8950 W Olympic Blvd, Ste 494,
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
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.
Hannah Crum, aka “The Kombucha Mamma,” is a longtime educator and Kombucha advocate. Her popular educational site, KombuchaKamp, 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 LaGory who was Chairman of the Board. 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 in the media as the leading expert in Kombucha.
Johanna Denne is currently Beverage Analytics Lab Coordinator for MSU Denver. She was previously the director of production for Luna Bay Hard Kombucha and was responsible for overseeing production including R&D, quality assurance, forecasting and portfolio expansion. With her expertise in brewing and mixed culture fermentation, Johanna has been integral in scaling Luna Bay to serve consumers coast to coast. Prior to joining Luna Bay, Johanna had been working for Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project where she was responsible for building the Quality Program and held the role of director of brewing operations. Johanna completed her B.S. of Chemistry from Metropolitan State University in Denver and her M.S of Chemistry at the University of Colorado.
Shane began his entrepreneurial journey early in life with his brother delivering flyers up and down the streets. Life later guided him to Western State College for an undergrad degree in business administration and a full ride football scholarship. When that journey ended, he found his new place to collectively build the High Country Kombucha brand from the ground up. Sixteen years later, Shane now leads operations at what is now Rocky Mountain Cultures and working day in and day out to build a community embodied company that makes health beverages for the masses. You may not see his name on the back of a label, but you can be sure it was made with pride.
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 home brewers 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.
Chris Ollis is the co-founder of Spring Branch Kombucha, a family-run brewery located in Springfield, MO. He and his wife, Jessica, launched SBK as a draft-only operation in 2017. Today they distribute product throughout the Ozarks region of Missouri and Arkansas. Spring Branch is committed to offering low friction, healthy choices to consumers by producing a boldly flavored craft kombucha. Chris’ background is in finance with over 20 years of experience in the wealth management and banking industries.
Kendra is the Production Director and Founding Partner of Probio Drinks Barcelona, a kombucha brewery based in Spain. She holds a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from the University of Texas and has studied Culinary Arts at Bellart in Barcelona. She hass held such positions as: Soux Chef at Mas de Torrent, Relais & Chateaux, 5 star hotel; Executive Chef, Can Cuch, 4 star hotel; Sergi de Meia Sous Chef; Les Cols, 2 Michelin Star And Relais & Chateau Restaurant, Sous Chef. She is currently a professor at The Culinary Institute of Barcelona.
Matthew Silbert manages the quality assurance and compliance for Local Roots Kombucha. He was a marine biologist before his passion for brewing inspired him to a career in fermentation microbiology. Last year he attended his first Kombucha Kon in person and fished up the amazing experience by giving a tour of Local Roots to many of the conference participants. Matt is very grateful to have been recently elected to the KBI Board of Directors. At Kombucha Kon 2020, Matt served as a panelist on the hard kombucha round table. He enjoyed sharing his experiences navigating this new segment of the kombucha industry and felt a great sense of community with the other brewers. Since then he has participated in more hard kombucha panels, helped provide technical support for the Kombucha Kup and meets regularly with the other board members.
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 enjoying homemade s’mores next to the campfire.
Corey Wood, a Louisville, Kentucky resident, co-founded Elixir Kombucha in 2016 with his wife, Danielle and childhood friend, Ryan Cheong. A nurse by trade, Corey developed a strong passion for brewing kombucha after seeing how the probiotic tea made a positive impact on the lives of his friends and family members. As head of operations at Elixir, Corey has helped the award-winning brand scale from 9 gallons to over 1000 gallons and counting. Now, as a member of board of directors of the Kombucha Brewers International, Corey is working alongside industry leaders to strengthen the culture surrounding kombucha production to provide healthy and tasty options for consumers.