It Takes Guts: From Ukrainian Refugee to Kefir CEO, moderated by Jessica Yellin

Mar 12, 2023

4:00pm – 5:00pm CT

This session has changed to 4pm in Waller Ballroom EF at the Austin Marriott Downtown.

As the CEO of Lifeway Foods, America’s leading supplier of the ancient Slavic superfood known as kefir, Julie Smolyansky knows what it means to follow and lead with your gut. In this session, Julie will explain how her Ukrainian background and becoming the youngest female CEO of a publicly traded company at the age of 27 after her father’s sudden death prepared her for the road ahead. She’ll share how she’s helped popularize kefir in America and continued Lifeway’s growth trajectory with creative product development and marketing, how to trust your gut in business decisions while supporting your surrounding community, as well as the many health benefits of kefir. Join this inspiring talk about perserverance and grit moderated by journalist and former Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

photo of Julie Smolyansky
Julie Smolyansky


photo of Jessica Yellin
Jessica Yellin

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