Ep 2. Julie Smolyansky: CEO of LifeWay Foods

Ep 2. Julie Smolyansky: CEO of LifeWay Foods

"We all have to ... integrate our career, our self, our family, and our community into one overlapping circle."
-- Julie Smolyanksy

Julie Smolyansky is CEO and President of LifeWay Foods. She took on the role of CEO at age 27 and since then has boosted annual revenues to over $130 million (as of 2015) with a combination of innovative product development and marketing strategies. Julie has also done great work in her community by founding Test400k, an organization dedicated to ending the backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits in the United States.

Stew spoke with Julie about all four domains of her life: her personal life, professional life, community, and family. Julie is an inspiring example of how to successfully integrate work and the rest of life. Pay special attention to the beginning of the show, when Julie tells the fascinating story of how she became CEO of LifeWay Foods. Julie also provides an instructive example of work/life integration later in the show when she describes how her passion for running benefits not just herself but her family, her community, and her business too.


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Show Notes (times when new topics start)

2:03. Backstory.  LifeWay Foods in 1986 by Julie’s father. She became CEO at 27 age when he passed away.

8:58. The young CEO.  Julie had to deal with intense pressure as a young CEO.

13:54. Her stay-at-home husband.  Julie’s husband supports the family by raising their children so Julie can focus on running LifeWay.

15:31. Investing in life beyond work.  The leadership role Julie occupies as CEO of LifeWay Foods is enriched by her personal life, family life, and community engagement.

24:30. Social activism. Julie is a co-founder of Test 400, a campaign to resolve the backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits in the U.S. and end violence against women both domestically and globally.


Selected Links

Find more info on Lifeway.

Learn more about the Test400k cause.

Find a transcript of Stew's conversation with Julie.

Follow Julie on Twitter at @JulieSmolyansky.


Share your questions, ideas, and stories with us on Twitter by tweeting @StewFriedman.