PHILLIP L. HURST
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
With a winemaking degree from University of California-Davis, Mr. Hurst began his career in the wine industry in 1985 at Fetzer Vineyards when he was hired by Paul Dolan to help make premium wines and build the brand. Fetzer Vineyards was sold to the Brown-Forman Corporation in 1992, and he left in 1998 to run International Sales and Marketing for Golden State Vintners, Inc. which needed to bolster the senior management team for the launch of its initial public offering. During his time at Golden State Vintners, Inc. (1998-1999), Mr. Hurst met his future partners in what was to become one of the world’s largest private label beer, wine and spirits companies, Winery Exchange Inc. As co-founder and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing from 1999 to 2007, he helped grow the company to over $100 million in sales in less than 10 years. Mr. Hurst sold his stake in the company to partner with his longtime friend and mentor, Paul Dolan, to follow their dream of buying and building Super-premium wineries and vineyards in California’s premier appellations. Mr. Hurst has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a managing member of the LLC since 2007 and as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Truett-Hurst, Inc. since 2012. Mr. Hurst was selected to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive knowledge of our operations, competitive challenges and opportunities gained through his position as our President and Chief Executive Officer as well as his extensive experience and education in winemaking.
Virginia “Ginny” Marie Lambrix
Virginia Lambrix went on a soul-searching trip to South Africa and while tasting beautiful wines decided to become a winemaker. Within a year she was studying Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. She believes that truly great wines are made in the vineyard and enjoys the challenge of finding perfect little sites that can express themselves vividly in the finished wines. Ginny has received multiple awards, 90 points and above, from the Wine Spectator, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and the Wine Enthusiast. She is one of the few female winemakers and is a strong advocate for alternative agriculture.
Evan B. Meyer
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Meyer recently served as the Chief Financial Officer of Avantel SAS, a mobile operator in Bogotá, Colombia. Prior to Avantel, he was the Chief Financial Officer of PaymentOne Corporation in Campbell, California from 2005 to 2015. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Finance and Administration at PaymentOne Corporation, from 2000 to 2004. From 1994 to 1998, he served as Senior Manager and Principal Consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in San Francisco, California. He received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Washington’s M.G. Foster School of Business in 1993, and his Bachelors of Science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1986. Mr. Meyer has held a C.P.A. certificate (inactive) in the State of California since 1989.
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Jason Strobbe is classically trained CPG Professional with over 22 years of experience. He began his career in E&J Gallo’s management development program and over 5 years increased responsibility and roles. He’s been an executive for Pepsico, Zone Vice President- Frito Lay, Southwest Region Vice President DSD & Operations and Vice President of Grocery Accounts Western U.S - Sara Lee, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing- United State Bakeries and Senior Director of Sales, West Coast- Shearers Snacks LLC Western United States.
Board of Directors
Mr. Benedetti is President and Chief Executive Officer of Clover Stornetta Farms Inc. (“Clover”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of milk and dairy products in California, Nevada, and Arizona, known for its sustainable agricultural practices and non-GMO, non-RBST products. Mr. Benedetti joined Clover in 2000, was appointed as President and elected to its board of directors in 2006. Mr. Benedetti pursued his studies in Business of Administration from the University of Alaska. Mr. Benedetti serves as a board member of the Association of Independent Dairies of America and the Dairy Institute of California, and as an honorary advisory board member for the University of California, Davis Agriculture Sustainability Institute, Social Advocates for Youth. Mr. Benedetti was selected to serve on our board of directors based on his wealth of knowledge and experience in management and in developing, producing and selling consumer products to U.S. retailers. Mr. Benedetti also serves on our compensation committee.
