About Tohi

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.

The Founders

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.

Tohi
Shari Coulter Ford

SHARI COULTER FORD

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 Hawkins

ELMA HAWKINS Ph.D

Co-Founder

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.”

Shana K. Raines

SHANA K. RAINES

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 Kelley

MADISON KELLEY

Marketing Associate

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.”

Joe Sodergren

JOE SODERGREN

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.”

Austin Soendker

AUSTIN SOENDKER

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.”

Tohi
Aronia Berries

Tohi Advisors

Kathy Walker

Managing Director of OpenAir Equity Partners. Former Chief Network Officer and Chief Information Officer of Sprint

Heidi Lehmann

Chief Commercial Officer of Kenzen, a VC-funded, early stage diagnostic wearables company

Jonathan Mariner

Former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Major League Baseball

Jim Tonkin

Founder of Healthy Brand Builders

Our Values

Impact Wellness

Innovate and support efforts that function to advance human health.

Be Respectful

Act with integrity and be helpful.

Show Appreciation

Honor/treasure nature, heritage and our environment. Take time to be in awe.

Contribute

Strive for purpose, creativity, passion and curiosity: push for more.

Be Resilient

Learn from disappointments & focus on accomplishing goals.