John Bello is the founder and former CEO of South Beach Beverage Company, the maker of nutritionally enhanced teas and juices marketed under the brand name SoBe. PepsiCo purchased the company, established in 1995, 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. The Ernst and Young E&Y program is a worldwide competition that honors the best entrepreneurs and recognizes their positive impact and contributions to America through the creation of value, jobs and advancing social responsibility.
Prior to founding SoBe, Bello spent 14 years at National Football League Properties, the marketing arm of the NFL. As President, Bello is credited for building NFL Properties into a sports marketing leader and creating the model by which every major sports league now operates. He was ranked 46th on Sporting News’ list of Most Powerful People in Sports in 1992.
Before the NFL, Bello 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. John is Chairman of Reed’s Ginger Beer, a public company that markets all natural brewed sodas and soft drinks. Also, he serves on the board of Boathouse Sports, Presbyopia Liquid Vision, Luminesce Eye Therapies, Knomos Legal Search, and Beso Del Sol Sangria where he also Chairman of the Board. Prior to JoNa, he was General Partner in Sherbrooke Capital, a health and wellness venture firm in Boston where he was Chairman of Izze, a carbonated fruit drink sold to Pepsi in 2006
During four years of service with the United States Navy, Bello achieved the rank of Lieutenant (Senior Grade) and received the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for meritorious service on riverboats in South Vietnam.
Bello holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College (1974) where he was an Edward Tuck Scholar, and graduated cum laude from Tufts University (1968) with a BA degree in history. He received a Distinguished Service Award from Tufts University in 2005 and has an athletic field at the school dedicated in the family name for him and his wife Nancy who also graduated from Tufts in 1969. Nancy, also a Tuck graduate is an incorporator for the Cardigan Mountain School and a former Trustee of the Hotchkiss School. She was a Strategic Planner for the AMF Corporation.
Mr. Bello’s current and past board memberships include Dartmouth College’s Tuck Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship, the New York Council Boy Scouts of America, the Rye (NY) YMCA and trustee of the Hotchkiss School. He has also previously served on Tufts University’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and as co-chair of his 45th class reunion.
He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with Nancy, and has three children: Lauren, an architect in Truckee, California, Lindsay, Global Brand Director for Energizer Brands and John M., A13, who earned a degree in economics. John and Nancy are members of the Apawamis Club in Rye, NY and Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale.
John was elected to the Board of Trustees on November 2, 2013.
Revised December 2016