Chris brings to Craft Catalyst 20 years in marketing, commercialization and business development in consumables as well as media & technology. In this role, Chris has served across a variety of categories in marketing leadership and board-level positions for emerging food and beverage brands like LesserEvil, Kill Cliff, Slingshot and Revolution Gelato to name a few. Chris originally cut his teeth in brand management in the early 2000’s overseeing In Zone Brands’ portfolio of children’s beverages and has been in the food & beverage arena ever since.
With 20+ years of experience in the global sales and marketing of domestic and imported food and beverage brands, Steef drives the sales, business, channel and territory development efforts for Craft Catalyst’s partners, including brands like High Road Craft, Popcorners and Spindrift among others. Prior to this role, our resident Dutchman was President of in2food, an importer of chocolate and pastry ingredients that was sold to The Carlyle Group’s IRCA. Previously, Steef also led the sales for premium cocktail mixer brand Stirrings through its acquisition by Diageo, and was part of the Virtual Vineyards team that founded Wine.com.
Craft Catalyst found us at a time where we couldn’t quite pinpoint our long-run potential. One of the magic skills of the Craft Catalyst team is helping founding teams envision a thriving future-state. For us, they unlocked our vision, and helped us believe we could find the stars. We have done just that.
Perhaps the greatest impact Chris has had on my business has been in the packaging re-design he quarterbacked for us in 2018 at a time when we were preparing to expand our snack portfolio but knew we needed a better packaging strategy to accommodate future innovation. From vetting agencies to stewarding the process, he helped us get it right. Since then, Chris has been my foxhole buddy on a range of strategic business and brand priorities to help us make informed decisions throughout this rapid growth phase of our business.
Based on Steef’s past performance as a prior team member of mine, and faced with the task of broadening Popcorners’ horizons beyond the US market, I knew I could turn to Steef to spearhead the brand’s expansion abroad. At the time of our sale to Pepsi in 2020 we were able to tout distribution in 40+ countries and territories, in large part due to his efforts.
Chris has a knack for seeing big-picture and boiling it down to actionable, synchronized building blocks. He has helped us more tightly align across the different parts of our business and focus around a more succinct strategy to differentiate our brand in a crowded space. He has dug in to help me prioritize over time (and troubleshoot along the way) in executing against our plans.