20-Year Consumer Goods Veteran Enlisted to Drive Sales Strategy, Organizational Development, and Brand Growth
Miami Beach, FL (June 20, 2023) – Cool Cat, a refreshing line of low-calorie sparkling cocktails making wine more approachable and inclusive for the next generation of wine drinkers, has appointed Brian Smith as its new Chief Commercial Officer. In this role, he will be responsible for leading all commercial functions, including sales and distribution strategy, national accounts, trade development, and field marketing.
Most recently, Brian led the Sales team at Canteen Spirits where he was responsible for delivering volume and distribution growth via optimizing route to market and to help build a plan to launch Cantina Margarita in select states. Prior to that, he spent seven years with Pabst Brewing Company as Chief Sales Officer, where he led a 170-person high performing team, and Executive Vice President of National Accounts, managing all selling efforts with the largest on- and off-premise retailers. Brian brings the ability to structure a customer-focused team while recruiting and developing top talent. He is a culture champion that has tremendous passion for instilling high standards and values throughout the sales team.
Brian also served as Vice President, Key Accounts, for Mark Anthony Brands, earning a promotion after three years to Sr. Vice President, Sales. In this position, he was responsible for overall sales strategy and execution, while building a top-selling sales organization. Brian began his career in the beer business, spending nine years with Coors Brewing before leaving to become General Manager of Gold Coast Beverage, where he oversaw a team of over 200 people selling a broad portfolio of beer brands.
“Brian joins Cool Cat at a critical time and will be essential in driving our sales strategy and future brand growth,” said Founder & CEO Rocco Venneri. “After only three years in business, Cool Cat is making its mark as a leading RTD in the wine category among several top national accounts, but there’s much more work to be done. Brian’s extensive industry knowledge, relationships, and overall approach will be a big asset to our team.”
“I believe in the power and potential of the Cool Cat brand and meeting with the team confirmed my desire to be here, said Smith. “Wine drinkers have long been underserved in the RTD space, but soon Cool Cat will be their delicious choice!”
Brian earned a BS in Economics & History from Florida State University, where he now serves as a guest lecturer – a role he also relishes at the Dedman School of Hospitality. In 2011, Brian attended the Global Institute of Leadership Development (GILD). Additionally, in 2017, he was elected as a Board Member and now serves as Treasurer for Beat the Streets Chicago, a not-for-profit organization which strives to provide life enhancing opportunities though the power of wrestling for the underserved in Chicago’s most desperate neighborhood.
Brian currently resides in San Antonio, TX with his wife Adrienne and their daughters, Campbell & Mallory.
A Gold Medal winner at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Cool Cat naturally flavored sparkling cocktails – available in Original (Elderflower Mint Lime) Citrus, Berry, and Grapefruit flavors – feature a base of California white wine, cane sugar, and are naturally gluten free. At 6.9% ABV they are a better alternative to many other alcoholic beverages, containing just 140 calories and two grams of sugar per 12-ounce can.
All four sparkling cocktails are available for purchase online at drinkcoolcat.com, Drizly, Gopuff, and in select on-and off-premise locations in 24 U.S. states. To find a store near you, visit All Store Locator.
About Cool Cat
Cool Cat is a minority founded, owned, and operated beverage lifestyle company established in 2018 in Chelsea, NYC. Launched in April 2020, Cool Cat Sparkling Cocktails are currently distributed online and select retailers in 24 U.S. states. Discover the brand online at drinkcoolcat.com or on Instagram and Facebook @drinkcoolcat.
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