Brewbound Session San Diego 2015
President, Duvel Moortgat USA
Simon Thorpe is the president of Duvel Moortgat USA, the US arm of Duvel Moortgat NV, an independent, family-owned Belgian brewer specializing in super-premium craft beers in Europe and North America. For the past six years, Simon has led the growth of the company's US breweries from a small base to its current position as a respected leader in the craft beer segment. He was instrumental in bringing Boulevard Brewing Company into the Duvel Moortgat family in 2014 as well as building the success of Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York.
The High End President, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Felipe Szpigel is president of The High End, with responsibility for the development of the company’s craft and import beer brands in the U.S. market. His portfolio includes Stella Artois, Shock Top and the company’s craft businesses: Goose Island in Chicago; Blue Point in Patchogue, N.Y.; 10 Barrel in Bend, Ore.; Elysian in Seattle; Virtue Cider in Fennville, MI; and Golden Road in Los Angeles. Szpigel is also a member of the company’s North American management committee, who oversee all aspects of the business in the United States and Canada. Before his current position in the U.S. market, Szpigel was vice president of trade marketing for the global parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, in New York. There he led a series of key projects around the world such as the company’s renewed on-premise focus.
CEO and Co-Founder, Odell Brewing Company
Wynne Odell is co-founder and CEO of Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, CO. Starting in 1989 with her husband, Doug, and sister-in-law, Corkie, the trio had no grand plans, but after five years of a draft-only format, bottles were introduced and rapid growth ensued. 26 years later, Odell Brewing Company ranks 34th in size among craft breweries in the U.S. Odell is a Colorado-centric company, with 65% of its sales coming from Colorado. With the addition of Texas in 2014, it now distributes in 11 states. Wynne, Doug and Corkie undertook two transactions in July, 2015 that sold the majority of their stock to a combination of an ESOP and a trio of long-term managers. Having chosen legacy over maximum wealth, the three founders sleep well at night. Wynne, Doug and Corkie, along with 3 of their children, remain active at the brewery. Wynne currently chairs the Colorado Brewers’ Guild Board.
Senior Vice President, Bank of America
Brian Mulvaney leads the Beverage Finance Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Commercial Banking division. As one of the leading lenders into the beverage sector, Brian and his team are actively involved in financing the growth and acquisitions of beverage wholesalers and suppliers. Prior to joining Bank of America, Brian was a middle market investment banker at Headwaters and led their Food & Beverage practice. During the 1990’s Brian was a banker at First Chicago and First Union in their corporate banking and leveraged finance groups. Brian lives in Newport Beach with his wife and four teenage daughters.
Founder, Devils Backbone
I’ve been in the construction business since college and in the mid-2000’s I was fortunate enough to be able to buy 100 acres of land in the heart of the mountains of Nelson County, VA which we now call the Base Camp Brew Pub and Meadows. After falling for craft and considering adding a brew pub to my property I contacted the Brewers Association to inquire about building a brewery, The Basecamp, and they sold me “How to Build your Own Brewery” in 2006. Devils Backbone Brewing Company opened at our Basecamp Brewpub in the fall of 2008, and based on our success there we opened our packaging brewery in Lexington, VA in 2012. I’ve been lucky enough to work with one of the finest Brew Master’s in the industry, Jason Oliver and a team of a dozen other brewers supported by over 120 great employees.
Category Manager – Beer, BevMo!
Amy Gutierrez, a native Northern Californian, started her Beverage career, with Southern Wine & Spirits. The last two years at SWS, she was the BevMo! Category Captain, where she helped open 19 stores. She joined BevMo! in 1997, in the same roll and then transitioned to Assistant Buyer for Food and Hardlines. Amy has always had a passion for beer, and in 2003 was promoted to the Assistant Buyer for beer. Then four years later, was promoted to her current position as Category Manager for Beer. She is responsible for all beer buying in 157 stores, in three states.
Craft Category Development Director, Reyes Beverage Group
Steve joined Reyes Beverage Group in Aug 2014 to head the craft segment as the Craft Category Director. His various roles include growing the Craft category (spirits, craft beer, and cider), specialty brand education, best practices, National account development, and enhancing brewery business relations for Reyes Beverage Group. Prior to joining Reyes, Steve served as the vice president of sales and marketing for Firestone Walker. In that role, which he assumed in 2001, Steve developed the distribution network and sales team and was influential in the branding and marketing of all Firestone Walker brands. In his 15 years with Firestone Walker, Steve helped grow sales from 6,000 barrels in 1999’ to over 225,000 barrels in 2014.
VP of Sales, New Holland Brewing
Adam Lambert has spent the last 20 years learning from just about every angle of the beverage industry. Starting as a grocery store liquor clerk and growing to his current position as Vice President of Sales for New Holland Craft Brewery and Artisanal Spirits. Today’s duties involve managing the day-to-day operations and long-term vision for the sales department. Prior to working for New Holland, Adam spent seven years as Vice President of Sales for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and six years as National Sales and Marketing Manager for Rogue Ales and Spirits. Past experiences include owning a wine distribution company, beverage brokerage and managing the west coast as a brewery brand manager. Adam is a proud graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He is currently a member of the Independent Council on 3-Tier Dynamics and a long serving member of the Brewers Association Export Development Committee.
