Next Century Spirits Appoints New COO and CSO

Next Century Spirits of Raleigh, North Carolina, announced the appointment of two leadership roles including the chief operating officer and chief strategy officer. The leaders were hired to oversee the company’s exponential sales growth and international expansion plans. Rob Mason, Next Century’s new COO, will oversee the company’s operations, business, beverage development and commercial organizations. Jenny Gates, Next Century’s new CSO, will focus on partnerships and alliances to bolster market strategy. The appointments will champion the creation and implementation of scalable best-in-class processes to support the company’s continued growth and innovation.

The announcement trails the decision of the company’s flagship brand, Creek Water Whiskey, to hire a new CEO, Anthony Moniello, also a seasoned executive in the spirits industry. The senior executives were hired to centralize oversight of strategic expansion of distribution across brand innovation and commercial sales on a global scale. To support the executive search, Next Century worked with Korn Ferry, one of the most prestigious search firms, to identify leadership.

New COO, Rob Mason, brings a keen view of brand management in the spirits industry with over 20 years of experience in global marketing for consumer brands represented by Beam Suntory, Diageo, and Procter & Gamble. Rob has led some of the world’s most iconic spirits brands, including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Crown Royal, and Johnnie Walker, among others. He looks to leverage that experience to provide category leadership that will key NCS’s growth. Mason will focus on product development strategy to create solutions that enhance and commercialize the company’s technology innovation. The main emphasis of the role will be to cultivate strong cross-functional relationships with the R&D and commercial organization to enable efficiency and product differentiation. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the NCS team. I was drawn to the company not only due to the potential of the company’s technology solution, but also because of the great leadership team Scott has been building. I am particularly excited about the power of NCS’s technology to help other spirits companies on-going innovation efforts, with a special emphasis in the area of secondary finishing.”

New CSO, Jenny Gates, brings a diverse understanding of the spirits industry with over 10 years of experience leading corporate strategy, most recently with Pernod Ricard, where she led cross functional projects across the entire portfolio, including leading brands Absolut and Jameson. In addition, Gates also held commercial roles at PRUSA and worked closely with major distributor partners such as SGWS and RNDC. In this role, Gates will lead strategy and corporate development by supporting industry alliances and corporate development efforts to maximize growth. Gates will focus on refining key performance indicators and collaborate with the R&D organization to optimize the company’s growth strategy. “I’m beyond excited to be joining NCS at this point in its journey. The beverage alcohol space has a unique value chain that I believe is ripe for disruption. Next Century Spirits’ refreshing approach combined with its powerful technology offers a truly compelling opportunity for the BevAlc industry.”

“Both leaders will be instrumental in elevating overall success across the organization by leveraging our skilled team and technology capabilities,” said Scott Bolin, CEO of Next Century Spirits, in a press release. “To keep pace and get ahead of Next Century’s growing sales and strategic vision trajectory, we knew we would need leaders that offered innovative thinking and also deep industry knowledge in the spirits sector.”

Since the company’s founding in 2018, Next Century Spirits innovative production solutions have supported the creation and launch of hundreds of successful spirits brands. Their flagship brand Creek Water Whiskey has expanded rapidly, gaining distribution across 23 states in the U.S. and has recently began expanding internationally starting with Canada and partnerships in Australia coming soon. Creek Water has also been activated and supported by major customers like Walmart, Total Wine & More, and BevMo.

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