February Recap 2023

by Kaylee Franklin 

We’re back this month to recap the episodes of February! We’ll be covering what we learned from each episode, sharing each guest’s best advice, and giving you a sneak peek into this month of March on the podcast!

1. From Dreamer to Drink Magnate

At the beginning of February, we launched an episode with Bill Moses, Founder and CEO of Flying Embers.

Bill Moses, an influential leader, proven innovator, and inspiring mentor in the beverage industry. Bill is the Founder and CEO of Flying Embers, an alcoholic beverage brand that offers delicious, sugar-free, vegan, and certified organic canned cocktails, including flavored mojitos, hard kombucha, and hard seltzers. 

Bill shared his lifelong love for napping and outlined how he started his career on Wall Street before navigating his first startup exit at just 32 years old, which ultimately led him to Ojai, California, where his popular beverage brand, KeVita, was born. Tuning in, you’ll learn how Bill sold KeVita to PepsiCo for $220 million in 2016, the story behind the name Flying Embers, and how a near-death experience with COVID in 2020 changed Bill’s perspective and enabled him to reestablish his business for success, plus so much more!

Best piece of advice:

“Sometimes, some of the best-conceived plans require pivots, adaptations, and alterations based on the learning, the market, target market, psychographic, demographic, usage, and occasion. All these things are very fluid in the early years, and sometimes, even as trends change. In food and beverage, they change quickly. Know that—whatever you believe today—you need to have an open enough platform to alter and innovate, to meet consumer preferences in the future.”

If you haven’t listened to Bill’s episode yet, you can tune in HERE!

2. Startups and Sparkling Drinks 

The second week of February we published an episode with the brilliant Scout Brisson, CEO of De Soi!

Scout Brisson, CEO of De Soi, sat down with Lee to talk about her current leadership role and the unique journey she has had up to this point in her career. With some impactful lessons learned in corporate America, and a desire to head up something important, Scout made the leap into the world of startups, and soon after found herself working with De Soi's amazing co-founders, none other than Morgan McLachlan and Katy Perry! 

De Soi is now poised to become a market leader in non-alcoholic and sparkling drinks, and after hearing from Scout about their philosophy and brand identity, it's not hard to see why.

Best piece of advice:

“You've got to drop the perfectionism and the over-precision.”

To listen to more of Scout’s story, check out Episode 145!

3. Introspection and Empathy

Our amazing middle-of-the-month episode was with Alex Bayer, Co-Founder and CEO of Genius Juice!

Alex Bayer opens up about his struggles with social anxiety growing up, how his lifestyle supports him through personal challenges, and the sales ability his introspection has afforded him. We learn about the genesis of Genius Juice and the lessons Alex learned along the way, as well as his experience of pitching his business on Shark Tank. Tune in to discover how a life coach inspired a major shift in Alex’s trajectory and hear his astute advice for aspiring entrepreneurs!

Best piece of advice:

“Less is more, in this business. You don’t have to take over the world. You don’t have to be everywhere. You don’t have to be in all the different stores. Just focus on the niche.” 

To hear more of Alex’s great advice tune in to Episode 146!

4. Beer, Beans, and Brains

Closing out the month of February is an interview with Christopher Gallant, CEO of Chamberlain Coffee!

Lee chatted with Christopher about his journey to becoming the CEO of Chamberlain Coffee, the incredible talent-led coffee brand. 

He shares his story and childhood dreams of becoming a lawyer, studying at MIT, starting The Bronx Brewery, and becoming a CEO. Chris tells us all about his illustrious career in multiple massive beverage companies, his very own business, how imposter syndrome affects him, and much more! We delve into his particular leadership style before he tells us what it’s like to work with a celebrity and run a talent-led brand. Wrapping up, he shares some pearls of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs and CEOs!

Best piece of advice:

“One of those things that you do as a leader is you challenge yourself. You put yourself in situations where you are forced to figure out how to do things.”

Listen to Christopher’s inspiring story here!

Looking Back and Looking Forward

When you sit down and take a moment to reflect on this month’s episodes, you can start to notice a common thread of the Founder and CEO’s reflecting on their past work, challenges, and accomplishments, taking what they learned from them to move forward. An important part of being on the entrepreneurial journey is constantly learning and constantly challenging yourself and it’s evident that’s exactly what these CEOs did. 

This Month: March 

Stay tuned this month to hear from some amazing CEOs. During the month of March, you will be able to hear from:  

  • Hans Schrei, Founder & CEO of Wunderkeks
  • Cory Rosenberg, Co-Founder & CEO of First Person
  • Loren Castle, Founder & CEO of Sweet Loren's
  • Christina Kao, Founder & CEO of Le Mini Macaron

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, follow us on Spotify, or tune in wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Have any guest suggestions, comments or questions about Stairway to CEO? Drop us a line here!

Kaylee Franklin


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