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. 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 Stated and the first to achieve all five certifications:
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.
Kristen spent her early years growing up in North Dakota, her family later relocated to Montana where she graduated from High School. Kristen attended the University of MN at Crookston and graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Technology. She was employed as a Medical Technologist before joining Southwest Airlines where she worked as a flight attendant and was also responsible for negotiating the hotel contracts for Southwest employees across the country. Since the inception of Drake’s Kristen has assisted with the formulation, design, packaging, promoting and marketing of products. Kristen cofounded Capt Drake and Long Lake Animal Rescue which is a non profit 501 3 c providing a second chance to animals that range from horses to dogs and cats.
Drake’s Master Distiller
Based in Hutto, TX, Mr. Ayala has overseen Drake’s Organic ultra-premium, handcrafted spirits since launching in 2017. 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 of rum and other distilled spirits for over 25 years.
Drake’s Chairman of the Board
Retired after 35 years as a Senior Executive of Southern Wine and Spirits, Mr. Allen is widely respected
throughout all 3
tiers of the U.S. wine and spirits industry. Allen began his career at Southern where he worked as Vice
President, through Executive Vice President, to Senior Vice President, managing sales staff through
Hawaii, Colorado, New York, and California. 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.
Drake’s VP of Sales
Tom has 30+ years in the retail industry leading all capacities of operations, merchandising and marketing from a store and corporate level. A former Target executive, he led new concepts and innovation in the food and beverage area. Tom is customer centric and always on the hunt to find a new or better way of delivering items and experiences. Certifications include WSET III Advanced, CSW, Court of Masters Sommelier, Cicerone.
Drake’s Founding Member
Jensen has extensive experience in the food and beverage ingredients supply chain and was first to
Project verification for sugar and citric. He has a strong background in contract negotiations,
accounting, and management
Drake’s Advisory Member
Director of Bodegas Pomar, a subsidiary of privately-owned Empresas Polar headquartered in Venezuela,
since 1996. Cerveceria Polar was originally founded as a brewery in 1941 then 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 Venezuela. Over the years, Cerveceria Polar diversified to an
array of industries, mostly related to food processing and packaging.
Drake’s Board Member
President/Founder of New Age Beverage, a Denver-based distributor that created multiple beverage brands.
Mr. Lebon has 30 years of experience in beverage distribution and brand management.
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. 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.
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
Drake’s VP of National Sales
Todd Kunesh is a 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, Station Casinos, Hard Rock International and Deep Eddy Vodka before joining Drake's.
Drake’s VP of Sales, California
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.
Drake’s VP of Sales, Texas/Advisory Board Member
Glynn Bloomquist is the founder and CEO of Tejas Global Resources. He is the former Executive Chairman of Home Run Dugout, a Texas-based Entertainment company. Bloomquist’s partners are Ryan-Sanders Baseball which includes baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Nolan Ryan. Glynn is also the former CEO and Chairman and Co-Founder of Empresario LLC, 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 Empresario with Dripping Springs Distilling.
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. 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.
Drake’s Packaging and 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.
Drake’s Sales Manager, Florida
Jeff is a seasoned adult beverage executive with extensive experience across the industry. From the supplier side, to wholesale, to retail buying, Jeff has excelled in managing sales, marketing, purchasing, and brand building. Over the past years, Jeff has worked with such brands as Anheuser - Busch, Rockstar Energy Drink, and Deleon Tequila while acquiring deep knowledge of what works in building a successful brand.
Drake’s VP of Sales, Illinois
Bob was born and raised in the Chicagoland area.He has 20 years of experience in sales, logistics, and customer service.. He developed sales skills while working for a family wholesale business. This led him to his next role at Red Bull, where he worked 9 years as an account manager, sales trainer, and business development manager. Bob then spent 4 years with Romano Beverage as a sales consultant selling up-and-coming brands. This is where Bob was first introduced to Drake’s, and knew that his sales style and approach would fit in perfectly. He is excited to bring his high-energy and fast paced style to the Drake’s team.
Drake’s Accounting Manager
Gary comes to Drake’s Organic with a wealth of experience in finance and accounting. Gary was most recently a CFO for the Restaurant Group at Clifton Larson Allen. Before that he led finance and accounting teams at Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Northwest Airlines, and General Electric. He holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and a BS in Accounting from the University of Minnesota. Gary lives in Deephaven, MN with his wife and dogs and enjoys pursuing his hobbies of wine and travel.
Drake’s HR and Bookkeeping Manager
Kandra brings over 15 years of administrative experience in office management, human resources, and accounting to Drake’s. Her philosophy is that if you take care of the people you work with, they will take care of the company they work for. At Drake’s, she is responsible for human resources and daily accounting tasks such as AP and AR, payroll, shipping, and whatever else she needs to do to lend a hand.