SKU has made several exciting additions to the leadership team as it continues expanding its national footprint.
Kirstin Ross, who has been the Executive Director of SKU for the past three years, will be stepping down and passing the reins of Managing Director to Emily Kealey. Under Kirstin, SKU grew from an Austin based accelerator, to the top nationally recognized CPG accelerator, expanding SKU’s footprint to include New York, Dallas, Minneapolis and now Atlanta.
“I am proud of the companies, mentors and sponsors that have become a part of the SKU family over the past several years,” said Ross. “But I am most proud of the team we’ve built and I’m confident that SKU will continue to grow, and most importantly, continue to help entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams.”
Kealey, who joined SKU as the Program Director for SKU Dallas 2021, is taking the reins as Managing Director. Kealey has more than 20 years of experience in the CPG industry. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to continue to work with our elite group of SKU mentors and provide our best-in-class curriculum that supports our CPG Founders to achieve continued growth and success in this exciting industry,” says Kealey.
In her roles during her time in the public relations industry, she worked with such global CPG brands as Nestlé Purina, Red Bull and Sunkist. Kealey was formerly Chief Marketing Officer at Notley Ventures and Executive Director of the local CPG nonprofit member organization, Naturally Austin.
“Her capabilities are exceptional,” says SKU Board Chair Scott Jensen, Co-founder of Rhythm Superfoods and co-founder of Stubb’s Barbecue Sauce Co. “We’re confident she can lead our organization with continued success and will adeptly lead our incredibly talented SKU team.”
Kathy Guzmán Galloway, a seasoned leader in the consumer-products industry, has joined SKU as the accelerator’s Curriculum Director. SKU’s team includes Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Breyer, Program Director Maddie Serviente, Chief Financial Officer Andy Fogarasi, Austin Program Manager Alyssa Moody, Atlanta Program Manager Bradley Jones and Marketing Administrator Quincy French.
Galloway brings experience across over 25 CPG product categories to the accelerator. As founder of kgalloway consulting, she has spent nearly 10 years helping startups to Fortune 500 organizations drive growth with strategy and innovation. Previously, she held senior management positions at companies such as PepsiCo and Dean Foods.
Over the past three years, SKU has expanded to other regions of the country to meet entrepreneur needs nationally. In February, SKU launched its 10th Austin cohort and its first in Atlanta. BeyondSKU, based in New York, kicks off its third annual cohort this month. It also operates SKU Dallas and ImpactSKU in the Twin Cities for purpose-based startups. In June, SKU will launch the second cohort of the SKU Elevate – formerly the SKU M/O Track — a program for BIPOC CPG founders. SKU has worked with a variety of innovative and successful brands across the United States, including Siete Foods, EPIC Provisions and Dude Wipes. Of SKUs more than 90 alumni, more than 90 percent are still operating and growing today. SKU companies have produced more than 1,200 products generating a combined $2.5 billion in revenues and creating more than 2,500