Tellis currently serves as CEO of Naturade, a $20mm lower middle market nutraceutical company, that he owns through his family office, Towerview. Under Mr. Tellis’ leadership, Naturade has doubled its sales over the past 3 years.
The signature product, “Vegansmart”, has taken off and is growing at 200% and is now sold in Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Sam’s Club, CVS and in natural health food stores and online at www.iherb.com and www.amazon.com, as well as in China on www.tmall.com.
While its core consumers are affluent yoga moms; Claude and his partner hope to sell to the urban market to combat pre-diabetes. They have a deal with rapper Styles P and are currently negotiating a deal with Russell Simmons (former owner of Def Jam records).
Prior to Naturade, Claude managed the interests of Towerview, a family office affiliated with Duke University that makes lower middle market private equity investments & other related investments. Before Towerview, Claude worked as a strategy consultant at Accenture and a merchant equity investor and commodities originator at Enron.
After performing in the top 1% of his associate class at Enron, Claude pitched Enron on investing in a $38mm private equity fund, Enron Investment Partners. The deal thesis was to invest in domestic emerging markets and urban areas. Enron committed $20mm, and another $18mm was backed by Bank of America and Wells Fargo. With Enron’s bankruptcy, the fund was closed.
Claude has a substantial interest in preventative health. Before Naturade and Towerview, Claude owned and operated a healthy foods company, Healthy Body Products, which is credited with ending the sale of junk food in California public high schools.
Claude completed his MBA at The Wharton School and his BA at Duke University. He is a distinguished alumni at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. He generously supports Food on Foot, the LEAD Program in Business and Duke University.
Kareem Cook is the co-owner and Chief Marketing Officer of Naturade. Founded in 1926, Naturade is focused on creating superior quality meal replacements and weight loss shakes. Cook and Claude Tellis acquired Naturade in 2012.
Prior to acquiring Naturade, Mr. Cook and Claude Tellis partnered to found Healthy Body Products (HBP), a healthy vending machine company which targeted child obesity. HBP played a pivotal role in the banning of junk food in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2003.
In 2004, HBP was awarded the contract for every public school in Los Angeles. Cook and Tellis were invited to Arkansas to discuss their Los Angeles success with President Bill Clinton and Governor Mike Huckabee, as well as with their healthy child organization, The Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Mr. Cook volunteers his time as a board member of a charter high school in Inglewood CA, The Executive Prep Academy of Finance. He also tutors and mentors children. He has been a choreographer for Michael Jackson and Debbie Allen. He and Tellis helped Debbie Allen found her Debbie Allen Dance Academy.
Mr. Cook is a graduate of Duke University A.B. in Political Science and received his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is from New York City where he graduated from Calhoun, and is an active philanthropist for Prep for Prep, a private school program for inner city youth.