MEET THE TEAM






Build Together, Grow Together

At Blendid, we’re committed to fueling everyone’s life through safe and empowering food choices. We believe the very best of AI-based robotics and new engineering possibilities will elevate our collective experience with food.

As we head into a new future, our focus will be building a contactless, autonomous robotic kiosk. Our leadership team’s deep expertise ranges from all facets of the food industry to machine learning software to operations. This means we have a pretty good shot at building the new future in food. And we’re already underway.

Our Founding Team

Our Leadership Team

Covahne Michaels

vp of marketing

Covahne Michaels brings more than 20 years of marketing experience across consumer tech and food and across fortune 500 and startup organizations. Prior to joining Blendid, Covahne was the head of eCommerce marketing and strategy for the J.M. Smucker Co, where she guided the migration from brick and mortar store sales to the transition to the online world. 

 She holds a bachelor’s in business administration from University of Colorado at Boulder and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Richard O'Brien

VP of retail operations

Richard O’Brien brings over 25 years of experience in supply chain and operational excellence to Blendid’s executive team. Prior to joining Blendid, Richard served as the director of supply chain management at Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery and the director of purchasing for The Melt. His expertise lies in cost optimization across supply chains and building and managing strong supplier relationships.

Richard received his bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Davis.

Carrie Sams

Head of Biz Dev

Carrie has been at the forefront of restaurants brand growth and new venture initiatives, touching nearly every aspect of the restaurant business. For over 10 years, she was instrumental in the transformation of Jamba Juice from a regional company store brand with 400 locations to a national franchise brand with over 900 locations. In recent years she has served as a restaurant industry consultant to regional and national QSR brands and emerging food service technology companies. She also serves as a restaurant industry expert for investors and restaurant brands with Alpha Sights and the Gerson Lehrman group.

Carrie studied abroad at the Universität Frankfurt, Goethe Business School. Frankfurt, Germany, with a focus in international business.

Kristen Rasmussen

chef & nutritionist

Kristen is a culinary nutrition and food sustainability expert with passions that have led her many places – from implementing plant-forward, stem-to-root menu revamps at restaurants to teaching about and exploring food science at UC Berkeley and the Nordic Food Lab. She is an adjunct faculty member at UC Berkeley, past adjunct faculty at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, and owner of Rooted Food, Inc., a culinary nutrition and food sustainability consulting company. Being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, she enjoys attracting people to better eating through deliciousness and believes Blendid will serve that need through technology and customization.

Kristen received her bachelor’s in Dietetics from UC Berkeley and master’s in Human Nutrition from Arizona State University.

Ram Nagarajan

vp of business operations

Ram Nagarajan brings more than 23 years of experience in technology, consumer products, and B2B services to Blendid. He’s launched numerous high profile consumer products for universally recognizable brands such as Nook, Samsung, Netflix, and DirecTV. His success in delivering critical, complex, and cross-functional programs from concept to market is what drives him to do the same at Blendid.

Ram holds his bachelor’s and master’s in Electrical Engineering from MIT.

Shirish Joshi

VP OF MANUFACTURING

Shirish Joshi has over 25 years of experience in leading business improvements across retail, peripherals, networking, computing and telecommunications industries. He prides himself on his ability to develop strategic sourcing partnerships with OEM, ODM, and EMS companies globally while exercising his broad knowledge of KPI and metrics implementation.

Shirish received his bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Pune, India and master’s in industrial engineering from the University of Rhode Island.

Our Investors

Board of Advisors

James D. White

Board Member of Panera, Former CEO & Chairman of Jamba Juice, SVP at Safeway, Gillette, Nestle

Maisie Ganzler

Chief Strategy & Brand Officer at Bon Appétit Management Company

Eric Benhamou

Founder & General Partner of Benhamou Global Ventures, Former CEO & Chairman of 3COM

Michelle Gloeckler

Board Member of BJ's, former EVP of Walmart, former VP of Hershey's

Cody Rose

VP Product at Resy (Amex Dining), Former VP of Guest Experience at Chipotle

Gary Bradski

Creator and Founder of OpenCV, Consulting Professor at Stanford University