People Moves: Executive Shifts at Mamma Chia

Lance Dermeik

Lance Dermeik

Mamma Chia Names a New VP of Operations; EVP of Sales Departs

Beginning this week at Mamma Chia is Lance Dermeik, who has come aboard as the company’s new vice president of operations. Dermeik joins Mamma Chia, a maker of chia-based beverages and snacks, after eight years at Hain Celestial as director of contract manufacturing where he oversaw operations on more than 40 contract manufacturers and 15 natural and organic brands. Prior to his tenure at Hain Celestial, Dermeik spent seven years as director of supply chain operations at Monster Beverage Corporation.

“Lance will bring truly deep operations knowledge to this team,” said Mamma Chia founder and CEO Janie Hoffman in a call with BevNET Thursday. “He has an incredible breadth and depth of knowledge in the natural and organic space, along with exceptional leadership skills.”

Hoffman indicated the company is in the process of making additional hires to bolster its operations team in the near future.

Dermeik replaces former VP of operations Annette Davidson, who left the company in May after three years. As indicated by her LinkedIn profile, Davidson has since founded her own consulting firm, A.R.D. Consulting, LLC.

Meanwhile, Matt Buckley has left Mamma Chia to join Caveman Foods, a marketer of “paleo-inspired” snack bars and jerky, as the company’s EVP of sales. Buckley had been the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Mamma Chia since March, 2013. In a call with BevNET, Buckley, who joined Caveman in early May, cited a desire to move closer to his extended family who are based in the Bay Area; Mamma Chia is based in Southern California.

“I still keep in contact with Mamma Chia, still love and support the brand,” Buckley said. “It was strictly a personal reason in terms of moving.”

Buckley was first recruited by Caveman founder and CEO Chris Running last year at Natural Products Expo West 2015. Running, who co-founded Muscle Milk maker Cytosport, made another overture the following year at Expo West 2016. At that point, Buckley was ready to make a move.

Since joining Caveman, Buckley has been building out the company’s sales team and recently brought on Susan Heiser as director of sales. Heiser previously held the same position at cold-pressed juice company Forager.

unnamed-3V+V Apothicaire Hires Nick Mysore As CEO

Organic cold-pressed juice company V+V Apothicaire recently announced Nick Mysore as its President/CEO. Mysore’s experience in the food and beverage industry includes senior leadership positions Dean Foods and ConAgra.

According to a V+V company release, Mysore helped Dean Foods “transform more than 30 regional milk brands into the brand now commonly known as TruMoo, a national $900 million+ flavored milk brand,” and developed the strategy for the ConAgra’s health & wellness platform. Mysore most recently served as managing partner of NPower Ventures, a provider of technology and professional skills training and is currently an adjunct professor of marketing strategy for the MBA program at Southern Methodist University.

V+V co-founder Annie Stull praised Mysore as having a “pedigree exactly on par with what we were looking for.

“We are so excited to have Nick because Liz and I felt that we had taken the brand as far as we could alone and were in search of some strategic experience,” Stull said. “It’s a very competitive space where quick growth and innovation is really important, and we are beyond thrilled that Nick is joining the team.”

Mysore described his vision for V+V as being “the go-to in the food and beverage industry for habitual nourishment.”