People Moves: Steaz Sees Personnel Shakeup

293955-logoflowerSteaz Sees Top Personnel Shakeup

Organic green-tea company Steaz, now owned by Novamex, is saying goodbye to co-founder Steven Kessler, who has left the company after 14 years. It was not immediately clear where Kessler is heading next.

As Kessler leaves, Jody Cook enters the company as the vice president of sales. Cook most recently served as executive vice president at QCK and has previously worked at In-Zone Brands Inc., Good 2 Grow, San Francisco Foods, Monterey Pasta and PepsiCo. According to a press release, Cook will work to grow the brand’s distribution as consumer demand for healthier beverages is on the rise.

“Steaz has been a category leader and industry staple for over a decade, and I’m excited to be joining the team,” Cook said. “I believe that Steaz will continue to achieve successes in the ready-to-drink beverage space, particularly by leveraging the innovation and top-quality products that I feel very fortunate to support.”

CEO Linda Barron remains in her current role at the helm of the company.

Beena Goldenberg Named CEO of New Hain Celestial Venture

Hain Celestial Group launched Cultivate Ventures earlier this month, naming Hain Celestial Canada CEO Beena Goldenberg as the head of the new company, in addition to her current responsibilities.

Cultivate Ventures will build Hain’s brand portfolio by acquiring and incubating healthy food and drink brands, both internally and through acquisition. Its list of brands currently includes, among others, BluePrint cold pressed juice, DeBoles whole wheat and gluten-free pastas, and Tilda basmati rice.

Hain Celestial founder and CEO Irwin Simon said Goldenberg is responsible for all aspects of Cultivate, including identifying new acquisition targets.


imgresEternal Waters Welcomes New Sales Team Members

California-based Eternal Water has announced four new members of its sales team, each with decades of experience in the beverage industry.

Jay Alexandrovich has previously worked with Snapple, M&M Mars and Fiji Water, and will serve as vice president of sales for the western region.

Tommy Brown began at Eternal Water in April as vice president of sales for the eastern region and has over 30 years of industry experience at Polar Corp, National Beverage, Hansen’s Jones Soda and Nawgan.

Stephen Edinger began as director of sales for the southeast region in October. Mark Ladley also began in October as director of sales for the midwest. He comes to Eternal Water from High Brew Coffee.

Former Kraft Beverage President Joins Dyla Brands

Robert Levi is joining Dyla Brands as an investor and advisor, coming off his tenure as the president of Kraft’s $4 billion beverage unit. Levi first became involved with Dyla, which owns Stur Drinks and FORTO Coffee, after he discovered Stur at the 2014 Natural Products Expo West Convention.

“I’ve seen and been a part of companies that have grown from nothing to billion dollar brands in short periods of time” said Bob Levi. “I believe Dyla has two great young brands here in Stur and FORTO which both have an opportunity to become significant business and category leaders.”