Keith J. Mastronardo, 24, partner in a skin-care start-up

Posted: March 27, 2013

Keith J. Mastronardo, 24, of St. Petersburg, Fla., an Upper Merion native who was a partner in a skin-care start-up seen on reality TV, died Tuesday, March 19, in a motorcycle accident in Florida.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Mr. Mastronardo was riding a motorcycle east on Belleair Road in Largo when he swerved to avoid hitting an animal and was thrown off the bike.

Police said Mr. Mastronardo was hit by a car driven by Jerome E. Mullarkey, 77, of Clearwater. Mr. Mastronardo died from his injuries at Largo Medical Center; the driver and a passenger were unhurt.

No charges have been filed, but police said the accident was under investigation.

Born in Norristown, he was the youngest son of retired Upper Merion Township Police Officer Dennis N. Mastronardo and Shannon M. Kellett Mastronardo.

Mr. Mastronardo was a 2006 graduate of Upper Merion High School who also earned a bachelor's of science degree in business administration from Neumann University.

In 2009, Mr. Mastronardo and his three brothers launched an organic-skin-care line called Nardo's Natural after one brother found that coconut oil helped soothe a burn he got while cooking.

Each brother brought a different skill to the project.

Mr. Mastronardo, with an accounting background, contributed financial expertise, while working full time at a corporate job at Sprint in Wayne to help provide funding for the start-up business.

"We always joked that he was the one, of all of us, who looked better in a suit. He enjoyed it. It was a nice contribution from a younger brother," said brother Danny.

The brothers created the all-natural creams and lotions in their kitchen in St. Petersburg and did the labeling, packing, and shipping.

"We started out, literally, with six jars and some sticker paper," Danny said.

When revenue from 2009 to 2011 totaled only $30,000, the brothers entered the business plan in the popular ABC reality show Shark Tank.

According to the Shark Tank format, a start-up pitches its plan to a panel of self-made multimillionaires in the hope that one will invest in the newcomer.

One did. The brothers received a callback and went to Los Angeles to tape a segment that aired March 9, 2012.

The exposure "was monumental in their lives and their business," the family said. The products are now marketed in the United States and abroad.

When Mr. Mastronardo moved to Florida in 2011, Megan Mazur, whom he met at Neumann, went with him. The couple planned to marry.

Mr. Mastronardo played baseball for Neumann and was on the school's golf team. Recently, he decided to pursue his passion for golf and was employed at Belleair Country Club, where he was learning to become a club pro.

Survivors in addition to his fiancee, parents, and brother, are brothers Dennis Jude and Kyle, and grandmother Joan Kellett.

A Funeral Mass will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at St. Katharine of Siena Church, 104 S. Aberdeen Ave., Wayne.

A viewing will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the Emil J. Ciavarelli Family Funeral Homes, 516 Fayette St., Conshohocken, and from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Interment will be in Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, King of Prussia.

Donations may be sent to Neumann University, 1 Neumann Dr., Aston, Pa. 19014, or to the Keith Mastronardo Golf Scholarship, c/o Joan Kellett, Upper Merion Area High School, 435 Crossfield Rd., King of Prussia, Pa. 19406.

Condolences to the family may be offered at www.ciavarellifuneralhomes.com.


Contact Bonnie L. Cook

at 215-854-2611 or bcook@phillynews.com.

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