Tohi is a healthy lifestyle brand. We create innovative consumer products in the Healthier For You consumer space. Tohi beverages are the ﬁrst realization of Tohi Ventures’ vision: a naturally functioning, clean label drink that can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere.
Tohi Ventures is the creation of two female friends. Lifelong advocates for empowered personal health awareness, they were looking for ways to help themselves, and others like them, make purposeful decisions in the pursuit of wellness.
Inspired by the traditional use of natural foods and herbs for healing and balance, they chose the name Tohi, a Cherokee word meaning both “peace” and “wellness” because the two are so deeply intertwined. Tohi also represents life, a deep appreciation for the earth and our stewardship of it.
The perfect blend of nature and science, Tohi Aronia Berry Beverages were developed with respect for the environment, in collaboration with Aronia Berry growers and from a desire to contribute to a healthier world.
CEO & Co-Founder
Shari is an experienced equity investor, entrepreneur, corporate executive, non-proﬁt board chair and intrapreneur. She has led healthcare related investments for a NYC-based private investment fund and was CEO of New York City’s ﬁrst, VC-backed accelerator for early stage tech companies.
Shari is a graduate of the Wharton Management program and has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Shari and her husband are devoted cyclists having logged more than 15,000 miles together on roads and trails.
“Tohi is the perfect expression of the conﬂuence of my experiences and inﬂuences: including my grandparents farm, my love of the outdoors, my passion for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and my career focused on building and innovating.”
Elma has more than 35 years of experience in biotechnology drug development, corporate development, fundraising and general management, with a special focus on oncology.
Dr. Hawkins holds multiple degrees including a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and has served in a number of senior positions in corporate development, strategic planning, preclinical and clinical research.
A ﬁrm believer in a balanced life, Elma is a passionate pianist as well as an enthusiastic modiste, who creates her own clothing designs.
“I have seen ﬁrsthand the positive impact of empowered personal health awareness. My goal is to maximize the potential health beneﬁts of Aronia Berries and introduce them to a larger audience. I truly believe Tohi is the perfect blend of nature and science.”
VP, Growth Marketing & eCommerce
Shana brings 15+ years of marketing and advertising experience to Tohi, with a rich knowledge of brand development and omnichannel marketing strategies for highly regulated industries.
She’s led global launch initiatives for brands and products across a vast range of B2B and B2C markets including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, information technology and consumer packaged goods.
A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a B.A. in Psychology, her career in marketing is a natural extension of her curiosity about human behavior with the added satisfaction of bringing value through a product, service, solution or engagement.
“As a woman, mother, wife, and working professional, I revel in the fact that I am working to launch Tohi with an audience that I wholeheartedly consider myself to be in. Today’s chaos is the unfortunate new norm and Tohi is striving to bring a little respite to the seven-day-a-week, full-time, non-stop warriors.”
Madison graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Journalism. An avid writer and social media enthusiast, she has worked as a reporter for several publications and was part of a team of women that founded their own magazine in partnership with Meredith Corporation.
Along with writing a novel in her free time, she is an enthusiastic traveler, reader and frequent companion to her dog, Penny.
“I believe in what Tohi stands for and the products that are made for people just like me. I’m surrounded by dedicated people that care about health and wellness and that makes all the difference.”
eCommerce & Digital Marketing Associate
Joe is a graduate of The University of Kansas School of Business, where his studies centered around Entrepreneurship. While in school, he completed a two-year Customer Development Operations internship at Colgate Palmolive subsidiary Hill’s Pet Nutrition, in an eCommerce strategy/execution role with concentrated focus on the Amazon platform.
A lifelong Jayhawk fan and native Kansan, Joe is a passionate observer of human behavior and is continually educating himself on history and the arts.
“As a longtime admirer of the Kansas City startup community I’m thrilled to be a part of this innovative team as we launch Tohi. I am eager to connect consumers with Tohi in new and exciting ways.”
Finance & Operations Associate
Austin has more than ﬁve years of business development, banking and ﬁnance. A ﬁrm believer in building and cultivating relationships, he has been recognized several times for improving processes, increasing customer engagement and loyalty and community involvement.
Austin is currently pursuing an MBA through the UMKC Bloch School of Management on full scholarship with a focus on Entrepreneurship/Innovation and Finance. He’s a dedicated KC sports fan, ﬁtness enthusiast and plays a decent game of golf.
“I joined Tohi because of my interest in ﬁtness and producing a product that helps people achieve wellness as well as the opportunity of taking a challenge to build a KC startup.”
Managing Director of OpenAir Equity Partners. Former Chief Network Officer and Chief Information Officer of Sprint
Chief Commercial Officer of Kenzen, a VC-funded, early stage diagnostic wearables company
Former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Major League Baseball
Founder of Healthy Brand Builders
Innovate and support efforts that function to advance human health.
Act with integrity and be helpful.
Honor/treasure nature, heritage and our environment. Take time to be in awe.
Strive for purpose, creativity, passion and curiosity: push for more.
Learn from disappointments & focus on accomplishing goals.