Seth Goldman

Co-Founder and TeaEO Emeritus of Honest Tea, Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat, and Best-Selling Author
Seth Goldman
  • Grew Honest Tea from an idea in his kitchen to 100 million bottles produced per year
  • Mission-driven leader recognized for his leadership and commitment to transparency
  • Shares insights on sparking innovation and driving growth while staying true to organizational values

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Seth Goldman is TeaEO Emeritus and Co-Founder of Honest Tea. Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling organic bottled tea and is carried in more than 100,000 outlets. It was repeatedly recognized as one of Inc. magazine’s fastest growing companies and has grown (organically) from five thermoses to well over 100 million bottles a year. In 2011, Coca-Cola purchased the company, making Honest Tea the first organic and Fair Trade brand in the world’s largest beverage distribution system. It was also recently ranked by the Huffington Post as one of the leading “Eight Revolutionary Socially Responsible Companies” and the Better World Shopping Guide called it one of the “Ten Best Companies on the Planet.” The company is a mission-driven innovator and continues to be recognized for its leadership, commitment to transparency, and unconventional marketing techniques.

An entrepreneur and activist at heart, Goldman started with lemonade stands and newspaper routes as a kid, created a non-profit urban service program, and nearly pursued a prize-winning biotechnology idea before he started Honest Tea in his kitchen. His most recent entrepreneurship venture has been taking the position of executive chairman of Beyond Meat, a start-up whose plant-based products aim to mimic the taste and protein value of meat. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities, Inc. speakers bureau, he discusses growth, leadership, and innovation.

Mission in a Bottle. Goldman and Nalebuff are celebrated authors in addition to entrepreneurs. Their best-selling book, Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently – and Succeeding, tells the story of how two outsiders to the beverage industry managed to overcome the odds. Told in comic book format, they describe their missteps, near-death experiences, and occasional wins as they relied on passion and economic theory to build the business, raise capital, scramble for distribution, innovate products, labels, and packaging – all the while remaining true to their message and their mission and ultimately creating the world’s top-selling organic bottled tea. They offer a wealth of insights and advice to entrepreneurs about the challenges and hurdles of creating a successful business – and the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving.

Honest Experience. Before launching Honest Tea, Goldman was the vice president of the Calvert Group, which created the Calvert Social Index. There, he managed the marketing and sales efforts for the nation’s largest family of socially responsible mutual funds. His previous work also includes directing an AmeriCorps demonstration project in Baltimore and serving as Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s deputy press secretary. He has also worked in Beijing and Moscow.

In 2008, Goldman co-founded Bethesda Green, a local sustainability initiative in HONEST Tea’s hometown. The initiative helped area restaurants convert their grease waste into biodiesel, and has diverted over 200,000 lbs of electronic waste from landfills. He currently serves on its board.

Goldman is a graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Management and holds an honorary doctorate of laws from American University. In 2009, he was the recipient of Net Impact’s Member Achievement Award, and he is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

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Driving Growth through Innovation. Seth Goldman is part entrepreneur and part activist, but he readily admits that in order to accomplish philanthropic goals, business has to be booming. In an entertaining and eye-opening presentation, he shares his insights on how to spark innovation and drive growth while staying true to the organization’s mission and values. He shares anecdotes of how two outsiders to the beverage industry managed to overcome the odds and create a business that Inc. repeatedly recognized as one of the fastest growing in the nation. From a commitment to transparency to unconventional marketing techniques, he looks at what it means to be a mission-driven innovator and how values-based leadership, passion, and sound economic theory combine to create a culture that is constantly asking, “What is the next step?” Goldman offers a wealth of insights and advice to executives about the challenges and hurdles of creating and managing a successful business – and the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving.

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