San Diego 2016
Chairman, Pabst Brewing Co.
Eugene Kashper is an American beer entrepreneur who acquired a controlling interest in Pabst Brewing Company in 2014. Mr. Kashper lives in Los Angeles where the company is headquartered, and currently serves as Chairman and CEO of PBC. Upon graduating from Columbia University, Kashper joined Ernst & Young as a consultant in International Business Services. In 1994, he left Ernst & Young to become the Stroh Brewery Company’s first and sole representative in the former Soviet Union. From 1995 to 1998, Kashper co-founded and served as CEO of North Winds Brewing, a beer and beverage import and distribution company based in Moscow, Russia. North Winds exclusively represented some of the brands Pabst owns today such as Strohs, Colt 45, Old Milwaukee, and Schaefer, as well as handling the marketing and distribution of Corona, Perrier, Heineken, Red Bull energy and other beer and beverage brands. In 1998, Kashper co-founded Ivan Taranov Breweries (ITB) and served as CEO until 2001. ITB grew to include 3 breweries and 23 wholly owned distribution operations in Russia. Kashper also co-founded the Syabr Brewing Company in Belarus and Vlad Pivo, a brewery in the Russian Far East. In 2008, Kashper co-founded Oasis Beverages, which currently has brewing and beverage operations in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. As CEO of Pabst, Kashper has worked to strengthen the company’s sales and distribution and supply chain capabilities, forge new partnerships with high-end brand owners, and take full advantage of the company’s unique portfolio of heritage brands which include such iconic brands as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Lone Star, Old Style, Stroh’s, Rainier, Colt 45 and others. Over the past 24 months Pabst has added 150 employees mainly in the sales and marketing functions, partnered with Small Town Brewery to launch Not Your Father’s Root Beer, become the exclusive importer for Tsingtao, and entered a partnership with Vermont Hard Cider Co., the maker of Woodchuck and other cider brands. Most recently, Pabst collaborated with Dog Tag Brewing Company founder Seth Jordan to launch Legacy Lager. Dog Tag donates 100% of its profits to benefit charities created or selected by Gold Star Families. Recent heritage brand innovations launched by Pabst include Stroh’s Bohemian Pilsner, Rainier Pale Mountain Ale, Ballantine Burton Ale and Old Style Oktoberfest. Mr. Kashper attended The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and graduated from Columbia University in 1992 with a major in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He is married and has two children.
Founder, The Lost Abbey
President, Rogue Ales & Spirits
Brett Joyce began his career at Rogue Ales & Spirits in 1989. At age 16 he worked as a keg washer and truck driver. Brett graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 1995 with a double major in History and Economics. He worked at Adidas for 10 years, principally in product marketing, and worked at Adidas-Taylor Made Golf in Carlsbad, California where he was Director of Global Golf Footwear. He spent two years at Fila North America, outside of Baltimore, Maryland, where he was General Manager. He eventually “returned” to Rogue in 2006, where he learned the business working along side of his father (Founder & Chief Wisdom Officer, Jack Joyce). Brett was named President in 2007. He is married 16 years to Rhonda, has two daughters -- Lauren (14) and Emily (13) -- and a dog named Rascal.
Founder & Managing Partner, Arlington Capital Advisors
Vann Russell is the Founder and Managing Partner of Arlington Capital Advisors. At Arlington, Vann has developed specific expertise in the consumer sector advising on numerous transactions in various industry segments including craft beer, restaurants, retail, franchising, food and beverage, consumer products and education. Prior to founding Arlington Capital Advisors, Vann spent over a decade with the big four accounting firm Deloitte, starting his career in the audit services group working with both public and private companies from $250 million to $2 billion in revenue. Vann solidified his tenure at Deloitte in the tax division working with ultra-high net worth families and large corporations. Over the course of his career, Vann has also been a successful investor and entrepreneur, investing in, operating and monetizing several private companies beginning with a business he owned and operated while working his way through college. Vann graduated Cum Laude in 1994 from The University of Alabama, Birmingham with a B.S. degree in Accounting, where he was the top accounting student in his class and hired by Deloitte one year prior to his graduation. Vann helped found and currently serves on the board of Neverthirst, a charitable organization focused on making potable drinking water readily available in impoverished and developing countries. Vann also serves on the board of Milo’s Hamburgers. Vann is an active Certified Public Accountant and holds FINRA Series 79, 62 and 63 licenses.
