14 June 2019 | News
Former thinkThin CEO brings a wealth of experience to super herb beverage brand
REBBL, the organic super herb beverage brand has announced Michele Kessler as the new CEO of the plant-powered, mission-driven company. Kessler has nearly 30 years of experience in the consumer package goods industry, most recently serving as CEO of the protein bar company thinkThin where she doubled the business and led them through an acquisition of over $200 million. Additionally, Kessler previously held senior roles at Mars, Kraft and Proctor and Gamble.
Kessler succeeds Sheryl O'Loughlin, who has served as CEO since 2015. Under O'Loughlin's leadership, REBBL achieved B Corp status and grew tenfold. She helped define the REBBL company culture as one of love and bold humility and also helped strengthen the bond between the beverage company and its parent nonprofit partner, Not For Sale, helping REBBL reach the milestone of over $1 million in cumulative donations to the organization in 2019. Kessler's know-how growing thinkThin into a nationally recognized brand with country-wide distribution in both natural and conventional retailers means she is apt to continue the stellar growth REBBL experienced during O'Loughlin's tenure.
"Since we made our investment last year, REBBL has driven growth in the functional beverage category across all its retail channels due to the company's differentiated plant-based offering and strong brand resonance with consumers," said Bader Alam, Senior Vice President at CAVU Venture Partners. "We would like to thank Sheryl for her leadership during her tenure and are excited to have Michele shepherd REBBL into its next phase of growth."
"Sheryl has overseen the creation of one of the best management teams in the industry and established REBBL as an industry leader in impact," said Kim Perdikou, REBBL's chair of the board. "She has inspired us and challenged us to lead with our hearts, and she will be dearly missed. We're thrilled to usher in this new era of REBBL under Michele's leadership and embark on a new journey of growth with her at the helm."
"I'm no stranger to fast growing companies and the excitement and challenges that come along with growth," says Kessler. "I believe in every facet of the REBBL business from the great-tasting, truly functional plant-based beverages to the company's higher purpose to co-create a future without human trafficking. It's this belief that attracted me to REBBL in the first place and I know together we will do great things."
With a heart for human rights and mental health advocacy, O'Loughlin decided six months ago it was time to follow those passions into a new phase of her life. She will focus on volunteer work while continuing to co-lead two industry-wide initiatives: the JEDI Project, which aims to increase justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and Women on Boards, which addresses similar issues at the board level. Additionally, O'Loughlin will serve on the boards of One Step Closer to an Organic Sustainable Community (OSC2) and Foodstirs.
"The decision to leave my REBBL family was a very difficult one; this has been the greatest career experience of my life," said O'Loughlin. "But I now see the incredible impact of bringing more people to the table with their unique perspectives and talents and ensuring marginalized groups are lifted up, heard and brought into decision making. The work of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion is the nexus of all I've worked for until now. With all that in mind, it's time for me to focus on helping to uplift more of humanity so we are better prepared for the complex issues we face in this ever-diversifying world. I know Michele, and I am incredibly proud to hand the reins of CEO to her. I have such deep trust in her and the REBBL brand. It will have a lasting legacy of good — and I say this as a co-owner."
REBBL, Righteous Plant Alchemy curates the best of the Plant Queendom into deliciously nourishing super herb elixirs to nourish and vitalize life's every day journey, empower growers and farmers, honor the planet, and co-create a future without human trafficking.