People Moves: Ex-Boston Beer CMO to Courvoisier; Former Jester King Brewer Starts Chicago Brewing Project

Former Boston Beer CMO Jon Potter Joins Courvoisier

Jon Potter, the former Boston Beer Company chief marketing officer, has signed on as interim managing director for Beam Suntory-owned cognac brand Courvoisier, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Potter joined Boston Beer in 2016 after holding several marketing leadership roles at Moet Hennessy and Diageo. In 2018, he left Boston Beer, whose brands include Samuel Adams, Angry Orchard, Twisted Tea and Truly Hard Seltzer.

The Courvoisier cognac brand dates back to 1835.

Since leaving Boston Beer, Potter has served in advisory roles for Nomadica Wine, Ghost Tequila and Triptk, per LinkedIn.

Averie Swanson Leaves Jester King, Starts Chicago Brewing Project

Former Jester King head brewer Averie Swanson has left the Austin, Texas-based craft brewery to start her own brewing venture in Chicago called Keeping Together.

Swanson told Forbes that Keeping Together will brew at Chicago’s Half Acre, and its offerings will be served at the existing brewery’s Lincoln Avenue taproom. She plans to release a new Keeping Together beer each month. The first, a 3% ABV table beer, will be released in December.

During her time at Jester King, Swanson moved up the ranks. After a six-month apprenticeship in 2013, Swanson was promoted to brewer in 2014 and named brewery production manager in early 2016. She was promoted to head brewer in late 2016.

Jester King founder and owner Jeffrey Stuffings told Brewbound that Swanson retains her ownership stake in the company but does not hold a board seat or any decision-making responsibility.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids Hires Marketing Director

Lawson’s Finest Liquids has hired Elisa Kiviranna as its first marketing director, the Waitsfield, Vermont-based craft brewery announced.

“In this new position, Elisa will lead our marketing efforts to ensure the highest quality customer experience at our Waitsfield taproom and brewery, as well as in the nine-state Northeast territory where our beer is sold,” co-founder Karen Lawson said in a press release.

In addition to its Vermont taproom and brewery, the 11-year-old company brews its beer, which includes flagship Sip of Sunshine IPA, under contract at Two Roads Brewing in Connecticut.

Kiviranna is a Waitsfield local and comes to Lawson’s after marketing stints with Cabot Creamery, the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing and the Vermont Ski Areas Association. Prior to moving to Vermont in 2010, Kiviranna worked at an advertising agency in Boston.

“I am beyond excited to bring my marketing expertise to the team at Lawson’s Finest Liquids and help grow and support a brand that I hold dear to my heart as a local and a longtime craft beer fan,” Kiviranna said in the release.

Constellation Brands Names New VP of Corporate Reputation

Constellation Brands has promoted Amy Martin to vice president of corporate reputation and corporate social responsibility, the company announced in a press release.

In her new role, Martin will manage corporate brand communications and corporate social responsibility efforts, such as philanthropic engagement, community outreach and environmental sustainability work. .

Martin joined Constellation Brands — which makes popular Mexican import brands Corona, Modelo and Pacifico, as well as craft offerings such as Ballast Point, Funky Buddha and Four Corners — in 2005, working on its marketing and corporate communications teams.

“Corporate social responsibility has never been more important, and our team has never been more committed to doing our part to serve as good stewards of our environment, natural resources and our communities,” Mike McGrew, senior vice president of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility,said in the release. “Under Amy’s leadership, we look forward to continuing to raise the bar.”

Anheuser-Busch InBev Corporate Affairs Departures Continue

Brewbound has learned of additional corporate affairs departures at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Doug Bailey departed the world’s largest beer company in May after more than 14 years, last serving as vice president of U.S. affairs and the head of the company’s Washington, D.C., office, to join startup digital convenience store delivery service goPuff as VP of corporate affairs, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Bailey’s departure preceded the exit of former A-B VP of beyond beer, Randy Ornstein, who left the company in July after nearly two decades to join goPuff as director of alcohol.

During his 14-year career at A-B, Bailey led lobbying efforts in the southeast before his promotion to vice president. In that role, he led a team of 25 employees, which included the company’s federal government affairs team.

Earlier this month, Katie Rodgers exited A-B to become vice president of government affairs and outreach for the Foundation for Government Accountability, according to her LinkedIn profile. The Foundation for Government Accountability was founded in 2011 and aims to move people off welfare and into jobs, according to its website.

At A-B, Rodgers’ served as regional director of state government affairs, directing lobbying activities in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. She worked at A-B for six and a half years.

RNDC Names New Execs in Colorado and Georgia

Republic National Distributing Company, a wine and spirits wholesaler in 22 states and Washington, D.C., has named two new vice presidents at its Colorado and Georgia business units.

Andy Quarm will serve as executive vice president of RNDC Colorado, whileRandy Hecklinski will serve as executive vice president of NDC Georgia. Quarm joined the company in 2004 and worked in sales and marketing in Maryland before accepting the role of VP of sales in the company’s Colorado division.

Hecklinski joins NDC Georgia after a career in sales leadership roles on the supplier side at Constellation Brands; Trinchero Family Estates wines, whose brands include Sutter Home, Ménage à Trois and Joel Gott; and Pernod Ricard, whose brands include Absolut Vodka, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Beefeater Gin.

RNDC’s products include offerings from Constellation Brands, Beam Suntory, Brown Forman and Diageo.

Urban South’s Leadership Team for New Texas Brewery

New Orleans, Louisiana-based Urban South Brewery has named the leadership team of its Houston, Texas brewery and taproom, which is slated to open in January.

Dave Ohmer will serve as general manager and head brewer. He joined Urban South in March and spent three months brewing at the New Orleans brewery prior to construction beginning in Houston.

Justin and Marin Slanina were hired on November 18 and are the fourth husband-and-wife duo to join the Urban South team. Justin Slanina will serve as research and development brewer, while Marin Slanina will head up marketing, promotions and taproom management.

All three previously worked at B52 Brewing in Conroe, Texas. Additionally, Ohmer brewed at Saw Works Brewing in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Whole Foods Market Brewing in Houston. Justin Slanina served as a brewer for Ghost River Brewing in Memphis, Tennessee. Marin Slanina worked at major sporting and event venues in Houston, San Antonio, and College Station, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee, before joining B52 as operations manager.

“Our team is what gives Urban South its heart and soul, bringing creativity and passion to everything we do. We can’t wait to build this same culture in Houston with Dave, Justin, and Marin,” Urban South founder Jacob Landry said in a press release. “They bring incredible breadth of experience, and we’re eager to have them leading our new operation.”

Urban South opened in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2016. Since then, its production has more than quintupled to 11,000 barrels in 2018, according to the Brewers Association. The company’s Houston location will include a 10-barrel brewhouse, and blending and barrel room, taproom and beer garden at Houston’s Sawyer Yards, a center of repurposed industrial warehouses near the city’s train yards.

Correction: This story previously listed the incorrect exit date for Doug Bailey. It has been corrected. 

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