Chief Executive Officer
Scott Lerner is a consumer products veteran with over 20 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, having previously worked for PepsiCo, ConAgra Foods and Kimberly-Clark, where he managed iconic brands such as Naked Juice, Quaker Oats, Scott Tissue and Parkay Margarine. In 2008, Scott created his own beverage brand called Solixir, resulting in a successful exit in 2014. Following the sale of Solixir, Scott partnered with the private equity group VMG partners to become the CEO of Kernel Season’s, where he introduced new product lines, increased profitability by 30% and oversaw the sale of the company to Highlander Partners. Mr. Lerner was most recently the CEO of food brand Farmhouse Culture, where he partnered with private equity investors to reposition the brand in order to capitalize on growing health and wellness trends.
Executive Vice President, Sales
Donald Young joins The Better Choice Company with more than 29 years of experience leading the sales organizations of several prominent pet specialty pet food brands including The Nutro Company (Natural Choice, MAX, and Greenies Brands) and Merrick Pet Care, Inc. (Merrick, Backcountry, Purrfect Bistro and Fresh Kisses Brands). Following his success at The Nutro Company, Mr. Young led the turnaround and expansion of Merrick Pet Care’s Pet Specialty business from 2010 – 2020, where he was directly responsible for growing the company from a niche brand to the #3 natural player in the pet specialty retail channel. Merrick Pet Care more than quadrupled its sales during this period, surpassing $500m in the process and ultimately leading to the sale of Merrick Pet Care to the Nestle Purina Company. Donald has also been recognized by his peers in the Pet Industry for his track record of success, winning numerous sales awards throughout his career including recognition as one of Pet Age Magazine’s 2019 ICON Winners.
Executive Vice President, Digital Sales
Jennifer Condon joins Better Choice Company from Mizkan America, where she was the head of E-Commerce and Shopper Marketing for brands including Ragu, Bertolli, Nakano and Holland House. From 2014 – 2019, Jennifer led Merrick Pet Care’s E-Commerce sales platform and was directly responsible for increasing online sales to $130 million in 2019, representing a 30% CAGR over five years. In addition to her work directly with E-Commerce retailers such as Amazon and Chewy, Jennifer has experience building her own direct-to-consumer business and was instrumental in the development of Lands’ End.com. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Executive Vice President, Strategy
Rob Sauermann joined Better Choice Company in December 2019, concurrent with the acquisition of Halo, and currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Strategy & Finance for Better Choice. Prior to joining the Halo team full-time in October 2019 as its Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Sauermann served as an Investment Professional at Pegasus Capital Advisors. In that role, he also served on the board of Halo from 2017 through 2019, and led the successful restructuring and sale of the company to Better Choice. While at Pegasus, he deployed approximately $100 million of growth equity capital across various sectors, with a particular focus on animal health and wellness focused investments. Mr. Sauermann previously served on the boards of Organix Recycling, National Strategies, and currently serves on the board of SGV International. Mr. Sauermann began his career at Credit Suisse in New York. Mr. Sauermann is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a degree in Economics and Earth and Planetary Science.
Vice President, Marketing
Ryan Wilson is a consumer products marketing leader with over 13 years of experience in the consumer-packaged goods industry, having previously worked for Merrick Pet Care, Abbott Nutrition, Nestle Purina, and Kimberly-Clark. Ryan’s recent successes at Merrick Pet Care include turning around a declining Zukes brand, launching Merrick Fresh Kisses, and doubling the profitability of Castor & Pollux. Ryan has been recognized for his success by industry peers and received the 2018 Pet Age Vanguard Series Award for Leaders in the Pet Industry. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and a Master of Business Administration in Brand and Product Management from The University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Vice President of Supply Chain & Logistics
Alex Vournas is a highly accomplished Supply Chain professional who most recently was the Director of Supply Chain at Solid Gold Pet LLC, where he oversaw global distribution and logistics and was responsible for managing multiple international and domestic co-manufactures and warehouses, outsourced transportation and ordering logistics. Among many other accomplishments, Alex was responsible for managing the logistics related to the company’s significant expansion into Asia, which culminated in a sale of the business to Hong Kong based H&H Group in November 2020. In addition to his experience at Solid Gold, Alex has been a Supply Chain Director at various companies for over 10 years, including Anheuser-Busch and Sara Lee. Alex Vournas holds a Master of Business Administration in Management from St. Louis University.