Earth Friendly Products President and CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks Receives Orange County Business Journal’s 2016 Women in Business Award

Friendly Products
, the maker of ECOS™ environmentally friendly
cleaning products and a leader in sustainable business practices, is
pleased to announce that its president and CEO Kelly
Vlahakis-Hanks has received the Orange County Business Journal’s
2016 Women in Business Award.

“The Women in Business Award is presented to Ms. Vlahakis-Hanks for her
highly effective leadership and influential voice in the green movement
and in corporate social responsibility. She has been instrumental in
making Earth Friendly Products a model for green business practices in
Southern California and across the country. Ms. Vlahakis-Hanks is
outspoken in her commitment to sustainability in her products, her
facilities, and her employment practices,” explained Laura Garrett, vice
president and associate publisher of the Orange County Business
and the Women in Business Award chair.

Vlahakis-Hanks recently opened the company’s flagship manufacturing
facility and corporate headquarters in Cypress, California, which
features sustainable operations and Zero Waste manufacturing processes
and creates over 90 jobs in Orange County (and over 350 jobs
nationally). The new facility increases the company’s manufacturing
capacity in California by over 30% to accommodate its strong growth. It
is one of several sustainable manufacturing facilities that the company
has strategically located across the U.S. to reduce its shipping costs,
minimize its carbon footprint and enable it to achieve carbon neutrality.

“I am so proud to call Orange County my home and to accept this
prestigious award on behalf of the entire Earth Friendly Products
Cypress team,” said Vlahakis-Hanks. “We opened our first Orange County
facility in Huntington Beach in 1977, and we have continued to call
Orange County home as our facilities have grown. As a mom actively
involved in the Orange County community and as a CEO, I am passionate
about creating a healthy environment for our children and teaching them
the importance of protecting our community and the health of our planet.”

Earth Friendly Products is a leader in corporate social responsibility
and supports the local economy in Orange County and other regions in
which it operates by hiring locally, sourcing materials locally, and
paying one of the highest minimum wages in the nation, currently $17 an
hour. According to Vlahakis-Hanks, paying employees a living wage and
providing them with a strong benefits package has helped the company
grow and remain competitive. She says the higher wages and benefits
increase productivity and reduce turnover costs, which helps the company
keep its prices competitive.

A graduate of UCLA and Chapman University Argyros School of Business and
Economics, Vlahakis-Hanks joined Earth Friendly Products in 2003. She
was promoted to executive vice president in 2009 and was responsible for
opening five new manufacturing facilities and overseeing global sales in
over 60 countries. In 2014 she became president and CEO of the company.
Vlahakis-Hanks was a leading voice in the formation of the
Sustainability Consortium and served as a key strategic advisor to
Walmart’s sustainability and conservation efforts. She is an active
member of several national and local boards, including the American
Sustainable Business Council, Grades of Green, the Environmental Media
Association, Chapman University, and the Chief Executive Roundtable at
the University of California, Irvine. In 2014 she was named Entrepreneur
of the Year at the Orange County Global Women’s Conference, and in 2016
she was named one of Orange Coast Magazine’s Remarkable Women.

Earth Friendly Products has a large presence throughout Orange County
with products available at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Ralphs, Whole Foods
Market, Smart & Final, Sprouts, Mothers Market, Babies R Us, buybuy
BABY, Rite Aid, Costco Business Centers, and many independent retailers.
Earth Friendly Products partners with Southern California educational
organizations such as the Discovery Science Center to bring ECOScience,
a green science education program, to thousands of schoolchildren each
year. Earth Friendly Products is proud to support Orange County
organizations such as the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides of
Orange County, the Nancy Yeary Women’s Cancer Research Foundation, the
Girl Scouts of Orange County, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Second
Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.


Family owned and operated since 1967, Earth Friendly Products is the
maker of ECOS™ Laundry Detergent, Baby ECOS™ cleaners and over 200 other
environmentally friendly cleaners that are safer for people, pets and
the planet. Made with plant-derived ingredients, ECOS™ products are
thoughtfully sourced, free of formaldehyde and dyes, pH balanced,
readily biodegradable, and never tested on animals. As a primary
manufacturer with manufacturing facilities distributed throughout the
U.S., Earth Friendly Products is committed to making green cleaning
effective and affordable. The company has received many awards for its
innovations in safer green chemistry, including the U.S. EPA’s coveted
Safer Choice Partner of the Year. Earth Friendly Products achieved
carbon neutrality in 2013 through a series of major sustainability
initiatives, including the switch to 100% renewable energy, which saves
over 53 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually. In addition, all
Earth Friendly Products facilities are Zero Waste Platinum certified,
diverting over 95% of their waste from landfills and incineration. ECOS™
cleaning products are available at selected major retailers throughout
the U.S. and in over 60 countries. Learn more at


Barbara Marks, 203-571-8103