We’re thrilled to introduce you to ONEHOPE’s Co-Founder, VP of Partnerships, and new head of the ONEHOPE Foundation, Kristen Shroyer! Between leading our company as one of the powerhouse female founders, volunteering in her local community, steering the ship as her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop “Cookie Captain,” being a full-time superhero parent, and now heading up the ONEHOPE Foundation, there isn’t much that Kristen can’t do. Learn more about her impressive background, passion projects, and more in our Q&A below.
Tell us about your start with ONEHOPE.
I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and worked in the restaurant and beverage industry throughout high school and college. My parents are avid wine drinkers, so we took many family trips when I was younger to Napa, Sonoma and the Central Coast. As a result, I was always fascinated by wine – the art and science of making it, the joy people had when sharing it with one another, and more!
(Pic below taken around 2004: On a trip to Napa when I was a Junior in college. Just behind me to left is now ONEHOPE’s flagship property!)
After graduating from The University of Arizona, I moved to Southern California to begin my wine career – selling wine in high profile/high volume grocery stores for the world’s largest winery. It was at my first day of orientation that I met Jake Kloberdanz. Soon after I met Tom, Tiffany, Sarah and Brandon. Of course I didn’t know it at the time, but these amazing people would soon be my partners and Co-Founders!
During October, we noticed hundreds of brands supporting breast cancer awareness month by doing cause-marketing campaigns with non-profits. But at the end of the month, everything stopped. So we asked the simple question – why stop? Let’s create a cause brand that supports amazing causes 365 days a year.
I was working in Napa and Sonoma managing trade and consumer events in tasting rooms when Jake gave me the call that he officially started ONEHOPE. Without hesitation, I quit my job and moved back to Southern California to help launch this incredible company!
Why is giving back important to you?
Giving back and helping others has always been important, I would not be the person I am today without it. One of my earliest memories of giving back was in 2nd grade when my Brownie troop made Valentine’s Day cards and delivered them to a local nursing home. The joy it brought all of us, by doing something so simple, was incredible.
I’ll never forget when we issued one of our first ONEHOPE donation checks to ACT Today. Tom Leahy and I got to call the family that received the grant money to fund their son’s ABA therapy. The mother was in tears on the phone, thanking us and telling us how much this will help him and change his life.
We live in a crazy, fast-paced world. Giving back and helping one another connects us to what matters most and what we all have in common.
Is there a cause that you are most passionate about?
This is a difficult question, because while I’ve been personally affected by some causes – I’ve grown emotionally connected to many others from our incredible community of Cause Entrepreneurs.
I’ve lost several close friends to cancer, so funding research and finding a cure will always be something I’m very passionate about. My husband is a United States Army Veteran, so supporting the brave men and women in uniform that protect our freedom is also a cause near and dear to my heart. My father-in-law suddenly died two years ago from a heart defect, so educating others on their risks and symptoms of heart disease is important to me. Animals have also changed my life and are a constant reminder of the good and beauty in this world.
Last but not least, I’m passionate about paying it forward and helping organizations that have helped get me to where I am today. Locally in Arizona, I have served on the Arizona Animal Welfare League’s board, and currently I serve on the Scottsdale Unified School District Foundation Board. Last month I co-chaired a district-wide talent show that helped raise over $50,000 for our schools. I’m also the appointed “Cookie Captain” for both my daughter’s Girl Scout troops, because I’m very passionate about raising the next generation of female entrepreneurs!
Tell us about your new role with the ONEHOPE Foundation.
Over the past 12 years, my ONEHOPE career has been heavily involved with our sales team – starting with regionally managing distributors, to then overseeing larger national wholesale accounts and partners. Creating and building strong relationships with our partners has always been a key skill I’ve brought to the team. I’m so excited to take on this new role as your EVP of the ONEHOPE Foundation to also oversee our non-profit partnerships.
I look forward to supporting our community by sharing the tremendous impact they are making through the ONEHOPE Foundation and our cause partners. I’m also very inspired by our community on what personally drives them to create change, and to also share the local impact they are making with their hosts.
Overall, I hope to bring my background in sales, partnerships and strategy to ensure the impact we are making together is communicated effectively to our community and consumers.
Who is an important role model in your life and why?
Hands down, my dad (Steve). He is the hardest working and most generous person I have ever met. My dad came from very little means and started working miscellaneous construction jobs when he was just 13 years old to help provide for his family. Although he was one of the brightest students in high school, my dad couldn’t afford college. It has always been one of his biggest regrets, and one he never wanted his children to have.
I was honestly fearless when starting ONEHOPE because of my dad. He started his own construction business when I was young, and has grown it to a thriving business. He’s 110% dedicated to his craft and his clients, I’m constantly amazed at what he’s able to build and create. To this day at age 67, he still works 80+ hour weeks with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
What does the future look like for the ONEHOPE Foundation?
As our community of Cause Entrepreneurs and customers grow, so does our impact. From our first donation check of $4,913 (below), to now reaching nearly $5M in donations – we are solving problems and changing the world together! ONEHOPE’s flagship winery and home in Rutherford will also be a tremendous resource for the ONEHOPE Foundation. Our Harvest Party alone funded 3 schools with Pencils of Promise!
What’s currently in your wine fridge?
I’m a New Zealand Sauvy B girl, so I always have several of those in my fridge (and also on my Subscribe to Save plan!). I’m also a huge fan of our Monterey County Pinot Noir and North Coast Gewurztraminer. Mari, our head winemaker, is so incredibly talented – each wine she creates is certainly a work of art.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
No surprise to many of you, but a Golden Retriever. Always smiling, a loyal friend, loves running outdoors and eating yummy treats. That’s me!
Fun and random fact: I’m the proud creator of “International Golden Retriever Day” held every year on February 3rd. After noticing there wasn’t an established holiday for Goldens, I created one and, with the help of my blog and social media, people across the globe now celebrate it every year! February 3rd is the birthday of Quincey, our sweet golden boy. We lost him to cancer at the early age of 7, but his love will forever live on through the magic of this holiday!