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 Chairmen 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.
Todd Kunesh: VP Sales NV
Todd Kunesh is seasoned veteran, quality-conscious VP of Sales, Director of Operation and Director of Food & Beverage with 30+ years of progressive experience in the beverage brand building, bar, restaurant, gaming and hospitality industry.Todd has operated TKO Beverage Brand Building sense 2011.Todd has worked for industry giants MGM Resorts International, Golden Gaming Inc (Golden Tavern Group), Station Casinos, Hard Rock International, Deep Eddy Vodka and Drakes Organic Spirits Todd Kunesh lives with his family in Las Vegas sense 1997
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
Terry Brill: Acting CFO
Terry has been in the finance/accounting/systems business for forty years. The last eight years he has been a senior consultant for CLA. The last three years had been working at a public company keeping them financially viable while moving their finance operations from Minnesota to California. From 2011 – 2013, he served as CFO of Spanlink Communications and was part of a management team that turned around a private equity owned company that was losing money to profitable. Terry also served as corporate treasurer at Concur Technologies when the company grew three-fold. He has held management positions with Avaya, Select Comfort, Northwest Airlines, Waldorf Packaging and NordicTrack.
Jason Hayes: California Sales Manager
Jason leads the inaugural California Sales Team. He has accreditations for CSW, CSS, WSET III advanced and an intro sommelier certification. During his 29 year career, Jason has excelled within every facet of the three-tier beverage industry. He has developed vital and long-lasting relationships with retailers, suppliers, and distributors. Jason excels at sales management, integrating sales with marketing, building new brands, reinvigorating mature brands, educating distributors, motivating buyers and nurturing the culture of multiple adult beverage businesses.
Victor Lara: Southern California Sales Manager
Victor brings 10 years of beverage industry experience to Drake's Organic Spirits. Beginning with Southern Wine & Spirits, Victor was able to learn many of the ins and out of the alcoholic beverage arena where he held the roles of territory rep and district manager. The past five years he has spent in San Diego, where he was able to navigate the food and beverage sector as sales manager for the Hawaiian coffee company KonaRed and then as the Southern Pacific rep for Wild Tonic hard kombucha.
TJ Ewer: Southern California Sales Manager
TJ is a native of the Pacific Northwest, born in Seattle and a former resident of Portland. He has a BA degree from the University of Arizona. Now a resident of Santa Monica, Charlie has been in the wine and spirits industry for over 10 years with positions both on the wholesaler and supplier sides. John Cunningham: Northern California Sales Manager John has 29 years of sales and management experience in the wine and spirits industry with leadership positions at Southern Glazer, Austin Cocktails and Bevmo. His priority is building the Drake’s brand with distributor partner SGWS in Northern California.
Jessica Price: Northern California Sales Manager
After graduating from the University of Sacramento with a BA in Communications, Jessica worked for Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits as a sales representative for two years. She became very passionate about the spirits world and aspired to move forward in the industry. She, along with her team in 2019, won "Team of the Year" for the Golden State Division in Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits event, "Best of the Best". When Jessica's not working, you can most likely find her doing hot yoga or planning her next trip to the ocean somewhere.
John Cunningham: Northern California Sales Manager
John has 29 years of sales and management experience in the wine and spirits industry with leadership positions at Southern Glazer, Austin Cocktails and Bevmo. His priority is building the Drake’s brand with distributor partner SGWS in Northern California.
James Maglio: Southern California Sales Manager
James comes to Drake’s Organic Spirits with 10 years experience in the wine and spirits industry. Starting as a chain sales rep in San Diego for Southern Wine & Spirits he was promoted there times to higher volume territories. He accepted a promotion to district manager where he managed a team of eight sales reps in the Inland Empire/Desert areas. He was then tasked with leading the San Diego team as a district manager while overseeing 10 sales reps. He later accepted a role as district sales manager with Accolade Wines where he managed the Southern California as well as Arizona markets.
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.