We’re excited to feature the following speakers for the 2020 Sell More Beer Virtual Summit presented by NBWA.
Nikki Cavanaugh | Rushing Duck Brewing
Nikki graduated with a BA from The College of New Jersey and a Masters of Social Work and Public Policy from Rutgers University. She started working in the craft beer industry as a bartender in 2009 and continued until 2015 at craft-centric bars. In 2011, Nikki and her husband Dan decided to open Rushing Duck Brewing in Chester, NY. They opened their doors in 2012 as one on the first breweries in Orange County. Rushing Duck is a small family owned brewery that has grown tremendously in the last eight years.
Mark Colburn | Shinerunner Craft Marketing
Mark Colburn’s beverage experience began after earning his master’s degree in marketing as a marketing research analyst in the advertising agency business where he earned the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Advertising Excellence Award. After working on brands and launching them into the US supermarket channel as a brand manager, Mark joined the British Trade & Investment Office where he earned the responsibility of Lead Post on the US Food and Beverage sectors. During his seven year tenure with the BTIO, British food exports to the US doubled while beverage exports increased 35%. He later went to work for one of the US’s largest beer, wine & spirits distributors as their marketing director launching multiple small, medium and large brands into the US marketplace and helping them grow seven fold in case volume. Brands worked on included Corona, SierraNevada, Drake’s, Heineken, Nestle, Sam Adams and many others. During this time Mark negotiated, planned and executed over 600 special events. A few of these included the Outside Lands Festival, the Fillmore Jazz Festival, the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival and the Millbrae Art and Wine Festival. Mark’s special event work was defined by his former employer as, “World Class.” Mark is currently the Vice President of Marketing & Sales for the Palmia Brewing Company and feels his expertise is in marketing, merchandising and motivation. Mark is also a beer and cider judge, pod cast host, author and enjoys bringing his two Shelby GT-500s to craft beer events which dramatically increase awareness for sponsoring brands. To learn more about Mark, check out his podcast series or his book: Craft Beer Marketing & Distribution – Brace for SKUmeggedon available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Eric Guerra | Reserve Tastings Wine Club
Author of the highly acclaimed When Great Wine Is Not Enough – A Wine Sales & Marketing Guide For Wineries, Négociants & Wine Brand Owners, named the 2018 North Bay Business Journal Winery Sales & Marketing Officer Of The Year, with over 17 years of wine experience, having managed or sold over 20 million cases of wine and developed over 500+ wine brands while receiving 14 packaging awards… author, wine executive, label designer, wine blogger, fine wine investor and wine public speaker Eric Guerra has led some of the industries’ most iconic wineries and wine brands, including his recent wine venture Reserve Tastings Wine Club, a direct-to-consumer private Wine + Music club that offers high-end wines that are paired with musically inspired label artwork and playlists. Eric was the highest-rated speaker at our 2020Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference.
Claus Hagelman | Mispillion River Brewing
A 25-year brewing industry veteran, Claus Hagelman is the Sales Director for Mispillion River Brewing in Milford, DE. He has 20 years experience building breweries and another 5 on the wine side, previously managing sales and marketing for 16 Mile in Georgetown, DE and national sales for Dogfish Head in Milton, DE. He most recently worked as the Southern Sales Director for Heavy Seas out of Baltimore, MD.
Paul Halayko | Newburgh Brewing Company
Paul Halayko is the President and Co-Founder of Newburgh Brewing Company, a craft brewery located in the City of Newburgh in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Opened in 2012, Newburgh Brewing Company is a production brewery with distribution in five states and a limited international footprint as well. In addition to distributing their award winning beers, they also operate a full-scale restaurant on the top floor of their brewery, which is a historic brick warehouse built in the 1850’s. As President of Newburgh Brewing Company, Paul is responsible for all matters concerning finance/accounting, marketing, and overall distribution strategy, in addition to overseeing a staff of over 20 people.
Jason Havens | Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.
Jason is the founder and co-owner of Rusty Nickel Brewing Co., which has two locations in its first five years in existance. He believes the industry is only competitively successful if breweries work toward progress together, educating consumers, standardizing quality in beer (production and service), improving industry legislation, protecting the legislation in place and providing an authentic customer experience to grow the industry for all breweries. Jason currently sits on the NY State Farm Brewery Committee, a subsidiary to the NYS Brewers Association Board of Directors and is currently creating a NYS Farm Brewery co-op platform. He’s also a Certified Cicerone® and trains all Rusty Nail Brewing Co. employees.
Julia Herz | HerzMuses Enterprises
Julia is a speaker, writer, author, and trade association professional. Most recently she was the Craft Beer Program Director for the Boulder, Colorado based Brewers Association (BA) and Publisher of CraftBeer.com (2007-2020). She is a BJCP Certified beer judge, an award-winning homebrewer, a Certified Cicerone® and beer educator. She is now a strategic consult via her new company HerzMuses Enterprises. Follow her beer filled adventures on Twitter @herzmuses and LinkedIN profile.