Daniel A. Carroll
Mr. Carroll served as a partner/managing director of TPG Capital L.P. from 1995 to 2010. He has served on the board of directors of Shenzhen Development Bank (China) (2005-2010), Myer Department Stores, Ltd (Australia) (2006-2009), Bank Thai, Ltd (Thailand) (2007-2009) and Healthscope Australia (2010-2011). He received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 1982 and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1986. Dan has served as a managing member of the LLC and a Director of Truett-Hurst, Inc. since 2012. Mr. Carroll was selected to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive experience in executive management oversight, private equity, capital markets and transactional matters. Mr. Carroll also serves on our audit committee and as chair of the nominating governance committee.
Paul Dolan III
Mr. Dolan has been involved in the wine business since 1975 and is considered the founding father of organics and biodynamics in the California wine industry. He is proud to say he is a fourth generation winemaker but even prouder to say his children have joined him. He started his winemaking career with what was then a small winery in Mendocino, Fetzer Vineyards, in 1977 and then helped the Fetzer family grow to one of the premier California wineries, selling over three million cases. Mr. Dolan managed the company as President for the new owners, the Brown-Forman Corporation, from 1992 to 2002. He has served as Chairman of the Wine Institute (1990-2012) and became the first Chairman of the Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance (2002-2003). He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the University of Santa Clara and a Master of Science in Enology from the University of California-Fresno. He is also author of True to Your Roots: Fermenting a Business Revolution. He has served as a managing member of the LLC since 2010 and a Director of Truett-Hurst, Inc. since 2012. Mr. Dolan was selected to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive knowledge of our business, which he gained as one of our founders, as well as his experience in building wine companies and leadership in developing and promoting sustainable farming techniques.
Mr. Graham has over 20 years of experience in commercial banking, having served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Exchange Bank (1995-2008), and as a Senior Manager at Wells Fargo (1985-1995). At Wells Fargo, Barrie was the Senior Vice President responsible for Business Development for the Commercial Banking Group. He is a former Director and past-Chairman of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington- Seattle (1998-2011, Chairman 2009-2010) and a former Director of the California Bankers Association (2004-2008). Prior to joining WR Hambrecht + Co (2011-Present), Mr. Graham was President and Chief Executive Officer of hybridCore Homes (2009-2011). Mr. Graham is a Director of Empire Law School (2004-Present) and numerous nonprofits. He has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Clarkson University, a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Golden Gate University and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at Harvard and the Pacific Coast Banking School. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer and has served as a managing member of the LLC since 2011 and a Director of Truett-Hurst, Inc. since 2012. Mr. Graham was selected to serve on our board of directors due to his experience in executive management oversight, accounting and financial transactions. Mr. Graham also serves on our compensation committee as chair and on our nominating governance committee.
Mr. Grimes is Managing Partner of Twinleaf Management LLC, a Connecticut-based investment advisor (“Twinleaf”). Twinleaf constructs and manages client portfolios with an exclusive focus on undervalued small capitalization equities. Twinleaf currently owns approximately 9.68% of the Company’s shares of Class A common stock. See “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” below. Prior to founding Twinleaf in 2011, Mr. Grimes was a private equity investor at BG Media Partners and Sequence LLC. From 1996 to 2000, he was an equity research analyst at Citigroup Smith Barney. Early in his career, he held sales and marketing positions at Viacom, Inc., a global entertainment company. Mr. Grimes is also currently an adjunct professor at The New School in New York, teaching a graduate level finance course. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Virginia and a Masters of Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta. The Nominating and Governance Committee and the Board selected Mr. Grimes to serve on our Board and on the Audit Committee due to his experience in executive management oversight and finance.
Paul J Weber
Mr. Weber served as a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Inc. from 2002 to 2011. Prior to FTI Consulting, Inc. He was a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked from 1981 until 2002. Mr. Weber’s professional experience includes providing expert witness, accounting, auditing and other consulting services to a wide variety of large and small business entities in diverse industries. Mr. Weber serves on our audit committee as chair and we have determined that he meets the requirements of an audit committee financial expert under the SEC and Nasdaq rules. Mr. Weber also serves on our compensation committee.