Mark Tilsen

Native American Natural Foods


Mark Tilsen is president and co-founder of Native American Natural Foods, innovator of the first national meat snack bar, Tanka Bar, and its extended line of healthy buffalo meat snacks.

In 2007, Native American Natural Foods, LLC (NANF) launched the first meat and fruit bar to be sold in the natural foods category. The Tanka Bar has ignited the dried meat snack category in natural food stores across the country, prompting category leaders to move these snacks out of the meat department and into grocery aisles.

Mr. Tilsen and his business partner and co-founder, Karlene Hunter, also co-founded the Tanka Fund, a campaign to return buffalo to the lands, lives and economies of Indian people, and Tanka Resilient Agriculture to work directly with Native American buffalo ranchers to create a sustainable supply chain that will add value to Native American lands and communities. In addition, Mr. Tilsen has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, marketing community development, special events marketing and productions.

In addition to numerous marketing awards, Mr. Tilsen received the 2016 Specialty Food Association Leadership Award for Citizenship and the 2011 Social Venture Network Innovation Award for his efforts with Native American Natural Foods. A recognized expert in Native American economic development, Mr. Tilsen has testified twice before U.S. Senate subcommittees on the topic.


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