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Organizational Updates From the Ninkasi Mothership

Mar 29, 2017 Comments (1) Organizational Updates From the Ninkasi Mothership


We’ve come a long way in 10 years. Starting with bringing to life the dream Jamie and I both had, to a company now employing over 100. Even if I tried, I could not have predicted where we would be today. That’s why I’m excited to announce some key promotions here at the mothership that will helps us continue to grow and lead our teams through the next 10 years (and beyond!). 

We are proudly independent and continue to operate under our core purpose: Perpetuate Better Living. We look forward to better the experience of our customers, employees and partners with these new roles and will continue to offer the tastiest craft beer possible.

- Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi CEO

Cheryl Collins Announced as New Ninkasi CEO

Officially announced today, we are honored to hand off the baton and appoint Cheryl Collins as our next CEO effective May 1, 2017.

Current chief operations officer, Cheryl Collins, began her career with us in 2012 and has held senior roles at the brewery including VP of organizational development and chief people officer.

In the past five years at Ninkasi, Cheryl has spearheaded employee recruitment, training and onboarding programs, implemented Continuous Improvement strategies and best practices across brewery operations, fostered teambuilding activities to nurture organizational culture, implemented safety protocols and initiatives, facilitated leadership development, contributed to employer branding, and helped oversee the leadership and implementation of company strategies. 

This transition marks a milestone as we continue to evolve into a more mature company. Now that we have established ourselves with world class brewing facilities and an exceptional team, Cheryl’s leadership will focus on strengthening our capabilities in an ever-changing industry.

Current CEO and co-founder Nikos Ridge will assume the role of president and will remain on the brewery’s board. 

For more details, read our official press release

Daniel Sharp, Ph.D., Director of Brewing Operations

Joining Ninkasi last year, Daniel came on board as our director of brewing process development focused on improving our capabilities and leading educational and research efforts across the company. His new role as our director of brewing operations includes leading and coordinating our teams across brewing, cellaring and quality.

Like his title suggest, Daniel holds a Doctorate from Oregon State University in Food Science and Technology. His research studies focused on brewing factors that contribute to hop aroma in beer. Daniel has taught undergraduate courses in brewing science and has presented his hop aroma research at the Craft Brewer’s Conference, both the regional and national Master Brewers Association of the Americas meetings, and the World Brewing Congress. Additionally, he has received research awards from the Barth-Haas hop group and the American Society of Brewing Chemists. Basically, he loves hops.

Daniel is not new to the Ninkasi family. In 2010 he interned with our quality team while attending and completing his Doctorate. Daniel’s scientific and educational approach to our brewing operations is an exciting addition to our leadership.

Sarah Johnson, Chief Customer Officer

Sarah came to us with a wealth of experience in the food and beverage industry. Initially joining as our director of retail partnerships in 2016, Sarah will transition to her new role as our chief customer officer, integrating sales, marketing and innovation teams under her leadership.

Previous to joining us in Eugene, Sarah was the director of food & beverage at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. There she was the Resort’s resident beer expert with a Certified Cicerone® title, the first female in Nevada to earn this distinction.

Sarah’s love for beer began while attending the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, where she began to develop an in-depth knowledge of beer in the city. In 2005, she became Chef de Partie in the chocolate kitchen of Wynn Resort before moving to miX restaurant at Mandalay Bay where she began to gain experience in culinary administration. Sarah later earned a promotion to director of food & beverage for Mandalay Bay and decided it was time to take her love for beer seriously and began to study for the Certified Cicerone exam. She expanded her knowledge of the ancient beverage in order to complete the extensive exam that designates an expertise in “selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers.”

Sarah’s depth of beer, food and leadership experience make her an exceptional addition to our teams. We are thrilled to elevate the work of our sales and marketing with her guidance.

Comments (1)

  1. Mat Beecher:
    Mar 29, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    This is amazing on so many levels. It's great to see promotability and amazing people in leadership. I think the only thing that impresses me about Ninkasi more than your beer is your culture. Y'all are on the leading edge of organizational culture and that's something for which I will certainly raise a glass. Congrats Cheryl.

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