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Brewing up stories + business advice with leading manufacturers and cpg brands. On the Pitcher This! Podcast, we talk to founders and marketing managers about how they got into the industry and the brand origin stories. Everything from success in manufacturing leveraging digital to what marketing tactics are needed to compete in cpg. We’re excited to discuss the inspirations, challenges, and memorable moments along the way.
 
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Liz Skalla has been with GIVN, a sustainable water company that focuses on human rights, for six years as a member of their Board of Advisors, Co-founder, and EVP. With a passion for building and mentoring companies, she has proven herself as a leader of brands. Liz has consulted for international brands such as Philips Healthcare, Guggenheim Aviat…
 
Steven Jack is the Director of Business Development and Strategy at BuildingPoint Midwest and Gulf Coast, a company that helps improve productivity for construction teams through advanced and intuitive technologies. Steven has over 20 years of experience in e-commerce media and content, including specializations in WordPress, Mailchimp, and SEO. He…
 
Jason Kammes is the CEO of Brand Wings, a marketing automation platform that improves brand consistency and overall sales. He started the company to tangibly equip businesses with the tools they need for winning more deals and staying on brand. Prior to Brand Wings, Jason spent approximately 20 years at the Fujifilm Graphic Systems Division, rising…
 
Jason Azevedo is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Manufacturing Revitalization Corporation of America (MRCA), which seeks to breathe new life into American manufacturing. He is also the CEO at Advoque, Instrument Graphics, and Mosaic. Jason is an expert in the field of business development, having worked on projects with global brands such as Cost…
 
Ian Garlic is the Founder of STORYCREWS.COM, the ultimate resource for video storytelling. Ian has built a career in multiple forms of media, including his online video marketing consultancy. He has worked with service-based clients, from lawyers to SaaS companies, to blend SEO with storytelling and engage new customers. He is also the CEO of authe…
 
Andrew Morgans is the Owner of Marknology, a full-service agency and brand accelerator that has managed over 200 million in sales on Amazon. Within the crowded field of Amazon branding, Andrew has still found incredible success. He has personally worked with some leading international brands such as Adidas, Marvel, and Swiss. Andrew’s initial succe…
 
Elizabeth “Liz” Seelye is a brand innovator and the Founder of Starry-Eyed Strategy, a brand strategy consultancy that seeks to breathe innovation into businesses. She has worked with small brands including Orvis and Wholesome as well as larger brands such as Starbucks and Cinnabon. In addition, she is the Co-founder of Starryside Company, which of…
 
Dmitriy Pisarev is a serial entrepreneur, an expert in funnel design and conversion, and the Founder of Business JetPack. A B2B company, Business JetPack is a firm that offers marketing strategy and detailed analysis to create high-performing funnels. He also founded Conversion Whisperer in 2018, where he also optimized marketing strategies for ind…
 
Steven Bork is an expert in marketing and the Principal at Nova B2B Marketing. The firm works in communications and marketing consultation, specializing in specific B2B sectors. Steven has over 40 years of experience, working for a host of different marketing companies including Mark Anderson Associates and White Horse Productions. Of all those yea…
 
Jason Kidd is the Founder of Outcast Brands, a collective dedicated to invigorating brands and breathing new life into the craft spirits industry. He also works as a Marketing and Beverage Consultant for Trajectory Consulting, working with brands such as Bacardi and Bombay Sapphire. Jason is a beverage and business expert with experience from his m…
 
Anna Schweig is the Co-founder of Big Thorn Farm & Brewery, an off-the-grid farmhouse brewery located in Georgetown, Illinois. She founded the solar power-focused operation with her husband, Aaron, in 2016. Together, Anna and Aaron brought their experience from breweries and restaurants to create their own unique, 15-acre farm location. Branching o…
 
Will Hench is an entrepreneur, full stack marketer, and experienced brand strategist. He is the Co-founder and CEO of NIPYATA!, a company that sells personalized piñatas stuffed with alcohol. He is also the Founder and CEO of threadlab, which makes sustainable fashion for men. Will’s background is in marketing and e-commerce businesses, heading the…
 
