How Business Works

John Bello, A68, A13P, is the inaugural speaker for the Tufts Legends of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Series on November 2

Founding and running a successful business is more than a full-time job—it’s a calling. Learning from those who have started businesses is often critical, so the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center has started the Tufts Legends of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Series. Its first speaker is John Bello, A68, A13P, founder and former CEO of SoBe and a trustee of the university.

Bello started SoBe, a brand of nutritionally enhanced teas and juices, in 1995 and sold it to PepsiCo in 2001 for $370 million. In 2001, Ernst and Young named Bello National Entrepreneur of the Year in the consumer products category for his work with SoBe. Prior to founding SoBe, Bello spent fourteen years at National Football League Properties, the marketing arm of the NFL. As president, Bello was credited with building NFL Properties into a sports marketing leader. Before the NFL, he worked for Pepsi-Cola in marketing and strategic planning and at General Foods, where he held product management roles on the Sanka and Maxwell House brands.

Currently, Bello is managing director of JoNa Ventures, a family investment and venture firm he co-manages with his wife Nancy. Bello is chairman of Reed’s All-Natural Beverages, a publicly traded company that manufactures and markets a line of authentic ginger beers and naturally brewed soft drinks under the Virgil’s brand name. Prior to JoNa, he was general partner in Sherbrooke Capital, a health and wellness venture firm in Boston, where he was chairman of IZZE Beverage Company, which was sold to Pepsi in 2006.

In addition to being a member of the Tufts Board of Trustees, Bello is also on the Tufts Athletics Advisory Board.

The talk will take place at Cohen Auditorium, in the Aidekman Arts Center at 40 Talbot Avenue, Medford, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.; admission is free. Go here to register.

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