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Rich DePencier

Chief Growth OfficerTalking Rain Beverage Company

Sammamish, WA

Member Since February 2023


I serve as Chief Growth Officer for Talking Rain, the makers of Sparkling Ice, a Washington-based beverage company with a remarkable 35-year legacy and a delightful array of healthier beverage options. With deep CPG experience in building and leading some of the world's favorite consumer brands, I help lead companies to achieve their next stage of growth. I work with CEOs/founders and organizations to create and implement strategic growth plans, innovative marketing and sales programs, and successful product pipelines across channels and countries. Currently I also mentor and advise early-stage CPG owner/founder brands as a CEO mentor and team leader at SKU, the nation's leading CPG accelerator program. I create industry content as a member of the Fast Company Executive Board and I am a member of Vistage, the world's largest CEO peer advisory and executive coaching organization. My mission is to share my expertise and passion for growing brands and building highly motivated teams. Specialties: Brand & General Management, P&L, Strategic Planning, Leadership, Marketing, Go-To-Market Plans, Product Development, Retail & E-Commerce, Innovation, Marketing Automation, Sales & Marketing Collaboration, Results.

Published content

18 ways for introverts to communicate more effectively on the job

expert panel

Here are key strategies to grow in confidence and strengthen business relationships.  Contrary to popular belief, a successful, savvy business person is not necessarily always the biggest extrovert in the room. Improving your active listening skills and post-meeting communication strategies also play a part in capturing the attention of peers or direct reports regularly. This is key to building stronger team relationships.  By leaning into what makes them a little different from their outspoken counterparts, introverts are likely to have a positive impact in their place of business. If you're an introvert in the workplace and unsure about how to leverage your "superpower" as a reserved business professional who wants to get ahead, below, 18 experts from Fast Company Executive Board offer their tips on how to build your comfort level in engaging with others and being an effective communicator.

15 ways leaders can increase equity and transparency in their performance review process 

expert panel

Amid performance review season, I understand the importance of embracing a holistic strategy that not only values individual contributions but also prioritizes fairness, open communication, and continuous improvement.  To cultivate this for our organization, we refactored our system of growth from being a linear promotion process to one that allowed for more divergent growth paths. Having an "up or out" model didn't work for our company culture. Having a lattice-based (rather than a ladder-based) approach gave people more autonomy in the course of their careers. And we made our promotion logic more equitable by transparently naming the conditions for growth. To help other leaders, I asked members of the Company Culture Group of Fast Company Executive Board, a community I lead, how they improve equity and transparency in their review process. Here are important steps that they take and the impact they’ve seen from doing so.

9 strategies to strengthen your business’s SEO ranking

expert panel

Review these aspects to demystify the Google algorithm—at least for now.   As the digital marketing industry continues to evolve, achieving a top SEO ranking in a Google search can be a moving target for business owners. When the algorithm finally begins to seem achievable, the guidelines change again—and again. A reliable SEO strategy goes hand-in-hand with a strong brand strategy. Therefore, it's essential to determine what brand points your target audience members resonate with the most to better inform your SEO strategy. Here, nine Fast Company Executive Board members each share one factor for leaders to consider when they are optimizing for search engines and why it's so important.

Career fair strategies that will pique a job seeker's interest

expert panel

Having a hard time finding potential new hires? Here are 18 methods for you to try at your next event. In a picky job market, the right career fair at the right time can be a win-win situation for the potential employer and the job seeker alike. It can cost a company a lot of money, however, if they are not focused on the right candidates who can fill their company's needs—right now.  But hiring managers should not solely rely on resume history—or if a candidate meets all 10 "job requirements"—as it's also crucial for the recruiter to find the right cultural fit and a team player who can help a department and company thrive in the long term. If you are scheduled to attend a career fair or networking event in the coming weeks or months, below, Fast Company Executive Board members each share one tip for leaders who want to attract the right new hires to work with.

16 ways to prepare for the next holiday campaign

expert panel

If you are just starting to think about your marking strategy, you're already behind—but it's not too late. The holiday season can be extremely competitive when it comes to attracting the attention of hesitant consumers. This is an ever-increasing dilemma in today's uncertain economy. In order to stand out, the company leaders must analyze the market trends carefully in order to provide the right solutions to potential and current customers. They also need to be flexible enough to change direction if a campaign isn't landing well.  Here, 16 experts from Fast Company Executive Board each share their tips to finalize and implement marketing and sales strategies for the upcoming holiday season that will help companies stay ahead in the marketplace.

14 tips for strengthening brand identity and reputation

expert panel

Implement these strategies for start-up success. It's tough out there when you are trying to build brand recognition and rise above the noise. When you are just starting out in the marketplace as a business owner, how do you attract loyal clients and partnership deals? Below, 14 Fast Company Executive Board members discuss the most important factors in developing the brand identity that you want to be known for. Once your leadership team establishes that, it's essential that you continue to stand on the reputation that you want to build.

Company details

Talking Rain Beverage Company

Company bio

Chief Outsiders’ fractional executives drive growth strategy and execution plans by offering instant access to talent with highly customized and flexible engagements. Having served on the executive teams of more than 1,550 client companies, each Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sales Officer has led marketing or sales at a diverse set of large corporations, including many Fortune 500 firms. Inc. Magazine has recognized Chief Outsiders for nine consecutive years as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the US. The company was also recognized as a Forbes Small Giant in 2019.


Corporate leadership

Area of focus

Consumer Goods
Food and Beverage

Company size

501 - 1,000