Aqua ViTea, the largest kombucha brand on the East Coast, has made three strategic executive hires: Chris Gallant, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer; Steve Konczal, Chief Financial Officer; and Chip Nolin, Chief Operating Officer. To capitalize on the fast-growing market of hard kombucha, the company is also bringing on Billy Keighley as Sales Director of its alcoholic kombucha line, AfterGlow. With their combined knowledge and experience, the four industry veterans will join forces to expand Aqua ViTea's retail presence as the company focuses on its next stage of growth.
"Aqua ViTea is growing at three times the category rate, and we plan to capitalize on this momentum by strengthening our presence as a top national brand within the next couple of years," said Jeff Weaber, Founder of Aqua ViTea Kombucha. "We are focused on building our distribution partnerships, expanding our retail presence, and activating the brand in the market, especially as kombucha continues to gain popularity. Chris, Billy, Steve, and Chip have an outstanding reputation for taking both large and small brands to new heights, and I look forward to the impact they'll have on Aqua ViTea's success with their combined expertise."
Chris Gallant joins Aqua ViTea as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer from KonaRed, a maker of premium Hawaiian coffee products, where he served as interim CEO before selling the company to a strategic acquirer earlier this year. With 15 years of food and beverage experience working in strategy, M&A, and marketing for brands including Heineken International and Red Bull North America, Gallant will lead the sales and marketing efforts for both Aqua ViTea Kombucha and AfterGlow, the brand's hard kombucha line.
Steve Konczal will assume responsibility of Aqua ViTea's finance operations as Chief Financial Officer. Over the past 10 years, Konczal has invested in and served as a C-level executive in a number of highly innovative companies such as Lhasa Craft Beer, Graze, Lunch Bundles and Unreal Brands, where he guided multiple investments through to successful exits. Prior to that, Steve was the CFO for Heineken Americas, where he doubled revenues to $6B via organic growth and key strategic acquisitions.
Chip Nolin, Aqua ViTea's newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, is an experienced supply chain operations leader, specializing in high-growth companies. Known for his expertise in development, design, execution and scale of strategic programs, and solutions at consumer brands such as Commando, and Seventh Generation, Nolin will be responsible for supply chain, production, and logistics of both kombucha brands. Additionally, he will design and implement foundational business practices at Aqua ViTea to support the company's aggressive growth plans.
Billy Keighley will oversee all retail and distribution relationships for AfterGlow Hard Kombucha as Sales Director, working to expand the brand's national presence. Over the last 17 years, Keighley helped develop a high performing sales and distribution network at Red Bull North America as the company more than doubled its sales across the United States.
About Aqua ViTea
Aqua ViTea is the largest East Coast kombucha company that creates a line of mind-blowing flavors of non-alcoholic kombucha in addition to craft AfterGlow hard kombucha that's driven by the company's uncompromising mission to cultivate health. Aqua ViTea promotes responsible kombuchaing by offering verified non-alcoholic, certified organic kombucha made with mindfully-sourced ingredients, natural probiotics, and notably lower sugar to create truly mind-blowing flavors and uncompromising choices when it comes to health.