The LaunchPad at Bird Library is welcoming Derek Wallace ’00, CEO of Kalamata’s Kitchen, for a Fireside Chat, Friday, November 30 at 11:30 a.m. Wallace was a double major in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication
Derek spent 17 years at Shaw Industries, a flooring manufacturer that is part of the Berkshire Hathaway family. During his career at Shaw, he worked in sales and marketing leadership. This meant leading teams on projects ranging from consumer marketing campaigns to business development in the commercial space. Through his career, he worked as a leader across business units on topics including sustainability, social responsibility, as well as diversity and inclusion. He launched an employee resource group called The Culture Council, which encouraged associates to take an active role in driving diversity and inclusion, with a focus on acting entrepreneurially in order to contribute positively to business goals. As a result of this, the organization created a role called Sales Innovation Leader, which allowed Derek to be accountable to senior leadership in finding new solutions to persistent challenges. The primary objective was to implement structures that helped transition the organization toward a culture of empowerment.
Inspired by the idea of being an entrepreneur outside of the corporate environment, Derek left Shaw in May of 2017. At that time, he went on to launch two new businesses. Kalamata Kitchen is a children’s brand that connects kids and adults to diverse experiences and cultures through the lens of food. It’s built around a fictitious girl named Kalamata who, along with her stuffed alligator Al Dente, courageously explore the world through food adventures. The brand is activated through a series of stories, products, and experiences.
In addition to Kalamata’s Kitchen, he is Co-Founder and Partnership Development Leader for InnerView Group. At InnerView, he works with large consumer brands to help them connect their external/consumer-facing messages to internal audiences. We interact with front-line brand representatives to instill a sense of belief and pride in the marketing messages a company is bringing to the public, allowing individuals to provide an experience in person that accurately reflects the organization’s brand promise.
Derek is very excited to meet with the SU community and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. The event is open to all.