TOP Chops, an innovative producer of Beef Jerky snacks, has announced Nakia Reigh Kelley, an experienced entrepreneur with a strong background in finance and business development, has been hired as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. In this role, she will lead a team responsible for new business development and partnerships, developing the company’s executive team through strategic hires, investor relations, and day-to-day operations of the company.
“Nakia has the experience we need to reorganize this company and take it to the next level,” said Dusty Jaquins, founder of TOP Chops Snacks. “Nakia quickly assembled a group of sharp-driven women that work together very well. Her team has been working tirelessly through the global pandemic to keep our company moving forward so we can continue to bring quality snack products to the market.”
After owning her own national accounting firm for 14 years and serving small businesses as a startup consultant and business strategist, Kelley was tapped to serve on the board of directors of Tampa’s TechNova Florida to help grow the local Tampa, Florida tech and startup community. In 2018 she co-founded the Change Her Story Inc. publishing organization. Nakia met Tory Johnson, American author and CEO of Women for Hire, while working with the Pennsylvania Governors Conference for Women. Tory Johnson recognized Kelley’s daughter as a savvy young entrepreneur and the youngest CEO ever in direct selling. She had started her own direct selling company at the young age of 14 years old.
While Kelley was on tour with her daughter for “Spark and Hustle” women’s conferences founded by Tory Johnson; she was introduced to the snack industry and multiple opportunities to help transition start-ups with business development, accounting, and strategy. This is where she found her love for the natural food industry.
“Tory had introduced me to some amazing female founders in the natural food space,” Kelley said. “It started me on a journey that ultimately connected me years later to Dusty and allowed me to pull together my incredible team. Together, we have been navigating the current climate and despite Covid-19 we have been challenged to consistently pivot and find creative strategies to market and sell during these times. In the short time our team has been on board, we have successfully reached important milestones.”
TOP Chops was chosen by the Chobani Food Incubator to be part of its inaugural class from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI). Since then, its products have been requested by national grocery chains and become the sought-after beef jerky on several e-commerce platforms.