Dr. Jeff and Josh Daiter are brothers and the Co-founders of InVintory. Their business uses augmented reality to create a unique platform for wine collectors. Josh comes from a background in technology, serving as the company’s Chief Product Officer. Dr. Daiter, on the other hand, is a licensed physician who currently serves as the CEO of InVintory…
 
Jordan Radke is the Co-founder and COO of Pilot Project Brewing, an open-source tasting facility and incubator. They house experimental brews for brands around Chicago and across the nation. Before his time in Chicago, Jordan worked in Madison, Wisconsin as an Archives Manager for the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. He has also worked as an …
 
Hilary Cocalis is the Founder and Chief Go Getter at Sipwell Wine Co., a premium California canned wine brand. She’s also the Principal at HilCo Brand Consulting and a Strategy Consultant at BEXBRANDS. With over a decade working with beverage brands, Hilary knows what goes into making a great company and a delicious drink. Before founding her own b…
 
Taylor Foxman is a prominent leader in the beverage industry and the Founder and CEO of The Industry Collective. The Industry Collective is a consulting firm for fast-growing beverage brands that has worked with names such as Archer Roose and BeatBox Beverages. Her greatest strengths come from networking and leadership, sitting as a Board Member fo…
 
Pavlos Dafnis is the Founder of Wolf Point Distilling, a craft distillery set in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor of Chicago. Wolf Point creates small-batch spirits with an emphasis on quality and storytelling. Pavlos founded the brand in January of 2021 after seeing a lack of local distilleries in his hometown. Pavlos is also the Owner of Tassos Met…
 
CC and Reed DesRosiers are a married couple, amateur bartenders, and the Co-founders of Troop Beverage Co. Troop specializes in creating ready-to-drink cocktails made with quality ingredients and craft spirits. As the CEO of Troop, CC is in charge of the company’s daily operations. Her background is in consultation and she has worked for noteworthy…
 
Chris Knight is the Founder of The Blind Pig, a collection of bars and breweries located in Champaign, Illinois. Chris moved from England to the Champaign–Urbana metro area to attend the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois. He opened the first Blind Pig location in 1990 and has since expanded to four different locations and a …
 
Matt Riggs is the Co-founder of Riggs Beer Company, along with his brother, Darin Riggs. In day-to-day operations, Matt handles the brewery’s beer production, sales, and distribution. He earned his German brewmaster certification at Doemens Akademie in Munich Germany, having worked for a brewery that’s over 350 years old. Matt served in the Marines…
 
Leah Keggi is the Marketing Director at Blue Ridge Spirits & Wine Marketing, a sales agency for premium wines and spirits. Leah has over eight years of experience in the marketing field, including as the Marketing Director for Terrapin Beer Co. Her expertise lies in both social media and brand strategy that she leverages to run effective and creati…
 
Aaron Keefner is the Brewery General Manager at More Brewing Company in Huntley, Illinois. At More Brewing, Aaron leads their brand development, management, and marketing. Before joining the team, he worked with other notable names such as Revolution Brewing and Goose Island Beer Company. Aaron has sharpened his skillset over a wide spectrum of ind…
 
Mark French is a serial entrepreneur who’s founded multiple successful businesses and worked for some of the largest brand names in the world. Currently, he is the CEO of X2 Performance, a prominent supplements brand that’s revolutionizing the sports nutrition world with its patented formula. He is also the Founder of NLP Ventures, which invests in…
 
Nick Packard is a marketing architect and business coach with critical expertise in interim roles. He has run his freelance consulting company, NP Connect, since 2010 and has worked on sales and marketing initiatives with businesses of all shapes and sizes. Currently, he is also the Vice President of Business Development for Pineapple Development, …
 
Christopher Glenn is the Founder and Executive Director for Bottleshare. Bottleshare is a nonprofit organization with a mission to grant emergency funds to members of the craft beverage industry. Applicants who experience extreme hardships that prevent them from working are given monetary grants that allow them to focus on recovery and healing. Chr…
 
