Frito-Lay's TrueNorth® Brand Shines The Spotlight On Inspirational "True North" Stories

August 14, 2009

Louisiana Resident Monique Pilie Named TrueNorth® Brand’s July Story of the Month

PLANO, Texas — Inspired by the belief that everyone has a singular passion in life, TrueNorth, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division’s popular line of 100% natural nut snacks, is recognizing real people who have pursued their life's passions or their “true north,” as part of the brand’s “TrueNorth Story of the Month” campaign. For the month of July, the TrueNorth brand is recognizing the inspirational story of Monique Pilie, founder of the non-profit organization Hike for KaTREEna.

A native of New Orleans, Monique’s true north is helping to replant trees that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Hike for KaTREEna began in April 2006, when Monique set out to hike the 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness of the storm’s impact on the city’s treescape. Her goal was to raise enough money to plant one tree in New Orleans for every mile she hiked. Her six-month trek generated $30,000 and in October 2008 the goal of planting 2,175 trees was accomplished. Today, the organization has set a new goal of planting 100,000 trees, the estimated number of trees lost during Hurricane Katrina. Through money raised during the hike and continued donations from people around the world, her efforts have provided New Orleans residents a new found hope.

“As a lifelong New Orleans resident, I felt that I needed to give back to help restore the city in a way that would provide a greener, more vibrant future,” shared Pilie. “Through my passion of hiking I started Hike for KaTREEna a volunteer based program that supplies and plants trees free of cost. While New Orleans is still a city struggling to recover, I have found that planting trees brings people together and gives people hope for a better future.”

“Whether you lived in New Orleans or saw it from your homes, I think we were all impacted by Hurricane Katrina” said Regan Ebert, vice president and general manager, warehouse direct business, Frito-Lay North America. “Monique’s passion for New Orleans inspired us. She is truly following her true north and in return has given New Orleans and the lives of so many others extraordinary meaning.”

The TrueNorth brand encourages consumers to continue to submit a written essay that describes how they are pursuing their life’s passions through the brand’s website – The brand will select a “Story of the Month” each month through December that will be prominently featured on the web site. In addition to being featured online, the recipient of “Story of the Month” will be awarded a $1,000 grant and a passion pack to help in the pursuit of his or her passion.

After a nationwide search last year for the most inspiring story in America, TrueNorth selected Lisa Nigro, founder of Inspiration Café, and featured her in a sixty-second commercial that made its debut in February during a nationally broadcast awards ceremony. More than two thousands stories were submitted from across the country that featured amazing individuals who are pursuing their life’s passion and impacting the people around them.

TrueNorth is a contemporary brand of 100% natural nut snacks that followed its passion to take a simple nut and make an extraordinary snack. The TrueNorth brand believes everyone has a singular passion in life that can leave a legacy, empower others or simply make the world a more interesting place to live. By showcasing these powerful stories, TrueNorth hopes to inspire people to find the passion that drives them to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site,, and the Snack Chat blog,

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries. With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.

By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit