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Press Release

Company overview

Our business was born out of a conviction to help communities overcome cycles of poverty and slavery. Not with a handout, but with a sustainable business that will bring lasting hope and change to communities. How? We make the most pure and delicious virgin coconut oil a jar can hold. Coconut oil possess amazing health benefits and we will use 100% of this "superfood" with no waste left behind. Our RAW Virgin Coconut Oil is extracted with a unique centrifuge and no heat method, keeping everything intact and unrefined so you get the best product. 


Stephen Freed, CEO & Co-founder of Dignity Coconuts

Raised near New York City, he finished his BA at Gordon College. Stephen served as the CEO and President of International Teams (IT) from 1996-2005, and as International Director from 2005-2009, leading over a 1,000 staff in 61 countries. In 2009-2010, Stephen transitioned from International Director to establish missional business enterprises full time, beginning with Dignity.  Stephen, with his wife and Australian Shepherd, reside in St. Paul, MN, USA.


Dr. Don Byker, Co-founder of Dignity Coconuts

Raised near Holland, MI, Don graduated from Calvin College, AB, 1957, University of Michigan, MA 1966, and PhD, 1969. Don taught for 4 years at Calvin College, 2 years at University of Michigan, 9 years at Harvard College, and 2 years at Harvard Business School and then moved to consulting. In 1990, Don co-founded Affinity Industries, Inc, a temperature control business. After selling the company in 2001, he began volunteering full-time for Habitat for Humanity and International Teams. In 2009, Don partnered with Stephen to found Dignity. Don passed away in 2016. His widow resides in New Hampshire, USA. 


Erik Olson, President of Dignity Coconuts

Raised near Minneapolis, MN, Erik started his business career at age 18 owning a branch of Student Works Painting in Arizona to pay for tuition and provide summer jobs for his friends. He finished his degree in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific University. After a year of humanitarian work in war-torn Iraq (2003-2004), Erik joined the non-profit International Teams, helping community development teams in Africa, Middle East and Asia. In 2012, Erik joined Stephen, his father-in-law, in starting Dignity. Erik currently resides in St. Paul, MN with his wife, Bet, and their two children adopted from Ethiopia.

Contact information

Erik Olson
Dignity Coconuts