Ron Lloyd | Chief Executive Officer
Ron brings nearly 25 years of experience launching new products, growing brands, developing teams and creating value for companies across a wide-range of emerging and existing food and beverage companies including: Procter & Gamble, Capri Sun, Kraft Foods, Constellation Brands, Trinity Springs, and Crayons. Ron also founded Yawple, inc., an online social gaming company, and has served as the Consulting COO for Kuske Math, Inc., a pre-K math education and curriculum company since 2009.
Prior to 2009, Ron held a wide range of senior sales, operations, planning, marketing, PR, retail and other leadership positions within both early-stage start-ups and some of the largest and most successful global food and beverage companies including:
• President & CEO and Director for Crayons, Inc., which marketed Crayons® all-natural fruit drinks and sports drinks. In just 4-years, Crayons evolved from idea stage to achieve distribution within +3,000 retail outlets, and to become one of the fastest growing natural kids beverage brands sold within the natural and specialty food channels.
• President & CEO and Director of Trinity Springs LTD. During this period, Trinity became the number one selling brand of bottled water within the natural and specialty foods channel, leading to the sale of the company to Amcon Distributing Company, a large publicly traded distribution and retailing company.
• Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales Operations, Retail, Hospitality, Online and PR for Franciscan Estates. During his tenure, Ron helped the company become one of the world’s fastest growing fine wine companies. This success helped management sell the company to Constellation Brands, Inc, one of the world’s largest beverage alcohol companies.
• Numerous selling, planning and marketing capacities for Kraft Foods, Inc. including: National Sales Director for the Bakery Division; Sales and Marketing Director for the Beverages Division; and the National Planning Manager for the Beverages Division.
• Prior to Kraft Foods, Ron held other local, regional, and international sales roles at companies such as Capri Sun and Procter & Gamble.
Ron graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Over the years, Ron has received numerous highly-coveted professional and other industry awards including: Procter & Gamble’s Sales Person of the Year Award; Kraft Foods’ highest award – Award of Excellence; and Inc. Magazine’s America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.
Ron and his wife and their three children live in the Seattle, WA area. His hobbies include: coaching youth sports; mentoring/advising early-stage management teams/companies; writing; food & wine, and spending time in the outdoors with family.
Frank Commanday | Technical Director, Brewmaster
Frank has twenty-seven years experience in the craft beverage industry as a microbiologist and brewer, and played a key role in the emerging American craft brewing industry. Recently, he developed innovative fermentation and production methods while conducting research and development for Golden Star Tea Company in Belmont, California. Their popular White Jasmine fermented, non-alcoholic tea is currently sold at Whole Foods markets, and was featured at a White House luncheon. Frank is one of few individuals around with a scientific understanding and approach to the Kombucha fermentation, enriched by practical experience and supported by substantial success.
Frank’s acquaintance with the nascent craft brewing industry began in the summer of 1982, while a graduate student in microbiology and brewing at the University of California at Davis. After a bike ride in Chico, he stopped by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company for a visit and tour. He left with a summer job in the lab and fermentation cellar. At the time, this pioneering brewery was housed in a small metal building across from a body shop in a dusty back alley. The equipment was mainly adapted from old dairy tanks, and scrounged from Modesto-area used wine equipment suppliers, cobbled together by the company’s founder, Ken Grossman. Although he had to return to Davis to finish his graduate studies, this brief experience had a lasting effect: a career in a “conventional” industry or doing basic research was out of the question! As for Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, it is now a major regional-sized state-of-the-art brewery, and its Pale Ale is distributed throughout the USA.
After earning an MA in microbiology at UC Davis, Frank moved to Portland, Oregon, and learned brewing QA techniques at the Blitz-Weinhard brewery. He was soon applying them while setting up the QA lab as the first employee at Portland Brewing Co (now part of Pyramid Brewing Co), and gaining practical skills in brewing and cellar operations. After 2 years, he joined Widmer Brothers Brewing Co, designing, constructing, and running their downtown satellite brewery before joining their main production facility as Plant Manager and QA Manager, setting up their QA program/lab and Engineering Department. Frank introduced modern automated process controls to the growing facility, and designed/ managed a variety of process system projects (e.g. grain-handling, CIP, keg filling/cleaning, a second satellite brewery by the Portland Rose Garden Arena). He took sensory analysis courses at UC Davis and Siebel Institute (Chicago), and successfully integrated sensory analysis (regular taste panels) to the QA and product development programs. In the midst of a big expansion in 1996, with the introduction of the bottled product, Frank recognized the necessity of centrifugation prior to packaging, and led the successful effort to ensure shelf stability of Widmer’s primary product.
Frank moved to San Francisco in 1997 to set up and run a microbrewery at E&O Trading Company, an upscale Asian/fusion restaurant in the downtown shopping district. He enjoyed brewing his own formulations as much as his customers enjoyed drinking them, and resolved that his ongoing career would always somehow involve the production of brews of his own design.
With one small exception, Frank’s career has exclusively involved small start-ups, with innovation being the main imperative. His extensive practical experience in designing process systems, managing projects, and sourcing and commissioning equipment marries well with his microbiological skills and understanding of fermentation science and creative drive.
Dennis McLaughlin | Chief Marketing Officer
Dennis is a Southern California-based marketing and communications professional, most recently SVP – Group Account Director with the Los Angeles office of McCann-Erickson Worldwide.
He brings extensive beverage and retail marketing experience to the Búcha management team, with proven skills in developing and executing integrated marketing programs that drive sales, build share and increase brand awareness.
His experience spans decades, including several years at The Seven-Up Company world headquarters, then as advertising director of a four-state, publicly held soft drink bottling system, followed by a successful career at McCann-Erickson as an officer and account director in the western area, with extensive work on products of The Coca-Cola Company. He led the western area advertising and promotion for a number of beverage brand product launches, including Sprite, Diet Coke and Cherry Coke.
In addition to directing our corporate brand ID development, and all packaging design, Dennis is leading our network of brokers and distributors for Búcha as we gain more and more grocery store distribution in the west. He is also overseeing the advertising, promotion and sampling for Búcha which is now ramping up to pull the flavors of Búcha off shelves and into homes.
Dennis is a graduate of The University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Laurie Hunter | Controller
Laurie has over 30 years of experience in accounting, financial reporting, taxation and personal financial planning issues. Prior to arriving at Búcha, Laurie worked for 20 years as the business manager for one of the most recognizable athletes in the world with responsibility for multiple business enterprises including a private-label winery, web site and sports memorabilia companies. Previously, she was a senior financial manager for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and a senior accountant with Deloitte and Touché.
Laurie received her Master of Business Taxation degree from the University of Southern California, her MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and her BS in accounting from the University of Arizona. She is a CPA, licensed in CA, and a member of the AICPA.
Laurie has served on the Boards of two private foundations, in the US and Canada, whose missions are to provide athletic opportunities to underprivileged children.
Laurie and her husband reside in Manhattan Beach, California and have a daughter and a son.
To date Laurie has worked with us on a part-time consulting basis.