R. Scott Winters is Co-Founder of The American Spirits Exchange, which provides business-to-business functions for the alcohol industry. Scott is a serial entrepreneur of 15 years following a career as an academic scientist. His ventures have ranged from entertainment, through consumer goods to healthcare. Highlights of his career include the development of the world’s most technologically advanced pediatric cancer center. He has served on the board of directors for multiple entrepreneurial ventures as well as international non-profits. Throughout his career he has published 2 books, over 50 technical articles and popular papers, and amassed over 750 hours of public speaking. Scott received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in two simultaneous programs (Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity and BioInformatics and Computational Biology), received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business, and is Phi Beta Kappa.
Andrew Causey is the Technical Sales Manager of BSG Distilling. In this capacity he provides training to distillers and staff with regard to ingredient selection and utilization. An integral aspect of that instruction is the selection of ingredients and processing aids consistent with the BSG Distilling mandate to fully serve the craft distilling industry. Prior to joining BSG Distilling, Mr. Causey was a founder of Downslope Distilling and an instructor for a multitude of workshops on the topic of the business of craft distilling. Former students include representatives of successful distilleries all over the world. He was also a founding member of the Colorado Distillers Guild where he served as a board member. Mr. Causey is driven by a belief that individual success of all distillers is contingent on the health of the industry as a whole. That health can be achieved through collegial sharing of knowledge to ensure the quality of craft distilled products, sound business practice and the financial success of the industry.
Over the past decade, David Schuemann has led CF Napa Brand Design to become one of the world’s preeminent brand agencies specializing in wine, spirits, and beer. During that time, CF Napa has created some of the fastest-growing and most successful brands in the world. The firm’s work has earned international recognition from almost every major design competition in the world and has been showcased in some of the most prestigious museums, including the Museum of Modern Art. CF Napa’s work is part of the permanent collection at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum at the Smithsonian in New York City, and the permanent collection of the American Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum.
Throughout Jake Lipscomb’s 10 years at Custom Metalcraft, the last 6 have been spent as Head of Distillation sales. Custom Metalcraft has been building tanks for over 35 years, the company is no stranger to having success in all beverage markets. The Craft Distillery movement has been a wonderful pairing with CMC as their broad spectrum of customizable tank designs helps distillers accomplish their vision. Jake takes great pride in the long lasting, personal relationships developed with distillers and is excited for the ongoing success of this industry.
Janie Sciacca-Cantrell, CEO of Distillery Products. Distillery Products design and sales team work hand in hand with Craft Distillers to develop their own unique lines of branded promotional products for the Tasting Rooms, Gift Shops & E-Stores. Branded promotional products are unparalleled in their ability to attract new clients, increase brand awareness and ultimately capture a larger market share. It is our passion to see Craft Distillers gain more brand exposure then ever before with our branded Distillery. We are honored to be a partner in the Craft Distilling Revolution and are always developing new marketing solutions through our branded distillery products that will assist the Craft Distiller to capture a larger market share.
Tracy Sheppard is a Senior Loan Officer for Live Oak Bank’s Wine and Craft Beverage Lending Division. In 2014, Tracy joined the bank to help found this new group, which has been ranked as the Top SBA Lender to wineries & vineyards, craft breweries and distilleries nationwide since 2015. He is also responsible for developing and launching Live Oak’s Asset Based Lending (ABL) program specifically for whiskey inventory.
Tracy works from the bank’s office in Santa Rosa, California, but travels across the country to meet with craft beverage producers seeking expansion and advise them of their best loan options for their growing business. Prior to joining Live Oak, Tracy was the Business Development Officer for the Northern California region of Wells Fargo SBA for nine years. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of California, Davis.
Kevin Dunbar /// Tapi USA
Kevin Dunbar has over 20 years of experience in the packaging industry. He has worked with bottle and closure manufacturers world wide. In 2007 he became the sales manager for Tapi USA when the company entered the US / Canadian Markets. Tapi manufactures bottle closures in North America, Europe and South America. Tapi’s North American group has produced closures for over 60 years.
Eli joined Total Wine & More in 2014 to lead the company’s Spirits Buying Team. Eli brings a strong background in brand strategy, product development, assortment management, and integrated marketing to the Merchandising team. Previously, Eli led Anheuser-Busch’s craft beer portfolio and was responsible for twelve craft brands, M&A strategy, and led two Super Bowl ads for Budweiser. Prior to Anheuser-Busch, he served as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble and as a store manager at Wal-Mart and Mervyn’s. Eli holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and an MBA from Georgetown University.