Brent David Willis
Multinational Private/Public CEO & Board Member
Brent Willis stands out as a mission-oriented and purpose-driven leader who has built and led successful multibillion-dollar, major multinational companies around the world. Brent’s career, spanning integral leadership positions at companies including Kraft Heinz, Coca-Cola, and Anheuser-Busch InBev, has one constant – his enthusiasm for being an industry disrupter, building lasting foundations, and an unwavering commitment to serving others.
As a business leader with success spanning multiple industries, countries and business structures, Brent Willis is currently CEO for Vaya Space, a vortex-hybrid-engine rocket company with both US and Brazilian operations that utilizes more than 2 million recycled thermoplastics per launch, produces thrust of over 600 kN, and carries payloads of over 1,000 kg to low earth orbit. Prior to Vaya Space, he created NewAge from inception to a $450MM organic and healthy products e-commerce company. Brent was recognized as CEO Innovator of the Year in 2021 with NewAge also being recognized as Company of the year together with IBM.
Brent has also been CEO and a senior executive for a number of public and private equity backed companies. As a President for The Coca–Cola Company in Latin America he led their largest turnaround in history going from 15% market share to over 75%. As Global Chief Commercial Officer and a President for Anheuser-Busch InBev he developed and implemented the strategy and business plans to create the world’s largest beer company. He started his business career at Kraft Heinz where he launched the Kraft Brand in China in addition to leading a number of brands and businesses for the Company around the world.
Brent began his career as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1982. He served in various combat arms leadership capacities within the First Cavalry Division, and also spearheaded numerous compartmentalized and top-secret initiatives. He authored the Counter-Air Strategy and developed the Aerial Recognition System for the Air Defense branch of the US Military. He received numerous decorations to include two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, and other awards through his military career before being honorably discharged after reaching the rank of Captain.
Dedicated to service through developing and supporting programs that create positive change, Brent started the Alianza Social in Latin America, an organization to combat poverty. He led the creation of over 30,000 micro-empresas to help underprivileged families in the region, donated more than 1 million how to read books to combat illiteracy, and created new alternative income opportunities versus a pervasive drug trade in Colombia and Venezuela. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Exemplary Service for his efforts and was also voted an Outstanding Young Man of America and one of the Top CEOs in Latin America.
Brent received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Brent and his wife Corinne and their daughters live in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado where they enjoy skiing, biking, golf, and any form of competition.