Meet The Team
CEO and Co-Founder
Sean Hsu brings more than twelve years in robotic engineering, industrial engineering and process efficiency to Botrista Technology, Inc. A serial entrepreneur, Hsu owns dozens of technology and invention patents. Prior to co-founding Botrista, Hsu spent four years with Tesla where he specialized in robotics and was responsible for developing automation manufacturing lines at multiple factories as well as the liquid dispensing process. In his role as Chief Executive Officer, Hsu leads all departments of the company, including growth strategy, success planning, sales goals and operations.
Hsu was recognized for his technology leadership with the prestigious MIT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award, the Red Dot Design Award, as well as more than twenty five other product innovation honors. Hsu received his Masters of Engineering of Manufacturing from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the Stanford University School of Business.
Corporate Director/Retired CEO with a track record of turnarounds and growth in most segments of the food & beverage industry — from CPG to fast food to fine dining. Have led up to 64,000 employees. Experience doing business in 57 countries. Strong at leadership, strategy, marketing, operations and technology. 5-for-5 in turnarounds.
After leading Red Lobster for 14 years as President and CEO, including three turnarounds under three different owners, Lopdrup retired on August 2, 2021.
Advisory Board Member
Don Fox is a restaurant industry veteran with 48 years of experience, predominately in the QSR and Fast Casual segments. His first job was scrubbing pots and pans at the dish sink of a local Italian restaurant in NJ. He began his management career in 1976 with Six Flags amusement parks. In 1980, he embarked upon a 23 year career with Burger King Corporation, which included assignments in R&D and field operations. Don joined Firehouse Subs in 2003 as Director of Franchise Compliance, rose to COO in 2005, and became CEO in 2009.
In 2011, Fox was awarded the Operator of the Year Award by Nation's Restaurant News. In 2013, he received the Silver Plate Award from the International Food Manufacturers Association, and was named the #1 executive in the Fast Casual segment by FastCasual.com. Each year since 2018, he has earned a spot on the list of the Florida 500 - Florida's Most Influential Business Leaders. In 2019, he was named an Industry Titan by Women's Food Service Forum.
Chief Strategy Officer Jason Valentine brings more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including leadership on both Franchisee and Franchisor sides. Most recently, he was President of the national brand Zoup! Eatery and completed a successful acquisition plan. Valentine has been listed on Restaurant Business News' Power 20 list and has been a featured speaker at the Restaurant Leadership Conference and the Fast Casual Executive Summit.
Momo Wu is an experienced board member and company builder and operator. She has 10 years of venture capitalist experience with multiple high return exists and has overseen company portfolios with over a decade of experience across an array of industries. Momo specializes in taking businesses to the next level, whether closing series funding, increasing revenue 5x in one year, or expanding partnerships internationally.
SVP of Revenue & National Accounts
With over 20 years of experience in the Food and Beverage Industry, Emily specializes in driving tailor made customer solutions to increase profit and bottom line. She has extensive experience developing successful beverage programs with a proven track record of building win-win customer relationships within all channels of the industry. Prior to Botrista, Emily worked for Coca-Cola leading the sales and development teams, accelerating and growing growth by 3x year over year, and was responsible for over $200M. At Aramark Refreshments, she grew national partnerships within the food service and on premise channel. Emily is an evangelist of menu trends, consumer demand, and is passionate about collaborating with partners to drive innovation within the industry.
SVP of Marketing
Mara Behrens is a creative marketer with 20+ years of experience. She is passionate about crafting brand experiences and thrive on innovative solutions. Some relevant experience: Mara co-founded a luxury e-commerce startup, which was acquired by Moda Operandi. She also led marketing and design at EAT Club, achieving a 40X growth. Besides that, she also led marketing, design, PR, and UI/UX at Chowbotics which was acquired by DoorDash, then joined DoorDash as Head of Marketing and Design for Chowbotics.
VP of US Field Service
Hector has more than 20 years of Operations Experience; most recently, he was the National Director of Partner Operations at Bevi, leading the operations of the Partner/Distributor market , and aligning their operations for execution. Before leading Bevi, Hector was the operations Market Unit Director at the Coca-Cola Company. Leading the restructuring and service support for local and national Coca-Cola accounts, including Mcdonalds, Burger King, AMC theaters, and more. Hector plays an active role in the NYC community. He is a member of the National Social fraternity Lambda Sigma Upsilon, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the NYC Mentoring program. Hector graduated with an MBA from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor's from the University of New Paltz in Computer Engineering.
