Heineken USA Enhances Retail Partner Support, Innovation Through New Hires

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Heineken USA announced the appointment of two new senior leaders. Nick Lake was appointed as the company’s new senior director, category management, effective Oct. 11. Lake will report to Steve Ward, vice president of national accounts.


Monique Acevedo was appointed as vice president of innovation, effective Sept. 28. Acevedo will act as a member of the marketing leadership team and report directly to Lesya Lesyj, chief marketing officer.


Nick Lake, senior director, category management

In his role, Lake will be responsible for directing all Heineken USA category management activity, leading 16 category managers focused on national and regional off-premise and on-premise chain accounts. He will also lead Heineken USA's drive to provide thought leadership and actionable insights to retailers that will enable them to grow the Heineken USA portfolio, as well as the entire upscale segment of the beer category.


“This hire supports our commitment to making significant investments that will help Heineken USA develop a leading-edge shopper insight capability and upgrade our customer and category management processes,” said Ward. “Nick‘s deep understanding of category dynamics, outstanding track record of identifying growth opportunities and widespread industry respect make him the perfect candidate for this position. We are confident that he will enhance our ability to help our retailer customers drive profitable growth of upscale beers.”


Most recently, Lake served as vice president group client director for the beverage alcohol industry for Nielsen. There, he was responsible for providing insights across the Nielsen Beverage Alcohol client base for the eastern region and business development across the alcohol category. While at Nielsen, he also played an instrumental role in the design and execution of the industry’s first comprehensive sales tracking service for the convenience channel.


“After spending years studying and analyzing alcohol beverage trends on a broad scale, I am thrilled at the opportunity to put my insights into action to help one of the most iconic and well respected organizations in the industry better serve their partners, and in turn, drive growth,” said Lake. “It is apparent that Heineken USA sees retailers as true partners in this business, and I look forward to identifying opportunities and implementing strategies that will help both parties reach their true potential.”


Before Nielsen, Lake spent 11 years with Proctor & Gamble in a variety of sales and category management positions. Lake has spoken at leading industry conferences, including those organized by Beer Marketers Insights, Beer Business Daily Beer Summit and National Beer Wholesalers Association. He has also contributed articles published in Progressive Grocer and Convenience Store News, and is a regular contributor to many trade and national publications.


Lake holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota. He, his wife and his three children will reside in Atlanta.


Monique Acevedo, vice president of innovation

Heineken USA created a new role, vice president of innovation to support efforts to expand its innovation capabilities. Acevedo will lead innovation for all Heineken USA brands and manage its innovation team. The innovation team will be responsible for leveraging insights that are consistent with the organization's strategic vision to develop an innovation strategy as well as leading innovation planning and all related projects.


“We have identified innovation as a major strategic growth opportunity area for our business,” said Lesyj. “Monique brings a wealth of experience, creativity and big thinking to the organization, and having her in this role will ensure that developing innovative products and marketing techniques remains a priority moving forward.”


Acevedo joins Heineken USA from Diageo where she most recently served as director of innovation. In that role, she was responsible for leading the innovation strategy and business plan for a $50 mm net sales value pipeline of highly differentiated new products from concept through to launch, including Crown Royal Black and Bulleit Rye Whiskey. Prior to her role at Diageo, Acevedo spent eight years at The Coca-Cola Company in various roles. There, she played an instrumental role in the development and launch of Dasani Water, Sprite Zero and Vanilla Coke.


Acevedo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas. Monique and her family reside in New York.


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