Blake Jones is the Co-founder and President of West Fork Whiskey Co. and Old Hamer. West Fork Whiskey Co. was founded in 2015, and they distill and produce craft whiskeys using ingredients that are entirely sourced in Indiana. One of the things they're known for is reviving the historic Indiana whiskey brand Old Hamer, which they did in 2019. West …
 
Molly Fedick is a content expert and the Founder of Buzzkill Wines, a company that specializes in alcohol-removed wines that retain the fun of traditional wine. She developed her brand of unique content as the Creative Director of Hinge for almost four years, guiding their marketing strategy and asset creation. In addition to Buzzkill, Molly works …
 
David Lekach is an entrepreneur, strategist, and the former CEO of Dream Water, a manufacturer of a liquid and powder natural sleep aid. In 2018, he sold the million-dollar company. Since selling Dream Water, David has advised and consulted companies in the CPG, cannabis, and direct-to-consumer spaces on team building, deal structuring, and more. C…
 
Caleb Benoit is the Founder of Connect Roasters, a coffee distributor that partners with countries in need and empowers those communities through the shared experience of coffee. Caleb has a vast background in journalism, marketing, advertising, and ad tech. Before founding Connect Roasters, Caleb was the Vice President of Partnerships at Featurd a…
 
Mattie Korneta is the Digital Content Manager for the Olympia Fields Country Club, the largest private clubhouse in the world, and a Bartender for Crafted 1979, a craft bottle shop and taproom. At Olympia Fields Country Club, Mattie coordinates their social media presence, produces branded marketing materials, and leads the creation and production …
 
Marian Leitner-Waldman is the Founder and CEO of Archer Roose, an artisan wine-in-a-can. Archer Roose makes consciously crafted wines from the world's best wine regions and delivers them to consumers in a way that fits their lifestyles. Marian has received numerous accolades for her company as a MassChallenge Finalist, Babson-Breakaway Challenge Fi…
 
Erik Pizer is the Head Brewer and a Co-owner at Milk Money Brewing, a brewery based in La Grange, Illinois that offers local food, hand-brewed beer, and an unforgettable experience. Erik has been home brewing as a hobby since he was a teenager and began his professional brewing career in 2013 when he co-founded his own brewery, 350 Brewing Company.…
 
Brad Martin and Joe Prior are the Co-founders of Rip N Sip, a company producing single-serve CBD pouches that can be easily added to any beverage. Their journey in the hemp industry began in 2018 as suppliers of hemp extracts. Since then, they have started the Urbane Hemp Co., a retail store offering hemp-derived products. Joe has had a long career…
 
Chrishon Lampley is the Founder and Negociant of Love Cork Screw, a wine and lifestyle brand that crafts unique wines and products like body butter, home goods, and apparel. Chrishon founded Love Cork Screw after years in the high-end retail and fashion industries. She started Love Cork Screw in 2012 but has been in the wine industry for 25 years. …
 
Sam LaGrow is the Co-founder of LaGrow Organic Beer Company. This family-owned and operated brewery believes in brewing with the purest, non-GMO, certified organic ingredients to bring you beer that is pure, premium, and uncompromised. Sam started LaGrow Beer Co. in 2016 with his three brothers, and it is Chicago’s first USDA-certified organic brew…
 
Haley Langer is a Front End Developer at Idea Marketing Group, a marketing agency that helps businesses grow by generating leads and increasing brand awareness. Haley uses her skills in graphic design and visual communications to create custom websites for clients. Before joining Idea Marketing Group, Haley was a Layout Designer at Waubonsee Commun…
 
Carlton Fowler and James Pelligrini are Managing Partners of Goat Rodeo Capital, a venture capital fund specializing in early-stage opportunities within the alcohol beverage space. Carlton and James have nearly 30 years of combined experience in management, brand development, and marketing. They have collaborated on many business ventures as Foundi…
 
