Leading a people-first business, especially after an extended time of uncertainty and change, takes commitment not only from those at the top, but also from the talent and HR professionals tasked with supporting and retaining values-aligned individuals. With a growing expectation that employers be in touch with the issues affecting employees, creating a work environment where individuals can thrive means taking into account employees’ unique needs and motivators at work and beyond. 

At this conversation focused on sustaining a people-first, purpose-driven workplace in a changing world, Thembi Machaba, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Freshpet, will be interviewed by Heather Whaling, President and Founder of Geben Communications, to share her knowledge in leading at a radically human organization. Expanding on how to guide diverse teams to shared success, Thembi will offer approaches to managing the distinct needs of diverse workplaces and how she supports and maintains a values-driven culture, especially given today’s climate.

Thembi Machaba

Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Freshpet


Thembi Machaba has been the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Freshpet since 2020. Thembi has an impressive track record of more than 18 years of hands-on experience in organizational design and development, strategy, performance management, human capital planning, and talent management. Prior to joining Freshpet, she was Vice President Global Human Resources & Organization Effectiveness at Molson Coors Beverage Company, a position she held for three years as part of a 16-year career of progressive roles at the company and its predecessors. Her primary focus in this role was partnering with business leaders to ensure a strong talent bench, provide direction on performance and management, and build a values-driven culture. She has a degree in Social Science from the University of Natal in South Africa.

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