Winston-Salem native Lizzie Ward Roediger is the President and CEO of Sunshine Beverages, an early-stage company that manufactures and sells better-for-you energy beverages.
The company has two product lines: Sparkling Energy Waters and Sparkling Energy Drinks. Their flavors including Lotus Pear and Pomegranate Acai are crafted with vitamins and electrolytes – creating a healthier boost that was missing from the energy drink market.
The company was launched through local ad agency The Variable’s 100 Watt entrepreneurial accelerator and has grown tenfold since taking on investment in 2017.
As the President and CEO of an early-stage company, Lizzie believes that Winston-Salem is an ideal location to start a business.
“There is a shared and active interest among leaders in the area to help younger businesses succeed and thrive. I’ve benefited greatly from the network and found lifelong mentors who have built their companies here.”
College, business school, and early career opportunities took Lizzie to New York City and Atlanta, where she worked in brand strategy and strategic marketing for IMG College and Coca-Cola. Lizzie says while she enjoyed living in larger metros, she appreciates the balance Winston-Salem offers.
“There is a strong sense of community here. Newcomers can easily get involved. The focus is on collaboration, not competition.”
Lizzie says her hometown also offers conveniences she didn’t find in major metros. “I travel frequently for my job, and it takes me less time to get to the airport from my home in Winston-Salem than it did from my apartments in both Atlanta and Manhattan. There is little to no traffic on a daily basis, which I especially appreciate after a couple of years of living and working in Atlanta! It’s easy to take for granted, but the ease of getting around town is a major advantage here.”
To Lizzie, Winston-Salem is the perfect city to grow both her career and family. Lizzie and her husband welcomed a baby boy in 2020. These days, she is busy balancing new parenthood while continuing to grow the Sunshine brand.