Mitchell Stern is the Co-founder of Darling Mimosa, a sparkling mimosa in a can. Based in Ontario, Canada, Mitchell is a serial beverage entrepreneur and has been in the beverage industry since 2014. He is also the Co-founder and Strategic Advisor at Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. Before entering the beverage space, Mitchell started Fighting Chance C…
 
Dawson Sieradzky is the Founder and CEO of Juiced Boxes, a company providing the smarter version of your go-to party punch. Dawson started Juiced Boxes in May 2020, right after graduating from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Dawson has been fencing since he was six years old and was a college athlete during his time at C…
 
Sara Moll is the Founder and CEO of Vin Social, a company dedicated to connecting experience-seeking wine lovers to sommeliers and small-batch winemakers. Sara was previously working in the fashion industry as a Creative Director but decided to pivot her life to focus on wine. She received her sommelier certification from the International Culinary…
 
Tom Halaska is the Brand Manager at WellBeing Brewing, a brewery dedicated to making non-alcoholic craft brews. Tom has been in the restaurant and beverage industry since he was fifteen, and has done marketing for international liquor brands. Tom is also collaborating with Hope for The Day, a nonprofit focused on proactive suicide prevention and me…
 
Charolette Converse is the Manager of Marketing and Corporate Events at Mikerphone Brewing, a brewery blending craft beer and music to create perfect harmony. Before joining the team at Mikerphone, Charolette was part of Only Child Brewing, working on their social media. In this episode… What happens when you mix beer and music? What does a special…
 
Kim Nguyen is the Director of Marketing at Speakeasy Co., an e-commerce and logistics platform that allows alcohol beverage brands to sell directly to consumers from their own website. Kim works to ensure that each brand’s e-commerce process and digital marketing outreach is as seamless as possible. Kim has worked in the digital marketing and paid …
 
Jim Snediker is the Founder and CEO of Stock Mfg. Co., a Chicago-based, full-service design, development, and manufacturing workwear and uniform company. Jim founded Stock Mfg. Co. in 2012 as a menswear clothing brand, but soon found his niche in workwear. After almost a decade, Stock Mfg. Co. has established a national reputation for quality and t…
 
Tim Angelillo is the Founder and CEO of Sourced Craft Cocktails, the largest craft cocktail delivery service in the country. Tim is a successful tech entrepreneur and global business leader with experience running divisions of publicly traded companies like Yahoo and Time Warner. Currently, he’s also founding and leading three startups in Austin, T…
 
Corey Gerstner is the Vice President of Business Development at Bottlecapps, an alcohol delivery mobile app that helps your business deliver beer, wine, and spirits efficiently and effectively. Corey has been with the Bottlecapps team for almost five years, transitioning from Sales and Marketing Manager and Senior Director of Marketing and Client S…
 
Hope for the Day is a nonprofit organization working to promote mental health education and proactive suicide prevention. Breweries worldwide are partnering with them to participate in their “Things We Don’t Say: Craft Beer for Mental Health” project. Together, they aim to help smash the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage people to have…
 
Zack Lister is the Founder and CEO of Bodega Brands, a Canadian-based family of brands working together to provide best-in-class beverage products to the hospitality industry. Some of Bodega’s popular beverage brands include Arte, cold-pressed and fresh juice mixers, and Hecho, a canned tequila soda. Before starting Bodega, Zack was CEO and Co-Foun…
 
Aimy Steadman is the Co-Founder and COO of Future/Proof, a cutting-edge company focused on developing innovative beverage brands for the next generation of drinkers. Future/Proof is the creator of BeatBox Beverages, a popular beverage brand that mixes fun, friends, and flavor into something that makes everyone party better together. Future/Proof wa…
 
Drew Hendricks is the President of Barrels Ahead, a marketing agency focused on accelerating organic growth for the wine and craft industry. Drew began his journey in the wine industry after graduating with a degree in Philosophy and Ancient Greek. He later earned his MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance and became a web developer for independent wine st…
 
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