Meet Tara Hannaford, President at Bev (Because she’s a badass!)

/ / Meet Tara Hannaford, President at Bev (Because she’s a badass!)

Meet Tara Hannaford, President at Bev (Because she’s a badass!)

August 27, 2019 | Andrea Hurtado |

One of the amazing aspects of our day to day here at Protis Global is the connectivity and insight we have to exceptional humans within the industries we serve. Recently, we partnered with Bev and the outcome was Tara Hannadord joining the organizations as President.

Tara stood out for a million different reasons! Anyways, we thought we should share a little of her magic with the world so we asked her to give us a little behind the scenes. So without further ado here’s our Q+A with Tara!

PG: WHAT IS YOUR “WHY”?

Tara Hannaford: I love brand building at the core. Taking something from ideation up through development and getting it out into the commercial space is something I find both incredibly challenging and rewarding. Underlying my professional endeavors is always the insatiable passion to create brands and products that will live a life beyond mine. It sounds over the top, but I get a great deal of pride having my fingerprints, even small to the collective group-building that a successful brand requires, on a product being enjoyed amongst other people everywhere.

PG: You have been in the adult bev (pun intended) industry for over a decade – was it always a goal of yours to eventually pivot to helping develop a company that is so femme-forward?

Tara Hannaford: Being in the business, I’ve always seen the gap between the decision makers and the perceived target audience. To have the organic opportunity to create products founded by and targeting women is sensational: we’re not speaking at women, we’re talking to women with our own voice–a voice which accounts for 51% of the population! We’re creating from an inclusive space and with continued success I’ve been able to ensure I now have a seat at the decision making table with the ability to promote products that make women feel like they’re genuinely being thought of in this space. 

PG: What advice would you give a young woman who is looking to break into the adult beverage space?

Tara Hannaford: Step up to a challenge, but always be willing to raise your hand for help. You’d be surprised how undervalued grit is in this business –and it’s made my career.

PG: How does innovation and technology affect the beverage industry?

Tara Hannaford: Let me know when our distributors start using it (lol!). In seriousness, what used to be a 10 year time span on average of launching a brand and growing it to commercial success has been shortened to half that time or even shorter with the influence of technology. Reaching consumers with brand media and innovative tech marketing has been invaluable and has allowed that ramp up to be exponentially shorter and getting to consumers across the country if not the globe.

PG: Bev is very transparent about its social messaging. How big of a factor was company culture and social alignment when making your decision to join the Bev Team?

Tara Hannaford: It was everything. Our founder Alix Peabody was very clear on her “why” of creating opportunities for female leadership and entrepreneurship–where we have been historically underrepresented. What made it most attractive to me is that we’re doing this from a place of excitement and joy, not in anger or a sense of being against anything. It’s taking the initiative to carve out space for ourselves without the baggage of animosity or any sense of coming from a negative place. I love that Bev is about inclusiveness and breaking the glass for anyone that’s been underrepresented and that’s exactly why I joined the company. 

PG: Based on your digital footprint –  it seems like you are involved in so many things. How do you achieve work/life balance? Do think it is possible to achieve? Feel free to give us your best tips on this! 

I’m a firm believer in establishing and keeping my boundaries, intentionally carving out space where I prioritize my family and my health. Be intentional with carving out time for your personal life — put it in your calendar as a tangible statement to the importance of work/life balance! Of course, managing work/life balance is helped by the fact that I have so much joy in my work in both what I do and who I am with. 

PG: Clearly fitness and sports is a passion of yours. What lessons have you learned in that aspect of your life that have helped you create profession success? 

Tara Hannaford: How you do anything is how you do everything. The focused discipline being utilized during my workouts in the gym is the same discipline being applied to my professional life. Physical activity is truly so important to getting my mind into peak state and being able to produce at work.

PG: What intangibles do you look for in a teammate or team member as you develop Bev’s portfolio?

Tara Hannaford: Grit and humility. At Bev, all egos are checked at the door (yes, including mine). We serve the brand with no self-interest. If you are willing to run through a wall for Bev, DM me!

PG: Who is your mentor or benchmark?

Tara Hannaford: John Esposito. In my mind, he is a consummate leader in the wine and spirits industry. He treats people with dignity and makes everyone feel like they matter regardless of position. He hires talented people and instills trust in them to do their job. It takes a high level of confidence to live up to that level of leadership. John is the first great example of leadership I had. He is about his people and carries himself completely without ego.

PG: What is your motto, mantra, or “words to live by”?

How you do anything is how you do everything. 

PG: What is your hype song?

Diva by Beyoncé from the Homecoming album

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