In this episode of the Where We Grow from Here podcast, Walter Robb sits down with Tru Colors team members George Taylor, KO Olokunola, and Press Bethea to discuss business, entrepreneurship and social justice through the lens of Tru Colors, a brewery promoting peace and prosperity. Hear how Tru Colors is taking a fresh approach to leadership, skill development, the power of business, culture, and working to unite communities across America.
VP of Human Resources
Khalilah Olokunola “KO” was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. She he spent much of her teens active on the streets of Brooklyn and Troy NY with what many view as the cities’ most notorious street gangs—Bloods, Crips and Folks. She eventually faced the consequences of her activities and lost her name for 4-years to a Department of Corrections number.
Throughout it all, KO remained adamant about the importance of education in her life, and spent nights imagining the American dream she saw on TV. It didn't include a picket fence, but instead her dream was an opportunity to impact the lives of others.
Today KO is VP of Human Resources for TRU Colors Brewing, where she is the force behind defining a company culture that drives both personal and professional growth. In her “free time”, KO is also an accomplished author, speaker and personal coach to women entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur and CEO
George is a serial entrepreneur, having founded 11 companies ranging from financial and consumer software, to a hedge fund and automotive services, to TRU Colors, a brewery that unites and employs rival gang members (think Bloods, Crips, GD, etc.) to stop street violence across America.
Along with his responsibilities at TRU Colors, George is the Chairman of Untappd, the largest beer app in the world with over 9 million users and 18 thousand businesses on the platform. He is also Chairman of National Speed, an innovative startup that is well positioned to disrupt the performance automotive industry.
Juan Press Bethea
Head of Brewery Operations
Juan "Press" Bethea has been a member of the Bloods since the age of 14. Press was active in the streets as a teen and his involvement eventually lead to him being sentenced to Dobbs Youth Development as a felon, at just 15 years old.
Today Press is a leader within TRU Colors and currently heads brewery operations. Prior to that he was a TRU Colors Apprentice and worked with various partner breweries gaining knowledge and skills in brewing and brewery operations. Press has also completed his Level 1 Cicerone certification and plans to continue his education to eventually become a Level 4 Master Cicerone.