Aqua ViTea, a kombucha brand on the East Coast, announced the expansion of its leadership team with 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.
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.