J. SMOKE WALLIN CEO, Strategy, Branding & Execution
Smoke is an accomplished leader in the CPG, beverage, hospitality & technology industries and advises many of the most successful brands, distributors, retailers and start-ups on their strategy, branding, and “go-to-market” distribution execution. He has an unparalleled network of global leaders across the industry. With expertise in executing brand placement and innovative marketing programs with national retailers, mass market, grocery, drug, and leading hospitality and entertainment companies coast to coast, his clients have included hundreds of premium beverage alcohol and non-alcoholic beverage companies globally. He has coached numerous start-ups, CEOs and workout situations to create meaningful value for stakeholders. Smoke has an MBA in Marketing, Finance and Operations from Vanderbilt University and a BS in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University. He was a Cornell wrestler and in Sigma Nu Fraternity.
Smoke’s core advisory practice includes: 1. Company and brand strategy from inception to launch to growth & turn around; 2. Distribution strategy from wholesale to retail to consumer in the US and internationally; 3. Executive search and recruitment; 4. Applying new technologies and business models to existing industries.
Since 1988, Smoke has been advising, creating, incubating, introducing, distributing, and growing brands and companies. Smoke joined a $150 million beverage distributor out of Cornell. As the chief architect of corporate strategy from 1993-2004, he grew it to over $1 billion in total beverage sales by aligning distributor and brand strategies and adopting best of class technology and business processes. He worked closely with all the major brand supplier partners in crafting brand strategy and local execution for 36,000 accounts in multiple states. It is now a joint venture with #2 RNDC, a $6 billion distributor. Smoke led the wine and spirits industry in Washington D.C. as Chairman, President & Director of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 1996-2004. He also served on Government Affairs committee for the Craft Brewers Association. He served YPO as Chairman of the Global Beer Wine & Spirits Network for 2010-2013 & serves on the board for the Food & Beverage Network with over 1,700 CEOs. In 1999, recognizing the potential of the Internet to transform the way brands reach and interact with customers and consumers he founded the leading B2B internet company of its time. Today it is the leading provider of national account pricing solutions to the industry handling millions of prices weekly.
A frequent speaker and industry expert, Smoke has had extensive press & TV coverage, appeared in an industry movie “America’s Wine” and guest lectures at Cornell, Dartmouth, and Vanderbilt. He is an Eagle Scout and the father of two Eagle Scout sons and two daughters.