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Julie Smolyansky

Julie Smolyansky

Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm at the age of 27 when she took over Lifeway Foods, the company her refugee parents founded over 30 years ago with the mission of bringing Kefir, an Eastern European product, into the U.S. mainstream. Under her leadership, the company boosted revenues to over $100 million today from $12 million when she took over in 2002. Julie has been named to Fortune Business ‘40 under 40,’ Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, and to their Best Instagrammers of the 40 Under 40. She's produced several documentaries, including the Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated, The Hunting Ground. She released her first book, The Kefir Cookbook, with HarperOne in March 2018.

Festival Events


Oct 12

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Founded By Women

Speaker Series  @  Inspire Stage

Founded By Women

Stage: Inspire Stage

Date & Time: Oct 12, 2019 1:30pm - Oct 12, 2019 2:30pm

Since 2007, the number of women-owned businesses has increased by 58 percent. Hear from powerhouse female founders on being part of this growth and how they overcame obstacles on their way to business success!

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Oct 11-13, 2019 @ Duke Energy Center