founder & CEO
Zach is a career entrepreneur who first co-founded Cocomama Foods, a gluten-free food company. He has served in a variety of leadership roles, most recently as Partner & EVP of Operations at FDM Sales Management. Prior to that he was the CEO of Kalot Superfood, Director of Sales for I and Love and You, a high growth natural pet brand, and the COO of Little Duck Organics, a leader in the competitive organic children’s snack category. The common dominator among his roles is his passion for boundary-pushing brands that innately connect with consumers through product innovation, bold packaging, and creative marketing. Zach holds a BS in Business at the University of Richmond and an MBA with honors at Babson College.
Elena has been an advocate of automation and streamlining operations both in and out of CPG. At Little Duck Organics, she lead the relaunch and rebrand of 14 SKU's and then moved on to Peeled Snacks, where she restructured their inventory management, implemented EDI connectivity across their trading partners and managed the launch of Peas Please. Elena has always focused on growing brands and how to ease their entry into the market despite uncertain projections and volatile sales.
Core Skills: Business Development, Retail Strategy
Kevin has extensive experience in the natural products industry dating back to 2011. On the selling side, he spent 4 years as VP of Sales of Quinn Popcorn (now Quinn Snacks), and 2.5 years as a Brand Manager/Business Development Manager for FDM Sales Management, a leading industry sales consultancy. At FDM in 2017, Mannering founded FDM Ramp-Up, which later spun off to VeePG LLC, focusing on helping brands get from concept to $1mm in annual sales. Mannering merged VeePG with Rodeo CPG in January 2019 and serves as Partner and Managing Director of Rodeo CPG. For Rodeo Growth clients, Kevin works on sales strategy and analysis as well as overseeing the team.
Chris Van Riet
Managing Director, Rodeo Capital
Chris is a finance entrepreneur experienced in actively growing operating businesses and real-estate development and investment. Over the last 20 years, Chris has been responsible for over $1 billion in investments across a range of sectors including retail, entertainment and logistics. Chris formed Radius Group in 2006 with the mission of improving the Russian consumer supply chain for the timely, efficient distribution of products to consumers. Under his oversight the company developed over 7.5 million ft2 of industrial and logistics real-estate in Russia, and owns and operates a portfolio serving diverse, multi-national customers including Auchan, Leroy Merlin, Alibaba, John Deere, NEXT, DHL, Kimberly Clark, General Motors, and others. In addition to his Radius Group activities, Chris remains an active private equity investor in entrepreneur driven businesses with focused vision and a strong sense of purpose. Chris regularly serves on the board of organizations such as the U.S. Russia Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce of Russia and various private businesses. Chris graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in psychology and a BS in economics from the Wharton School. Chris is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization Houston and Russia Chapters.
Core Skills: Investment Strategy, Long Term Value Creation, P&L Management, Fundraising
Business Development Manager, Rodeo Growth
CJ joins Rodeo from the brand side of the business, having worked most recently with Blue Marble Ice Cream, and Texas Tamale Company. With experience helping drive sales, problem solve budgets, and expand into new markets, he joins Rodeo ready to share his knowledge and experience to help brands in any way. CJ holds a BSBA from Northeastern Universities D'Amore-McKim School of Business.
Core Skills: Comanufacturer searches and relationship management, Ingredient sourcing, supply chain management, new product dev Contact Jess
director of Operations, Rodeo ops
Jess comes to Rodeo with over a decade of operations experience. She has worked as the Director of Operations for emerging and established CPG brands to set up supply chains and manufacturing, negotiate contracts, manage inventory, new product development, and all of the general day-to-day operations tasks that a growing company faces. Her passion, drive, and entrepreneurial spirit along with her strong work ethic make her ideally suited to masterfully maneuver through this crazy world of CPG start-ups! Jessie holds a Master of Business Administration degree along with a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, Rodeo ops
C.V. has spent the past 15 years working with high-growth CPG food and beverage companies in operational and marketing management roles. Most recently C.V. was Director of Operations for Quinn Snacks, where he scaled operations from a Kickstarter campaign to a nationally distributed brand with four product lines and 50+ SKU. Prior to that, he worked at Avery Brewing Company, a craft brewery in Boulder, Colorado, where he was involved with brewing operations and marketing management. Throughout his career he has relied on an entrepreneurial spirit and a "can-do" attitude to get the job done and move companies to the next level. His areas of focus include co-man management, supply planning, quality control, product innovation, logistics and building scalable business solutions to assist brands on their roller coaster ride into multi-channel national distribution. C.V. holds a BA in Economics and Government from St. Lawrence University, and lives in Vermont with his wife and two young sons.
Core Skills: Operational Strategy, Quality Control, Product Development
Core Skills: Co-manufacturer management, new product development, cost modeling & optimization, procurement & certifications, temp-controlled supply chains Contact Justin
director of operations, rodeo ops
Justin has been helping emerging natural product brands realize their ambitious (and inspiring) visions since 2013. As a Supply Chain Manager Justin has sourced countless ingredients and packaging materials; identified and managed relationships with numerous co-manufacturers; built and managed freight and warehouse networks; and developed scalable COGs, inventory and demand planning models. Justin has also served in numerous Product Management roles, moving everything from frozen empanadas and energy bars to grass fed beef hot dogs from ideation to commercialization. Justin holds an MBA & MA in Environmental Management from Yale, along with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies.
Director of Client Reporting, rodeo growth
James joined Rodeo in January 2019 from KPMG, where he served as a management consultant since 2015. James wears a variety of hats at Rodeo, but his main function is leading our client reporting efforts. For Rodeo Growth clients, James is the man behind the scenes who keeps our forecasting, progress tracking, and profitability by retailer models updated.
Core Skills: Reporting, Informed Analytics, Modeling
Core Skills: Entrepreneurship, Beverage Strategy, Retail Sales
Director of Sales, rodeo growth
Mike comes to Rodeo with a skillset in early-stage company strategy and sales growth. He started his career in grocery launching new markets in the Mid-Atlantic for the online grocery startup, Relay Foods, which merged with to Door to Door Organics in 2016. In 2015, Mike co-founded Convergent Coffee, a trend-setting cold brew coffee company, which he grew from one to 2,000 points of distribution in three years, at which point he sold his company to an investor group and focused his attention to helping other brands gain traction and build a solid foundation for scale. Mike holds a BS in Business from the University of Richmond.
Director of Foodservice Sales, rodeo Foodservice
Matt joins Rodeo with a deep passion and understanding about how to grow a brand and business through the Foodservice channel. He has worked as Director of Foodservice Sales for two startups (Farmwise and Buen Sabor) and helped both grow Foodservice from “just a thought” to a strong business within a year. He also spearheaded Foodservice sales for PGI, a 40-million-dollar company, which was very valuable to see the industry from that vantage point as well. Matt has worked within most of the Foodservice categories but primarily in College and University, Business & Industry, Healthcare and Convenience. He has worked with major distributors such as Sysco, US Foods and PFG, as well as the big management companies such as Compass, Sodexo and Aramark.
Operations manager, Rodeo ops
Wendy comes to Rodeo from a diverse background which includes contract negotiations and event planning for meetings & conventions as well as fundraising for non-profits. Most notably raising over $1 million dollars for the American Heart Association. Although she does not have extensive CPG experience, her determination and resourceful spirit gives her the drive to fit right into the CPG start-up world. Wendy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.