Meet The Drake's Team
Mark Anderson: Drake’s CEO/Founder/COO
A native of North Dakota, Mark Anderson studied aviation at the University of North Dakota where he achieved flight certifications for private, commercial, instrument, multi engine, seaplane and CFI and type rating. He began his career trading futures at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange with a $5000 credit card advance. Mark then founded Killer Whale Holdings, which arbitraged physical commodities against derivatives on multiple exchanges. At one point Killer Whale Holdings handled over 30 % of the United States dairy market. He subsequently launched Capt Drake LLC, a leading global supplier of non-GMO sugar and citrates. A serial entrepreneur, Anderson founded Drakes Organic Spirits, the largest capacity organic alcohol company in the United States and first to achieve all five certifications: USDA Organic, Non GMO Project Verified, Gluten Free, Vegan and Kosher. Anderson resides in Minnesota with his family where they actively run Long Lake Animal Rescue, giving large and small animals a second chance.
Luis Ayala: Drake’s Master Distiller
Founding member of Rum Runner Press, Inc. President of Rum University and publisher of “Got Rum” Magazine. Mr. Ayala has created the quality standards in the production and marketing of rum for over 25 years. He has been the industry go to hired by major brands as the person called to fix QC and distillation issues.
Jim Allen: Drake’s Chairman of the Board
Retired 35 Senior Executive of Southern Wine and Spirits, Mr. Allen is widely respected throughout all 3 tiers of the U.S. wine and spirits industry. Jim has mentored, coached and inspired literally thousands of Southern sales professionals. Allen began his career at Southern in 1977, and his drive for excellence resulted in Southern’s establishment of a highly successful on-premise division in the state. As his career at Southern progressed, Allen was appointed to the growing operation in California, where he held the position of Vice President, General Manager. Building on his remarkable successes, Allen’s talents were put to use in "Southern Wine" Spirits of Hawaii where he developed a first-rate sales staff in the market. After managing the Colorado division of Southern, as Executive Vice President, General Manager, Allen was named Executive Vice President, Wines of Southern’s newly established New York division in January 2005. Through the final stages of his professional journey, Allen served in leadership positions in Southern’s Pacific Northwest markets, as well as California—returning there in 2011 as Senior Vice President, Fine Wines. In this capstone role at Southern, Allen was the company’s senior executive of fine wine supplier relations in the all-important California wine regions.
Adam Jensen: Founding Member Drake’s, Controller
Extensive experience in the food and beverage ingredients supply chain and first to achieve Non GMO Project verification for sugar and citric. Contract negotiations with strong accounting and management background.
Oscar Quintero: Drake’s Advisory Member
Director of Bodegas Pomar, a subsidiary of privately-owned Empresas Polar headquartered in Venezuala, since 1996. Cerveceria Polar was originally founded as a brewery in 1941, diversified to making sparkling wines and cognac (though a jv with the French cognac and manufacturer Martrell) and remains the largest and best – known brewery in Venezuala. Over the years, Cerveceria Polar diversified to an array of industries, mostly related to food processing and packaging.
Tom Lebon: Drake’s Board Member
President/Founder New Age Beverage, a Denver-based distributor that created multiple beverage brands. Mr. Lebon has 30 years experience in the beverage distribution and brand management.
Lyle Berman; Drake’s Board Member
Legendary Minnesota businessman and co-founder of Grand Casinos Inc. Berman is credited as one of the early visionaries in the development of casinos outside of the traditional gaming markets of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2004 and in 2009 received the Casino Lifetime Achievement Award. Besides Grand Casinos, Inc., he has served as chief executive officer, board member and executive chairman at numerous national companies. Berman currently serves as chairman of Allied Esports, a premiere esports entertainment company he recently launched that will provide world- class in-person experiences, multiplatform content and interactive services to the esports and gaming industries.
James Sexton: Drake’s Board Member
Jim Sexton brings over almost 40 years of expertise to the table, with several years working with the wholesale side as Vice President for a major national insurance carrier. Jim brings this important dimension along with his strong interpersonal relationships to his trusted strategic partners and clients.
