NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --Happy Family's Founder, Chief Mom and CEO, Shazi Visram, announced that she is transitioning from her role as CEO, a position she has successfully held since founding the company in 2003. Visram shared with her team today that she will be passing the torch on to another Happy Family mom, industry veteran and current Senior Vice President of Business Development, Anne Laraway. Laraway's role as CEO is effective January 1, 2018 and Visram will remain in place as 'Chairmom' of the Board and Chief Visionary.
Aside from being one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in CPG over the last decade, overseeing rapid growth in sales and introducing countless innovative and enlightened products to market, Visram has always held true to her mission of building a meaningful business to improve children's health through nutrition. Visram's vision for Happy Family came after having a lightbulb moment about how to change the world for good with organic baby food. The company launched on Mother's Day in 2006 with just five SKUs in five stores, and now has over 100 SKUs in countless households around the world with expected 2017 sales close to $200 million, and 2018 projections to be well over $250 million. Happy Family continues to dominate as the fastest growing baby food brand in the country, and is now the No. 1 organic baby food brand in U.S. food and grocery.
"It has been a literal dream come true to have an idea, create a brand, and grow Happy Family to what it is today. I also believe Happy has a very bright future and is well positioned for continued generations of success," said Visram. "Now, I feel it's the right time to step away from the day-to-day operations and pass the torch to another mom who can bring the perspective of the most demanding next generation of mothers to the table. We're fortunate to gain a leader like Anne with her experience, talent, vision and dedication, and I'm confident she is the best person for the role. She and the leadership team will continue to add value to the lives of parents and babies around the world."
Laraway first expressed interest in Happy Family in 2012 after hearing Visram speak at Columbia Business School, and was inspired to reach out directly to her. Since joining the company, Laraway has held a number of diverse roles and responsibilities, most recently leading business development to deliver new and relevant solutions to today's parents. As mother to toddler Jack (3) and newborn Cameron (4 months), Laraway is intimately connected with the challenges of motherhood - a perspective that she will blend with her business acumen to serve Happy Family, a company that has always been run by real moms to put babies before business. Her shared commitment to changing the trajectory of children's health through organic nutrition makes her uniquely suited to lead Happy Family into the future by continuing to grow the brand's products portfolio and expand distribution.
"I feel fortunate to work with one of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies and teams in the world," said Laraway. "I look forward to building on Shazi's efforts to continue our mission and support parents in every way possible. It's a great responsibility to lead this organization and I am excited by the challenge and the opportunity to expand and create more impact with our products and brand. With Happy Family, I believe the sky is the limit, because that's what we all strive for in our daily lives, to have happy, healthy families."
With a simple idea in 2003 to change the way babies were fed in the U.S. by creating convenient, organic food parents can trust under a warm, modern brand, Happy Family was born. Since that time, Visram and her leadership team have built a meaningful business that has never veered from the original mission to improve children's health through nutrition. As Founder and CEO, her responsibilities in launching, growing and running the day-to-day operations of Happy Family led the company to become a certified Public Benefit Corporation ("PBC"), which prioritizes mission driven goals for its business practices. Happy Family also received an exclusive distinction: 2017 Best for the World: Changemakers Award by B Lab, a revered organization within the B Corp community.
During her tenure, Visram has received numerous accolades and business recognition from some of the most renowned thought leaders and business media in the world. From being invited to The White House, where former President Obama recognized her as an outstanding businesswoman and a rockstar of the new economy, her accomplishments have earned her the respect and admiration of peers and colleagues. She is among the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders. She serves on the Board of Overseers for Columbia Business School was honored by Columbia's Business School in 2016 with a Distinguished Early Achievement Award and also by Ernst & Young for Entrepreneur of the Year in the New York region in 2011. Crain's New York Business also named Visram to their annual "40 Under 40" list and she recently spoke at Milken Institute's 2017 Global Conference about "Leading a Healthy Life," where she spoke about Happy Family's work and its mission to changing children's health through better nutrition and partnering with moms at the beginning of her journey from prenatal to breastfeeding and beyond.
About Happy Family Launched on Mother's Day 2006, Happy Family is one of the largest and fastest growing organic food brands to offer a comprehensive line of nutritious foods for babies, toddlers, kids and their parents. Beginning with baby's first few years of life, Happy Family provides an enlightened assortment of organic meals and snacks to help support a lifetime of wellness. Constantly innovating and improving, Happy Family strives to offer families the right nutrition for every stage of development.
Happy Family was founded by Shazi Visram, who was honored as one of Babble's 100 Moms who are changing the world and lauded by President Obama as "a rockstar of the new economy and a leader we can all emulate" for infusing into Happy to Help, the brand's far reaching social initiative to help children in need, most recently partnered with The Small Things, an organization that helps orphans in Tanzania live a happy, healthy life, to build the Happy Family Children's Village. For additional information, please visit www.happyfamilybrands.com.