Harmless Harvest, manufacturer of critically and commercially acclaimed Harmless Coconut® Water, announced that Giannella Alvarez will be joining the company as the new CEO and that Brad Paris will take on the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), beginning Sept. 21, 2015.
“Both Giannella and Brad share our passion for how and what we feed ourselves”
“Over the past five years, our company has grown exponentially without compromising on our vision for better food from better sources for all,” says Harmless Harvest co-founder Douglas Riboud. “As beverage industry pioneers from high pressure processing (HPP) to integrated sourcing, champions of organic farming and progressive social practices, we have benefited from an astounding vote of confidence from our customers, retailers and distributors: we are now selling a bottle of our unique organic, fair for life Harmless Coconut® Water every second and have created 350 full-time jobs in the U.S. and Thailand. To continue on our exceptional path in the years ahead, we sought out the most innovative and talented leaders in our industry. After many months of searching, we are proud and humbled to have Giannella and Brad, the best and brightest, joining our team.”
“What the company needs, as we prepare for the years of growth ahead, are established, experienced leaders to bring Harmless Harvest to its next level of achievement. Individuals that share our deep rooted ethos, a personal commitment to contributing to positive change in our society and a radically innovative agenda that places long term human and environmental concerns ahead of near-sighted profits,” says co-founder Justin Guilbert.
As co-founders, they state that their emotional attachment to this venture cannot trump the needs of the company as it continues on its outstanding path. While their commitment and strategy remains intact they acknowledge that their ambitions will only be fulfilled with an extraordinary team leading the flourishing organization.
“Both Giannella and Brad share our passion for how and what we feed ourselves,” explains Guilbert. “We are determined to see Harmless Harvest grow way beyond our personal ambitions and are excited to move forward with them into this new chapter. While we will remain actively involved in the company, we wished to pass on the executive leadership to proven and respected experts to help achieve our goal to grow our role as progressive, positive change leaders in the food and beverage industry.”
Giannella Alvarez most recently held the position of Executive Vice President and General Manager responsible for the $2.4 billion Pet Business at Del Monte Foods, which included the iconic Milk Bone and Natural Balance brands. Prior to this role, Alvarez was the Group President and CEO for Barilla Americas. She was responsible for the turnaround of the Barilla business in the U.S., entering the prepared meals category, and leading the business expansion in Brazil and Mexico. From 2006 to 2010, Alvarez excelled as the Global Vice President & General Manager for the Active Lifestyle portfolio at The Coca-Cola Company, where she co-led the acquisition, as well as the global expansion of Vitaminwater and Smartwater into 25 countries. At Coca-Cola, Alvarez was also Global Vice-President for the Hydration, Sports, Energy and New Beverages businesses, which included Dasani and Powerade. Earlier in her career, Alvarez held many executive leadership positions at both Kimberly Clark Corporation and Procter & Gamble in general management, marketing, innovation and finance.
Alvarez currently serves as a Director of the Board at sustainable paper company Domtar Corporation (NYSE:UFS). Alvarez is an active member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and Women Corporate Directors (WCD). She has served on the boards for the not-for-profit organizations Water.org and Hands on Atlanta. Alvarez earned a Chemical Engineering degree from Universidad Simon Bolivar, in Caracas, Venezuela.
"I am very excited to be part of Harmless Harvest, and join Douglas and Justin in their mission of bringing healthier, delicious products to people, while conducting business through constructive capitalism principles unparalleled in the industry, by helping to significantly better the lives of everyone in the supply chain,” says Alvarez.
Brad Paris is a pioneer in the premium health food and beverage industry. Most recently, Paris served as interim CFO/COO for POM Wonderful, the world’s largest pomegranate grower. Prior to his role with POM, he was President of startup frozen food venture, Wild Veggie, an entity of the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company. At Wild Veggie, Paris was responsible for the company's new product development and launches, as well as production, ingredient sourcing, marketing, and sales. From 2004-2013, he led the produce and nutraceutical businesses for POM Wonderful as Vice President/General Manager, where he had overall P&L responsibility for the company's fresh fruit and nutraceutical ingredient product lines with sales to over 50 countries. Previous roles also include working as a management consultant for Roll Global (now called The Wonderful Company) and Accenture. Paris earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Civil & Environmental Engineering and received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
“Opportunities to develop amazing products and do good in the world at the same time don't come along very often, and I am thrilled to join Douglas, Justin, and the entire Harmless Harvest team in creating healthy, honest, and innovative products while maintaining the company's commitment to being socially, environmentally, and ethically responsible,” says Paris.