Katrina Odens: Founding Member / VP of Sales Minnesota
After pursuing a career in rugby, which culminated in co-captaining the Wisconsin Women's Rugby Football Club to a USA Rugby National Championship in June 2015, Katrina joined the team Mark and Kristen Anderson built to launch Drake's Organic. A utility player of sorts, Katrina has worn several hats within the company, relying on her strengths of willingness to learn, work ethic, and understanding that no job is too small if it helps progress the company.
Todd Kunesh: VP National Sales
Todd Kunesh is seasoned veteran who has held executive positions that include vice-president of sales, director of operations and director of food & beverage. Todd has over 30 years of progressive experience in the beverage brand building, bar, restaurant, gaming and hospitality industry. He has operated TKO Beverage Brand Building since 2011. He has also worked for industry giants MGM Resorts International, Golden Gaming Inc (Golden Tavern Group), Station Casinos, Hard Rock International and Deep Eddy Vodka before joining Drake's. Todd lives with his family in Las Vegas.
Patrick Klinger: Marketing & Advertising
Patrick Klinger is an award-winning, nationally respected and accomplished marketing expert acclaimed for delivering ingenuity and results. He has a long history in sports and entertainment marketing having spent 14 seasons as vice president of marketing for the Minnesota Twins where he helped lead the ballclub to all-time attendance records and earned a reputation for developing trend-setting programs. He defined and strengthened the Twins brand which earned the team the Horizon Awards “Sports Organization of the Year” and “Sports Person of the Year." His marketing programs resulted in seven regional Emmy Awards, a Silver Effie Award and national honors for advertising and brand campaigns
Richard Booth: Vice-President of Sales, East Coast
Before joining Drake's, Richard enjoyed a 35 year career with Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS). At SWS, he held various positions including vice president and general manager of South Florida where he was responsible for $800 million in sales and over 1400 employees. He consistently increased bottom line profits. The Miami resident originally served as a member of Drake's advisory board before assuming his executive position.
Jason Hayes: Vice-President of Sales, California
Jason is proud to lead the inaugural Drake’s Organic California Sales Team. During his 29 year adult beverage industry career, Jason has excelled within every facet of the three-tier beverage industry, and has been able to acquire accreditations for CSW, CSS, WSET III advanced and an intro sommelier certification. He has developed long-lasting relationships with retailers, suppliers, and distributors. Jason is excited to bring his adept skills at sales management, integrating sales with marketing, building new brands, reinvigorating mature brands, educating distributors, motivating buyers to nurture a positive “can do” culture at Drake’s Organic Spirits, LLC.
E. Glynn Bloomquist, Jr.: Vice-President of Sales, Texas and Advisory Board Member
Glynn Bloomquist is the founder and CEO of Tejas Global Resources, a financial and management consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. He is the former Executive Chairman of Home Run Dugout, a Texas-based Entertainment company featuring a baseball themed entertainment endeavor with a food and beverage component. Bloomquist’s partners are Ryan-Sanders Baseball. Ryan-Sanders Baseball includes baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Nolan Ryan. Glynn is also the former CEO and Chairman and Co-Founder of Empresario LLC. Empresario is the first Texas Spirits House and has a portfolio of Texas-based spirits, including tequilas, liqueurs and non-alcoholic mixers. In March of 2018, Bloomquist engineered the merger of Empersario with Dripping Springs Distilling. In 2002, Bloomquist was recognized with the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Texas Lutheran University, and in 2005 he was inducted into the Texas Lutheran University Athletic “Wall of Honor”.
Kevin Nissen: Northeast Regional Sales Manager
Kevin brings over 30 years of rich sales experience and deep industry connections in the Spirits and Wine industry. His diverse career includes roles as VP of Eastern Sales, Regional Sales Manager and State Manager. He is passionate, motivated and enthusiastic when bringing brands to market. Kevin has worked for industry giants Brown-Forman, Beam Wine Estates and high-profile wineries such as Chalk Hill, J Vineyards, and Sonoma Cutrer. He is proud to have earned his WSET Level II certification. Kevin lives with his family on Long Island in Great River, New York.
Cathy Molina: Packaging & Production Manager
Cathy has 15 years of project management experience working in the spirits manufacturing business. Her extensive experience is primarily focused on identifying the most cost-effective solution for the optimization of ingredients, packaging, and production based on her strong relationships with material vendors and production facilities. She is a very driven, organized, and results-oriented individual, which are key strengths when coordinating packaging/production efforts with the rest of the Drake’s team.