There’s some interesting news out of Denver this morning, where Debbie Wildrick has been appointed CEO of shot company BAZI International, replacing Kevin Sherman, who retains the title of President. Wildrick had been VP of Marketing and Sales, concentrating on moving the line from a Multi-Level Marketing format to a retail-driven one.
Recent months have seen BAZI scramble for funding; late last week it closed on $500,000 in bridge
financing from Lincoln Park Capital Fund in exchange for 5 million shares of the company, along with an option to purchase up to $10 million in shares over a three-year period. At the time, BAZI made it clear it was searching for additional investment.
Wildrick, the former chief beverage buyer for 7-Eleven, Inc., has worked with several start-up beverage brands in recent years, including FRS and Equa Water.
Release is below:
DENVER, June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — BAZI International, Inc.(OTC Bulletin Board: BAZI) announced today the appointment of Debbie Wildrick as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. In her new role, Wildrick will oversee the Company’s overall vision and strategy, operations, and the brand’s global sales growth and brand direction.
“We are honored to promote Debbie Wildrick to the position of CEO. In six short months, Debbie has positioned BAZI for exponential growth. As President, I look forward to building a world-class brand under Debbie’s leadership,” said Kevin Sherman. “I have been most impressed with her absolute breadth of the beverage industry in its entirety and for this reason both I and the board of directors believe Debbie is best equipped to lead the organization in all aspects of management and ultimately increasing shareholder value.”
In just six short months, Ms. Wildrick has repositioned the brand, executed against both key national and regional retailers and distributors, and built an integrated marketing plan emphasizing internet, social media, and guerilla tactics all leading toward sales at both retail and e-commerce.
“After having been involved in growing successful start-ups and building brands from inception, I am confident I can lead the Company and the brand to success. With thirty years’ experience in the industry, I will be able to lead all aspects of the Company and even more importantly, build a brand, which I see as clearly differentiated. As a personal practitioner of a healthy lifestyle and a passion for functional food and beverage, I am confident that BAZI is positioned to be the leading brand in the health and wellness sector and will provide a healthy alternative to the many products that cannot deliver the health benefits BAZI provides,” stated Wildrick.
Ms. Wildrick brings 30 years of beverage experience to BAZI with her former leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies including 7-Eleven, Inc. and Tropicana North America (Pepsico). Her leadership roles include a strong background in building start-up brands including FRS Healthy Energy and Sundance Juice Sparklers, a brand that she helped grow to 100 million dollars in the early 1990s. She has also worked with leading companies in the industry to include The McLane Company, Exxon/Mobil, Target, GNC, Rite Aid, Safeway, Wyndham Hotels and many others. Before joining BAZI, Ms. Wildrick built a successful consulting business dedicated to helping new and emerging brands maximize their potential by driving sales and profitability.
In addition to her robust career, Ms. Wildrick has served as the education chair of the Network of Executive Women for more than six years. She is a regular panelist, speaker and columnist for BevNet, the leading beverage-oriented media company, producing a web site, print magazine and live conference series. Ms. Wildrick was president of the Association of Women Executives in 2003 and 2004 and is a graduate of the Cornell Food Executive Program.