David Zilko


  • Entrepreneurism
  • Branding
  • Leadership
  • Team Building
  • Marketing

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About David Zilko

David Zilko has been an entrepreneur for over 25 years, most notably as Vice Chairman of Ferndale-based Garden Fresh Gourmet. Dave’s primary responsibilities at Garden Fresh were sales and strategy, and he helped usher the company to $110 million in revenue before engineering its sale to The Campbell’s Soup Company for almost a quarter billion dollars.

Dave subsequently wrote book detailing how he and his partners built Garden Fresh. Entitled “Irrational Persistence; Seven Secrets That Turned a Bankrupt Startup into a $231 million Business,” the book was published by Wiley & Sons, who distributed it nationally where it enjoyed time on USA Today’s best seller list.

Dave currently serves as CEO of a plant-based protein brand he co-founded, The Skinny Butcher, and as Chairman of FUEL Leadership, an emerging digital media property specializing in the university communication space.

Dave is an operating partner at Huron Capital, Michigan’s leading private equity firm with over $1 billion under management, and serves on several boards. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Michigan State University and an MBA in marketing from The George Washington University.