SUSTO MEZCAL, a hand-crafted mezcal based jointly in Austin, Texas, and Oaxaca, Mexico, has filled two key leadership positions with the appointment of Mark Shilling as CEO, and Fabiola Lozano as Texas market manager. The significant hires will help the company build on its successes of the last two years, spurred by the tremendous growth in 2021 of more than 40%. SUSTO Mezcal is poised to expand its brand presence throughout the U.S. Founding partners Liz Stewart, Titi Rodriguez, and Ingrid Taylor will continue their active roles both in Texas and Oaxaca. Shilling’s and Lozano’s employment with SUSTO MEZCAL will commence immediately.
As CEO, Shilling will lead business strategy, financial management and operations for SUSTO MEZCAL. He is responsible for expanding U.S. sales and overseeing production logistics in Oaxaca. Shilling brings extensive beverage alcohol industry experience to the company. In his role as a partner in Big Thirst Consulting, he provided integrated business services for established and start-up distilleries to improve operations from production and marketing to sales and distribution. Previously he founded Revolution Spirits, an Austin area distillery in 2013.
Shilling is well known in the industry for his work supporting craft spirits producers. In 2016, Shilling was elected to the board of the American Craft Spirits Association, serving as president from 2017-2018. He currently leads the organization’s government affairs committee, focusing on the federal excise tax, tariffs, trade practices and other industry concerns. He was recently recognized for his service to the industry with ACSA’s inaugural Gable Erenzo Spirit of Community award.
“Mark is the right leader for SUSTO MEZCAL as we continue to vigorously grow our market share,” said Ingrid Taylor, managing partner of U.S. operations. “His extensive management and operations experience and track record of growing small spirits brands will help SUSTO strengthen distribution partnerships and position our company for strategic growth. We believe his strong leadership experience will help focus our efforts as we increase production in Oaxaca, expand our distribution to new markets, and optimize our e-commerce sales.”
“I am excited to join the SUSTO MEZCAL team,” said Shilling in a press release. “SUSTO has achieved several important milestones over the past year. With such sustained demand over the last 18 months we are poised for continued expansion. We have a great business model and an outstanding team that uniquely positions us to capitalize in the growing mezcal market. My focus is to bring spirits industry best-practices to improve efficiencies and make it easier for consumers to try and buy our award-winning mezcal.”
To assist in managing this explosive growth, SUSTO has hired Lozano as Texas market manager. She brings passion, energy, and spirits industry experience to her role in managing the brand throughout Texas. Prior to joining SUSTO MEZCAL, Lozano successfully managed over 60 accounts in the on-premise spirits market with Republic National Distributing Co., where she was recognized numerous times as a Top Seller. A native of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Lozano is a graduate of the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley and will work out of San Antonio.
According to market research firm Technavio, the mezcal market in the United States has reached $100 million in sales and is expected to grow to $315 million by 2023. Recognized for its outstanding quality, SUSTO MEZCAL is outpacing other mezcal brands in this growing market to be one of the top brands in volume sales carried by Republic National Distributing Company in Texas.
Compadres Importing LLC, which owns the SUSTO Mezcal brand, manages the entire chain of production in Mexico—from harvesting to distillation and bottling. The company also owns the coveted Norma Official Mexicana (NOM) certification for making mezcal, which distinguishes SUSTO MEZCAL from many other mezcal brands that simply buy and bottle spirit made by others. SUSTO MEZCAL is crafted in San Dionisio Ocotepec, Oaxaca by mezcalero, Crispín Pérez.
ABOUT SUSTO MEZCAL
SUSTO MEZCAL, awarded the coveted Double Gold by the New York Wine and Spirits Competition, is produced, and imported by Compadres Importing, LLC, an Austin-Oaxaca-based, designated Women Enterprise Business. Launched in Austin, Texas, in 2018, SUSTO MEZCAL is a super-premium mezcal made with 100 percent Agave Espadín Joven and is hand-crafted, bottled, and labeled in Oaxaca, Mexico. Derived from Mexican folklore, “susto” means fear or fright after significant events such as loss, accidents, or natural disasters. It is believed such events can cause the separation of body and soul, which can be cured by curanderos, faith healers or shamans, and a good, solid sip of mezcal. Smoky and smooth, SUSTO MEZCAL invites those who enjoy it to fear nothing but the absence of taste®. A portion of SUSTO MEZCAL’s sales is donated to the Oaxacan Community Foundation to fund educational scholarships for Oaxacan middle school students. For more information about SUSTO MEZCAL, please visit sustomezcal.com or follow the brand on social media @sustomezcal.