Richard A. Wright
President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Director
Mr. Wright co-founded The Alkaline Water Company Inc. in 2012 as a premium water brand when the word “alkaline” was associated with the Energizer bunny. As the president and CEO, he oversees all aspects of the business and is successfully guiding the company through its hyper-growth phase, delivering greater than 50% growth since the company’s inception. In a short span of six years, The Alkaline Water company has captured approximately a 5% share of the functional water category and is the 10th largest enhanced water brand in the U.S. Recently, the company has announced its foray into the CBD space with a comprehensive line of ingestibles and topical products. The nascent CBD industry is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2024, according to industry analysts.
Mr. Wright is a serial entrepreneur with over 41 years of experience. He is a passionate and versatile leader with a strong track record of innovation, collaboration, and achieving goal-driven results. The earlier part of his career was spent at one of the “Big Four” accounting firms where he was a Regional Director of Tax and Financial Planning. As a former CFO, CPA, and entrepreneur, Mr. Wright has extensive knowledge of finance, operations, sales and marketing and has participated in 100’s of M&A transactions throughout his career. As a veteran beverage executive, he has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, featured on Cheddar live from the NYSE and TD Ameritrade's Network live from Nasdaq, and continues to be quoted as an industry expert in several industry-focused trade publications on both functional water and CBD.
When not working, Mr. Wright loves to spend time with his wife, 7 kids, and 14 grandkids and is actively involved in local charities.
Chief Financial Officer, Secretary, Treasurer and Director
Mr. Guarino currently holds a bachelor of science in accounting and a masters of accountancy from the University of Denver. From 2008 to 2013, Mr. Guarino was President and a Director of Kahala Corp, a worldwide franchisor of multiple quick service restaurant brands with locations in 49 states and over 25 countries. From 2014 to 2015, Mr. Guarino was President of HTI International Holdings, Inc., a technology company focused on forward osmosis water filtration technology. From 2015 until April, 2017, Mr. Guarino has been a consultant to our company.
Mr. Keay has been a successful investor, entrepreneur and financier to multiple small cap and startup companies for just over the last decade. His experience ranges across multiple sectors in mining, biotech, health and wellness, tech and Cannabis where he has invested and raised over $500M dollars with and for these companies. During his time with these companies he has served as an advisor, board member and in some cases senior management.
As a 40-year veteran of the retail food industry, Frank Lazaran brings decades of commercial and c-suite experience in scaling organizations, optimizing operations, and driving innovation in the retail sector. He has a solid track record for delivering operational excellence with balanced growth to companies facing unique challenges and complex situations. He was most recently the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Marsh Supermarkets, Inc., a multi-format regional food retailer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Under his leadership, he led the company through a successful turnaround. Prior to Marsh, Mr. Lazaran served as the Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director of Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., which was a publicly-traded company and one of the largest supermarket chains in the Southeast. He is currently a senior industry partner for the private equity firm, New State Capital, and serves as an advisor to the retail industry through his consulting practice, Galazarano Consulting & Investments.
Mr. Sudano is Managing Partner of Beverage Marketing Corporation and BMC Strategic Associates. Mr. Sudano has been Managing Partner of Beverage Marketing Corporation since July 2008 and Managing Director of Beverage Marketing Corporation from September 2000 to July 2008. Mr. Sudano's experience covers nearly the entire beverage industry, from energy drinks to wine, with special expertise in beverage alcohol by virtue of varied industry experience and broad range of projects. Mr. Sudano manages several major clients, providing on-going strategic and market advice, while leading projects in strategic planning, market entry analysis and planning, sales/distribution, business modeling, brand repositioning and international opportunity assessment.
From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Sudano was with Constellation Brands, a leading US beverage alcohol company, where he held the position of VP Business Processes responsible for creating a corporate operations and consulting function to service Constellation's wine, spirits and beer businesses. While in this role, Mr. Sudano lead the due diligence and transition efforts for entering the premium wine business and provided corporate oversight for the integration and transition of the Black Velvet distillery and brands. Other activities included oversight of business risk management and covering issues such as promotional effectiveness to performance metrics.
Mr. Sudano received an MBA from Rutgers Graduate School of Management, a magna cum laude and honors graduate from Delaware Valley College receiving a BS and a New Jersey CPA.