Casey Gaston, based in Austin, Texas, is the Executive Leader of Local and Emerging Brands at Whole Foods Market. Beginning her career as a store team member in St. Louis, MO, Casey’s almost 20-year journey with the company has encompassed roles in department, store, and regional leadership, highlighting her passion for retail and brand development. Since joining the Center Store Merchandising team in 2017, she has played a key role in fostering supplier relationships and sourcing innovative products. In her current position, Casey is responsible for leading the strategy and execution of bringing local and emerging brands into Whole Foods Market’s center aisles. She works closely with a team of Foragers to identify and nurture unique local brands that align with the company’s values and customer interests. Her role involves not only scouting new products but also guiding brands through the process of becoming a part of the Whole Foods Market family. Outside of work, Casey’s passions include Texas two-step and line dancing, roller skating, reading, and gluten-free baking. She is also actively involved in Austin’s LGBTQIA+ community and leads Queer Skate Austin.