Success Story

Lizzie Ward Roediger

President Sunshine Beverages

Promoting Good Energy in the Triad

As president of a growing Winston-Salem-based energy beverage company, Sunshine, Lizzie Ward Roediger is always on the go.

A native of Winston-Salem, Lizzie found herself back in her hometown after her career took her to New York City and Atlanta. Though she now calls Winston-Salem home, she spends much of her time on the road, meeting with retail partners, distributors and potential customers.

“It’s surprisingly easy to travel to and from Winston. I prefer to pull up, walk to my gate and walk right onto the plane,” she said. “My colleagues give me a hard time,” she joked, adding that she’s often still at her desk an hour before a flight.

Sunshine manufactures and sells better-for-you energy drinks and, soon, sparkling energy waters. The company was started by The Variable, a Winston-Salem based ad agency, which has been named “Small Agency of the Year” by AdAge for five years running. The Variable developed Sunshine’s brand positioning around the gap in the market for “non-extreme” energy drinks, Lizzie says. “Looking at the energy drink space, everyone was trying to out-extreme each other,” she explained. Sunshine, on the other hand, contains roughly the amount of caffeine of a small cup of coffee and has less sugar, added vitamins and electrolytes, and no artificial sweeteners.

Lizzie was working for private equity company Teall Capital, an early investor in the Sunshine venture, and was brought on to work for Sunshine as a result. “I spent a year working for Coca-Cola prior to that, which made me realize how much I wanted to be on the entrepreneurial side.”

In her current role as president, Lizzie focuses on expanding distribution of Sunshine’s products. In 2020, Sunshine will launch in Florida and areas of the Northeast as part of a partnership with two divisions of 7-Eleven.

Lizzie got married in December 2018 to her husband, who is also from the Triad. On how she ended up back in Winston-Salem, Lizzie said: “If I’m honest, what brought me back was my husband, then boyfriend.” As a bonus for Lizzie, the Triad “offers such a great balance of everything I value as a place to settle down – community, career opportunities, a good food scene, great neighbors. Not having to deal with traffic, like I did in Atlanta, is a plus.”

On Friday evenings, you’ll find Lizzie unwinding from a week of travel over a glass of wine and dinner with her husband at their home in Buena Vista, or at a local restaurant like Rooster’s (“Noble’s” to those from Winston). On Saturdays, she says she likes to walk her dog over to the new Buie’s Market for coffee and go for a run at Salem Lake. “ In the fall, our weekends tend to revolve around football,” she shared. Lizzie also serves on the boards of the Winston-Salem Alliance and the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

It offers such a great balance of everything I value as a place to settle down – community, career opportunities, a good food scene, great neighbors.

Lizzie Ward Roediger

President | Sunshine Beverages