareness, when it came time to raise his own kids, Asa tuned to both his own upbringing and the issues of the 21st century, particularly as it relates to the amount of food and landfill waste humans can produce. From this, he and wife, Tamar McKee, started making their own reusable food wraps out of beeswax and cloth, calling them “Khala Cloths. Their business went on to win the 2016 “Most Exciting Brand” award at the Green Festival in Portland, OR, and the 2017 Esprit Venture Challenge award. Now expanded into “Khala & Company” to offer even more natural alternatives to help people go plastic-free from the kitchen to the campsite, Asa is the co-founder and CEO of one of the most award winning reusable food wrap companies in North America. He also serves as co-chair of the Front Range steering committee for 1% for the Planet, and is father to two amazing children who deserve to inherit a planet not drowning in plastic and food waste.
Tamar McKee, CO-Founder and CCO
Is a cultural anthropologist, museum professional, artist and entrepreneur. She was a founding curator of the contemporary Tibetan art movement, and one of the first anthropologists to pioneer ethnographic research on human-horse relationships in the 21st century. When she became a mother, she grew even more concerned not only about the impact the environment would make on her children, but what environmental imprint her growing family would make on an already-teeming planet. Ever the researcher, Tamar began looking into what human communities used for food storage before plastic, going back in time and across cultures to discover the beeswax-treated cloth solution that became Khala Cloths. Combined with Asa’s propensity for tinkering and production, Tamar contributed - and still contributes - to the artistic and creative possibilities of Khala & Company’s products and branding as co-founder and CCO. The artwork on Khala’s “Windows into the Still-Wild” print dedicated to commemorating the Centennial Year of the National Parks Conservation Association, and the “Among the Sunflowers” print signifying the first-ever USA-made vegan wax wrap, were all hand-painted by Tamar. When not spearheading Khala’s print design program and community relations, Tamar manages the research center at History Colorado, serves on the boards of the Boulder County Horse Association and The Arts Hub in Lafayette, and still finds time to pick up all the plastic her kids point out to her on their walks and hikes around Boulder County.
Amanda Ellis, Marketing and Content Manger
Is a freelance journalist, content creator, and social media guru. As a rock climber and alpinist, she spends much of her time outdoors. Her passion for preserving threatened alpine ecosystems through stewardship, community outreach, and education drove her to pursue a career in environmental and outdoor journalism. When she’s not adventuring, she’s crafting stories to inspire people to spend more time outside, encourage sustainable living, and promote Khala & CO — a company that shares her vision for a greener world. Amanda first came on board with Khala & CO in 2018 as a grassroots ambassador and has since assimilated into the role of marketing, social media, and content manager. In this role, she strives to share Khala’s vision with the world, promote our zero waste provisions, and educate others on the negative impacts of plastic use and the importance of striving for a zero waste lifestyle. Learn more about her at Investing in Adventure.
Kate Brooker, Operations Manager
Kate moved to Colorado in the fall of 2018 chasing snow and sunshine. She has always been interested in reducing her carbon footprint and educating others on how they can do the same. Khala & Co seemed liked a perfect blend of environmental advocacy and education, so she signed onto the team. Kate has been with Khala & Co since April 2019. As operations manager, she makes sure everything from production to shipping runs smoothly. But she can still be found at markets helping to educate customers on the benefits of Khala & Co wax wraps and other zero waste products. In the winter, Kate is skiing every chance she gets. Otherwise, in her free time she can be found exploring Colorado and searching for water to swim in.
Maddie, Sales and Production Rock-star
Maddie’s background is in natural resources, sustainability and education. Her experience with conservation work and science education influences her passion to be environmentally aware and a conscious consumer. Her interest to be apart of a business and community whose ideals align with hers to reduce overall use/production of single-use products ultimately led her to work for Khala and Co.