VP of Beverage Program
Nikki Lazar is a results-driven, enthusiastic sales leader with over 15 years of experience in the F&B industry. She is skilled in developing the right action plan for each of her client's unique needs and committed to helping them grow their businesses. Throughout her career, she has led National Sales teams made up of 5-15 employees, generating over $100 million in revenue. She attributes her success to her proactive approach & ability to listen to the customers and put their needs first. In her free time, Nikki enjoys being active, taking advantage of the NYC food scene & traveling.
VP of Strategy & Revenue Operation
Nolan Schachter applies his decade of experience in sales and his industry expertise in food and beverage technology to his role as VP of Strategy & Revenue Operations at Botrista. Prior to joining Botrista, Nolan was the VP of Customer Success at Chowbotics, a leading food robotics company which was acquired by DoorDash. After the acquisition, Nolan was promoted to Head of Sales Operations, where he increased closing velocity, scaled onboarding, and built sales strategies for a team that sold millions of dollars of food automation equipment across North America.
VP of Channel Strategic Partnerships
Lucas Beard has experience scaling startups and optimizing growth-stage businesses. He most recently worked at Spin (the micromobility company) as the VP of Growth and Marketing where he helped the company triple in size. Previously, Lucas led technology management consulting teams at McKinsey & Company. Lucas has graduate degrees in Business and Politics from UC Berkeley and Stanford University, respectively. Now, Lucas has joined Botrista as VP of Channel Strategic Partnerships to oversee, foster and scale partnerships to maximize market and internal growth.
VP of Growth & Marketing
As VP of Growth for Botrista, Amy leads the partnership and marketing strategy, partnering with restaurant brands to expand its beverage menu and to improve their overall profit. Before Botrista, Amy was the VP of a SaaS company and grew the business by 35x in 1.5 years. Amy had also built and launched a MaaS business from scratch for a mobility company and expanded its business to Singapore, Japan, and Indonesia. Before that, she was in charge of the private placement and had raised $432M for the company. With her finance/VC background, Amy is also an angel investor in SaaS, fintech, and food tech startups.
Sr. Director of Beverage Program
Mike Kita was on the operator side of food and beverage as a restaurant owner and area developer for a national fast casual chain. He also served on the Franchise Advisory Council, which gave him more insight into how decisions are made at the corporate level that affect the entire system. Mike applies his decades of business ownership experience and knowledge of both sides of the restaurant industry to best serve his customers as Sr. Director of Beverage Program at Botrista.
Sr. Director of Beverage Program
As Sr. Director of Beverage Development, Jordyn specializes in creating customized beverage solutions to capture consumer demand and increase overall profit for her clients. She has extensive consultative experience in the food and beverage industry and a proven track record of building brand awareness and strengthening restaurant, hotel and c-store brands. Jordyn is based out of Nashville, TN and in her free time enjoys live music, hiking and traveling to new cities.
Sr. Director of Beverage Program
Aaron Flowers is well-versed in the food and beverage industry. Aaron began in account management at Dr Pepper/Snapple Group, then business development at HEB, climbing the ladder at Coca-Cola from Marketing Development Manager, Account Manager to Sales Development Manager. His near-decade experience in Sales have shaped his savviness, strong interpersonal skills and consistency that he applies to his role as the Director of Beverage Program.
Director of Beverage Program
Briana Jurado currently serves as the Director of Beverage Program at Botrista Technology. She brings almost a decade of experience in the beverage industry after beginning her career with Coca-Cola. Briana has successfully built beverage programs for hundreds of local and National accounts. Her current focus is helping foodservice operators drive beverage profit by expanding and enhancing their beverage offerings to capture consumer demand.
Director of Marketing
.Leah Letcher has applied her expertise working with brands across the United States and internationally, including a variety of industries such as Tech, CPG and food and beverage. She received her MBA from SDA Bocconi in Milan, after which she joined Campari Group in Italy and worked her way up to Brand Manager of the Italian Portfolio in New York. Returning to San Francisco as Global Marketing Manager at Uber before earning the role of Chief of Staff to the Head of Global Mobility Marketing. From Milan to New York City to San Francisco, Leah brings her passion for brand management, long term strategic planning and creative problem solving to shape and propel the brands.
Kacie Beth applies her years of experience in Public Relations and Marketing, primarily in the tech B2B sector, to her role as Marketing Manager through developing strategies and tactics to boost brand awareness, generating new business leads and ultimately increasing sales at Botrista.