Mine Shaft Brewing

A Team with a legacy of excellence

Richard Burnes

Manager
Richard brings over eight years of experience with Stroh Brewery. Rich managed marketing functions for nationally distributed Stroh family of brands. Developed and implemented brand advertising creative and media plans, national consumer promotion plans, and regional refund programs. Determined market research needs and formulated research plan. Supervised the design and production of packaging graphics and merchandising materials to support brands.
Administered process for the development and implementation of new product introductions from initial concept through market launch. Responsibilities included supervising consumer research activities, developing brand positioning strategies, managing packaging, and point-of-sale design and development, and implementing the advertising strategy.
Rich was responsible for the financial analysis and approval of regional pricing proposals regarding profitability, sales, and consistency with marketing strategy.

Dan Jankowski

Distributor Sales Advisor
Dan has over 35 years of experience in the beer industry. His sales and management experience are an important addition to Mine Shaft Brewing. Dan has a unique perspective on the industry having vast experience in both the supplier side of the business as well as the distributor side of the business. He has held key management positions with Miller/Coors (Business Development Manager) and Heineken USA (Zone Sales Manager) and worked with Stroh and Schlitz Brewing companies. Also, Dan has 16 years of experience working on the distributor side of the business. He was a Director of Sales, General Sales Manager, and General Manager at three large distributor operations. With his extensive experience, he has developed some excellent distributor/supplier relationships.

Scott Rozek

Marketing
Scott has over 30 years of experience in marketing, market research, new product development and advertising, including 12 years of experience with the Stroh Brewery Company. He was directly involved with coordinating the expansion of the Stroh Brand into 20 western states after the acquisition of Schlitz. Scott was also heavily involved in the brewery’s new product efforts. As brand director for the Stroh’s brand family for three years, he managed annual marketing budgets of $15 to 20MM, and he was responsible for all marketing functions such as brand planning, advertising, packaging, promotions, pricing and research. Since 1994, Scott has been the co-owner of Unisearch Partners, Inc., a custom market research company specializing in integrated quant-qual techniques and qualitative studies. The firm has been an industry leader in Super Bowl ad testing for over 15 years, testing Super Bowl ads for clients like Frito-Lay (Doritos), Anheuser-Busch, and PepsiCo.

James Weinberg

Operations
James brings 13 years of materials/purchasing management experience from time spent at the Stroh Brewery Co. He purchased over $600MM annually in packaging materials for eight domestic breweries. James brings procurement, inventory control, package development and service levels with 25 major suppliers. He was also responsible for the total logistics of all packaging materials including price negotiation, production quantities, inventory control, warehousing and graphics coordination.

Leslie Burnes

Brand Management Advisor
Leslie brings 10 years of New Products and Branding experience from the Stroh Brewery and four years from Walt Disney. Leslie started her career with Stroh Brewery in pricing and worked her way up as Corporate Pricing Analyst, Field Pricing Analyst, Associate New Products Manager, Senior Associate Brand Manager, Responsible for all marketing functions for New Products, nationally distributed Old Milwaukee Brands, and the Stroh family of brands. She supervised new product introductions from initial concept through market launch. She developed and implemented brand advertising creative and media plans, national consumer promotion plans, and regional refund programs. Determined market research needs and formulated the research plan — managed the design and production of package graphics and merchandising materials. Also, Leslie administered $20 million annual price promotion budget.

Ray Klimovitz

Brewing Advisor
Ray is currently the President of Klimovitz Brewing Consultants, Inc., doing business in the Wisconsin area, where he acts as Alternating Proprietor (AP) Brewmaster for various beverage clients. His past clients include Sleeman Brewing & Malting (Guelph, Ontario, Canada), City Brewery (LaCrosse, WI), Harpoon Brewery (Boston, MA), Allagash Brewing (Portland, ME), New Century Brewing (Boston, MA), and Slammin’ Sam Beer Co. (Pinehurst, NC). Ray’s beverage experience extends into new product development, as he co-founded IZZE Beverage Co. in Boulder, where he was responsible for product development and production. Ray’s 40-plus years of experience in the beverage industry started at Four Roses Distilling Company in Baltimore, where he held the position of Whiskey Chemist. From there, Ray moved to Carling Brewing Co. in Baltimore where he was Brewing Chemist, QA Manager, Assistant Brewmaster and Brewmaster. Ray’s professional experience includes tenure at Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co (Milwaukee) and The Stroh Brewery Company (Detroit), where he was Corporate Master Brewer.

John Logan

CFO Manager
John brings a wealth of career experience as a CPA, CEO and CFO. He started an outsourcing company in 1992 that grew to $12MM in five years and was named one of the Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Companies” in 1997. John merged the company and became CEO in 2001, then sold his share in 2004. John graduated with a degree in Accounting and spent six years with one of the “Big 8” CPA firms. Afterwards, he spent ten years with two large organizations as CFO and gained experience in operations, mergers and new business creation.

TIM A. NEMECKAY

Manager
Tim brings Mine Shaft Brewery a vision and entrepreneurial drive and spirit in addition to his experience in the craft beer space plus a diverse background in the consumer goods space, finance, banking, branding, marketing, sales, and public relations. Tim is the face and the voice of Mine Shaft Brewing.

Charlie Whittington

Business Development
Charlie brings many years of regional and territory sales and has been a top achiever in all his previous sales management roles in addition to years of business development. Charlie also brings his seven-plus years of being a professional golfer to the Mine Shaft Brewing product ambassador relationships. Charlie is the guy everyone loves.

Ed Benfield

Consumer Research
Ed has over thirty years of experience as a professional market researcher on both the client and supplier sides of the business. He is an expert in consumer research and an accomplished focus group moderator. Ed has been co-owner and president of Unisearch Partners, a custom marketing research and consulting company since 1994. In addition to his broad-based knowledge of consumer research, Ed Benfield brings considerable expertise in research design and quantitative analysis to the MSB team of advisors. He has 13 years of direct beer research experience as manager and director of market research at the Olympia Brewing Company in Washington and the Stroh Brewery Company in Michigan and has served major clients in the beer industry during his entire 20 years with Unisearch. Among his specialties are the design, analysis, and implementation of quantitative and qualitative studies on beer taste testing, sensory evaluation, brand/user imagery, and advertising.

Bernie Pekor

International Sales
Bernie brings 16 years of experience from Stroh Brewery, including Project and Pricing Analyst, National Retail Sales Administration (Puerto Rico) and International Sales and Marketing. Bernie developed and executed sales strategies in Asia, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Middle East Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He’s managed international sales reps and planned, directed and coordinated marketing efforts. Bernie expanded private label products in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Brazil, and he has established a joint venture with Rajasthan Breweries, resulting in the first foreign beer to be sold in India.

Jay Stevens

Ambassador Liaison
Event Management Advisor- Jay brings on pro athletes as product ambassadors into retail, Distributor and club channels. He is also a firefighter and paramedic for Unified Fire Authority and goalie for the Utah Grizzlies.

Carson Jackson

Brewmaster
Carson has been professionally brewing as Brewmaster for one of the nation’s top craft breweries and has been awarded several medals at the Great American Beer Festival for his outstanding work in the field. Carson currently leads a team overseeing all aspects of craft products and acts as technical manager and project manager for a canning operation and an automated brew house, with multiple fermentation vessels. Carson is responsible for the integrity, quality and timely production of all MSB beers, ales and ciders.