Zane Adams, Buchi (North Carolina)
Zane was recently appointed as Co-CEO and leadership collaborator with Lightswitch Foods, a newly merged company majority held by Buchi Kombucha, a 9-year-old local brand that started its journey in a humble kitchen located on Chestnut St, Asheville, NC. He has over 12 years of experience in the marketing discipline from strategy and brand development, product positioning to enterprise partnerships and marketing communication. From its start at the North Asheville Farmers Market, to emerge as the largest producer of craft kombucha on the east coast, Buchi’s brand is starting to translate outside of the local market and cultivate a devoted following.
Ed Rothbauer, High Country (Colorado)
Ed brewed the tea in the early 90′s after learning of its healing properties and in an effort to help his recovery from paralysis after an accidental fall from a roof. The two friends proceeded to brew unique Kombucha blends that soon gained popularity with friends, family, local community members and now drinkers across the country. High Country Kombucha is brewed high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with only pure spring water. All ingredients are sourced in their organic form and concentrated flavoring is never used.
Alex LaGory*, Kombucha Kamp (California)
Alex LaGory is the co-author, with Hannah Crum, of The Big Book of Kombucha. LaGory is a writer and producer who, with Crum, mentors kombucha homebrewers and serves as a commercial brewing consultant. Together they created Kombucha Kamp as a one-stop destination for the highest quality brewing supplies, information, and support. They are co-founders of Kombucha Brewers International in Los Angeles, where they reside.
Amelia Winslow, Health-Ade Kombucha (California)
As Director of Project Management at Health-Ade Kombucha, Amelia oversees New Product Development, Sustainability and Community Impact. She has also been integrally involved in Research & Development and Communications. Since she joined Health-Ade in 2016, the company has reduced landfill waste by 30%, become the primary supporter of a garden education program for youth at seven underserved Los Angeles schools, and played a significant role in KBI’s lobbying efforts. Before joining Health-Ade, Amelia founded the blog Eating Made Easy and worked as a personal chef and nutritionist. She holds Master’s Degrees in Nutrition and Public Health from Tufts University in Boston.
Corey Wood, ELIXIR Kombucha (Kentucky)
Corey is native to Louisville, Kentucky, where Elixir Kombucha is located. Corey grew up skateboarding and playing guitar with his friends (including Ryan, now his partner in Elixir). He met his wife (and partner in Elixir), Danielle, while in high school. They both attended University of Louisville, where Corey received a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which led to a career as an ICU nurse. The intensity of work was offset by a love for reading, writing and home-brewing kombucha. Now, as head of operations at the award-winning Elixir Kombucha, Corey has overseen the scale of the brew from 9 gallons to 1000 gallons and counting.
Hannah Crum, Kombucha Kamp, President
Hannah Crum, aka “The Kombucha Mamma,” is a longtime educator and Kombucha advocate. Her popular educational site, KombuchaKamp.com, is the most visited website in the world for Kombucha information, recipes and advice. In 2014, to further her mission of “changing the world, one gut at a time,” she co-founded KBI with her partner, Alex, who serves as Chairman of the Board and Hannah is President. Together, they have directly mentored and consulted Kombucha brewers from start-up to scale-ups since 2007 and co-wrote the authoritative “The Big Book of Kombucha” (Storey, 2016). Taking KBI’s mission to promote and protect the Kombucha industry worldwide to heart, Hannah has been a featured speaker at conferences, festivals and on television as the leading expert in Kombucha.
Barbara Wild, BWild Kombucha, Secretary
Barbara Wildhaber is the founder of BWild Beverages (BWild Kombucha) located in Molalla, Oregon. She brings over 20 years of experience working in sales and management and an MBA from the University of Portland (go Pilots!) that has been a great foundation for her own business ventures over the years. Barbara uses teas, fruits, herbs and spices to create kombucha flavors that are based on her favorite foods to create an authentic Kombucha that is well balanced between the sweet and tart notes. You can often find Barbara at stores and at farmer’s markets doing her own sampling as she enjoys interacting with her customers and introducing new people to kombucha. When she is not working, Barbara enjoys spending time with her kids and husband especially taking family breaks to camp and enjoy homemade smores next to the campfire
Chris Ollis, Spring Branch Kombucha, Treasurer
Chris Ollis co-founded Spring Branch Kombucha with his wife, Jessica, in 2017. It is a small, family-run brewery located in Springfield, MO. Spring Branch launched as a draft-only operation and places kegerators with many of its retailers to dispense product. This model has allowed the company to grow organically and to continue to innovate while scaling up from a Tier 1 brewery. Managing a fleet of kegerators has helped SBK develop strong relationships with its partners, many of whom have never operated a commercial draft system. Coming from a career in investment management, Chris’s knowledge setting up and maintaining draft equipment systems has come through a lot of trial and error.