Mamma Chia hires new senior leadership team members
Mamma Chia announced the addition of four executive team members: Ken Vargha, executive vice president of sales and marketing; Lance Dermeik, vice president of operations; Steve Polzin, director of sales; and Brenda Quesada, director of R&D & technical services.
“Mamma Chia has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years including the addition of two new product lines—Chia & Greens Beverages and Chia Vitality Bars. As a result of this growth, we’ve been looking for the right people to help continue to elevate our brand,” said Janie Hoffman, Mamma Chia founder and chief executive officer. “Ken, Lance, Steve and Brenda are all as talented and experienced as they are passionate about spreading the Magic of Chia, and we’re incredibly excited to have them on board.”
Prior to joining Mamma Chia, Vargha served as the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Renew Life, a leader in digestive wellness supplements. His extensive background spans across various industries from nutraceuticals and cosmetics to healthcare and non-profit. Vargha began his career with P&G working on Pantene and on the Rogaine brand for Upjohn before, moving on to head marketing for the Invisalign brand, and has also served as vice president of sales and marketing for Pfizer, Inc./Alacer Corp., makers of Emergen-C. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brigham Young University and an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing and International Business from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He is married with six children.
“Janie and her team have built a very successful company around these power-packed seeds, and I am energized by the opportunities ahead to help further strengthen the brand,” said Vargha. “I look forward to working alongside Janie and the rest of the team to reinforce the reach of Mamma Chia’s organic chia-based foods and beverages, which provide vitality, energy and strength to so many around the world.”
Dermeik will oversee the strategic operations and supply chain processes for Mamma Chia. During the past eight years he was the senior director of contract manufacturing at The Hain Celestial Group, where he worked with contract manufacturers to support Hain’s portfolio of natural and organic brands. Dermeik’s experience also includes eight years at Monster Beverage Corporation, serving as the director of supply chain operations.
Polzin worked alongside Vargha at Renew Life and Alacer, where he increased sales and expanded distribution, most recently as the national director of sales. Quesada joins Mamma Chia with over 20 years of diverse food product development and manufacturing experience. She previously served as a R&D/project manager at The Hain Celestial Group, working with Dermeik.