Heather Howell, CEO
Rooibee Red Tea
CEO of Louisville’s Rooibee Red Tea Lauds City’s Business Environment on National Stage
Heather Howell Served as Entrepreneurial Expert for Wall Street Journal Web Chat
Louisville, KY – February 4, 2013 – Rooibee Red Tea Co., (http://www.rooibeeredtea.com/)
As one of three entrepreneurs on the panel, Howell fielded questions from viewers around the country, and during the 45-minute chat Howell paid tribute to Louisville: “Without the people in this community, we wouldn’t be a nationwide brand.” Howell also gave a nod to other established local beverage companies, as well as to the talent coming out of the University of Louisville entrepreneurial program. It is this community that creates a supportive environment where start-ups can grow and thrive, she said.
Howell added that with vast technology resources available today, successful start-ups can begin anywhere – not just in major cities -- as long as consumer wants and needs are met. She discussed how Rooibee Red Tea was strategic in calling Louisville home with its central location, rich consumer product market and access to high-quality water. Rooibee Red Tea has also taken advantage of partnering with local companies and developing strong relationships within the city.
Howell was asked if the company would ever move out of Louisville, and she assured viewers that Rooibee Red Tea plans to keep its roots in Louisville.
In addition to the Web chat, Wall Street Journal editors also invited Howell to submit a guest essay on the topic, “Can startups be successful anywhere in the United States?” Howell’s essay answering that question is scheduled to appear online February 1 on The Accelerators blog at http://blogs.wsj.com/
Rooibee Red Tea founder Jeff Stum hired Howell as the company’s CEO in May 2010 to help raise investments, broaden distribution and increase consumer sales, and Howell brought 15 years of experience in workforce development, talent attraction and branding for Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies to the role. Howell is also a mother of two and is passionate about producing a product the whole family can enjoy.
The Web chat was hosted by Sarah Needleman, a reporter and assistant small-business editor for the Wall Street Journal. Howell was joined on the panel by the founders of two high-tech startups, Jeremy Hitchcock, founder of Dyn in Manchester, N.H.; and Marshall Kirkpatrick, founder of Little Bird in Portland, Ore. A playback of the Web chat can be viewed in its entirety at http://blogs.wsj.com/
For more information on Rooibee Red Tea, please visit: www.rooibeeredtea.com.
About Rooibee Red Tea
Founded in Louisville, Ky., in 2009 by Jeff Stum and his wife Leslie, Rooibee Red Tea offers the only 100% organic, naturally caffeine-free ready-to-drink red rooibos tea on the market. Since its beginning, the company has built a loyal following and has become a national brand. Those at Rooibee Red Tea believe healthy people enable a healthy planet, offering a great tasting product to improve public health, promote sustainability and encourage community. Rooibee Red Tea is available in seven varieties and can be found nationwide in Kroger stores, as well at Whole Foods and other grocery chains and independent retailers. For more information, please visit www.rooibeeredtea.com. Additional information is available on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/