Founder, Two Beers Brewing & Seattle Cider
Nearly one decade ago, Joel VandenBrink started brewing beer in the basement of his Seattle home. Today, he is founder and CEO of Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider Company, one of the country’s fastest growing craft cider brands. Responsible for the management and operations of the two Seattle-based companies, Joel has used his background as manufacturing engineer to craft his dream, taking it from an 170-square-foot ActiveSpace to a more than 29,000 square foot production facility and tasting room, distributing to 12 states and four countries. Most recently, VandenBrink led the companies through a merger with Agrial, France’s largest cider producer, expanding the brewery and cidery’s capital investments and international distribution.
Chief Economist, NBWA
Lester Jones tracks the economic factors that impact the beer distribution industry and alcohol policy decisions at the federal, state and local levels. He evaluates and develops primary industry data, including economic impact, tax impacts, sales and volume data. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in research, survey methodology and applied economics. He previously served as chief economist at the Beer Institute, where he developed and executed significant research initiatives that helped shape America’s beer industry. Jones also has become a respected public speaker, offering in-depth technical, analytical and quantitative expertise. In addition to his decade of work at the Beer Institute, Jones previously worked for Arbitron Company (Nielsen) in Columbia, Maryland, and the Regional Economic Studies Institute in Towson, Maryland. Jones holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Delaware as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Chief Economist, Brewers Association
Co-Founder, Pints LLC
Daniel Lust, the former Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc., a family-owned beverage wholesaler based in Tucson, AZ, is an independent consultant with PINTS LLC supporting the beverage industry in strategic planning, data analysis, marketing and branding, territory expansion, and wholesaler management. During his tenure at GED he was focused on developing internal process improvements, profitable pricing initiatives, business intelligence tools and portfolio development. His sales leadership was recognized by supplier partners, including national recognition by Anheuser-Busch for developing innovative solutions to measure sales performance and execution. He is also an avid mountain biker, road cyclist, golf nut, home brewer and active member of various charitable organizations in the local community.
Partner & Chair, Alcoholic Beverage Practice Group, Pepper Hamilton
Alva Mather is partner and chair of Pepper Hamilton’s Alcoholic Beverage Practice Group and co-chair of the Food and Beverage Practice Group. Alva is a business lawyer, litigator and first-chair trial attorney with more than a decade of experience who has established herself as a leading attorney in matters affecting the highly regulated alcoholic beverage industry. She has advised breweries, distilleries, wholesalers, distributors, and restaurateurs on all aspects of manufacturing, distributing and selling alcohol. Alva is an active writer and speaker and on social media at @alcohollawyer.
Category Manager – Beer, BevMo!
Amy Gutierrez, a native Northern Californian, started her beverage career, with Southern Wine & Spirits. The last two years there, 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 163 stores, in three states.
Senior Manager of Emerging Business, Craft Brew Alliance
Innovation Brewmaster, Craft Brew Alliance
Co-Founder, Hopewell Brewing Company
Managing Director, Cowen and Company
Vivien Azer is a managing director and senior research analyst specializing in the beverage, tobacco and cannabis sectors. Ms. Azer is the first senior Wall Street analyst to cover the emerging cannabis sector, resulting in notable press coverage across periodicals such as Barron’s and Forbes. Ms. Azer's coverage of the tobacco sector earned her a spot on Institutional Investor's All-America Research Team on several occasions. In 2015, Starmine ranked Ms. Azer #3 for earnings estimation in tobacco, and in 2014 she ranked #1 in tobacco and #3 for earnings estimation in beverages. Prior to joining Cowen and Company in 2014, she spent over 9 years at Citi covering consumer staples. Ms. Azer holds a BA from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business.