About Us

Watermelon Smash

BuzzBallz’ genesis began in 2009, by the edge of a backyard pool in between a pile of papers to be graded and, of course, a cocktail. At that time, Merrilee Kick was a high school teacher working on her master’s degree. She was distracted by the way the glass balanced near the water’s edge and it seemed only a matter of time until a breeze or errant pen stroke tipped the glass. She thought: Wouldn’t this be better with a plastic container? Weren’t there other people—kicking back by pools, rivers and barbecues—that might feel the same way?

This thought inspired Merrilee to use the BuzzBallz concept in her thesis project for her master’s degree. After graduation, she decided to pursue her dream. Kick began assembling a list of qualities she wanted not only in her dream drink, but in its packaging. The plastic would be unbreakable and light enough to float. The product would be colorful, stackable and recyclable, and the drinks would be made with real fruit juice. If you forgot one in the freezer, it wouldn’t explode but would remain slushy enough to drink. Most importantly, she wanted a product that didn’t skimp on the alcohol and was strong enough and tasty enough to be like drinks you would make at home.

The first order of BuzzBallz shipped in late Summer of 2010. A year later, BuzzBallz expanded beyond Texas. Fast forward to present day 2017, Buzzballz continue to push boundaries and expand both nationally and internationally. BuzzBallz are available in 15 flavors in both the BuzzBallz line and the BuzzBallz Chillers line. The pre-mixed cocktails are packaged in colorful containers with equally colorful names, for example—Strawberry Rum Job and Choc Tease. They are strong, affordable and a whole lot of fun!

Merrilee KickMerrilee Kick – President

Merrilee Kick created the BuzzBallz concept and founded the company in Carrollton, Texas with the goal to revolutionize the world of mixed drinks. She had the idea to make new, unbreakable containers so she invented the first plastic beverage ‘can’ sold in the USA. Her thought was to create a product that was safe for all activities like the beach, pool, camping, or tailgating with drinks prepared like you would make them at home with real juice and natural ingredients. She wanted customers to be able to purchase ‘by the drink’ and mix and match flavors without being forced to buy a 4 or 6-pack. Lastly, she wanted a good, strong drink that isn’t watered down-one strong enough to put you in the party spirit, but doesn’t fill you up or make you feel sick. Thus, the BuzzBall was born!

Alex KickAlex Kick – Vice President

Alex, part owner and founder, helped design the BuzzBallz concept. He has been involved in the company since its conception by assisting in the development of flavors and marketing strategies. He oversees all aspects of the business and is involved in many of the day-to day operations of the company. Alex works at the BuzzBallz headquarters in Carrollton, TX and is always looking for new ventures and business partners.

Andrew KickAndrew Kick – Vice President

Andrew, part owner and founder, helped develop many of the flavors and contributed to the revolutionary way BuzzBallz separates itself from the rest of its competitors. He has been involved in every aspect of the company, offering him valuable experience on how to adapt in new or unknown work environments. Andrew has taken this experience and applied it to his position as a sales representative within the company. He also works extensively with product development and brainstorming new ideas that could possibly transform the alcohol industry.

 

President/CEO

Merrilee Kick
kick@southern-champion.com

Vice Presidents

Alex Kick
alexkick@southern-champion.com
Andrew Kick
andrewkick@southern-champion.com
California

Shipping/Receiving/POS

Tina Roosmalen
tina.roosmalen@southern-champion.com
Main Office: 972-242-3777

Plant Manager

Cheo Cavil
cheo.cavil@southern-champion.com
Main Office: 972-242-3777

Legal Counsel

Charles Irvin
charles.irvin@southern-champion.com
Main Office: 972-242-3777

Billing/Invoicing

admin@southern-champion.com
Main Office: 972-242-3777

Sales Team

Phil Musser, Sales Director
phil.musser@buzzballz.com

Whitney Elliott, National Accounts Sales Manager
whitney.elliott@southern-champion.com

Meagen Howard, Off-premise Sales Manager
meagen.howard@southern-champion.com

Bradley Cooper, Brand Development Manager
brad.cooper@southern-champion.com
Pricing, Incentives, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin

Darren Summers, Sales Manager
darren.summers@southern-champion.com
Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii

Stuart Freiner, International Sales
stuart.freiner@southern-champion.com
International, Bermuda, Texas, Colorado

Nanci McCook, Sales Manager
nanci@southern-champion.com
Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Utah

Darolyn Skelton, Sales Manager
darolyn.skelton@southern-champion.com
New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana

Nanci McCook, Sales Manager
nanci@southern-champion.com
Alabama, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Utah, Montana

House Accounts: Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Kentucky

BuzzBallz Gives Back

BuzzBallz understands the importance of giving back to the community and to those in need. The following are a few of the contributions we have made this year. 

  1. BuzzBallz gave $1000 donation to the Alzheimer’s Association this month.
  2. BuzzBallz helped little girl in Africa, Bibiana. She is an albino from Tanzania and is 14 years old. When she was 10, her uncle sold her to butchers. The Black Magic Devil Worshippers (Cult) in Tanzania believe if you take the limb of someone that is albino, you will become rich. When she was 10 years old, a businessman/butcher came with a machete’ and chopped off her leg while she was asleep. The only help she has is from us. Every day in Tanzania, the albino population are worried they will be attacked by someone who will chop off their limbs. It’s horrifying and a daily problem. The news media got wind of the story and Bibiana was interviewed by 60 Minutes, BBC in London, CNN, etc, about the horrific event. After the story, the news media left, but she still had no leg. Some doctors from UCLA Medical Center agreed to make the leg and perform surgery. We are giving her two flights to Los Angeles, and a place to stay in in LA while she is in rehab. She will be accompanied by a member of parliament from Tanzania.  See CCH Pounder’s link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yjZ2mWbTPs. Look at Bibiana’s leg. She is 14 years old, not what one considers beautiful, not someone that the world would embrace with a Cinderella story, and has no mother or friends to help her. We are not doing it for the publicity, but we do think it is a life changing moment for her. We are sure she didn’t think help would come from a Texas alcohol company. Sometimes magic happens.
  3. Montana Science Student Scholarship – Merrilee Kick, President and owner of BuzzBallz grew up in Montana.  BuzzBallz gave $1000 scholarships to four Montana students this year. to advance their education in scientific discoveries. The students  developed cures for diseases, developed a way to turn garbage into fuel, and all kinds of cool things.
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