In today’s economic climate, the ability to guide companies emerging from financial problems to thrive is a combination of experience and education.

(Photo Courtesy of John Lennon)

(Photo Courtesy of John Lennon)

John Lennon took the reins at XYIENCE, maker of Xenergy, the official energy drink of the UFC, in late 2010. The brand had emerged out of chapter 11 in 2008 with limited distribution, a skeleton staff and a modest budget. Under Lennon’s guidance, XYIENCE developed a more focused brand position and an aggressive sales strategy, with the result that Xenergy became the fastest growing top 10 ranked brand in the energy drink category.

Lennon’s career in the beverage industry spans more than 25 years and is marked by many successes on an international level. Lennon earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing and Finance from Syracuse University in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Journalism from the State University of New York at Cortland.

His road to business success began in the bowling and recreation center he was managing when marketing experts came to survey the business. “I found the work interesting. I asked them how to get into the field and they told me they had an MBA,” Lennon explained.

“For me, getting an MBA is the best return on an investment I ever had in my life. I reflect on where my life was before and after I got my MBA and it has been fantastic personally for me.” Lennon continued, “I was bartending, caddying and a night manager at a bowling alley before getting my MBA. After getting my MBA, I had a career track in the Nestle company, a Fortune 100 company in marketing. There was an immediate change for me. My degree has prepared me for the many things that have happened since.”

Lennon has been at the helm of some of the most important beverage brands, including serving as president and CEO of Pabst Brewing Company, CEO of Pyramid Brewing, president and CEO of Beck’s North America and vice president and general manager of Guinness Caribbean Latin America Region.

Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on

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