Founder & CEO, DRY Soda
As the visionary behind DRY, Sharelle Klaus has always had a passion for the culinary world and celebrating each part of a meal – including the beverage. After having four children, she didn’t want to let a lack of wine or cocktails stop her from creating a great pairing. Klaus recognized an absence of exciting and fun, yet sophisticated non-alcoholic options in the market, and became determined to create the first line of sparkling drinks that was worthy of gourmet meal pairing and premium mixology. She believed savory and sweet flavors more commonly used in cuisine could offer exciting compliments to her favorite meals – for example, Lavender with chocolate, Rhubarb with smoked meats, or Juniper Berry with oysters. In 2005, Klaus crafted the first batches of DRY in her home kitchen using real, high-quality culinary ingredients.
Klaus brings nearly two decades of entrepreneurial, financial and technology industry experience to her role as CEO at DRY, and oversees all marketing, strategic planning and innovation for the brand. With guidance from some of the Pacific Northwest’s leading chefs and a savvy corporate team, Klaus pioneered a new category of sparkling beverages, fearlessly leading DRY’s aggressive growth in a male dominated industry, making it the fastest growing carbonated soft drink in the U.S. (according to Jan. 2015 SPINS data). Prior to founding DRY, Klaus worked as a consultant for Infrastructure Management Group and Price Waterhouse. She also served as president of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, where she drove strategic development of programs, events and fundraising for the organization’s 250+ Seattle-area members.
With a keen appreciation for humor and wit, Klaus is an avid supporter of entrepreneurship and frequently speaks at professional conferences, workshops, and the University of Washington Business School, where she also participates as a judge for the Foster School’s well-known business plan competitions. She has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the SPU Business School, the Board of Directors at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Board of the Seattle Lung Force. Klaus graduated from Seattle Pacific University with an undergraduate degree in political science, and currently resides in Seattle, Wash. where she lives with her four children and German Shepard, Lennox.