Chief Operating Officer, Devils Backbone
Hayes Humphreys serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Virginia's largest craft brewery. His interest in Craft Beer was spawned by a visit to the always irreverent Magic Hat Brewery as a teenager and his first legal-age love was Pete’s Wicked Ale. Beer and brewing turned from passion and hobby to profession when faced with a slate of soul-sapping job prospects upon his graduation from the Darden School of Business. He joined the team at Devils Backbone in 2011 and has been awed each day since by the talent, intelligence and personality in the beer industry. As Chief Operating Officer, Hayes helps to develop the strategic direction for the company and oversees management of Operation, Sales, Marketing and Hospitality.
Executive Director, California Craft Brewers Association
Tom entered the craft brewing industry in 1982. Two years later he founded McCormick Beverage Co., one of the first beer wholesalers in the country that sold craft beer exclusively. After selling the company, he created an on-site educational seminar for major brand wholesalers about how to sell craft beer. He also taught classes at the American Brewers Guild and UC Davis Extension and consulted for brewers, wholesalers and importers. In 1997 he was a co-founding partner in Wolaver’s Organic Ales. He later became editor of the online industry newsletter BeerWeek and manger of the online industry resource site ProBrewer.com. In 2006 he became the first executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association.
VP, Beverage Alcohol Practice, Nielsen
As Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice, Danelle provides industry thought leadership and best practice solutions to beer, wine, and spirits clients, industry groups, and the media. She is committed to leveraging Nielsen’s breadth of resources to provide an integrated and holistic understanding of consumer behavior and retail trends across beer, wine, and spirits. Danelle has more than 15 years of marketing experience, and has been with Nielsen for over 10 years, working across various clients in the food, beverage, and consumer goods industries. Prior to joining the Beverage Alcohol Practice, Danelle led Nielsen’s business at MillerCoors in Chicago. Danelle received her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and her BA in International Studies and Economics from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.
Chairman, Corporate Practice Group, Spencer Fane LLP
Mike McCann is a partner at Spencer Fane LLP where he serves as chair of the firm's Corporate Practice Group. Mike has represented several of the region’s largest and most well-regarded companies through business decisions, mergers, and acquisitions that pave the way for their continued growth and success. In particular, he has been recognized for his representation of major craft brewers in significant deals including Boulevard Brewing Company in its sale to Duvel Moortgat and more recently Firestone Walker in its deal with Duvel.
Managing Director, Praire Capital Advisors
Rocky Fiore is a Managing Director/Principal at Prairie Capital Advisors, an employee owned company that provides investment banking, ESOP advisory and valuations services to support the growth and ownership transition strategies of middle-market companies. Mr. Fiore has extensive experience in various corporate advisory services including Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), valuation and capital structuring and has a diverse background working with companies in many different industries.
Founder & Managing Director, Scion Advisors
Deborah Steinthal is Founder and Managing Director of Scion Advisors, a leading boutique strategy consulting firm serving private business owners in the food and alcoholic beverage industries. With a proven approach enabling business owners to position for growth or for exit, she has worked alongside over 150 CEOs to generate close to a billion dollars of incremental, profitable revenues for their companies. Among her clients: Adelsheim, Willakenzie, Cakebread, Spottswoode, Patz & Hall Wine Company, Benziger Family Vineyards, Gundlach Bundschu, Clos Du Val, Quails’ Gate Winery, Wente, J. Lohr, Calera Wine Company, Brown Forman, Diageo, Delicato Family Vineyards - as well as Choice Lunch, Cowgirl Creamery, Easton Malloy (producers of Peppermint Bark for Williams-Sonoma), and McEvoy Ranch. Preceding her consulting career, Steinthal was a Board member and Vice President of Business Development at 4 internet start ups - one which sold to 1-800-Flowers, as well as a Senior Director of Digital Services at Oracle.
Vice President, Zepponi & Company
Cody Jennings is a Vice President with Zepponi & Company, a transaction advisory firm serving the beverage alcohol industry. With Zepponi, he has been involved in more than $500 million in transactions and performed valuations across a wide range of businesses. He also covers market research for the craft beer, wine and spirts industries, and is a frequent contributor to industry trade publications. Though a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer since college, Cody began his career in the beverage industry as a financial analyst with Jackson Family Wines.
Senior Vice President, Zepponi & Company
Kevin O’Brien is a Senior Vice President with Zepponi & Company, a transaction advisory firm serving the beverage alcohol industry. Kevin has over a decade of experience advising businesses in the beverage, consumer packaged goods and manufacturing sectors and is currently responsible for project management and market analysis within the firm. Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, Kevin was the Director of Business Advisory at Irvine & Company, a leading beverage alcohol accounting and consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest. Kevin worked with numerous winery, brewery and distillery clients on corporate advisory matters, including financial modeling, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Preceding his work in the Pacific Northwest, he was an investment analyst for a San Francisco-based consumer product focused private equity firm where he completed debt, equity and acquisition transactions in the food and beverage industries.
Director, First Beverage Group
Ryan Lake joined First Beverage in 2010 and works on the investment banking team, where is he is focused on mergers and acquisitions for craft beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverage transactions. While at First Beverage, he has been involved in over $1 billion of closed M&A transactions, including assignments for craft brewery clients such as Boulevard Brewing, Firestone Walker, Southern Tier, 10 Barrel and Saint Archer. Prior to his time at First Beverage, Ryan spent nearly a decade with GE Capital in various positions in sales and underwriting.
Vice President, Saint Archer Brewing Company
Jeff Hansson is the Vice President of Saint Archer Brewing Company in San Diego. A 13-year veteran in the beverage industry, Jeff has worked for high profile companies such as the Boston Beer Company and Pepsico, specializing in sales strategy, distributor management, national accounts, training and revenue management.