People Moves: OWYN Names Mark Olivieri President

OWYN Names Mark Olivieri President

Plant-based protein brand OWYN announced last week that it has promoted CMO and general manager of ecommerce Mark Olivieri as the company’s new president.

Olivieri joined OWYN in March 2017 when it was acquired by CPG portfolio company Halen Brands. Speaking with BevNET, Olivieri said that in his prior role he had taken on numerous responsibilities beyond the scope of a marketing lead, including operations and finance. Halen had considered recruiting a president from outside the company to take over those tasks, but ultimately decided to promote Olivieri due to his knowledge of the brand’s operations.

“Mark has been with the brand from day one and has those same passions and leadership skills a founder possesses,” Halen Brands CEO Jason Cohen told BevNET. “We wanted to give him the opportunity to take that to the next phase.”

Olivieri will lead the search to fill the now vacant CMO role at OWYN, Cohen said.

According to Olivieri, his promotion comes as OWYN prepares to expand further into the conventional grocery channel next year. In the first quarter of 2020, he said, OWYN will add new accounts including Albertsons/Safeway stores in Northern California, Kroger, Vons, and Target. The brand is also expanding in drug with CVS stores nationwide.

As well, the brand is expanding placements in existing retail partners, including Sprouts, Whole Foods and Vitamin Shoppe.

“The conversations we have with retailers has shifted from ‘who are you guys’ to ‘what else can you do for me?’” Olivieri said.

Sweet Reasons Brings On Industry Vets

CBD-infused sparkling water maker Sweet Reason announced last month that it has brought on two beverage industry veterans in leadership and advisory positions, according to a press release.

In August, J.W. Fischer joined the company as VP of sales. Fischer most recently served as VP of DSD sales for Super Coffee maker Kitu Life and has held past sales positions at Avitae Caffeinated Water, Owen’s Craft Mixers, Vita Coco, and Honest Tea.

Former AQUAhydrate CEO Hal Kravitz has also joined the company as an advisor. Kravitz is also a member of the board of directors at Celsius Holdings and Certified Management Group and is an advisor for Hoist Rapid Hydration.

“I could not be more proud to welcome Hal and JW to our Sweet Reason team,” said founder and CEO Hilary McCain in the press release. “Both Hal and JW bring a wealth of leadership and beverage experience to Sweet Reason. With them on our team, we are well-positioned to lead this category.”

Launched in December 2018, Sweet Reason is currently available in more than 200 stores in the New York metro area, including Westside Market, Morton Williams, City Acres, and Clean Market. The brand closed a $2.5 million seed round this summer.

American Beverage Association Announces New Board Members

The American Beverage Association (ABA) announced last month that it has elected six new members to its board of directors.

According to a press release, newly elected members serving their first four-year term on the board include Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages CEO Paul Mulligan, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages president and CEO Mark Schortman and Bernick’s Beverages & Vending COO John Togerson.

As well, Keurig Dr Pepper president of direct store delivery Rodger Collins, Refresco COO Brad Goist and Bigfoot Beverages co-president J. Andrew Moore were re-elected to additional terms.

“I want to welcome both our new Board members and those joining us for an additional term,” said ABA chairman Jeff Honickman in the release. “Together, we will continue our important work of upholding consumer choice in communities across the nation and our commitment to initiatives that offer a better way.”

New Age Names Julie Garlikov as CMO

New Age Beverages Corporation announced in a press release last week that it has named Julie Garlikov as CMO.

Prior to joining New Age, Garlikov most recently served as CMO of nutritional supplements manufacturer Shaklee Corporation. She has previously held marketing positions at Rodan + Fields, Nuvesse Skin Therapies, and Torani.

“Julie’s incredible track record and significant expertise in driving leading CPG brands across all channels will be an invaluable asset to our senior executive team,” said CEO Brent Willis in the release. “She brings with her a proven track record in leading the marketing function and transforming growth trajectories for several of the top CPG companies in the world. There are so few marketers with omni-channel experience and insight, with the mindset of how to connect with consumers across all touchpoints, and Julie is one of those unique few.”

Rob Paladino Joins Sol-ti as President

Organic beverage maker Sol-ti has hired industry veteran Rob Paladino as president, according to Paladino’s LinkedIn profile. Prior to Sol-ti, Paladino served as chief commercial officer of technology company Natur and has held past CEO positions at Pure Brazilian Coconut Water and WTRMLN WTR.

Paladino joins Sol-ti as the brand looks to broaden its national footprint, most recently launching its SuperShot product line chainwide in Publix. In September, the company named former Ballast Point Brewing VP of brewing operations James Murray as COO.

David Kroll Exits COCO5

David Kroll has stepped down from his role as CEO of COCO5, a brand of coconut-based sports drinks. According to LinkedIn, Kroll joined egg-based products maker EggLife Foods as CEO in October.

Kroll served as the chief executive of COCO5 from December 2018 to September. Prior to COCO5, he held positions at MillerCoors and Dyson.