The Opportunity

Cirkul, innovating the future of the beverage industry, has developed a revolutionary cartridge technology for flavored water. With a mission to reduce plastic footprints and provide a convenient way for hydration and health, Cirkul has experienced exponential growth. As a digitally native brand with nearly two billion views on TikTok, Cirkul expanded into select retail locations in early 2022, quickly becoming Walmart's fastest-selling product in its US Home category. The company has been profitable since 2020.

The Need

The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) role at Cirkul was pivotal, demanding a leader with strong business acumen, exceptional leadership skills, and the ability to align HR strategies with business objectives. The responsibilities included strategic HR leadership, organizational design, employee development and training, total rewards and benefits management, talent acquisition and management, employee relations and compliance, and HR analytics and reporting. The candidate needed to possess extensive experience in senior HR leadership roles, public company experience, expertise in organizational design and talent development, and a strong foundation in HR best practices and labor laws.

The Results

The search led by Vardis resulted in the hiring of Nichole Upshaw, who previously served as Chief People and Retail Officer at Jushi Holdings, a publicly traded consumer company. With a rich background in human resources and talent management at leading organizations like Jushi Holdings Inc and RaceTrac Petroleum Inc, Upshaw was an ideal fit for guiding Cirkul's HR strategy. At Jushi Holdings, she was key in scaling HR operations amid rapid company growth, focusing on strategic planning, organizational design, and executive coaching. Her tenure at RaceTrac Petroleum showcased her skills in multi-location leadership and talent management. Upshaw's commitment to employee experience, diversity, and inclusion has consistently yielded impactful results, positioning her perfectly to advance Cirkul's dynamic and innovative culture.

The Team

Josh King:

John Hoagland:

Jim von der Linden: