KBI Board Election Results Announced
KBI was founded in 2014 with 40 member brands and 7 Board of Directors. Currently KBI boasts over Over the past several years, the Directors have shifted due to changes in company goals and focus. This has allowed new faces and voices to emerge. This year sees the biggest changes to the KBI Board since its founding.
As of January 2022, the Board consisted of the following Directors:
- Hannah Crum*, KBI President/Kombucha Kamp
- Alex LaGory,* Chairman of the Board, Kombucha Kamp
- Zane Adams*, FedUp Foods/Buchi Kombucha
- Chris Ollis, Spring Branch Kombucha (Treasurer)
- Ed Rothbauer*, Rocky Mtn Cultures/High Country Kombucha
- Amelia Winslow, Health-Ade Kombucha
- Corey Wood, Elixir Kombucha
- Barbara Wildhaber, BWild Kombucha (Secretary, non-voting officer)
New Chairman of the Board - Zane Adams
The organization has grown significantly since 2014. Despite taking a hit in membership during COVID, currently the membership is 280 members, a 600% increase since 2014. To meet the needs of the larger industry and membership, the Board decided to make some changes to increase the diversity and number of voices at the table.
Notably, after 7 years of service, Alex LaGory stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Board. The seat is now filled by Zane Adams of FedUp Foods & Buchi Kombucha. Alex remains on the Board.
Zane is one of the Managing Partners and owners of Buchi Kombucha based in Asheville, NC. Buchi is the largest craft kombucha brewery on the East Coast. For the past eight years he has been a part of crafting Buchi kombucha to cultivate a culture — both the billions of beneficial bacteria in our bottles as well as a thriving regenerative human culture that celebrates fermented foods. By engaging in community centered commerce, he advocates that Buchi (and like-minded organizations) are joining a larger dialogue around our food system and living in a more symbiotic way with each other and our planet.
Zane has been influential in providing thought leadership, compliance protocols and outreach strategies for the kombucha industry. As the son of immigrants, his success at this stage of his career is a direct result of focus, determination and deep community support. Zane is committed to pursuing the Seal Program to uphold the Kombucha Code of Practice (2020). His community organizing skills are vital to this next phase of industry growth and validation.
New KBI Board Members - Meet Johanna & Matt
In February, Amelia Winslow left Health-Ade and vacated her seat on the Board. The Treasurer position was promoted to voting Board member thus leaving a second seat available. KBI then held Board elections to fill the 2 open seats and are excited to announce our new Board members; Johanna Denne of Luna Bay Booch and Matt Silbert of Local Roots Kombucha.
Johanna Denne of Luna Bay Booch (T2)
Johanna Denne is currently Luna Bay’s production manager in Golden, Colorado. She is responsible for overseeing all production of all Luna Bay hard kombucha 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 in production for Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project where she was responsible for building the Lab and Quality Program and last held the role of director of brewing operations. Crooked Stave is known for its world class traditional wild, sour, and spontaneous beers. Johanna completed her B.S. of Chemistry from Metropolitan State University in Denver and her M.S of Chemistry at the University of Colorado.
Matt Silbert of Local Roots Kombucha (T3)
Matthew Silbert manages the quality assurance department for Local Roots Kombucha. He was a marine biologist before his passion for brewing inspired him to a career in fermentation microbiology. Matt joined the burgeoning team at Local Roots in 2019 and has helped the company through major scaleup. He recently expanded his responsibilities to include organic compliance, ingredient procurement and project management.
At Kombucha Kon 2020, Matt was a panelist on the Hard Kombucha Roundtable. He enjoyed sharing his experiences navigating this new segment of the kombucha industry and felt a great sense of community with the other brewers. He also provided technical support to the committee for the development of the Kombucha Kup.
Matt is excited to be part of an industry that promotes health and well being. He is very aware of how diet affects energy, cognition and overall mood. His vision is to work towards developing a circular production model for breweries to better manage resources as they become more scarce in our growing global population. Health, conservation and community building are some of his core values.
Expansion of Board - International Representative - Kendra Sepúlveda
Additionally, KBI added an International Board Liaison seat to give all of our international brands a representative. Kendra Sepúlveda of Casa de la Kombucha (Spain), longtime KBI Europe Secretary, has been appointed to the position.
Kendra studied nutrition and dietetics at the University of Texas at Austin, then traveled to Spain to study gastronomy. She became a chef and worked in Michelin star restaurants. Her goal is to stay true to that which resonates with her spirit and share positivity with all those she encounters.
“I am incredibly honored and excited to contribute to this noble and trailblazing organization. I can’t wait to help promote and elevate this wonderful project that has the ability to bring something wonderful to the world. We are at an excellent time in history to be an industry that is supporting the SDG and I feel fortunate to be a part of that.”
Path to the Board
KBI will be holding elections on a regular basis. The most important feature of a Board candidate is someone who has volunteered or assisted KBI above and beyond simply accessing the many resources available to our members. If you feel inspired to lead, we invite you to reach out and volunteer so that we can provide a path to serve the kombucha industry via the KBI Board of Directors.