Dr. Burke and TJ met 10 years ago and bonded over their passion for sport, health, and business. They noticed a gap in the market for clean, effective vegan supplements. TDF Sports is the perfect union of science and sport.
Dr. Darren Burke, CEO
Our CEO is a former elite athlete, scientist, and entrepreneur. He was the first to create supplements built specifically for athletes in drug-tested sports.
Dr. Burke leads product development and ensures each product is built to improve performance, benefit health and positively impact our planet. His picture appears on each label next to an original formula customized for your enjoyment.
He grew up in a middle-class neighborhood playing sports, doing well in school and contributing to social causes. He considers himself lucky to have been pretty good at hockey, martial arts, and flatwater canoeing. Otherwise, he would not have been able to pay for the travel and equipment related to sports.
Dr. Burke completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees quickly and started a career as an academic researcher investigating the effects of diet and exercise on performance and body composition. His scientific work caught the attention of several top sport nutrition companies, which would result in him doing product development for some of the largest supplement brands in the world. His name still appears on some of their products and advertisements.
Leaving Academic Life and The Future
In 2008, Dr. Burke left academic life and started a supplement line based on his research and background in sports. This was the first brand built specifically for athletes in drug-tested sports. It quickly became a huge success and became the number one sports nutrition brand for athletes. The company was acquired in 2013, which provided much needed financial relief but also included a five-year non-compete clause. At the time he didn’t think much of this constraint; however, the inability to do what he spent his life doing would prove to be challenging. He moved with his family to the west coast spending time in Berkeley, California and then Vancouver, BC. He switched to a plant-based diet and studied sustainable models of farming and produce distribution in his spare time.
During a homeless shelter fundraising function that included a number of athletes, he decided to focus on creating a new model of nutrition that was sustainable. Since he spent the majority of his life developing cutting-edge natural health products, he started with the creation of a unique sport nutrition line up. However, this time it needed to be vegan and manufactured using a sustainable nutrition model that reduced food waste and helped those in need. It’s appropriately named TDF Sports (formerly known as The Doctor’s Formula).
Dr. Burke lives with his wife Natalie and his two children, Charlie and Lauren, and two dogs. He leads a healthy active lifestyle, mentors numerous entrepreneurs and actively involves himself with the development of inner city housing.
TJ Galiardi, CMO
TJ Galiardi is Co-Founder and our Chief Marketing Officer. He was a professional athlete for more than ten years and always interested in optimizing performance through nutrition.
He recently retired from hockey and stepped into the sports nutrition industry alongside his friend and mentor Dr. Darren Burke. These two met many years ago and have built a strong personal and business relationship. TJ and Dr. Burke worked closely together on product development and marketing, which made this move into business together with a natural fit.
TJ grew up in Calgary in a busy household with three boys. The competition was a daily way of life and included battles for everything from the puck to the last cookie. Although he was never the best player on any of his youth hockey teams, TJ continually improved year after year, using his hard work and unwavering confidence.
Hockey Career and The Future
This resilience led to a scholarship at the prestigious Ivy League school, Dartmouth College. He had an impressive freshman year and was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche into the NHL. TJ made his professional debut for the Avalanche in 2008.
TJ was a versatile player for the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames & Winnipeg Jets, then spent the last few years playing in Sweden and Russia. He was always regarded as a great teammate by his peers and made sure the rink was filled with laughs. One thing TJ was well-known for was his diet. In fact, he has been notable as one of the first professional hockey players to transition to a vegan lifestyle. After learning about all of the health benefits associated with a plant-based diet, he took a leap and gave up animal products altogether. This wasn’t easy, especially in the hockey world where many things such as diet are still “old school” meat and potatoes and pre-game team meals are organized by others. However, the journey has become easier since fully committing to being vegan publicly and involving himself with environmental and cruelty-free initiatives.
TJ decided to retire from professional hockey and work full-time in his new role. He remains extremely active through yoga, pilates, tennis, and hiking. TJ lives in Halifax with his wife Paulina, their child and their two dogs.