John Hinman | Hinman & Carmichael LLP
John is a founding partner (1991) of Hinman & Carmichael, LLP. John has been advising and representing alcoholic beverage industry clients (producer, importer, wholesaler and retail) since 1984 in all phases of industry regulation, including trade practice, distribution and importation, product fulfillment, retail licensing and production. John is a specialist in alcohol regulation in California, and throughout the United States, is a regular speaker and panelist at alcoholic beverage industry conferences throughout the US and has provided testimony in legislative and administrative proceedings in California, New York, New Jersey and Tennessee. John represent clients before the TTB, the California ABC and the counterpart agencies of other states.
Lester Jones | National Beer Wholesalers Association
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.
Erin Kelleher | Hinman & Carmichael LLP
Erin Kelleher began her tenure with the firm in 2014. She is a seasoned corporate lawyer with a specialty in advising buyers and sellers on transactions involving alcohol beverage and cannabis licensees. Erin works extensively with outside counsel, providing regulatory advice in concert with clients’ corporate attorneys to inform business practices, relationships and potential transactions. Additionally, Erin has extensive knowledge of the laws related to the sale, distribution and marketing of alcoholic beverages, the federal and state tied-house laws, and deep expertise with the ABC qualification requirements applicable to investors in alcohol beverage licensees. Erin has leveraged her transactional and licensing experience for the cannabis industry, providing investors and operators with practical structuring advice and risk analysis in a rapidly changing regulatory environment. Erin has participated as a guest lecturer at Sonoma State University on wine regulatory topics and is an active member of numerous trade associations. She provides pro bono legal services to the industry, representing Stern Grove and the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, among others.
Alex Koral | Sovos ShipCompliant
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Alex is Senior Regulatory Counsel for Sovos ShipCompliant, where he serves as lead legal researcher for beverage alcohol regulation and has become a leading expert in DtC shipping laws and interstate distribution of alcohol. He has spoken on the topic at many industry events including meetings for the National Council of State Liquor Administrators and the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association, and the Craft Brewers Conference. Alex has been in the beverage alcohol arena since 2015, after receiving his J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School.
Paul Leone | New York State Brewers Association
Paul is Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association, which has over 400 breweries and is one of the top craft beer states in the country. Paul began his career as a multi-media producer for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. He soon moved on to editing, shooting, and producing several series for cable television, including writing and developing several television pilots on American craft beer, the first few hosted by Dogfish Heads Sam Calagione.
Laura Lodge | Customized Craft Beer Programs
Laura Lodge learned about the distribution tier working with a small, independent distribution company in the mountains of Colorado. Job? Everything, including entering orders, loading/routing trucks, delivering product, all aspects of accounting + managing the office, and more. She shares her experience to benefit the artisanal/craft business owner in Distribution Insight for the Craft Brewer, which translates almost completely to the liquor, wine, cider and mead divisions of the alcoholic beverage industry. In addition, Laura is the owner of Customized Craft Beer Programs, a consulting business offering insight and assistance with all things craft beer. Her initial focus on developing craft beer programs for destination resorts has further expanded into creative educational events. A veteran of the craft beer industry, she has consulted for brewers and distributors, participated with the production of Paired at GABF, the educational sessions at SAVOR, and most recently created and coordinated special events with the Craft Beer & Brewing team such as luxury Brewers Retreats and the New Brewery Accelerator Workshops. Laura is also the coordinator of the well-known Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival held in the Colorado Rocky Mountains each year, where she lives and enjoys the outdoor lifestyle.
Joel McClosky | Four Saints Brewing Co.
A former elementary school teacher, Joel McClosky co-founded Randolph County’s (NC) first brewery in 2015 and serves as CEO of a venue that has become an integral part of the revitalization of Downtown Asheboro. A collaborator, he has been a supporter and advocate for fellow breweries and the Triad as a whole, including serving as the first president of the Triad Brewers Alliance (TBA) that was formed in 2017. He is also an innovator, having secured a patent for an Iceless Pour Sleeve developed in tandem with Vesture Corp. that keeps kegs cold without the use and hassle of ice.
Jason Meckes | Visit Hershey Harrisburg
Jason Meckes serves as the Director of Experience Development for Visit Hershey Harrisburg, the official Destination Marketing Organization for Dauphin County, Pa. Jason works with partners and stakeholders from around the region to develop comprehensive new experiences and products that will attract new audiences to the area. In this role, he created the Brew Barons Beer Trail app, launched in July 2020, linking 20 craft breweries throughout Dauphin County to craft beer drinkers, using beer tourism to Sell More Beer.
Pete Slosberg | Pete’s Wicked Ale
Pete Slosberg started Pete’s Brewing Company in 1986 and created Pete’s Wicked Ale. The company grew over 100 percent annually for 10 years, produced the #2 craft beer behind Sam Adams, went public, and then was acquired. Pete then created Cocoa Pete’s Chocolate Adventures and sold it seven years later. He also wrote a best selling book, Beer for Pete’s Sake, and now teaches at beer conferences worldwide and for a course affiliated with the Small Business Administration.
Eric Williams| Mispillion River Brewing
Eric Williams is the fearless leader of Mispillion River Brewing in Milford, DE. After spending years in the corporate management world, Eric brings a wealth of business and interpersonal skills to the workplace. Utilizing dramatic pauses, he has built a team that will rally around all of his shenanigans. Eric was also voted best person to have a beer with by his coworkers.