Our Team


Our leadership team has been purposefully assembled to deliver an exceptional product across every Argo channel. From ready-to-drink refreshments optimized for retail to hand-crafted excellence at the cafe counter, our team is steeped in ongoing customer insights, operational excellence, and every component of quality — from leaf to bottle to cup.


Board of Directors


Arsen Avakian

Arsen is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cooler Screens. Prior to Cooler Screens, Arsen founded Argo Tea in 2003 and has built into one of the most respected CPG tea brands and the largest tea café chain globally. Prior to founding Argo Tea, Arsen led the business development and corporate ventures group of i2 Technologies, the pioneer and global leader in supply chain management software solutions.


Greg Wasson

Greg is the co-founder of Wasson Enterprise, a family-based investment firm that believes in the power of entrepreneurship. Greg is the former President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and currently serves as board member of Health Care Service Corporation, Performance Health Systems, Innovation Associates, Innventure, and is a former board member of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Verizon Communications Inc., and PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.


Glen Tullman

Glen is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Livongo, and co-founder and Managing Partner of 7wire Ventures, a Chicago-based investment firm focused on healthcare and education. Glen has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts, the leading global provider of Electronic Health Records, Practice Management and Electronic Prescribing systems, where he led its IPO and secondary offerings.


Matthew J. Shattock

Since April 2019, Matthew Shattock serves as non-executive chairman of the board of Beam Suntory Inc., the world’s third-largest premium spirits company. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Beam Suntory, having joined Beam in March 2009 as president and CEO and led the company’s successful growth strategy transformation and subsequent integration of the Beam and Suntory spirits businesses following Beam’s acquisition by Suntory in 2014.


Roy Yu

Roy is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of experience in finance, corporate development and investment activities. Most recently, Roy was the President and Chief Financial Officer of Argo Tea, one of the most respected tea brands globally. Prior to Argo Tea, Roy was a private equity investor with American Securities and ICV Partners. Roy started his career in M&A investment banking with Merrill Lynch.


Neil Golden

Neil Golden is a Fortune 500 Consumer Products/Retail Executive with 29+ years of C-level/national leadership and long history of Board engagement. Golden is currently a member of the Faculty for Northwestern University’s Medill School of Integrated Marketing Communications. He also serves as an independent board director for Restaurant Brands International, Home Partners of America, Supply Logic as well as an Executive Consultant with Revenue Management Solutions. Prior to this, he enjoyed a nearly 25 year career with McDonald’s; his most recent position was Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s USA, which he held for more than six years.


Dominic O'Brien

Dom is a strategic commercial business leader with a track record of helping companies, as a consultant and an operator, to build brands and drive growth. Currently Dom is the Chief Revenue Officer for Pax Labs, a cannabis vaping company based in San Francisco. Prior to joining Pax, Dom spent ten years at Beam Suntory in various Commercial and Strategy roles and spent nine years as a consultant for McKinsey and Accenture. Dom has a BA from UW Madison and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Stanley Nitzberg

Stanley Nitzberg is the principal and executive Vice President of Mid-America Real Estate Corporation, specializing in brokerage and advisory services to the retail real estate industry with a special focus on urban retail projects. He enjoys extensive experience in the major retail markets throughout the country and a successful history advising tenants regarding expansion strategies. Prior to joining Mid-America, he successfully served as Chief Administrative Officer of Crate & Barrel. Stanley’s experience also includes a nine-year career at The First National Bank of Chicago, where he was Division Head of the Retail Industry Lending Division.

Leadership Team


Simon Simonian

Vice President of Systems & Technology

As a Co-Founder of Argo Tea brand, Simon built the company’s enterprise systems and operations from ground up, leading the growth from a single outlet to the leading chain of tea cafes and one of the most respected CPG brands. His prior experience includes working at ATG (acquired by Oracle) - an e-commerce solutions company and at Whittman-Hart specializing on implementing cutting edge e-commerce technologies. Simon has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from California State University and a Bachelor’s degree from University of Missouri.


Candace Pappas

Managing Partner, Retail

Candace has worked with the Argo Tea brand for over 13 years, developing into an experienced operations leader with a passion for leading teams and driving retail growth. Throughout her time with Argo she has served in progressive leadership roles, including the oversight of all domestic and international retail operations. Currently, Candace is focused on business development for licensed retail and growing the CPG business. Candace has a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Executive Leadership.


Jacqueline Powers

Regional Operations & Human Resources

Jackie is an experienced and passionate Human Resources professional and operator who has worked with the Argo Tea brand for almost 8 years. Jackie has grown through operational leadership roles before transitioning into the corporate office. Her current role includes leading regional operations for corporate and licensed retail, Human Resources and other retail support functions. Jackie is enrolled in a combined degree program for her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration at Northeastern Illinois University.


Pete Kazanas

Vice President of Sales

Pete leads Argo Tea’s selling efforts across North America. Pete is a 12-year veteran of the beverage industry and a former owner/operator of a Chicago-area coffee shop. Pete began his experience with the Argo Tea brand by starting off on the retail side of the business before joining the CPG team. Pete has immense experience selling to both national and regional retail chains and enjoys long-lasting partnerships with executives, category managers, and buyers within the CPG industry.


Kim Cook

Senior Accountant

Kim is an experienced and dedicated accounting professional with over 12 years of experience in the retail and service industries, 4 of those with the Argo Tea brand. She is responsible for the financial reporting and cash management of all business units including Retail, CPG and Licensing. Kim prides herself on being organized and detail oriented to provide investors and management the tools they need to analyze and operate a successful business. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Shelbi Vantrease

Logistics and Transportation Manager

With 7 years in the Transportation Industry, Shelbi comes to the Argo Tea brand skilled in both the customer and carrier facing side of Logistics. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agribusiness: Markets and Management from the University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign. Shelbi is responsible for maintaining and developing both domestic and international carrier relationships, while analyzing inventory levels through multiple warehousing partners. She is detail oriented and prides herself on bringing creativity to the development of new processes.