Joth Ricci Appointed Chief Operating Officer of First Beverage Group

Los Angeles, CA – January 20, 2011 – First Beverage Group today announced that it has appointed Joth Ricci to the position of Chief Operating Officer.  Ricci’s new role at the parent company level will entail increased involvement with the day-to-day operations at the company, as well as the development of the company’s new emerging brands incubator fund and its new strategic consulting division, The Beverage Intelligence Group (BIG).

“Joth brings an outstanding array of talents to our team and a great breadth of knowledge in and passion for the beverage industry,” said Bill Anderson, Founder and CEO of First Beverage Group.  “From his experience at Columbia Distributing and Jones Soda, he has a unique understanding of the importance of distribution strategies, retail execution and brand development.  Since joining our team in 2010, he has contributed significant operational expertise to our portfolio companies, including Activate and Thomas Kemper.  I’m certain he’ll provide superior operational and strategic guidance for us at the parent company going forward, along with leadership of BIG and our incubator fund.”

Regarding the responsibility he will assume in the development of BIG, Ricci said, “We are extremely pleased with the feedback we have been receiving from the industry in response to this new product offering.  BIG was conceived in response to our clients’ need for a partner to help them navigate the many critical and complicated decisions involved in running a successful beverage operation.  Our goal through BIG will be to provide hands-on advisory to beverage companies by utilizing our team’s many years of multi-faceted industry experience, along with the resources of our subsidiaries and partners.”

“Whether our clients need real estate services, financial advisory, capital solutions, go-to-market planning, brand development, market roll-out, general industry advice, or a combination of these services, First Beverage is now positioned to be the financial and intellectual services provider of choice to the beverage industry,” added Ricci.

Ricci joined First Beverage in April of 2010, immediately following his departure from his position of President and CEO of Jones Soda Company, a publicly-traded beverage company known for its unique marketing, flavor and product portfolio.  He is the former General Manager of Columbia Distributing Company, a 20-million-case, multi-category beverage distributor in the Pacific Northwest, a position he earned after serving in several senior management positions across the company’s beer, wine and non-alcoholic business platforms.  Ricci also spent nearly a decade in various sales and marketing management positions outside of the beverage industry with McNeil Consumer Healthcare/Johnson & Johnson.  He is a graduate of Oregon State University with a B.S. in business education.